It’s been a few months since our last post. I take that as a sign that we’re either overwhelmed with the stress of life or very busy doing the work we came here to do. I’d usually be inclined to claim that the former is to be blamed, but, as it turns out, we’ve come into a season of growth and progress. What follows is a summary of projects and daily activities that our family either has been or is a part of for the past few months.
Back in June, we moved into a new house. Much more space for just a little more cash. With this, came the blessing of room for the kids to play, a new vegetable garden (pumpkins, beans, papaya, chilis, basil and lemon grass currently growing), more space to relax and room for hosting. We’ve been able to hold the home church (primarily consisting of expats serving through NGOs in Maesot) twice monthly for the past couple months. The house has been a huge gift to us, offering a launchpad for ministry and a place of refuge when exhaustion and stress set in.
The farm is nearing the end of rice season. This year’s harvest promises to be plentiful. It looks to out-produce last year’s successful harvest. Currently, we’re harvesting an increasing amount of long bean to be given to the families supported by The Charis Project, with Luffa (a squash), Thai chili, cucumber and Eggplant soon to be added. I plan to diversify and intensify the productivity of our demonstration area over the next few months once rainy season comes to a close. This will help us to produce more so we can give away more, and also educate those who visit our farm in simple but powerful ways to make the most of their land.
I’ve also begun to partner with a church planter in the area. He asked for my input as he and his partner, an amazing Lisu man, develop a vegetable garden to produce crops that can be given away to villagers they meet. We also have been working together on a chicken coup that focuses on egg production. It’s been a lot of fun and I look forward to partnering more with them in the near future.
Shannon and the kids have recently joined a homeschool co-op. This has been a welcome addition to their daily lives as it further establishes relationships and also diversifies their educational experience. The kids love seeing their friends more often and learning within a communal (ie: more than just another sibling) environment. The kids have also enjoyed getting to come to work with me once a week. They get some basic work experience and a nominal payment for the work they do.
Shannon has begun to consult for a Charis Project initiative. They plan to develop a community supported early childhood education system. In plain English, we will train women in the local villages to care and educate young children so that more parents may work and bring in income for their families. The teachers will receive training by the early childhood development team. This would nurture an environment in the villages that values education. Shannon is a great fit for this given her preschool teaching and anthropology experience. We’re excited to see what comes of this project.
A recent trip to a Burmese Village
We continue to move forward in the work that comes our way. Over the next few months, we plan to be visiting more villages. I hope to offer the people there education in natural farming as well as health information. But more importantly, we hope to share the Good Life that Jesus offers us. I am becoming more and more convinced that this path, doing the Good Life, is something that must be shared. I look forward to doing this in more direct ways in the coming months. There is much more in store for our family. Keep following us to see what’s to come.