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He Knows What I Need.

/There's a day that's drawing near/
/When this darkness BREAKS TO LIGHT/
/And the shadows disappear/ 
/And my faith shall be my eyes/ 
/And the grave is overwhelmed/ 
/The victory is WON/
/He is risen from the dead/ 

Yesterday was a God-day.
"My Jesus knows just what I need." 

I haven't blogged since we've been here, and it's incredible how much can change in 2 and 1/2 weeks.
How uprooting and moving across the world can become the new normal.

But there is still a whole lot of new.
There are so many things that I haven't seen, heard, tasted, or learned yet that it can seem a bit overwhelming.
Okay, a LOT overwhelming.

And for the past weeks that we've been here, we've been settling in, and thinking about little things like
coffee pots and bookshelves and sleep.
and that's good, because this IS home now, and we have to be practical for at least a little while.
And I'm just now realizing how God has blessed us with our house and furniture and all the other important things that one needs to live.
But, it's easy to slip back into 'life' without really changing anything.
Just because we're on the other side of the world as missionaries doesn't mean that our attitudes or thoughts or habits automatically become perfect.
Rather the opposite.
It's easy to forget that God didn't just bring us here to exist; He never calls us just to exist.
He has a purpose in us being here other than just staying in our little shells, even when it's hard to communicate with anyone around us.

Bunny Trail.

Yesterday, was a God day.
A few of us Millers and Barkmans spent a day roaming around Thailand.
We started out around 7:00 am.
By the time got to the mountain, the sun was up, and people were bustling around.
Our first 'experience' was seeing the monks coming down from the mountain for their daily food gathering.
People would bring them food for good karma,
and bow to receive a blessing from the monks, many of them ranging from 10-20.
 What an empty, empty religion, inspired from fear.
Pray for these people.

We then walked to the top of Doi Sutep Mountain, to the temple on top.

yes, all those stairs.
And more. 

We got to the top, and walked around.
Oh Jesus, how Your heart aches for these people.
These people, normal ordinary people, coming from far and near to bow down 
and worship, not out of love, but out of terror.
It's incredible to see what people will do out of fear.
Looking into their faces and seeing nothing, emptiness,
Performing useless rituals faithfully,
and seeing their precious children watching 
and imitating their parents is ...
Break through, O Lord, release the captives, and reclaim Your ground.

We sang on that mountain, in the temple,
in a place where Jesus is almost never recognized.

 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. 
(Psalm 16:11)

After that, we were sent on a scavenger hunt.
It was quite the experience.
We were given a list of things that we had to accomplish,
two maps, and some $$.
(which is always useful when using public transportation.)

We were supposed to find a monk, and have a chat with him.
that was very interesting; 
hearing his story and realizing that monks are real people.
To hear him talk about the uncertainty of their religion; never knowing if you're 'enlightened' or not,
never knowing where you stand ...
Praise God for our living vibrant anchor in Jesus.

Trying a Chai Yen and marking it off our list.

And generally looking lost and confused.

We finally made it to the end of our scavenger hunt after 
'learning' 1-10 in Thai, trying dragonfruit, 
getting four different song taaus, 
sending a 'postcard',
and being lost for about half an hour.
It was so good to get out into the city, 
and instead of retreating into a shell because you can't understand anything, 
we HAD to learn how to communicate.
Prayer walking through the markets,
and realizing that these are his people too.
God places His holy burden on our hearts,
may we learn to joy in it's heaviness.

We had lunch, and then traveled to a boarding house/home for school children.
I have never felt the language barrier so keenly before,
and the huge wall it can erect.
But thankfully, over helping them sort through bean sprouts, 
and stumbling over Thai sentences,
relationships were forged.
It's amazing how much fun learning a language from children can be.
We probably were only right about 1/3 of the time, 
but laughter and smiles are something that translates to every language,
and so there was a lot of that.

It's also amazing how quickly these kids can capture your heart.

Cherie and her twistables were a huge hit.

and then there was a lot of general chaos and games and music and fun.
God imparted His heart, love, burden, passion and peace to His children today.
" My Jesus knows just what I need."

