Coming Up For Air

Our Missionary Life
Our Missionary Life
Coming Up For Air

The kids are tucked in, I’ve finished the dishes, and the house is quiet. Ahh… One of my favorite times of the day. Wait. Did I say quiet? Pardon me. I sit down as I often do, but the sounds that greet me are far different than the silence that greeted me at the end of a typical day two months ago. The constant rumble of motorcycles, tuk-tuks and a hundred other vehicles greet my ears, along with unintelligible (to me) conversations happening below our windows, the alternating-toned ambulance siren, and one vehicle playing a catchy little ditty that has got to be audible at least five miles away. All these have become familiar sounds since we moved into our temporary lodging here in the heart of the city. Welcome to Chiang Mai.

So much has happened these last few weeks that I have finally given up all hope of documenting it all, and decided to just sit down and write at least something so you don’t wonder if we’ve vaporized. (Although we’ve felt like we might some days. Cool season? They’ve got to be kidding!) So here’s a brief overview of our last few weeks. Buckle up! It’s been a little crazy.

In the last two months we’ve:

  • Been to three countries— Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia.
  • Traveled up the length of Thailand by bus, train and car
  • Visited with many missionaries serving here in Thailand, gaining valuable insights into the work here
  • Fed elephants and monkeys
  • Perhaps eaten half our body weight in mangoes
  • Started Thai classes online
  • Bought a car
  • Learned to buy mangoes (and other less essential items) at the market
  • Handed out many small tracts as we interact with people (the kids’ specialty)
  • Attended Mission Institute, the General Conference’s three-week-long training course for missionaries and made many great friendships with others who are living the same lives of upheaval we find ourselves in right now
  • Been to the hospital several times as we’ve dealt with what I’ve come to disdainfully call “pathogen shock” (think culture shock, but with pathogens). Each of the kids have been through at least one round of antibiotics, including a three-day hospitalization and IV antibiotics for Luke after he was diagnosed with pneumonia. (Anybody else been in the hospital for several nights with a three-year-old who sleeps like a corkscrew and also happens to be hooked up to an IV? ‘nough said. Except that I’ve still not caught up on my sleep) Thankfully the kids have all recovered, we are simultaneously healthy, and just holding our breaths to see how long it lasts.

Before we launched into life in the mission field we were told by many people that we would feel Satan’s attacks like never before. And while this has certainly been true, we can also say that we have felt God’s sustaining hand like never before. Where our need abounds, His grace much more abounds. We know this has been in response to your prayers, and we could not be more grateful!

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  1. Thank you for the update and the wonderful pictures! Keeping your family in our prayers.

  2. Shannon Stambaugh

    We were just talking about you all at church yesterday and wondering how you were doing, so it’s great to hear a little update! God be with you and give you health as you adjust to your surroundings and pathogens. Enjoy a mango for me! God bless your efforts for His kingdom!

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