A new year rolls in, and so much has begun to shift. The last few months have been full of travels, and God is getting us ready for the next year as YWAM, Trang.
Hey everyone, I am so excited to update you as we begin this new year. I do want to apologize as I haven't been able to keep up with these letters as often as I would have liked. The pace of life has picked up and God has begun to prepare myself, and our team, for the time when we will move out of our Language and Culture Phase, and into building the ministries that God has for YWAM Trang. To be completely honest, I wasn't expecting to be busy so quickly! However, I do fully intend to be more consistent with these letters this coming year. What form that will take, I have yet to figure out, but I will make sure that you are able to keep updated on the new things happening!
The Last Six Months
Over the last six months or so, there has been a lot of traveling. We took a trip to Malaysia to renew our visas, went to the YWAM Thailand National Conference, and I went to Chiang Rai to visit some old friends, and Phuket for a short vacation. It was quite busy with all of these trips, in fact, for a few months we didn't have our whole team in the same location! Every time we reunited after one of these trips, it was such a blessing to catch up and talk about how things have been going. From the very start of our team, unity was impressed on our hearts through times of prayer and reading scripture. To see God grow humility and love in our base culture has been a long process, even still. Yet when I pause and reflect I can see how far God has brought us, and how he's setting the stage for the next season.
Thai language has taken a huge jump in the last six months! Praise God! It has taken me a long time to get to where I am at in language, and all credit to the one who created language. It has been a constant prayer of mine, not only for myself, but the whole team, that we would learn this language well. This prayer is still being answered daily. I look forward to the day in which we can disciple Thais in their native tongue, and every day we get that much closer, to the glory of our God.
We also had the opportunity to host a DTS team from Chiang Mai. I, unfortunately, wasn't able to spend the week with them as I was on one of my travels. However, my team reported that it was a great time! This has been the second team that we have hosted here in Trang, and it is always so exciting to get a glimpse of what YWAM Trang will be in the future.
Perhaps most exciting about these last six months has been the growth of our team. P' Ford joined us on staff in October. He met our team in Trang last year and God led him to join our team. He left to go do his DTS in Chiang Mai, and upon his return he applied to staff with us. It has been such a joy for our team to grow, especially with more Thai staff!
What's in Store for 2024
This month we are going to be hosting a DTS team from Japan! Many of the students are foreigners who have decided to do their DTS in Japan. Their outreach will have a few different locations, but they are making one of their first stops here in Trang. Please join us in prayer that God will impact them during their DTS season and show them their role in the great task of the church!
This year is also the end of our Language and Culture phase. This July marks two years since moving to Thailand, and the beginning of more official ministries that God has planned for YWAM Trang. Of course, these last two years have been incredibly productive and beneficial! Just not in the way I feel many of us have been taught to think of ministry. This time has been used to grow our base culture, grow our relationship with the community, and of course learn crucial language and culture skills needed for a more traditional ministry that is upcoming.
Additionally, Connor and Nicole are going to have a baby! I am so excited for them and the growth of their baby. I do ask that you would join me in prayer for them. Due to some health concerns with having the baby in Thailand, they will be traveling back to the states for six months to give birth. In the states there is adequate medical care, and as such mom and baby are at low risk for complications. However, six months is a long time to be away from our team. So please pray for strength as they spend this time in the states. The Holloways are my housemates, as we did not think it wise for me to live alone. While they are gone I ask that you would also pray for strength for me, because I have not yet learned how to live on my own.
A Moment of Gratitude
I want to thank my support team for another amazing year. To get to follow Jesus here in Thailand, and work to complete the task given to the church has been a blessing. One I could not have imagined for myself and yet in his mercy, Jesus chose me to be among the 3% of missionaries in the unreached. Myself and my team thank you for your obedience to faithfully give month after month. Your obedience give me the tools I need in order to also be obedient! So I thank you. I look forward to the next year with you. Know I think about you often, and I miss you dearly. Whenever the time may come for me to see you again, know it will be a dear time of gratitude.
As we have been on a Language Learning visa for just over a year, myself and a few others on the team are beginning to search for a new visa. We have up to a year more on this visa, but then we have to switch. For most of us, English teaching visas (the most common long term visa) is not an option. We do not have a college degree, and thus cannot be a teacher. So that makes our options very limited. This is a problem that God can easily solve, but we need to pray into it! Please join us in prayer, as we need a visa to stay in Thailand. If we don't have a visa, we have to leave the country!
On a good note, we have both a website for YWAM Trang and a base facility! Please check out our beautiful website: ywamtrang.org
- Continued language learning for our whole team!
- That we would all grow in humility and unity. That in this remaining year of preparation, God would have us grow to be exactly where he desires, and we wouldn't miss out on anything.
- That a long term visa option would open up in the perfect timing for myself and everyone else still in need of a visa.