Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flourishing Throughout Every Season

We are having such a wonderful time/season of our lives right now. What a blessing it is! I have also been coming out of one of the most difficult seasons of my life, so I am going to write about that a little. It has lasted for over a year!! That is such a long season. I thought seasons were only a few months.
I have hesitated to write so many times because of the challenges I was facing. I didn't know exactly what to say, so I chose to just continue in prayer. I feel like the Lord shows me something daily, for ME to work on. I kept thinking 'so and so' needed to fix themselves, I am just fine! HA. And you know what, so and so may need to work on themselves, but my job is for me to listen as the Lord corrects MY faults. I feel so challenged, in such a great way, right now. I think the difficult season was me getting to a place of being ready for more pruning. How thankful I am to have a Creator who cares enough about me to instruct me DAILY!! What another blessing! I love being ready for the challenge, feeling strong, wanting to pass the test and being ready for the fire. One day I was really having a hard time, just feeling down, tired, discouraged...wondering what exactly we are doing. I was walking and listening to such a wonderful message by someone from Bethel, I think Kris Valloton, and he said, 'there is no season of loss, Joseph flourished in prison and he flourished beside Potipher'. That was exactly what I needed to hear!! This season of difficulty has not been one of loss!!! Our home, our children, our marriage, our lives, are more vibrant now than they have ever been. Praise the Lord for every season!! There is a time for everything under the sun!! Sometimes while in the midst of a challenge we begin to question things... this is when we will find out where our hearts are! Who do we turn to when the going gets tough? Our help comes from the Lord!!
Love suffers long!! You can have suffering without love, but you can't have love without suffering!! I have heard my mother say, 'Sandy, pain is your friend', soooo many times. Some of the time I would think to myself, 'man, that sounds so hard'. She is exactly right though! That is when things begin to heal, when the pain gets so unbearable, the only choice you have is to call on Him. I think most of the time, when things get hard, people just push it down, push down the pain so as not to show the church any difficulties. Everyone looks at one another, smiles, say's 'God Bless You', and moves on. Let's get real!!
So, for the good stuff! Love DOES suffer long. Things may not always feel good, but our hearts know the right thing to do, the right way to respond, even if it is hard to respond in love. The children's Bible study for a few weeks really turned out to be for me. We cleaned house from all sinful speech. Murmuring, complaining, meddling, lying, sarcasm, name calling, and several others...oh, Lake calls it 'gospeling' (gossiping) :). I have found myself with such a negative tone, not even because the children were doing anything wrong, but because I had too much I was trying to do at one time. Then, we have to look at how that tone or gesture makes our children feel. Are they walking away feeling like they have done something wrong, when in all actuality, our tone was wrong, because of our own personal responsiblities.
Another word that blessed me and encouraged me, 'A wise person is ALWAYS prepared for the unexpected!!' Expections have been something that has caused a lot of my challenges. I have come into different situations expecting them to go one way, then they have turned a complete180. You know what? What I expect to happen in this life is really probably not going to happen, the way I want it to! God is in control and He will change my circumstances to fit His plan for my life. So, right now, I am trying really hard to have expectations for only God!! I do expect Him to move in my life, lead me, and direct me! And, HE IS!!
If things go as they are right now :), the building for the after-school proagram will be rented this week!! So...then it is on to getting the supplies, the door for the building, and a few other things. Please keep this in your prayers!!

And...HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I know, we are early, but it is only in the 90s around here and feels like fall, so I am enjoying it. I will sign off and go bake some sweet potatoe pie and play scrabble with my chilins. (Told you I was starting early :) ).

Blessings from the other side of the world!!
Love you all!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My addition to our October newsletter!!!

Hey everyone!! Things are going good here in Thailand. We have all been so busy with taking care of the family, a new baby, home schooling, and all the responsibilities of life. Thank You Jesus for a vehicle, which is also an added responsibility, but a very welcomed one. I am so thankful to the Lord for His provision! This was such a testimony to us and the children and such a faith builder. We knew that it was all in His perfect timing and I believe that it was. I am thankful for the time and the grace for riding our motorcycles. I learned so much about our city, I learned a lot about the culture, and now that I am driving a car, I realize that I have learned how to drive better here in the middle of hundreds of motorcycles!! I know what the drivers are thinking.