       For all of you who have asked how to pray for us,
pray for clarity in ministry decisions and family decisions.
knowing how much to say yes to, and when to say no.
Pray that God's will would be in our hearts, and that His glory would be seen through our actions,
because words aren't really something we can use yet.
Pray that we'll be able to learn the language as quickly as possible.

Thank you so much for your prayers, really.
We may never know the impact they've had on our lives in this life.
God bless you people.

- C.Celise.B.


Uneloquently Put.

It is 11:15 PM, and I really shouldn't be blogging.
There are only 1,001 other things that I should be doing;
things to pack, bags to weigh, goodbyes to say, house to clean,
and sleep to be had.
but, I shall blog.

How am I doing?
Whenever anyone asks me that, I have to smile to myself.
How am I doing?
If we'd both have time, we could sit down and talk about how I'm feeling for at least five years.

But today?
Today was a good day.
Today, an army of beautiful friends came over and scoured our house from the basement to that one cupboard in the kitchen that's so dirty we try to avoid it, to Cherie's closet that we used sneak out of bed to have sleepovers in.
(It's odd how it takes a move over the ocean to have your house cleaned that well.)
We had a grand time, and only found one dead mouse.
We took a last trip to Wallhouse.
And then we came home and began another long and emotional trail of goodbyes.
How do you say goodbye to people you've looked up to and learned from and loved and embarrassed for seventeen years?
I don't know.
May I never be good at it. 

It's odd how saying goodbye to people, even when you think you're dried up and can't squeeze out another tear, makes your eyes brim over and you get that chokey feeling in your throat that won't let words out.
There are some things that can be better expressed through tears than through words;
 through suffocating hugs than long eloquent speeches.
Because this isn't normal.
This isn't natural, and it doesn't feel good to have your heart tear in two.
It doesn't feel right not to be able to see babies grow up, or couples get married.

but, God is so good. 
I know that that is so cliche, but it's so true.
In the midst of so much heart-aching; so many emotions falling all over themselves;
 God has given a peace that passes my understanding.
A peace that says that all things work together for good.
That God doesn't give beautiful gifts and then take them away unless He has something absolutely mind-blowingly better to give us; if we don't foolishly cling to the first.
That this is God's best for us, and so it's His best for our Church, our family, and our friends.

And He's given me excitement; impatient excitement.
I am so ready to go, so ready to finally do this after knowing about it for a year.
Even though God had a plan even through all of that horrible waiting process.
A plan for empowerment for our family.
(And boy, did He act.)
But now, I think we're ready.
Excited and ready to get on that airplane.
To get to know the wonderful people there waiting for us.
To get to know Thailand; it's land, language and people.
To claim Isaiah 37:26 spiritually over Chiang Mai against the power of darkness:
"... that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps."
In Jesus name, we go to proclaim His name to the lost.
I couldn't and wouldn't be doing this without Jesus.
We tell unbelievers that we're moving to Thailand, and they don't understand,
 because none of this makes sense without Jesus.
It doesn't make sense to leave all 'this', unless you have a greater purpose than all 'this stuff'.
We're leaving people, I know.
But we have the hope of heaven, so really, we're just sacrificing a few drops of time in their lives to save souls for eternity where we'll all be together forever and ever amen.
(that's a whole lot easier to type out than live out.)

There are so many other things I wanted to say ...
so many other thoughts that are running through my head.
How we're going to miss this house.
Even down to the squeaky drawers and thin walls.
How we're going to feel on the airplane.
How we love love love you people.
How excited we are for God to change our lives through Thailand.
How scary learning Thai looks.

I wish I could type everything with perfect ease and eloquence, but it's just not really happening tonight.
but lack of words doesn't mean lack of feeling.

Pray for our family.
We are going over in Jesus's name, which we know the devil doesn't appreciate.
We don't ask for things to be easy, because we know that during hard times, we grow.
Pray for the people there that God will bring into contact with us; that we'd be full of boldness and love, and that we'd shine His light onto their lives.
Pray for family unity.
Pray for spiritual, physical, mental and spiritual protection.
Pray for us while we travel.

basically, we can't do this on our own.
Your prayers mean more than you know.

And I'm all out of words yet again.
Listen to Christ of Hope//Michelle Tumes.
Those are the words that are in my heart,
even when they don't make it to my fingers.

May He give you peace.

- ChristinaCelise.