Happy New School Year!

So long summer! We’re bidding adieu to what was a pleasant season for us. We loved having more family time while Brian was on break. Sweet summer. But as these things do, it went by quickly. And now Grace International School, as of last Monday, has resumed classes. (Unlike most schools in Thailand, we run on an American school calendar.)
This year at Grace there’s a total of 531 students enrolled – 199 of those are elementary students (K-6) and the remaining 332 are secondary (7-12). This number is comprised of a slew of nationalities, but the top four are: American (45%), Korean (23%), Thai (8%), and Australian (3%).

The families who went to their home countries for the summer trickled back in and the farang ( [pronounced fuh-wrong], what Thais call us western expats) bustle has returned.

When Brian started spending more time in his office – to finalize preparations for his middle school PE and Strength & Conditioning class for juniors and seniors – he came to find a letter from a former student in his box. It was a perfect encouragement to welcome the new year.

Have a read!:

“Dear Mr. Elliott, 
What can I say but thank you. Mr. Elliott, thank you so much for teaching my class last year, thank you so much for being so open and real with us and really caring for each and every one of us individually. Mr. Elliott, I really respect your passion and fire for Christ and how you stand for what you believe. Being in your class this year I have grown so much not just physically but both mentally and most importantly spiritually as well. You are always pushing us to do our best, to grow and become better, to be just and be the best that we can be. Though I didn’t know it at the time I know you were saying it for our good and because you were worried and trying to prepare us as we move on and transition into life outside of Grace where we’ll meet bigger and harder things than we’ve ever been faced with before. I’m sorry for not being the best student in the world and always complaining and doing stupid things – haha. I thank you for your patience with me all year especially at the very end where I was at a breaking point and didn’t know if I could move on. But again you pushed me to not give up and finish strong – even though I didn’t really have a choice – haha! Well, I’m glad I did. All I can say is how grateful I am, thank you again. I have truly been blessed this year.God bless you and your strong and healthy family of 4. 🙂

-Stew Dent*”

I’m quite impressed and proud of both my hubs and his student. What a sweet gesture to think of and hand-write this thank-you. Awesome.

We’re encouraged and further affirmed in the work we’re here in Thailand to carry out on Christ’s behalf.

Lots of love,
Amanda + Brian, Paxton & Piper*Student’s name has been changed. 😉