Friday, August 29, 2008

Driving... Driving

We made it back to Charleston! Overall, the drive was great.

Due to a mix-up with U-Haul, Matt and I had to drive two separate vehicles, which kinda stunk. We were both so tired... but we made it. 6 hours the first day (left Texas around 5 pm), and 15 hours the next day.

It's been nonstop since we've been home... catching up with friends and family and packing and such. Of course, it's always a little bit challenging to get as much quality time with everyone who we'd like... but we're doing the best we can and enjoying our families as much as possible.


Here are some pictures from the drive:
My rear-view: Matt driving the U-Haul.

Me. Bored. I think this was hour 8 on the second day.


Nala in the back seat.
She was great! But she definitely enjoyed the stops where
we took time to throw the Frisbee for her a few times.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Support Update #2

Hey y'all! Thanks so much for your prayers and support for us on this journey to Thailand! Just wanted to post a quick update for those of you who are praying with us:

Unfortunately, the buddy passes that our friends gave us turned out not to be the best route. Because they only got us so far, only one time, it ended up actually being more economical to actually purchase two round trip tickets. We got a pretty good price for one: $1,571.67. So, that brings our support needs back up to about $4,500. So far, we've gotten about $500. :)

Today is my last day at work, and Matt is busy at home packing. We plan to leave Texas tomorrow, stay the night about half-way and then roll into Charleston late Friday evening.

What an exciting, scary, overwhelmingly wonderful time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Directions...


Sometimes I like to pretend that I have it all together. I don't, but I wish I did.
I wish that I could make a decision and stick with it, without going back and forth in my mind with, "am I making the right decision?" I wish that I would walk intimately with the Lord and KNOW that He was leading me to something... not just think, or presume, or hope.

I wish I could be as generous as I want to be... and give my friend a car. Or support my friends who raise their financial support beyond a measly $10/month. I wish I would exercise more and read more and pray more and encourage people more. I wish I could live more in the moment, instead of in the future, or in the past.
I guess I'm fighting for contentment... and direction. A few minutes ago, I searched online for a hotel on the drive to Charleston. About 100 La Quintas popped up, and all I had to do was mouse over the little icon for more information. The directions were clear, and everything I needed to know about any of those hotels was just a click or two away... How come LIFE directions aren't just as simple?

Yeah, Matt just gave me an answer... and I know from some of my previous journal entries and conversations with friends-- that God really grows me and teaches me through the process. It's not so much about the answer as it is about the journey to the answer--that's where faith grows. That's where I'm drawn onto the lap of my Heavenly Father. Where I can draw close and just talk with Him and wait for Him.

I need to be enjoying this process... because I know that I'll miss it once I've "arrived" at my destination (well, at least the next pit stop). Then, I'll have another one to look forward to.
Instead, at the moment, I find myself pretending that I have it all together, yet desperately longing for God to intervene and rescue me from myself... like He's done so many times before.

And even reminding myself of that brings me joy and hope. He IS here; He IS on this journey with me... and in the end, He WILL be glorified!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Praying for Thailand

Update on Support: Praise God! We have sent out some letters asking friends and family to partner with us in this mission to Thailand, and God is already providing in some huge ways. Just wanted to share with you so you would be encouraged and know that we serve and AWEsome God indeed! A friend who works for American Airlines donated two buddy passes to us, which takes our support need from around $5,000 to $2,500!!! Wow!

One huge need remains: We need to sell my car. Pray with us for this, please.

As our (hopeful) departure draws near, Matt and I are searching for tools and ways to know how to pray for Thailand. Here are some things we've found, and maybe you will find some of these sites helpful as well:

http://www.operationworld.org/country/thai/owtext.html

http://www.joshuaproject.net/countries.php?rog3=TH

http://www.gfa.org/thailand

http://www.thailandmissions.org/about.html#culture

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today at the Post Office...

If you're going to wear a Christian t-shirt, especially one that says in huge letters, "JESUS--the ONLY way to Heaven", then please don't be obnoxious in public.
This guy, wearing a t-shirt much like the one mentioned above, was RIDICULOUS today at the post office. You could see his "witnessing tool" from a mile away, and when he walked in the door and saw the line of people waiting for service, he huffed really loudly. (I am standing in the middle of the line, so at the complete other side of the building.)
After a brief 45 seconds of waiting, he starts to call out questions to the man behind the counter. "SIR, Do I HAVE to wait in line if all I need is a couple of stamps?" ... "How much postage will I need to mail this Christian cd to my brother?" ... "How much will it cost if I buy this envelope?" ...
I didn't catch the response of the man behind the counter, because the guy in front of me turned around and said, "Well, I guess JESUS is too good to wait in line... guess only those of us without divinity have to wait." I cringed. I'm still cringing.

So, again, if you must wear a Christian t-shirt, please don't be a public nuisance.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics, Part 2

The Olympics are interesting. I like to hear the stories of people and where they came from.
And despite what I wrote in my previous post, I have had some other thoughts on the Olympics. Melissa said to me, "Isn't that the point of the Olympics? To put aside our differences..." True, very true. Also, Pres. Bush addressed the issue in a recent interview that I just watched. The interview was interesting. Silly Bush said that there's nothing wrong with America--ha! But he also said that he's been taking the opportunity to talk to China about human rights, specifically freedom of religion. I like that...
Also, for the propagation of the Gospel, it's a very cool thing to have the world come together in one place... especially in a place like China.
So, instead of being all concerned about "History Repeating Itself", I'm just enjoying it. And, I've done more research and found that there have been tons of controversial places hosting the Olympics, besides Germany. Disasters and crazy Dictators don't always happen... just sometimes.
Go Team USA! ((Part of me can't believe I'm saying that.))

