Saturday, May 30, 2015

BMA Mini-Conference (Chiang Mai)

Josie's First Airplane Ride
This past week we had the opportunity to travel to Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) for a BMA mini-conference. Bro. Larry, Mrs. Shelby Barker, Bro. Todd, Mrs. Paige West, and their twin daughters Addison and Riley were able to come from America. Also there was a BMA couple from Cambodia (John and Louela Page), Joy from Laos, and the Thailand team (Jo & Jessie, Bro. Eliezer his wife Ana and their daughter Liana) were all able to attend. We arrived Monday afternoon and just relaxed and visited with everyone that evening. Then Tuesday morning we had our first session and it was great!

Our friends mentioned above at the conference

         Bro. Todd talked about Rest and how that looks different for different people. And how when you rest you are really making yourself stronger. He shared a quote "A person who is always available is not worth much when he/she is available." I felt like he was speaking right to me. I really needed to hear that. I think because we have been here almost two years and sometimes feels like we are by ourselves especially having a baby here with no family. I have become very dependent on the Lord, but also very independent as far as taking care of the baby always trying to do everything by myself. And during this discussion I realized that it's true when I go non-stop with Josie I'm not as good as a parent I'm more easily impatient or upset than if I were to take rest or ask for help and then return to taking care of Josie I will have more energy and be worth a lot more. 

Where we met for our sessions

       Then we also talked about Saying No, one thing mentioned was how people pleasing can be a form of idolatry and not to allow people to influence you more than God does. And we shouldn't feel guilty about alone time....two things I got from this 1. Personal Alone Time- I NEED to make time for personal time with the Lord, sometimes I feel like I can multi-task and do it while I'm still caring for Josie but I really see the value in "alone" time with the Lord. 2. Family Alone Time-  I think sometimes as a missionary people think we are in another country so we are already vacationing so we try to make up for that misconception and end up not vacationing at all. And I know that just like other families we need to just grab our calendars and plan weekly, and yearly family dates!

Josie enjoying her time in the playroom with her new friends

One session we talked about Nehemiah 2:17, knowing the difference between just a good idea or a God idea. It starts with a burden, it frustrates you until you know a change needs to be made, you can clearly state it, it shows evidence of God's approval, and is confirmed by God's people. During this time many shared about future decisions they will be making and taking these step to evaluate. But for me it was really encouraging just to be reminded that the reason we are in Thailand is because it was 'God's idea.' Sometimes during language school it's hard, long, frustrating, and very humbling and you think to yourself why am I here it would be so easy to call it quits and go back to all the things I'm used to... But I know that we both have such a strong burden for the Thai people to hear the gospel and receive true life, we have many stories of God's favor on us and Him bringing us here, and we have seen our calling to come here confirmed by God's people.
We also talked about prayer retreats, values, how to measure success, and many other important things! It was such an encouraging time so be joined with one another sharing our struggles, listening and praying for each other, and just relaxing! 

Joy took some family picks for us so when we go to America we can update our prayer cards

We are so thankful for the team that was able to come they really have no idea how much they blessed us!! They had to have been exhausted after making such a long trip, one of them lost their wallet, they were trying new foods and not once did I ever hear any of them complain they were just full of joy! I was also so impressed by Aaddison and Riley (The West's daughters) only 13 years old and to see their love for the Lord and to sit through each of the sessions with us and interact with us was so neat!

This trip was very encouraging and spiritually refreshing! We are so thankful we were able to be a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter, mother of 8, found her quiet time with God in the bathroom. It was where she could be alone and really seek God. You have to be creative sometimes. I did my quiet time when my children napped. They were quite old before they were allowed to stay up and not, at least, lay down for an hour. Momma needed that hour to herself.