Dear Prayer Partners,
The last time we wrote to you, we asked you to pray with us for our trip to Thailand for the EFM World Gathering. There was one point in our travel that the airlines couldn’t find our luggage, and we needed it to continue traveling. We waited for a couple hours trying to get this worked out – then finally it all showed up! Even the little stroller! We were so thankful for this answer to prayer, and it was just one of the first ways we felt loved and cared for by Jesus during our trip. So, thanks so much for praying.
Before the EFM Gathering, we took several days for a family vacation in Chiang Mai. It was amazing to explore a different culture with our kids – to see the wonder in their eyes and to hear them talk about similarities and differences to our home. We had a lot of fun together and built some special family memories. We also had to hear some complaints about the heat, about jet lag, about the food, and about the transportation. I think it was a good process to deal with the pros and cons together. We didn’t get a lot of rest because kids just keep us busy whether on vacation or not! But, we are very happy for our time together. Some of the things we experienced as a family were staying in a house on stilts, swimming, visiting water buffalo and bunnies at a rice farm, enjoying the sights and sounds and tastes of the night market, playing in indoor play places, seeing a Giant Panda and other animals at the zoo, and riding in tuk tuks. We also really enjoyed spending time with a special family that we can’t name for security reasons. It was amazing to see our kids play together, to relax and unwind a bit outside of our usual places of ministry, to share honestly about our lives, and to laugh at all sorts of things together!
|EFM Worldwide Gathering|
As missionaries, we are so cared for. By our directors, by staff, by Yearly Meeting Superintendents, and by our prayer partners (and I am including you in that group!) That was the main thing I took away from our EFM Gathering. We heard teachings, we participated in discussions (but not business meetings), we worshipped together, we ate together, we participated in small groups, and were able to get to know fellow missionaries better. An amazing childcare team taught and played with our kids while we were in sessions, and even took Sarai to visit some elephants at a special elephant park! Some of my favorite moments were brief but sincere interactions with a few special people God put in my path. People who said, “I understand and relate with those difficulties” or people who said, “we’ve been following your news and we’re praying for you” or people who said, “you are very loved by God and very loved by us”. We could not be more excited to be a part of the EFM team and their desire to seek first God’s Kingdom and to let him take them anywhere in the world to do so!
The travel was really tough at times, but God got us through, and the trip was very worth it. We got home on December 10, and are settling back in and preparing for Christmas and the end of the year. As we wrap up 2022, we know we have so much to be thankful for, and we wish we could fully express how thankful we are that you are on our team. As you encourage us, let us encourage you: you are so loved by God and by us. Keep seeking his kingdom. And please let us know how we can pray for you.
Brad and Chelsea
Sarai, Gideon, and Ian