Part of My Journey – 57 and living an abundant life!

PossUpon entering the room 7 little boys aged from 2 to 4 respond to my ‘Hello babies!’ with ‘Hello Pooossss!!’ I then become a breathing, walking, only just standing little boy hanger as 7 little bodies that have run and jumped are clinging onto me only freeing me as I grab one and give him a big hug – that is the signal for the others to line up ready for their own big squeezy hug! There are 67 Hill Tribes children at the Maekhachan Children’s Home in northern Thailand ranging in age from 2 to 18 and I love each one of them – they are not hard to love as Pastor Lawan, the Home’s founder and director found when she began taking in orphaned children to feed and clothe some 13 years ago. Now her vision and heart of love has grown along with the number of children.

Officially known as ‘The New Vision for Life Foundation’, the Home is run by Pastor Lawan and her volunteer staff of 5 (6 if you count me). I am there as her assistant – the writer of all things English and the resident language and grammar expert and my organisational skills are being well employed. One day a week, I teach at the children’s school and am often ‘on loan’ to other schools to assist with English Camps. I work closely with Pastor Lawan both in the office and in ministry to the children. Pastor Lawan’s vision is to grown the children into strong Christian men and women who will take up the Great Commission as in Matthew 28 to go into all the world sharing the Gospel and love of God. Beginning at home is one young man – LeLong, who returned to the home as an adult, with his wife and baby to help care for the children. The children are all Christians and many are training within the Home, to be worship leaders and musicians unto the LORD. Their love for God is pure and strong. Some children may return to distant relatives, some may find work, but they will all take the love of God with them.

Poss with her classI have been on mission to Thailand 3 times now, with a growing purpose and love for the people each time. I first went on mission to Uganda in 2004 with a group from church to lay bricks for Watoto – a Christian orphanage in Kampala and then visit my sponsor children. In 2005 I joined a team to Thailand and after the 3 weeks there, I longed to return for an extended period of time. It was not until 2007 that the LORD opened the door for me to return and I went for 3 months primarily to teach English (that’s what I do) to adults at a Christian language school in Bangkok. I wanted to explore further options whilst I was there and through 2nd Wind Network I linked up with missionaries in Chiang Mai who introduced me to the Maekhachan Children’s Home. So, when the term in Bangkok finished I headed north. I fell in love with the people and especially the children there and prayed that I could return. Some 18 months after returning to Australia, the LORD having completed much healing and preparation in my heart now gave the green lights to head back to Thailand.

I returned to Maekhachan for 2 months living and working at the Home, only returning to Australia to attend a family wedding. Now after a busy 4 weeks and only 8 sleeps to go until I return once again to my beloved Maekhachan for up to a year this time (as far as I know – the LORD will keep me informed as I need to know), I am filled with excitement and expectation.

The 2 months spent there this year were not always easy – I was often frustrated and felt like I was not equipped to deal with the work I was given and the tears would flow. But, I was not the first foreigner to work with Pastor Lawan and she understood my joys and pains. We sang, travelled, prayed and laughed together and I began to come to terms with living in a culture so different from my own. My daily time with the LORD, my long walks, my tears and times of laughter have been shaping me into who I am designed to be whilst strengthening my faith and ability to hear God’s voice more clearly.

Many are the doors that are opening to me in Thailand and as I’m lead to a diverse number of opportunities, such as visiting refugees, preaching, teaching, prison visits and ministry to the local people – and as I take hold of them, the LORD is leading me to where He wants me to be and the work that He has been preparing me for over these many years of walking with Him.

I thank God and praise Him for this amazingly challenging, exciting and Blessed life in service for Him and for His patience and grace over my years of preparation to bring me to where I am today.