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympics

Right, so, I can't believe the Olympics are in China. I mean, don't people realize that HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF? I don't mean to sound crazed, but it bothers me that we're supporting China in this way.

Reference back to about 72 years ago (From Wikpedia): The bid to host the Olympics was won before the National Socialist German Workers Party (a.k.a. the Nazi party) gained power in Germany in 1933. Since, however, the party now was in power, some leaders in the government saw the Olympic Games as an opportunity to promote their ideology, particularly its promotion of the superiority of the "Aryan Race". Adolf Hitler was convinced by Joseph Goebbels to allow the games to take place in Germany. Preparation for the Games started in the early 1930s. Hitler used the Olympics as a tool for propaganda. Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, a favorite of Hitler, was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee to film the Games. The film, titled Olympia, originated many of the techniques now commonplace to the filming of sports.
By allowing only members of the "Aryan race" to compete for Germany, Hitler further promoted his ideological belief of racial supremacy.


Now, I'm not saying that just by having the Olympics, China is going to cause WWIII. They might have done it anyway. Or maybe Russia is starting it now? Who knows.

I'm going to watch the Olympics. I think we can celebrate them for what they are, but I just wish they were somewhere else. Oh, and my STINT team and I were on the same plane as the Uzbek Olympic boxing team one time, on a flight to London. That was cool.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tyndall Gals

It's going to be difficult to be away from our families this coming year. And, we knew that when we committed... but there's a lot going on , especially on the Tyndall side.
For those of you who don't know: Momma Beth is engaged! AND, Valerie is engaged!
Also got to see my family on the road trip, and it was wonderful to have us all together! I also got to meet Mom's fiance, Dan, and be around Adam as Val's fiance, not just a family friend. Some very interesting changes!


Be praying for these relationships, to grow closer to the Lord as individuals--and closer to each other. And be praying that Matt and I will love them well, even from so far away!

P.L.A.N. is a four-letter word

... That was the theme of my road trip to SC with Shannon. :)

We had a very refreshing time catching up and processing the last couple years of our lives. Shannon and I have a lot in common. We've both been student leaders in the Upstate ministry of CCC, we both went to Gatlinburg Summer Project, went on White Crescent Summer Project, joined staff and immediately went overseas. We served with lots of the same people along the way. We've had a lot of similar life experiences (pre-Crusade).

But we're different too. It was funny: when we were driving into the green-ness of the East, I was like, "ahhh... home!" She said she felt claustrophobic! :) It's all about perspective...

Which is why we both agree that PLAN is a four-letter word. I really think that when walking
with the Lord, we are called to a general calling: to a relationship with Him. As any other relationship, things change. We can have the best thought-out plans, but then something will happen (like you get kicked-out of a country or you have some kind of breakdown) that changes everything. Or you get married when you thought you'd be a single missionary your whole life. Or you don't get married when all you've dreamed of is having a family. Or you don't get pregnant when you want, or you do when you don't...

I really could go on and on and on about things that we got to talk about. The bottom line is that God was SO good to give me that time... I needed it more than I ever could have realized. There's something refreshing about talking with someone who knows where you've been. And who knows yoru heart without having to explain it--or try to.

Shannon and I also got to spend about 40 hours with one of the coolest families on the planet: the Renners! Emily is a precious friend to both of us, so we ate up the time just sitting around and talking (in between playing with Luke and trying to help get Olivia adjusted to her schedule). Girls, y'all are so special to me. Thanks for the special time last week!

We also got to see the Merediths, and I wish we had pictures of them! But you can link to their blog on the right and see pictures of Momma Jacq and her Banjamins. It was a blessing to see you as well, Jacq!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Official!

After an amazing road trip with Shannon this last week (more on that later!), I had decided in my heart to leave the final Thailand decision up to Matt, my wonderful husband.

After spending a few days with good friends and newborns and family, it would have been easy for me to stay in America. On my flight from Atlanta to Dallas, sometime in the middle of the night, it was clear to me: Staying in the States and starting a family would be an awesome experience, and Moving to Thailand to teach adorable kids would be an awesome expereince. Either one could be God's will, and either one could bring much glory to Him. I prayed that the Lord would make it clear to Matt...

Probably within 30 minutes either direction of that prayer, Matt received the email offering us the position. And he believes this our next step, so I'm so excited!!!

The picture on the left shows the part of Thailand that we'll be in. Then, the next picture is a closer view so that you can see where we are in relation to Bangkok.

We're in for another adventure, folks! Can't wait to update you about how God is at work in Thailand. Prayerfully, he will use us there to spread His name. Even if He doesn't use us in that way, I know He will do a great work in our hearts and in our marriage.

(Global English School is in Nonthaburi, Thailand).

We will be leaving Texas August 23rd or 24th and flying out to Thailand September 2nd, we think.

In the meantime, there's lots and lots to to! Pray that our focus would be on the Lord and that we would be prepared spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, relationally (and every other way) for this journey of faith. If it really does happen in this time period, it will definitely be God's hand!