Since our last email, we hit that 90% mark of our monthly partnership, and we were able to book our plane tickets! Lord willing, we will leave for Thailand on Wednesday, January 24th!
Buying our tickets was such an exciting milestone for our family as we celebrated God's faithfulness and so many faithful people who have come alongside us in this mission! This season is bittersweet as we say our goodbyes, but we are also so very full of joy over what He has accomplished and excited to finally be going.
Additionally, we have left our rental in Charleston and moved down to Florida to stay with family for most of this next month. We applied for our visas the week of Christmas and received them quickly and without any hassle. And God has also provided a house for us to rent when we arrive in Chiang Mai that is within walking distance of our teammates! To have a wonderful house ready and waiting for us when we arrive is such an unexpected blessing, and we look forward to making it our earthly home for this next season.
A picture that Sophie drew of our family following God to Thailand.
We felt like it would be helpful to outline some of our next steps, both immediately, as well as in the big picture. Immediately, the plan for our timeline is as follows:
01/03 - 01/07 LAST VISIT TO CHARLESTON 01/07 OUR SEND OFF SUNDAY AT OUR CHURCH IN CHARLESTON 01/24 WE FLY OUT OF ORLANDO 01/26 WE ARRIVE IN CHIANG MAI
But, as you may already know, Chiang Mai is not the destination that we are hoping to serve in long-term. Our goal is to serve in a province in the region of Isaan called Nakhon Phanom, specifically in counties where there are no known churches or gospel presence.
Before we move out to that more remote area of the country, we will be living in Chiang Mai, which is a much larger city and an easier area to get a visa to live in when we first arrive. Our plan is to live there for a few years while we study the Thai language full time with private tutors and learn as much of the culture as possible. We will even have the opportunity to participate in a local Thai church, and our children may be able to attend Thai school there. We are so grateful for these opportunities and resources that the Lord has made available to us so that our family can be as prepared as possible to share the Gospel with the Isaan people when we move out to Nakhon Phanom.
Ways to Partner:
We still need to raise about 6% of our monthly support budget. If you would like to partner with us financially by giving, you can do that by clicking this link:
Our friends at Sugar Creek Coffee Roasters in Matthews, NC have come up with another creative way for you to partner with our family. They have produced a special Englands In Asia blend of coffee, and they are giving 100% of the proceeds to help sustain our family on the field. If you, or anyone you know, is a coffee drinker this is a fantastic way to support bringing the gospel to Isaan! Click here to check it out:
And please partner with us in this mission by joining us in faithful prayer for the people of Isaan and for our team. The video below shows another Pioneers team in a different region of Isaan and shares some of the challenges and spiritual darkness of this unreached area.
Surin is a province in the southern part of Isaan. (Nakhon Phanom is in the northeastern part of Isaan, but many of these challenges are the same or are similar).
Friends, we need your faithful prayers.
Pray that God would tear down the enemy's strongholds in Isaan and would shine the light of the Gospel into places that have long been in darkness."The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone." Isaiah 9:2
Pray that God would give us a great capacity to learn, understand, appreciate, and love the Thai language and culture."I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some." 1 Corinthians 9:22
Pray that our last few weeks stateside would be sweet and restful as we make both our final memories and goodbyes until our first home assignment.
Pray for patience and grace in parenting as we navigate this huge transition with our children.
We are so grateful for your prayers, and it is our joy to pray for you as well. Please respond to this email with ways that we can be praying for you too.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21) Much love from the Englands