Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcoming the New Year – 2014

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43:18-19

Between the holidays, we were able to
              go camping at Doi Inthanon. The falls above
           was a find during one of my walks.
Today, we spent some time praying and thanking God for the first six months of 2013. Only Eli and Ethan were here to pray with us (Eng and I). This year, Evan and Eric didn’t come back to Chiang Mai to celebrate the holidays with us as they intend to be here when Eli graduates in May. We gravely missed them! Tomorrow, we hope to finish praying through the remaining six months. Earlier in the day, Eng also shared about the verses above. As we talked, we pondered on what the “new thing” may be for all of us. We speculated awhile and then prayed that the Lord would prepare our hearts for what He has in store for us. We also prayed about the possibility that we may live back in Canada in two years when our term is over. We don’t really know what our future holds. We can only trust that the Lord will lead and guide us as He’d always done.
               Up until April this year, I was happily teaching ESL classes. Then, the Lord prompted me to apply for the Student and Family Life Ministries Coordinator position at school. I even protested because I didn’t think I could do it! In the end, the Lord’s will prevailed and I got the job. There really is no point in arguing with Him! However, the Lord didn’t abandon me. Instead, He helped me and provided what I needed to do the job well. Looking back at the semester, I can honestly say I enjoyed doing the new work more than my old ESL job! Papa God obviously knew what He was doing! =)
The temperature at Doi Inthanon
               went down to as low as 2 degrees
             at night. I succumbed and made
              a heater with tea light candles, two
         clay pots, and a bread pan.
            It worked! Thanks to FB!!!
Even Eng started managing our friend’s restaurant while they were away for eight months. He hadn’t done restaurant management in the past but just like to me, the Lord proved faithful and reliable in helping him do his financial management work and the management of the restaurant. He had now done both jobs concurrently for the last six months and with the Lord’s grace, he is managing well. Best of all, I know Eng would also say he is enjoying the restaurant management even more than his management job.
Which leads me to the point I’d like to make: the Lord desires to bless us with new experiences. The newness of the experiences is difficult as we gauge for the first time, the adjustments we need to make. BUT, the Lord is, and will always be there to help, encourage, and provide for us. Most of all, as we begin to take on new roles, we actually discover the joy found in doing them. If we don’t ever step out to obey God in the new tasks He gives us, how else will we discover the enjoyment of doing those tasks? It’s a remarkable process!
As 2014 starts, we’ll do well to allow God to lead and guide us and have us just follow Him. No matter how scary the journey looks, the ride will be worth it. Our Lord knows us best and He’s always right. May we completely trust Him with our lives. I know no one will regret it.

Our family picture without Evan and Eric.
             Ethan's at left, Eli, on right

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