Sometime after the New Year, inshallah (which is Arabic for God willing!), our family will be the newest residents in a Southeast Asian community! We have decided to partner with TMS Global, based out of Georgia. We aren’t sure where we are headed yet, but for now, we’ll catch you up to speed.
Andrew and I began dating as I was beginning to pack my bags to spend a semester on the Thai/Burma border. He was cool with that. His adventure started a short time later when he joined the Air Force. Just before basic training he spent two weeks with me in my Thai village. He was not weirded out by gobs of hair in his food from my favorite restaurant, “The Clean Shop”. He didn’t shy away when he was smothered by small children in the village where I worked. He really made himself at home! We both agreed that living in a community overseas was something we both wanted in our future. Oh, and he proposed to me while he was there.
Fast forward: military contract, wild screaming baby, we ached for a simple and quiet life. We moved to Central Lake, got cozy and comfortable on our farm, planning to ride out Andrew’s military career. We had decided to wait until his contract end date was on the horizon to consider any options for going overseas. Well friends, that is here! We checked into a number of organizations, but TMS Global was recommended by several friends and seriously stood out to us. Everyone talks about their Member Care program, training, and the support their staff offers. In March, we went to candidate week – aka spent the week on pins and needles as they interviewed us, watched us interact with one another, and strained us with a barrage of questions and mystery Ethiopian food.
We just finished up Foundations training in Georgia this week. Spending more time with the staff of TMS Global was wonderful. We are so glad to be a part of a group of people that truly feel like the living body of Jesus. One thing in particular resonated with us about going with TMS. Their workers are not going out to proselytize, but to truly help and be the hands of Jesus. We desire to develop genuine relationships with locals and to live incarnationally, or simply stated, as the people live. We cannot wait to settle into our community and -inshallah- be helpful.
In hindsight, we can see a golden thread woven through each of our separate lives and our lives together that has led us here. We have often had many questions about why certain things have happened. Both of us have experienced significant painful situations, but also have experienced the comfort and healing that only Jesus could bring. We’ve come to love the verse in 2 Corinthians when Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
This is just part of the golden thread we see woven through our lives, where God choses to make beauty out of ashes. Turning the dark moments of our lives into comfort and hope for others. He is making our story beautiful. Not us, because we aren’t the authors of our story, but Him.
We don’t know exactly where we will go, but our vision is to serve among children at risk. Jesus talks about loving the fatherless and the oppressed. We aren’t sure what living this out will look like for now. But we ask that you would join us in prayer as we patiently wait and investigate potential opportunities around Southeast Asia.