The months (2 years for Sarah), of final preparations, came to a big crescendo on Thursday 28 June 2012, when we travelled to Bangkok, Thailand. To begin our next chapter and journey with the Lord.
It has been hard saying goodbye to all our families and friends and by Thursday afternoon (the day we left), Sarah was an emotional wreck as she said her last goodbyes to her Mum, sister and nieces.
No problems with check in at Heathrow. We arrived safely in Bangkok on Friday 29 June 2012 4.15pm local time. Collecting all of our 9 suitcases + Paul’s bass guitar. We felt really blessed, there were a lot of people on our flight, that didn’t receive their luggage, due to BA putting them on the next flight, without telling them until they got to Bangkok… Perhaps we took up their luggage allowance!
Many sights, sounds, smiles and the HEAT has greeted us in Bangkok. We are in the early stages of finding our feet and over the next couple of weeks we will be finding our permanent home.
We will be hitting the ground running come Monday 2 July 2012, we will be going to enrol and starting our language lessons, everyday from 8am – 12pm… aaaggghhh. For all of you who pray, please keep us in your prayers for this. In the afternoons, we will be beginning to become acquainted with the organisation we will be working with ‘NightLight International’.
To all our family and friends… “This is not the end, just the beginning”.
A final taste of London Theatre Land, as (I) Paul whisked Sarah off to celebrate her 30 something (she looks younger than she is…) Birthday on Saturday 16 June. Sarah has been harping on about seeing the Phantom of the Opera, since I have known her. So I finally gave in! We decided to have a meal before the theatre, which was, funnily a British Thai restaurant… It was good, but we’re sure we are going to taste even more amazing delights of Thailand once we get there.
So that I (Paul) would never be able to forget! The very next day Sunday 17 June we celebrated our 1st Wedding Anniversary. Neither of us can believe that a year has flown past already. So much has happen from then until now and the journey is still at the very beginning. We took time out to reflect back on the year and prayed together, thanking God for how far he has brought us. Our wonderful family also decided to throw us a combined anniversary/leaving do. It was great spending time with family and our close friends.
We have exactly 1 week to go before our departure to Thailand. How’s it going? How do you feel? Are you excited? Are among some the questions we have been asked. We still find it hard to answer as our emotions change on an hour by hour and day by day basis.
This may very well be the last entry in the UK before we go. Lots still to… Our home church commissioning service will be on Sunday 24 June, never ending packing and Sarah is in the process of learning how to cut my (Paul) hair… now that’s scary!
We were invited to speak at our final Link up church before leaving the UK, and being the Jubliee weekend, Goodmayes Baptist Church, cooked an array of yummy goodies Mmmm. Which we were both more than happy to get tucked into!
Goodmayes Baptist Church, has always had a special place in Sarah’s heart; this is where she was once a Girls Brigader and attended many summer clubs. The icing on the cake for Sarah, this is also where her former Primary School dinner lady, still attends (Ssssh, former being over 30 years ago!) It was wonderful meeting old and new friends alike and of course eating all the food!
We had a fantastic time and would like to thank Goodmayes Baptist for inviting us and for your continued support and prayers as we take this next step.
Our preparation to leave the UK is well under-way. With our leaving date of 28 June 2012 – less than 4 weeks… The first step, all the packing and knowing where to start!
Until the end of May we were travelling between, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and London. We have now officially left Birmingham, IMC and have found just about enough space to store our things between Paul’s Dad and Sarah’s Mum.
We have had to do some serious down sizing… something we thought we had done already! However everywhere we turn there just seems to be more stuff.
There is all of Sarah’s art equipment, which she is struggling to let go of and Paul with all of his electrical equipment.
Sarah managed to let go of a blank canvas and as a thank you gift to our Pastoral Carer, Phil Grasham, whilst at IMC. She completed a painting, titled ‘The Potter Hands – Isaiah 64:8’. Which really for both of us, sums up our time of mission/counselling training. The transforming work the Lord wants to do in all our lives, being moulded and shaped by Him.
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8