On the Road to Thailand
We’ve been transformed from stick-in-the-muds to rolling stones! You probably gathered from the earlier posts that we have fallen in love with Thailand. We love the people and have a huge burden to bring the Gospel to the thousands of unreached villages in southeast Asia. And then there are all of those children….
It wasn’t an easy or quick decision, but the Lord has definitely led Paul to full time missions in Southeast Asia — and whither he goest, I’m going to be following right on his heels! We will primarily be working with the tribal groups in the mountains of northern Thailand, but we are excited about opportunities to travel to the surrounding countries which have been closed to the Gospel.
What a sad, exciting, and totally emotional few months it has been! We spent the month of April saying goodbye and disposing of most of our worldly goods. I don’t know when I’ve worked so hard or shed so many tears in the space of a few weeks.
In May we loaded all our remaining belongings in the car and started out on deputation. That’s when things started looking up.
Our first stop was Central Baptist Church in Grenada, MS. We joined the church and were officially sent out as missionaries to Thailand. Many folks from Sherwood expressed a desire to be our supporting church, but we will be working with the mission already established by Central, so the Scriptural thing to do was to go out from that church. We have no doubt, though, that our Sherwood family will be as strongly behind us in prayer support as if we were officially still members.
Central welcomed us with open arms and were obviously excited to send us out. They have been praying for full time workers for the missions for some time.
So many churches graciously invited us to come so that Paul couldn’t fit everyone into the schedule. What a blessing and encouragement that has been!
We have been to such a variety of churches. We have been to very traditional churches in conventional buildings, very poor churches in humble buildings, and very non-traditional groups in storefronts. Yet, although they looked different, we could still see the family resemblance. They all were genuine in their service to the Lord, unfailingly hospitable to us, and eager to further the cause of Christ in missions.
We also have heard stirring testimonies about God’s hand in salvation at every place we visited. Very encouraging!
So far we visited several churches in Oklahoma before we set out on our travels. Community Baptist Church in Elmendorf, Texas, graciously offered us the use of their mission house while we visited churches in the San Antonio area. From there we went to church camp in Mena, Arkansas and presented the work at Lakeview Baptist Church on Sunday.
Sunday, June 9, was a red-letter day for us — our 40th anniversary. We DID have plans to go to Hawaii, but I guess Mena was a good place to spend it. ;^) Lakeside Baptist Church surprised us with a cake, which made the day really special.
A quick trip to visit my folks and down to central Texas again to meet with Bro. Pat Horner and his wife, Dianne, who just returned from India. We were excited to see the meaningful work going on there! We also enjoyed another great time of fellowship with yet another of the Lord’s churches, Calvary Baptist of Santa Anna, TX, on Thursday night.
We took a detour by Oklahoma City in order to stop by to see Bro. Forrest Keener, who is preparing for an even greater journey — one over Jordan. Please pray for this dear brother and his family during this difficult time.
Now we are in Benton, Arkansas and looking forward to a good time with Bro Steve and Marsha Raines and Eastside Baptist Church tomorrow.
We still miss our family. (I told Paul he HAS to quit talking about how hard it is to leave our grandchildren when he is speaking to the churches. I cry EVERY time, just as if he is turning on the tap, and it is embarrassing to cry in public.) We miss Sherwood where we served for so much of our lives. Yet, God is going with us, and He is blessing our journey.
Now that we are getting used to our roving life, I will try to post more often about our travels. If you haven’t subscribed, please feel free to do so. You will get an automatic email notification when a new post is up.
Also, I have a blog I wrote for my grandchildren, but which many other kids have started reading, too. Perhaps some kids in your life would enjoy reading Linkee’s adventures as he travels on deputation with us.
We appreciate your prayers and look forward to seeing many of you soon!
On the road to Thailand,