An update from our missionary partners and dear friends, Luke and Alyssa Miller
Snake, snake, fish, fish.
This is how we answer, with a smile, when we are asked if we can speak Thai. It's a local phrase that is used to poke fun at foreingers trying (poorly) to speak the language. Usually we are met with laughter that we are "in" on the joke and use it against ourselves. I think that our last eight months would have looked very different if we weren't able to see the humor and joy in our clumsy-ness as we enter into a very different culture from the one we knew before.
We have so much more to learn but are encouraged by our progress. Here is a quick overview of our Thai abilities!We can read, write, and have simple conversationsWe are beginning to understand what motivates people to make choices and deeply held beliefsWe both have dreams in Thai
While the majority of our day is still spent learning language, we have begun to participate in PYF respite events in youth homes throughout Chiang Mai. We are beginning to be able to connect with students, share our stories, and see more and more why God has called us here.
This past Saturday we helped serve at a youth home for orphans in elementary, middle, and high-school. It was impactful for us to see how the students faces would light up then they realized we could speak Thai! It was almost as if we were invited into their world in a deep and more personal way.
Family Update... How Has it Been?
Luke & Alyssa- As parents, raising children overseas is both exhilarating and frightening all at the same time. A simple joy would be watching Psalm and Shepherd experience the world in a new way, learning things we would never think to teach them in the states. Frightening, when Psalm runs in the house and locks the door because there is a foot long poisonous centipede in our yard!
In all seriousness, the last eight months have been a mix of emotions from deep sadness to extreme joy and peace. In May, Alyssa experienced a miscarriage which we still continue to grieve. Being thousands of miles from family and friends added to the intensity but we felt a great comfort that we can't explain. As difficult or stressful as some days may be, we rest in God’s peace and are continually reminded of his faithfulness day in and day out.
Psalm & Shepherd- Psalm (สดุดี, Sadudee) and Shepherd (พิทัก, Petak) both are beginning to speak Thai and Psalm is always asking to learn more. They enjoy playing outside and spending time with friends. Psalm’s favorite thing to eat is kuaytiaw, a noodle soup that many people eat for lunch every day. She wants to open a “noodle shop” one day and be a professional Thai dancer. Shepherd eats absolutely everything including fish tails and congealed blood-- popular foods mom and dad haven’t quite found the appetite for yet. We love that they are on this journey with us!
There have been many times over these past few months were we could feel God protecting us and strenghtening us. He is so worthy of praise. Please continue to remember our family in prayer-- we thought it might be helpful to share some specific prayer requests with all of you.
1. Please pray for our health and safety. Protection from disease, animals, and while driving.
2. We are searching for a more permanent home. Please pray over our search!
3. Educational decisions we need to make for our kids.
4. A home church. This is so, so important to us!
5. Psalm, as she begins language classes soon. We are really excited that she is asking to do this!
6. Genuine friendships and community.
Thank you for joining our family on this journey! We are always encouraged by you and we wouldn’t be here without the love, support, and encouragement from such an incredible community. We are eager to press on with our language learning, serve the youth of Chiang Mai, and proclaim the good news of Jesus in Thailand!
-Luke, Alyssa, Psalm, Shepherd