Peace Lutheran e-Newsletter

Thanksgiving_2013

We’re Brian and Amanda, and we’ve been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand since December of 2013. Brian first visited Thailand in December of 2011 on a short-term mission trip. And as he recalls:

“I quickly fell in love with the country, the culture, the people, and the food. And before we had even boarded the plane to return to the States, I was planning a return mission trip. For months after being home my mind was constantly on Thailand. I couldn’t help but think about the Thai people and all that could be done to help them – especially the people who don’t know Jesus and who have never even heard his name. My heart broke and I longed to live life and share my heart and Jesus with them. I wanted them to know the Truth! After much prayer and seeking spiritual guidance and wisdom from close and trusted friends, I knew I was supposed to leave my work in the States to serve and live in Thailand full-time.”

God wove our journeys together just four short weeks before Brian moved to Thailand. And within twelve months we were engaged, married, moving to Thailand together and pregnant. Whew.
And our first year in Thailand has been one of tremendous hardships, tears, breakthroughs, indescribable joy, humility, and tearing down and building up. A journey for certain! Through it all we’ve learned that we’re strong. And God is making us stronger still. Despite the days that hope seemed lost (We were sure we packed it when leaving America!) we look back on this year with thankfulness and a newfound perspective of taking life lightly while carrying and sharing the weight of eternity throughout this dark, dark country. We know God wants these people redeemed through Christ and we’re honored to be a part of the venture in doing so.

Our day-to-day ministry is with Grace International School (GIS), a K-12 school that exists primarily to enable international Christian workers to remain in their field of service by providing for the needs of their children through an integrated education from a Christian worldview. Chiang Mai is a hub for many faith-based organizations all throughout Asia, and therefore is a host city to hundreds of families serving with and through those organizations. But truly it’s more than a school for kids of Christians living in another country; it is a training ground for God’s army! In volunteering with GIS Brian has the incredible opportunity to encourage, impact and inspire students to live their lives to God’s glory.

As for how long we plan to live in Thailand, we don’t know. We know that God has called us here and for us to leave he’ll have to call us elsewhere. But this commitment isn’t purely ours. GIS staff serve as unpaid volunteers – requiring each family to raise their own financial support. It also takes the commitment and sacrifice of friends, family and missions-minded folks. That said, will you support us by standing with us in prayer and/or financial donations? Donations can be made easily and directly on our ‘Donate‘ page.

Thanks so much!

In God’s love,
The Elliotts

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