I’m 1/2 way through my time here in the States and I’m having a great time. I have learned so much so far and I’m looking forward to gaining even more wisdom and insight during my time here.
Many have asked what I’ve been up to so here ya go… I’ve been visiting churches to observe their children’s and youth ministry and to pick the brains of their Children’s Pastors-Directors-Leaders. I’m all about “best practices” so if someone is doing something better than we are – we want to adopt their procedures if it’ll work for our ministry in Thailand. We never stop learning. We want to grow and get better every day.
I’ve also been blessed to be able to do some consulting work. I’ve been asked by 2 churches to come in and help evaluate where they are as a ministry and help them go to the next level. I’ve been meeting with the leadership and pastors and am so excited to be a small part in their success in ministry.
And obviously I’m enjoying my time here with friends, family and supporters. I love being able to connect with my ministry partners and thank them in person for supporting me while I’m on the missions field. I love being home to do school pick-ups with my nieces and nephew, going on beach trips during spring break with my cousins and just being with my loved ones.
Going forward I have a few Children’s Ministry Seminars that I’ll be conducting for various churches in the area as well as attending a conference in Georgia later on in my trip. I want to make the most of my time here and get back to ZOE Thailand as soon as possible. I miss my ZOE kids!
We’re only a month and a half into the new year and already we’ve experienced so many new and exciting things here at ZOE.
New ZOE missionaries, a Specialty team, a Short Term Missions Team, we moved into our new boy’s home…Whew! I’m excited to see what God has in store for us over the next few months, but let’s take a look at what He has already done in 2014.
New ZOE Missionaries…The Kealey’s are here! I was so excited when Jason, Kerri, Faith, Rylan, Addison and little Eaden arrived in Chiang Mai. I’ve been waiting for them for over a year to get here. Kerri and I formed a close bond while she as here on a Short Term Missions trip in 2011. Over the years we’ve kept in touch and in 2012 she came to stay with me in California for the weekend of our first ZOE Rescue Walk in 2012. Her and her family are a great addition to the ZOE family and I can’t wait to serve along side them.
Then we had a Specialty Team come out from The Underground Church in Burbank, CA. Their team consisted of 8 professional dancers and choreographers (Word in Motion), a professional singer (band leader and lead singer of The Red Hot Band) a professional DJ and Hype Man (DJ Cory Live), a professional Skateboarder (Fellers), and even more incredible talent including a professional photographer, martial arts specialist and a security specialist. We were beyond blessed to have such a talented group with us.
And we had another great Joint Short Term Team here with team members from both Illinois and California. This team was able to join ZOE as we expand our partnership into the slums of Chiang Mai. This is an important transition for ZOE’s efforts in the prevention of human trafficking as any people group that struggles with poverty and a lack of opportunity will be vulnerable to the deceptions of traffickers. So in addition to supporting the local church in the slum, ZOE will provide human trafficking awareness and evangelism programs.
ZOE is growing. God is calling us to do new things and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us over the next few months…
At ZOE, Christmas is all about Jesus!
But, we do bless each other with gifts from the heart.
My team and I did a fashion show for the kids. We all dressed up as a member of the Nativity scene. Can you spot me?
Yeah, that’s right! I was Joseph. And my beautiful friend was Mary.
My beautiful team! They are such a joy to serve with. They have amazing hearts. I love them.
Happy New Year! We all competed in the “ZOE Olympics” to bring in the new year…
I was on the green team and apparently was serious about our team’s plans.
Go Team Go!
And here is my favorite competition: Boxing over the Ocean (translated from Thai)
Here is Rob Tang and Dave Cross going at it…
Going – Going – Gone!
As crazy as this time of year is, I’m so thankful to be here with the ZOE family. Their love and joy during the holidays makes everything worth it!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all the ZOE Missionaries!