We are so excited for our upcoming move to Chumphon Province! But to be honest, when we first heard about the little town we will be moving to, the school Amy will be working at, and the small group of believers who we will be partnering with to plant a church it didn’t appeal to us. So what shifted?
After Matt’s last day at Dton Naam, he felt like the Lord was saying that the 5 months between then and when we would return to the US for our home assignment would be a time of the Lord really revealing what our next assignment was. One day, as he was at Thailand House of Prayer (THOP), he stepped out to get a coffee and felt the Lord say to him, “In regards to your ministry, it’s time to stop walking according to what you see with your eyes and what is appealing to the flesh.” He immediately knew that the Lord was referring to the two ministries he had been serving with. One, our home church in Bangkok, was large, well established and developed and there were many opportunities to serve and open doors. We love their apostolic heart and the many outreaches that Matt was going on with them. In many ways, it was appealing to the eye. The other, THOP, was small, and in some ways undeveloped. While there were also many opportunities to serve and many open doors, they seemed much smaller and more insignificant.
When he returned to THOP with his coffee, he ran into the leaders of the prayer network and mentioned that we were planning to get out of the city soon for a short vacation.
“You should go to Chumphon,” Pastor Wanna replied.
Wanna had been mentioning Chumphon to us for a year by that point, but with what the Lord had just told him, Matt felt strongly that the Lord was saying to check it out.
A couple of weeks later, we were on a train heading south to Chumphon Province to meet Pastor Wanna and Suwat’s spiritual children, Pook and Dtong. That week we had a wonderful time connecting with Pook and Dtong and almost immediately felt a strong connection to them and their vision. We loved their passion to reach the next generation for a spiritual awakening in Thailand. We loved their desire to help the children in their school overcome the many challenges facing families in Thailand today. We loved their desire to reach their entire community for Christ. And we loved their hunger for the things of God.
After a wonderful week with them, we felt that God was saying our next assignment was there. In this little village. In this little province. In this little school. In this little church we would seek to plant with Pook and Dtong. If we looked according to the eyes of our flesh, it wasn’t all that appealing. But following the Spirit of the Lord and by walking faith can often look like leaving that which is comfortable and going to that which isn’t so comfortable. When Abraham, for example, first heard the call of the Lord, he had to leave the Ur of the Chaldea, an urban center and he had to go to something unknown. We too are going from urban development to go to something that is undeveloped.
While we were in Chumphon, we had a FaceTime conversation with one of our pastors in Colorado that helped to confirm what the Lord was saying. We normally don’t open up our calls with him this way, but when he answered, we said, “Has the Lord been telling you anything for us?” To which, he proceeded to say that he felt the Lord was bringing us into a new season where we would begin to function in giftings and in ways we hadn’t before.
If that wasn’t enough confirmation, when we returned to our church in Bangkok that Sunday, the pastor was preaching a prophetic message by the Spirit of the Lord he entitled, “Destiny Defining Decisions”, in which he shared that he felt the Lord was saying that this is a season where people were to make decisions that would define the course of their lives and ministries and that the Lord was calling some to follow the Lord to other nations. The following Tuesday evening in the church’s prayer meeting, the pastor continued on the same theme, prophetically declaring that some were being called of the Lord to Southern Thailand and that some would be called to plant churches. Another of the church’s pastors got up and prophetically declared that there was going to be a move of the Holy Spirit in schools and many would receive the gospel. It was everything that the Lord had been speaking and opening up for us to do the week before!
These are just a few examples of the ways in which the Lord has confirmed this move. We are so confident He is in it and he will do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all we can ask, think, or imagine.