Friday, September 19, 2008

Change...thoughts...'s been over 10 days since I've shared with you! Where has time gone? I never imagined that we could be so busy but well, 3 children is a lot more work than I ever imagined and then adding Thai into the mix just blows free time out of the water - that is...unless I want to loose some God time or sleep time!

Anyway, things are going good now...we had a fly ball hit us out of left field (did I say that right?)...our dear...cherished friends Trent and Amy Pruett are not going down south with us when we move in December. God has different plans for them whether I like it or not.

After serving here in Thailand for two years they are going to be returning to America to Sioux Falls, SD to help with a church plant there as children's pastors. We were so shocked when we received the news that I literally cried for almost a whole day but we know that man makes his plans but it is God who directs his steps. We trust God and know that he knows what is best for His glory and so we are rejoicing with Amy and Trent as they begin another chapter in their service to our God. They are going back to America with a missionary mindset and I know God will use them greatly. The Pruetts are leaving this Monday and we're cherishing the time we have left with them. They are dear friends of ours and for me it is very hard to see them go. I do want God's will for their lives but as of yet it still hurts just the same.

In other news, Thai is going wonderful, John has the incredible opportunity to begin guitar lessons in Thai (learning so he can play worship music down south) from our teachers son, Josiah is flying through 1st grade and really showing how smart he is...Jude is almost 3 and you can tell it in everything he does...every day seems to be a lesson for him.

Jude is so adorable and it's wonderful to see him growing and learning during this time. Jossalyn is as beautiful as ever...she smiles so much I wonder if her cheeks hurt at times. She's mommy's little princess and a lot of times can be found on my back in a pack "helping" me cook dinner.

Smart Cookie...I love this shirt!

Ok, I put Joss in blue finally and isn't she beautiful? This is a special dress because our friend Lisa gave it to us for her before we left. So maybe blue is ok...sometimes...

While at the Co-op last Monday someone was giving away 2 free bunnies and guess who took them home...uh huh....that'd be me. This is Jude holding his bunnie: Snowball....
This is Josiah holding his bunnie: Brownie/Thumper...his name kind of changes with the days.

I had a break through today in Thai. My teacher really encouraged me and said that I am almost fluent...and that I have gotten so much better since when I first began. Her encouraging words came in perfect timing since I was feeling quite beaten up by the Thai language. I still have a long way to go but I have definitly crossed over some walls that have been staring me in the face for way too long.

I don't know if you can understand if you haven't learned a second language to this level...but even when you can speak pretty only means you can understand how much you don't know and how much you don't sound like Thai's and so it wears on you sometimes. John is doing wonderful also.

Daddy and Joss

This is a pic from the co-op we attend every Monday. This is a music class taught by this mom named Kim. It is a lot of fun...and just look at all those missionary kids!

This is a bible memorization class taught at the co-op.

A pic of beautiful Jossalyn playing dress up with Mommy in a dress grandmaw gave us.

I would like to share with you some thoughts I had about us and where we are. I was reading over my blog in the past month and something saddened me. The lack of mention of ministry and Thai people...I thought about it and I was like...this seems really bad. I sat there for a bit and felt condemnation come all over me and almost as soon as it tried to sit down on me the Holy Spirit came and reminded me of the truth with this question "Are you here for my will or yours?"

Do I speak to Thai people often? Yes. Do we do any major ministry here besides live our lives before the Thai people we meet? No. I sat there as I asked myself this question and that No seemed to be amplified in my mind as if by an amplifier. NO! No ministry - you are a missionary...what are you doing? You don't deserve to be're not doing anything of any worth...

But as I said before the Holy Spirit reminded me why he has us here in Chiang Mai for 6 be sanctified, prepared and engulfed in Thai because where we are going there will be no church to attend until we start one...there won't be time to build our team and family like there is here...the spiritual climate in Naratiwat and the changes we will experience will require that we are leaning on Him alone and that we are focused on His voice and His will so that we won't be swayn.

So while, during this time, I would love to fill this blog up about all the ministry taking place and the Thai people coming to know God...all I have to report is that we are living our lives for our God, trusting Him and recognizing that our ultimate goal is not to be good missionaries and meet the status quo but that our ultimate goal is to be like Jesus and in doing so have fruit that pleases our Father.

Thank you for loving us, praying for us and supporting us.

I also would like to let you know that John and I want to be able to allow Josiah to study Thai while here with this wonderful teacher but as of yet we can not afford the lessons. We also wish to purchase a keyboard to allow me to continue to teach Josiah the little piano that I know and then hopefully find a piano teacher here and then in Naratiwat.

Josiah loves music and I want him to have this opportunity...if you feel lead in your heart to give toward his Thai lessons/piano please feel free to do so through the donation button on our blog or by clicking on the contact us link on the right and make sure you indicate that you wish your donation to go to this need.

Thank you again....


Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know that although we don't actually know each other, I really enjoy reading your blog.

I cannot imagine how difficult it is to learn a second language as an adult with three kids- I had a hard time with French in HS when I had nothing better to do! *grin*

Your children are beautiful- may God continue to bless your family

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which I would like to squish more.... the bunnies or the boys.

Meggan said...

Hi Stephanie! This is Meggan De Jong... and I have finally gotten around to starting up my own blogspot ( and and catching up on yours. When I first opened your site, I about cried, because the "Beautiful" song by Shawn McDonald was playing... it became one of my favorites this summer while serving in Greece. :)

Oh wait, maybe I should remind you who I am... do you remember the girl you sat by on that beautiful white double seated swing bench at that pool at the Wangtarn resort? :) Well, I have been thinking of you every now and again, when God brings you to mind in my prayers. Sorry it has taken me so long to actually get in touch. I suppose an e-mail might have been a better method for communication than commenting on your blogpost, so I won't ramble on forever now... I just thought I'd let you know I'm going to start following your blog closely, and hope we can communicate more soon. I am still planning to try to sell everything I've got and go to Greece as a missionary too. I'm hoping maybe reading your family's story through your blog will be one of the encouragements God blesses me with on my journey! :)

May God fill you with joy and peace!! :)