Seems we are always searching for God’s will in our lives, and many times it is right in front of us. A few years ago we began a Sunday School study using the book, A Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith. While going through the book, we learned that our part in life was to trust in the Lord, and God’s part is to do the work through us. As we completed the study we realized that God’s will and our will are one in the same if we are walking with Him.
Steve had participated in three short-term mission trips to Thailand in 2001, 2004, and 2006. During that time he knew he had a heart for the people of northern Thailand. In 2009 Donella joined Steve on yet another short-term mission trip back to Thailand. Donella immediately fell in love with the people in the area, especially the children they visited at the many orphanages in the Doi Saket area and the village of Mae Gone. We talked about returning to the area for a longer period after we retired.
God seemed to be telling us that now was the time to go. In February 2010, we contacted our daughter, Bobbi, about our possible move. At the time, she was a senior at Pepperdine University and did not know what she would be doing after graduation. She had been praying about that decision in her life and felt that phone call was an answer to prayer. Arrangements were made for Bobbi to complete an internship in Thailand from September through December 2010. After only being in Thailand one week, Bobbi knew she was ready for a permanent move with Steve and Donella.
Planning commenced, and God’s leading was felt at every turn. On a daily basis we could see that God was in control of our move. We began visiting churches in Northwest Missouri and Southwest Iowa to tell them about God’s plan for our lives. From Donella securing a position at Chiang Mai International School within 24 hours after an interview to selling our car less than 24 hours before we left Missouri, we knew God was moving.
The three of us arrived in Chiang Mai on June 17th and have begun building new relationships and reestablishing old friendships with the people we will be working with. God continues to move, and we know He will do the work if we just keep trusting.