The children and I have started visiting the World Vision School on Fridays and are teaching them English. There are about 15 children, they live on the railroad tracks in tin homes among lots of trash. The families just ‘squat’ here as this is government property and they do not have to buy it. It is such a sad situation. The school that we visit is run by two thai ladies who are Christians and were once funded by ‘World Vision Outreach’. I understand that now(from my limited understanding of thai) they are receiving NO funding from this organization. We are trying to provide their rice for them each month. There ‘school’ is in such pitiful shape that someone keeps crawling in through a hole in the bathroom and stealing the rice!

One day when we arrived there was a little baby sitting in a walker sucking on an empty beer bottle while his ‘grandmother’ was sorting trash. I was so heart-broken for this child. After the recent flooding on this side of the world, there was a man sitting in his ‘backyard’, knee deep in water with trash floating around him, smoking a cigarette. I gazed into his eyes and could see such hopelessness. I have such a huge vision for this area, but of course I must do only what I can at this time. There are not enough workers. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to help these people find jobs or to teach them a trade, help them build a home, or move out of this garbage dump!! I have to constantly remind myself that I have 4 wonderful children of my own and that I must care for them first, not to mention my husband and myself.

That leads me to say that we all do need prayer and more of it. We have all been sick, at least one of us, for 4 weeks now. It is so rainy and hot here that any cut, blister, mosquito bite, etc… is taking weeks to heal. John and I are constantly reminded to put God first, marriage second, then our children, then family, then friends, THEN this ministry. Sometimes that is difficult to our flesh. We long to see the thai people won to Christ, we long to speak the language, but we also know that our ministry is only going to be as strong as our family is. We must constantly work on our marriage and our family life and not get priorities out of line.

The children are really thriving and that is such a blessing for us to see. They are all sooooo precious and each day our hearts have more and more love for them. I never imagined that I would have 4 such awesome children. Madaline is doing so well in school, she just amazes me. She has a pet rabbit and is so responsible with her. She is taking ballet and doing a beautiful job. We have been watching You Tube videos of different ballets and she is so motivated to practice. John and Madaline are taking art classes together on Saturdays and then John gets to ‘date’ her after the class. To see Madaline’s glowing face as she jumped in the car with ‘daddy’ last Saturday, made my week. Isn’t that how God is to us? He takes care of us and gives us ‘special’ attention! Lake is reading so well, I love that part of home schooling, so far it is one of my favorite, watching them learn to read! He is so excited and runs to tell me everything he reads. He is really wanting to take Taekowondo, and we plan on enrolling him soon. Lake has such an amazing imagination, playful heart, and is the ‘jokester’ of the family so far (other than his daddy!). He is always the one who says, ‘okay, cut it out’, if any altercations arise. Gabe is still into any and every creepy crawly he can get his hands on. He is such the helper, he loves to juice all of my carrots in the mornings (that is such a huge help to me, by the time he is finished I can have breakfast on the table J)! He loves his letters and enjoys sounding them out throughout every day! And last, but not least, Moriah has got to be one of the most gentle babies ever! She ceases to amaze me! Her smile is one of a kind and her laugh just brings immediate joy to the moment! I love them all so much and am so thankful to God for the blessing that they are to my life. I cannot believe that He has rewarded me with such precious children!

I did want you guys to know that I keep a blog and if you would like more frequent updates please email me at I am glad to add you to the email list. It is easier for us to update via internet than through mail. There are photographs as well. Facebook is probably the most up to date information on our lives here.

Thank you all once again, from the bottom of my heart for all of you prayers and support to the calling here in Thailand. We can’t wait until the day we get to see you all again face to face. Until then, I love you and pray that the blessings of the Lord overtake you.

Sandy Lovorn