Monday, March 16, 2009

Thailand: What happens now?

"Thailand was amazing. God worked in miraculous ways. We arrived home tired, but safe and sound. Thanks for your prayers."

I could post that. It would be an appropriate, albeit ridiculously short, summary. It's all true. We are safe. God worked in ways totally outside of my realm of expectation, and He opened up a new understanding of His character. And your prayers made this possible.

But there is more.

Thailand was amazing.
Yes. It was. But it was no conventional missions trip, which makes it difficult to summarize. I have very few stories of my own to share, but then we did not go for the experience, or for the ministry and impact of the trip itself. We went to document God's story of redemptive love in the lives of the girls. This was accomplished, and I have much of that story to share as opportunities arise.

I come away with absolute confidence that our purpose was accomplished. I didn't take as many images as I expected to, but I know that every time I held the camera, I was supposed to hold it, and every time I put it down to hug a girl or to hold a hand, I was supposed to put it down. I look back on those three weeks in Thailand with absolutely no regrets. I know that I was in the center of God's will and in tune with His Spirit in every step I took.

God worked in amazing ways.
God worked in my heart, revealing new aspects of His character. God taught me about love as I observed these precious girls pour their love out on every person around them. I saw God's very present hand of protection as He changed our plans time and again. We never made it to a mountain village, even though we planned to go on three different occasions. We hardly shot anything in Bangkok, which turned out to be another form of protection. God had other plans for our eyes, our time, and our hearts. As amazing as it may seem, we came away from shooting the Bangkok's Red District with a greater understanding of God's holiness, love, and purity.

We arrived home safe and sound.
Well, sort of. I flew straight to Dallas for a photojournalism conference and Hannah had 3 days at home before leaving for a month of language school in Guatemala. We have long-since given up the idea of "settling back into normal life," since our normality looks like crazy schedules and "random" encounters, all with a commitment to impact others for the cause of Christ, regardless of our location or situation.

So... what happens now?

As amazing as the actual trip was, our work is far from being finished. Please continue your prayers as we work on sorting images, writing text, and working with our designer on layouts for the book itself. Pray that we would be faithful to finish the work we have begun. Pray that we would be sensitive to God's Spirit as we work on text and layouts. Pray that God would give us favor with the ministry, and that this project would see publication. Pray that we can accurately capture and communicate God's work in the girls' lives.

Thank you for partnering with us.


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