“Oh no! We can’t move again!
We had spent two years in beautiful Thailand. Having signed a one-year lease for our home, we proceeded to settle in. It was our plan to stay in that house as long as the Lord wanted us to serve there.
Then we were offered a similar home with a bigger kitchen for considerably less rent per month. Knowing that God wanted us to be good stewards, we made the move.
It was obviously not God’s plan for us to get too settled there, because when that one-year lease was up, the landlady informed us that she wanted the house back.
As we processed this news, a kind friend found us another suitable home nearby. On our early-morning walk the next day, we explored this new village. It didn’t take us long to realize that God had a specific plan for bringing us here. We met Un, a very sweet English-speaking lady who turned out to be the village manager.
In the past five months we have come to feel very comfortable and accepted in our new neighborhood. Un has become a dear friend, always eager to help us. She has gone the second mile in sharing her knowledge of Asian gardening, and she generously gifted us with organic mangoes that she lovingly nurtured to perfection. Yum! Sweet and juicy!
Un lives alone most of the time because her husband works in Bangkok. Each morning on our walk, we see her hard at work grooming her yard and nearby properties. Un brings sunshine to our lives, and her ready smile warms our hearts. My friendship with Un is growing, and she mirrors the delight I feel as we exchange little homemade goodies.
As I reflect on my questions to God about why I had to move yet again, Un’s sweet face comes to my mind, and I know that God’s hand is in this. Un is my prayer focus, and the Holy Spirit is guiding our relationship deeper despite the disruption of COVID-19 this spring.
“And just in proportion to the strength of the friendship will be the amount of influence which friends will exert over one another for good or for evil” (Adventist Home, p. 455).
In reaching out to unreached Thai Buddhist people, we are learning that deepening trust and friendship is essential. Please pray for us and all of our missionaries that our friendships, and therefore our influence, will be increasingly positive and focused as we follow the leading of the Spirit. Time is short, and we are here with a mission: to influence, to befriend and to grow love for Jesus.