We’ve survived the first week of school and are about to close out the second. Life here is beginning to settle into the new family rhythm. Jille gets to play after school while Christian is either in swim team or cranking out 5th grade home work. Right now we are not too happy about the work load (we actually have to read every day! Can you imagine!!!) The joys of growing up…
At any rate, we are slowly assessing how the year may unfold. The difficult thing about deciding when we are available and when we are not is that crisis never happens on schedule. We can plan for the various seminars and mentoring meetings we’ve been asked to do, but we simply cannot plan for bends in the road. So, we hold our family rhythm with an open hand, commit it to the Lord and plunge forward.
The days ahead
We are purposefully keeping the schedule open until October as we enter this new stage of life. While both kids are in school, the new changes seem to require a bit more attention and support after school right now. I’m schedules to be in Singapore from the 22nd or October until the 25th. In fact, we all get to go. We are beign intorduced to some folks that may be interested in supporting us. As well, I meet with the Director of the Singapore Center for Global Missions. They are interested to discuss how Ministry Essentials can partner with them in the soul care of pastors and missionaries. I also have my normal mentoring trips to Cambodia and Laos sometime early in November.
January is the big month. During the seemingly quiet moments, Jeanni and I will be preparing for 30 pastors and their wives to descend upon us here in Chiang Mai on the 4th of January. They have been asking us for a few years now to pour into their lives. So, this year, they decided to come to us since we’ve not been able to get to them. This event has also sparked another International Pastor’s Association to ask if we would consider providing something similar for them as well. So, we are preparing, writing and praying about how best to pour into these men and women.
After the pastor’s group leaves, the rest of Asia comes to Chiang Mai for various conferences in which we play various roles. Jeanni is the keynote speaker for one group and I’ve been asked to give the morning devotions. Jeanni is also the main speaker for the Chiang Mai women’s retreat (they did not want me for some reason). Something I’m praying about is offering to be pulpit supply for a local International congregation without a pastor right now. I miss teaching. Yet, I don’t want to misuse the gift of time I’ve been given now that my days are no longer punctuated with child care after lunch.
Just a word about our summer… We enjoyed the conference we attended to our refreshment. It was deeply needed. Our kids wanted to sit on the front row (something I don’t do if I can help it), so there I was right in the thick of things. I think I cried through worship every day. It felt good to bathe in something I did not have to sustain through my own leadership. **NOTE: the directors of this conference have asked us to return as spiritual directors for next year’s conference. Add this to your prayer list. The only thing stopping us is finances.
The time with our staff was also deeply refreshing. That kind of mutual encouragement and undergirding goes a long way. I also came away from our board meetings encouraged and stimulated by the potential that lay ahead.
Thanks for joining us in this wild journey of faith. Your companionship though often unseen over the miles, strengthens us to remain faithful to his call in our lives.