The Time and Weather is for Hua Hin, Thailand where we currently live

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, October 31, 2011

Serving The Lord in Thailand

Hello my name is April and I have been married to my wonderful husband Bill for 23 years, and we are missionaries in Thailand.

Four years ago Bill and I were living in Pennsylvania, where Bill worked as an attorney and I worked for a municipal government in the Finance Department.  We were busy with work and serving in many different capacities at our church.

Back in 2005 God had placed it on our hearts to sell our large home (we were thinking Christian Bed and Breakfast, but God had a different plan.)  So we sold our home and started to rent a small bungalow.

Bill and I both felt that the Lord wanted us to serve as fulltime missionaries, but we did not know where or when.  So, we just kept praying.  We started to feel that the field had been narrowed to Australia or Thailand.  (Let me just stop and tell you that our claim to ‘world travel’ up to this point had been that we had traveled into Canada, several times.)  J  We really wanted to serve where the Lord wanted us to serve, so I kept praying that God would make it SO obvious that even I would get it.  And He did!

One day Bill and I were in New Jersey.  We had just gone to church down in Ocean City, and we decided to go for a drive.  We were driving in our Prius, when all of a sudden the GPS started talking.  It said “Your destination has been set!”  We were truly startled when the GPS started to talk.  We had not programmed it, and to be honest, we really had not used the GPS other than to look at the screen that shows where we are currently driving. 

We both turned to look at each other, and Bill tried not to drive off of the road.  Bill looked at my hands to see if I had pushed a button or something, and I looked at his.  But, neither of us had touched the GPS or any controls for that matter.  Just then, the GPS started to speak again.  This time it said “The Point of Interest will now show all Thai Restaurants.”

The screen did not show anything, but from that moment on we knew without a doubt that Thailand was where He wanted us to serve.  We had such a peace in our hearts from that time on.

So, we left our jobs, our families and our friends, got rid of our stuff, and moved halfway around the world to Thailand.  From the time we landed in Thailand, we have felt at home.  Okay so there were things that we had to adjust too: Like not being able to speak with most people, because we did not know the language; Not having the luxury of going to a bookstore to buy a book written in English; Dealing with the fact that a simple Thai Bible costs nearly $30.00, which puts it way out of the reach of the average Thai person; Geckos crawling on the walls inside and out; Washing dishes and clothes in room temp water; and Hot weather all year long.  The list could go on.  J

God has really given us a heart and a love for the people here in Thailand.  I really like the Brandon Heath song “Give Me Your Eyes”, and that is what I pray daily, that God will give me His heart shaped eyes to see people the way He does.

When we came to Thailand we did not know exactly what the Lord wanted to do through us, but in the two years that we have been here He has used us.  Praise God!  We have helped start two churches.  We opened a Youth Center and where we have Bible studies, games and dinner for youth between the ages of 10 and 18.  I teach Ladies Bible study every week.  I started to teach Ballet and Praise Dance about a month and a half ago, and the girls have danced in two churches and for church gathering of 200 people.  We have taught English at church and at an orphanage. . .

Everyday is a new opportunity for us to reach out, serve and love like Jesus.  We are so humbled that He would use us in this way.

People here ask me about my joy, which is a wonderful segue for me to tell them about Jesus.

When people ask me how I am, I always say “I am blessed!”  This too leads into conversations about the Lord.  Yes, there are potholes in the road of life.  There are challenges and hurts, but I know through everything that I am blessed because the Lord is always with me.  Loving me, and loving through me.  Guiding me, and helping me guide others.  Giving me wisdom, discernment, and encouragement, and helping me to teach and encourage others.    

So with a grateful heart I serve the Lord with my husband, here in Thailand.  I feel blessed and honored to serve the people of Thailand.

Giving all the credit, all the praise and glory and honor where it belongs, to the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, Jesus, my God and my Savior!



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shall We Dance. . .

Since we have returned to Thailand from America, God has just been so incredible in my life.  In fact, sometimes, I have felt as if I am running just to keep up.  Sadly, one area in my life that has gotten set aside during this time is my blogging.  I say sadly, because I truly enjoy blogging.  I love to share what God puts on my heart, in hopes that it will speak to and encourage someone else.

Here in Thailand I have offered to share my knowledge about ballet and Praise Dance with the girls in the area.  The girls have been so dedicated and enthusiastic!  They have picked up the basics of ballet so quickly.  Okay, okay, I know I sound like a proud teacher, but listen to how the Lord has worked through this ministry. . .

A friend popped into in Youth Group one Saturday, and chatted with Bill and I briefly, while the youth ate dinner.  I talked about how well the girls had done in their first ballet class.  He immediately jumped in and said, “Oh by the way, would the girls be available to perform at an all church gathering the last Friday in September?”

I laughed and told him that they had only had 1 class so far.  He said that was fine, and that he was sure that they would do a great job.  Some of the girls were at Youth Group and I called them aside and told them that they had been asked to dance in two weeks for a gathering of hundreds.  They all started to laugh.  I told them it was true, and they laughed all the harder, saying that they had only had 1 class so far.

I went back and told our friend that 2 weeks was just too soon.  Not to miss an opportunity, he said “Okay, how about if they dance at the following gathering on the last Friday in October?”  I told him I would let him know.

At the next ballet class I discussed with the girls the possibility of dancing at the end of October.  They kept asking me if I thought they could do it.  I really felt like the Lord was saying “Yes, they can do this.”, and I told them I thought they could do it.

And they did!  Two nights ago, they danced in front of about 200 people from Thai churches and from English speaking churches, and they did an amazing job.

In fact, as soon as the worship service was over, the coordinator came over and pleaded with me to have the girls dance at the November gathering.  Not just one dance, but two.  She said she wanted the girls to open the worship service with a dance and close the service with another dance.

We (the girls and I) decided that it would be too much for me to choreograph two dances, teach them the dances and rehearse enough that they would feel that they had done their very best.  So, we are looking at maybe December.

So far, the girls have danced at two churches and the all church gathering of our town.  They are dancing at another church in December, and. . .

Well, we are still working out details about other dancing opportunities.

I have seen this group of girls draw closer to each other, encourage each other and seek to Honor the Lord with their dancing.

Praise God!

"Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!"  Psalm 150:4