Onward and Upward

I’m currently sitting in ATL at a good friend’s apartment… on her couch. I love couches and we do not have them in Thailand. *sigh…

The new Journey team is flying away to Bangkok. I’ll be joining them soon, but I’ve been invited to speak at the School of Christian Ministry chapel service at Emmanuel College tomorrow. It’s been a long time since I’ve visited my Alma Mater and I’m looking forward to seeing familiar places and faces. I’m flying out on Friday for my third tour of duty. I’ll be in Mae Sot Thailand and Burma for the next 4 months leading our new team and helping develop new projects.

Famous Ray’s, our burger restaurant and project from this spring is doing well. We’ve turned the reigns over to Ray and Candace Ward, the long-term missionaries with whom we’re partnered. They have an incredible team of people around them who have been managing and working at Famous Ray’s over the summer to keep things going strong. Business is okay, but we’re hoping that the end of rainy season will bring more customers and more profits. My friend and fellow Journey participant Abby Barnett will be returning to Mae Sot soon to help manage and develop Famous Ray’s. Since she was a part of the team who envisioned the restaurant and has a background in management and restaurant work, she’s suited to not only take care of business, but the ministry with our Burmese workers. It will be great to have her around this fall.

IMG_3438When we get settled, our new Journey team will look at the issues, dive into the culture and environments, and seek the Lord for the impact they can make in changing the unacceptable realities. Many of the participants are passionate about education and helping street kids. This is just how God connects the dots though. Our summer team spent 6 weeks developing educational projects and researching the migrant school systems in Mae Sot and we met a street kid named Khin Saw Lin who changed our lives. You can read a little about his story through Nichole’s blog.

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A part from Jesus, my only constant in life over these past 9 months has been my good friend and co-leader Christin Chiles. She’s been with me every step of the way and she’s helping me lead this new team as we tackle the issues and dive into fellowship and the Word. I’m blessed to have her with me. Later in October, Ashleigh Corley will arrive to help teach business and marketing while we complete our projects. She was on the inaugural Journey team in the spring and has served as a fellow staff member with The Journey helping with marketing and development. I’m looking forward to the day we are all reunited in Mae Sot.

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Please be praying for us as we get our new endeavors started and introduce our team to their new life and community. The new team is Sara Norton, Ricki Smith, Kayla Koontz, and Janell King. Janell just applied and signed up to join our team 4 weeks ago. She’s still raising funds and believing for favor to purchase her ticket to Thailand. We want to see her with us in two weeks. If you feel led to give, please help her meet her immediate goal of $1500 by donating here and making our team complete. There is no doubt in my mind that she is supposed to be with us to accomplish the Kingdom work in Thailand and Burma.

IMG_4285See you on the other side… it’s time to go onward and upward!

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