As we mentioned in our Christmas newsletter, in January we were unexpectedly preparing to move house and moving across town. We believe that the story of how we came upon our new home is truly a wonderful God story and so we wanted to share it with you!
In the fall, we started talking with a missionary family with nine children (yes, you read that right, 9 children) who were trying to come into Thailand. Because of the current state of lockdowns in Thailand due to COVID they felt unsure of how they would get here, but knew that God was still leading them to continue taking steps to prepare such as selling their house, their car and most of their belongings to downsize for the big move. They had joined a group for Protestant missionaries we are a part of and heard that while many people cannot get into the country that teachers are able to get in. And of course, our school was looking for teachers at that point. After a series of conversations, the school extended an offer that would let Bill, the husband, teach part time and still allow him time to learn Thai language and culture.
We started taking steps to help them prepare to come, including scouring the town to find suitable housing for them, preferably something right in middle of town and not too far from the school. As we looked, we found that there were not many people who were willing to rent to such a large family. We found a house on the outskirts of town that we thought would be perfect, but unfortunately, the owners were not interested in renting to them. They were, however, open to renting to us and since the new missionary family had said that our house would be a perfect location and size for them we ultimately decided that we would take the house across town and let Bill and his family move into our house. Since our landlords at our old house are the school owners, they were very willing to let Bill and his family live there. Since it’s in the middle of town and a three minute walk to the school and a five minute walk to 7-Eleven, it is a great spot for a large family who is new to town and adjusting to life in Thailand. They feel blessed to be there.
We feel so incredibly blessed as well to be in our new home. The house works great for us and is the same amount we paid for rent previously in Bangkok. The layout of the house works great too, though Amy does laugh over the 9 different types of floor tiles and seven wall tiles (yes that is a total of 16 different kinds of tile) used throughout our house. And for the first time ever since moving to Thailand, we have a yard. We have so often longed for a place for our kids to play outside, grass to put under our toes, and some dirt we could grow things in with maybe even some trees (this house has six different trees). Amy’s favorite thing about our house is being able to watch the sunrise over the tops of the trees from the balcony off of our bedroom each morning while sipping a cup of coffee and reading the Word. This house meets so many of our longings and is a wonderful place for us to do ministry out of as we can have barbecues outside, play games with the youth group in the yard…
It is so amazing to us that we weren’t even really looking for a new house. We were satisfied with our home as it met our needs, but the Lord knew our longings and He saw it fit to bless us. There are some new challenges with our new home. It was abandoned for over a year, so we had a lot of repairs, cleaning up and driving out of critters from our house to do. We aren’t in a neighborhood, so to say, as we have to go down a small dirt road to get to our house and there are empty lots on all sides of us and a large hill behind our house. This means that we get more wildlife than we are used to. There are wild boars that live on the hill behind our house and will come down and eat our trash if we don’t secure it properly. When we first were moving in had scorpions out back in our garden area. We have tokay geckos, large spiders, lots of bugs and our nanny even saw a snake as big around as an adult’s wrist and as long as a man’s leg in our yard. We’ve since cleaned up the weeds around our property to try to make it more clean in appearance and therefore less attractive to critters. We’ve also adopted two puppies since moving in to help protect our property as they get bigger. The kids love the dogs and they have really taken a liking to Amy and the kids and follow them around everywhere.
Much of January was spent preparing our new house to move into and the actual moving process. Our church members graciously spent most of one Saturday helping us move into our new home. We are truly blessed to have such good friends here. We’ve now been here for a month and are still working to get completely settled in but are feeling much more settled now than we were before.
We feel so blessed as well by our faithful partners and friends who joined with us in giving towards the unexpected costs of moving and establishing our new home. We know it will be a blessing, not only to us but to many we have fellowship with and minister to.