Back in the USA… For a Visit

Right now we’re in the middle of our time back in the States for our stateside service. After spending time with our families for the holidays and starting off our time with our sponsoring church we set out on our big Oklahoma and Texas trip to visit with churches and individual supporters reporting on our past and future work in Bangkok while raising additional support.

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It was great spending the holidays with our families.

Since we’ve been in the US, we’ve already traveled over 6000+ miles across 11 states! We’ve been living out of our suitcase, packing up and unpacking every couple of days, staying with friends, mentors and family along the way. We’ve also been able to meet with organizations like Missions Resources Network, Oklahoma Christian University and Abilene Christian University. On our trip through OK and TX everyone that we’ve met has been such a great encouragement to us. We’ve been blown away by all the love that’s been shown to us and it’s been great reconnecting with so many!

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Our planned road trip from January to March.

One common misconception that people have about missionary “furloughs” is that it is a vacation or a break. When in reality it couldn’t be more far from the truth! It’s not been easy living out of our suitcases for months. Being on the road constantly, spending all day in meetings, constantly talking to people, speaking at churches and events, while also trying to work on our own things without much down time gets exhausting. Being back feels like a crazy whirlwind of events and emotions. We are tired, while at the same time, we feel super blessed from our time back so far. To know more about the experience missionaries go through when visiting the States check out this article from Missions Resource Network: Furlough or Home Assignment? Our Language Betrays Us by Dale Hawley

We wish that we had time to share more about our trip and the people that we got to visit with but we just don’t have time. So here’s a few highlights! 🙂

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Tulsa is a special place to us since it is where we officially met and started dating. In the summer of 2007 while Gary interned with the Memorial Drive Church of Christ, Michelle moved to Tulsa to be close to family and friends. Memorial has a lot of AIM connections and the church there has many awesome, genuine and active people that mean a lot to us and are always such an encouragement.

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We were excited to visit The Christian Chronicle and Oklahoma Christian University for the first time. While in Bangkok, we were honored to be visited by Erik of the Chronicle who wrote a beautiful piece about us and Somprasong working with refugees. It was neat catching up with Erik on our visit. We’re thankful for all he does sharing about how God is at work in this world. While on the OC campus we were able to attend the missions chapel where our friend from Japan, Joel was speaking that day. It was surprising and funny to run into him here in the states! Ran into these girls at OC! It was crazy to see them all grown up! They were all just little kids when Michelle lived in Okinawa, Japan.


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Spent a couple days in the Dallas area. We got to enjoy a delicious Thai meal in Denton with several Thailand friends! We’ve been missing good Thai food since being back. It was especially cool seeing our friend and old co-worker P’Rung! In Dallas, we were also able to visit with some old friends of ours, Gary’s childhood best friend and Michelle’s AIM teammate. We haven’t seen them in several years and it was crazy to see them again and now as parents. One afternoon we spent an encouraging time with Missions Resource Network (MRN). It was great catching up with them and to share about what’s going on in Thailand and what our dreams are for Bangkok. They’re a really awesome group and we love what they’re doing to help churches and missionaries all around the world!


11In Abilene we were so excited to catch up with several of our ACU interns from the past 2 years. It was awesome to see both of the teams together. Being back together with them was like being with family! We were also honored to stay with Larry and Pam Henderson (who were long time missionaries in Bangkok and worked with Somprasong 4 church of Christ several years ago). We loved hearing stories about their time in Thailand. The ACU campus has a lot of veteran Thai missionaries and missionary kids. It was neat running into several of them. While on campus, we set up our table of Thai handcrafted items to sell to help with some of our funding. It was a fun way to get people excited about Thailand and to share our passion for missions with the students.

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To see more pictures from our Texas & Oklahoma Trip click here.

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