Wow is all we can say with all that transpired in the last few months of 2015 and the first few of 2016. But before I go into all the detail of our recent adventures, I want to apologize for the long hiatus of our updates. We’ve had so much happen that we needed time to process all that transpired. I am not even sure where to begin, but here goes…
Pastor of Peace Church Ao Nang
As we have mentioned to some of you during our last visit to the States, Peace Church Ao Nang (the church we helped start here) called Jason as the full-time pastor and installed him in the position in September of last year.
This position requires us to move to the town, Ao Nang, where the church is. We moved to the new house in Ao Nang just over two weeks ago. We are about 90% complete in our move; hopefully by the end of this month we have completely moved out of our old house and into our new one. We’ll be posting pictures once our house is ready for the camera. Haha!
To give you a better picture of where we are now, here is a short description. Ao Nang is still part of Krabi, which is both a province and a city, but is about 20 minutes from where we used to live, Krabi City. Krabi is like New York which is both a state and a city. So instead of living in Krabi City, Krabi, we now live in Ao Nang, Krabi.
Visit to the United States
Jason and I had the chance to go home to his parents in Meridian, Idaho for Christmas of last year plus stay a few months of this year. We had a blast spending time with family and friends, and we both ate so much food that we miss. We also enjoyed spending time with our niece and nephew, Ellie and Bennett.
With Ellie and Bennett
With Pooka and Becka at a cooking class
In our almost 3 months stay in Meridian, Jason was able to apply to Fuller Theological Seminary for an online Master’s degree designed for those working full-time in the mission field. I am proud to announce that he was accepted and just a few days ago registered for his first course!
During our time in the States, we attended Eagle Christian Church (ECC). They are one of our sending churches and have been extremely kind to us all throughout the years. ECC ordained Jason and officially sent him as a pastor last February 6,2016. We both felt so blessed to have this church in our corner.
We were also able to visit Cashie Baptist Church, my home church in Windsor, NC. So thankful for these guys support of our work here in Thailand not only financially but in prayer. We want to especially thank Sue Fairless, who hosted our stay and welcomed us completely into her home. We also want to thank Pastor Bobby for giving us time to share with Cashie God’s work through us and to thank the Copelands for spending some time with us and treating us to a good dinner. We are likewise grateful to Teri Williford and Sharon Thompson for spending time with us and for keeping us in their hearts personally and through the TEA Party Girls I was once a part of; We are also extremely appreciative of Kuya Ramon and his family not only for the time we had with them but also for being there for us at the onset of our call to go to Thailand. I also got to see some of my old friends and colleagues and eat some Filipino food!
With Sharon and Teri
With Filipino friends and former colleagues
With Sue Fairless
Jason’s parents also gave us a treat to visit Colombia, South America. They have not been back there for a long time, and it was such an amazing experience for me to see where Jason grew up. We got to meet people his parents have worked with in the field and go to the church they helped start 30 years ago. The church is still going strong and very much alive. Some of the first fruits of the church are still there! Jason also had an opportunity to preach in Spanish in one of the churches we visited!
Pastor Manuel sharing to the kids @ the Finca Lewis up in the mountains of Barbosa
With Pastor Omar and the kids in the back
At Shalom Church which Gwynn and Pooka helped start about 30 years ago
With the Sowers missionaries to Colombia, Luis and Martha, and their kids
Towards the end of our visit, we went to Los Angeles, CA and visited Jason’s home church, Rolling Hills Covenant Church. It was during the mission’s celebration, so we got to meet some of the 80 missionaries this church supports. It was my first time to attend, and I was just amazed at how God has used this church to impact the world through the many missionaries they send. We are deeply grateful for the support this church provides us. They have been there for Jason since the beginning, and even until now that I joined him.
Gwynn at the Sowers booth at RHCC’s missions celebration
We want to specially mention and thank the Kelfords who hosted our stay in L.A. These guys made it sure that we had everything we need and more. We also want to thank the Smiths for picking us up in the airport and for providing us a platform to share about Thailand in their group.
With the Kelfords
Our L.A. visit was an eventful time for us. We also got to visit my father’s memorial wall in Green Hills Memorial Park and meet my Uncle Ramon (my father’s brother) and his wife, Auntie Lily, for the first time. It was definitely an especially good time for me to meet family and to connect with them.
With Uncle Ramon
Papa’s Memorial Wall
I hope you guys know how grateful Jason and I are for all that you do for us and the work God has entrusted us here in Asia. We pray to God for you always and praise Him for having you in our lives! If you guys have anything that you want us to specifically pray for you or just want to share anything that’s going on in your lives, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or send us a snail mail. We would love to hear from you!
By the way, our new pictures were taken by a good friend, Casey Figlewicz. We want to thank him for taking the time to shoot our pictures and for lending us his talent of capturing amazing photos. We love them!
In Our Messiah’s Love,