Extravagant Gifts: January 2019

updates Jan 24, 2019

It’s amazing how much can happen in a few short weeks.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we were celebrating Christmas with our families in Wisconsin and Illinois.  But since then, we’ve:

  • Packed up the ministry house that had been our home for an entire year. We can’t thank Oostburg First CRC enough for this incredible gift!
  • Crammed much of what we accumulated and stocked up on during that year (including gifts from 2 Christmases) into suitcases, which were carefully weighed, repacked, and reweighed about 37 times.
  • Said some very difficult goodbyes to people we love so, so deeply.
  • Sat on airplanes for 24 straight hours.
  • Arrived in an airport and city that is not nearly so foreign as it was the first time we passed through immigration and customs. (I’m amazed how much we did with how little we knew last time.)
  • Moved into a temporary apartment in a house owned by a local organization. It was a wonderful place to settle in while we looked for a more permanent home.
  • Got our kids ready and started at Grace International School. We love the community that our entire family has there and the Christ centered education the kids are receiving.
  • Drove all over looking for neighborhoods and houses where we might be interested in living.
  • Connected with a company that showed us 5 different houses all in one day.
  • Agonized over which house we should choose.
  • Picked one of the houses.
  • Learned that, despite our worries, God was working in the decision we made.
  • Met our new land lady who, providentially, is a Christian who used to work in our like of work. Her husband is now in business to support their extended family who do what we do too!
  • Started moving into our new home.
  • Began meeting about future work opportunities…there will be much and many!!!
  • Saw God work in all of it.

One short story to summarize how God has been working in our transition back to Thailand:

During the lead up to our departure, Becca started saving money to get a piano for our house in Thailand.  She told me (Ben) I wasn’t allowed to get her any Christmas presents.  She wanted to use the money for a piano.  (I dutifully disobeyed because I was going to let her buy the piano either way!)

The day we signed our rental agreement for our new house was kind of chaotic.  Our land lady had done a wonderful job of packing up her entire house in less than a week so we could move in.  As we were finishing up the paperwork, she said as a bit of an afterthought, “Oh…I’m going to leave you my piano too.” 

Becca, who had been hoping to buy a small electronic piano with a full keyboard and weighted keys, walked into the bedroom we never really saw during our visits, to see an electronic piano with a full keyboard and weighted keys.

It was exactly what she had been wanting for our home.

Is moving a family of 6 to the other side of the world difficult?  Sure.  But when we have a heavenly Father who loves us in such extravagant ways…in big things (like crossing the globe safely) and little things (like free pianos)…how can we possibly complain???

We would appreciate your prayers for a couple of things:

  1. Tomorrow morning (about 9:30 PM Thursday night in Wisconsin) the movers will arrive at our new house with our stuff from our old house. Please pray for wisdom on how to use our space well.  We’re very thankful to really be able to settle into a home again!
  2. Conversations have already begun for work opportunities. Please pray for wisdom as we try to bless as many people and ministries as we can without overextending ourselves.
  3. We’ve already started to build relationships in our new neighborhood. Please pray for more opportunities to be hospitable with our home and for more and deeper relationships.  The gospel does, indeed, come with a house key! 

Thank you all for your love and support for our ministry here in Thailand!


Ben and Becca

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