Alise and Mark will serve at the House of Love and House of Blessing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These ministries were established by IM missionary Kim Brown to serve tribal women and children coping with problems caused by AIDS, disabilities and migration from their rural villages to urban slums. Working through longtime IM partners Integrated Ministries for the Ethnic Minorities Foundation and the Thailand Karen Baptist Convention, Alise and Mark’s ministry will focus on the discipleship and spiritual development of children and staff, administrative responsibilities and community development.
They write – We have our visas and plane tickets for Thailand!!! God is so good and has provided immensely for our family through so many people. Because of our financial partners in ministry we are at 98% funded and have received approval for assignment!!! We continue to trust that God will provide the remaining $250/month…thus, we have our one-way tickets in hand and will depart for Thailand on February 4th. We will actually arrive in Chiang Mai the evening of February 6th!
We are all very excited and also experiencing a lot of other emotions as we prepare for an unknown adventure as well as leave friends, family, loved ones and even “things” behind.
Sydney (our oldest, who is 10) likened our anticipated adventure to a layered smoothie drink she had a couple months ago. She described the drink as sweet, with notes of sour, and smooth, but with some grainy texture mixed in. Then she went on to say that our time in Thailand will probably be like that drink. There will be a lot of cool adventures, new things to experience, new friends to be made, opportunities to share Jesus, much like the SWEET. But, there will also be days that are hard, difficult, that don’t feel very good and we will be glad when they are over, like the SOUR. Then she said there will be days that are easy, fun, exciting and filled with joy, just like the SMOOTH texture of the drink. But also mixed into our years ahead will be those very challenging times, with learning language, culture, and unknown obstacles to overcome, it will be bumpy, much like the GRAINY texture of that drink. But it will be mixed altogether, crafted beautifully and layered into a story and it will be good!
I found our daughter’s description quite profound! What a beautiful picture (and probably quite accurate) of what lies ahead. How lovely to know that Jesus is the one “mixing up that layered drink”! He is already there, smoothing out the paths, adding the obstacles, sprinkling the happy adventures and adding the tough battles that will grow us. He is in control, we must remember and lean into His love, peace and grace!
As 2020 moves forward, may you experience the love of Christ through all the different “layers” that lie ahead. Please remember us in your prayers as you continue to walk this journey with us (specifics listed below), and please let us know how we can lift you up in prayer as well! Our next newsletter will be sent from Thailand!!!
Adventure is out there! In the love of Christ, Alise, Mark, Sydney, Gavin & Kolin