International Ministries

FOILED AGAIN!

November 23, 2009 Journal
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Dear Friends,

After five long months of travelling and speaking in the US, I was excited to be returning home to Thailand.  I checked and rechecked my ticket…yes, it’s November 3rd, indeed.  I gathered my things, and shipped some boxes to Thailand.  (How can one acquire so much in just five months?  Note to self: Exercise restraint at the bookstore on the next trip.)  So all was prepared and I was ready to go.  All loose ends tied up.

And then it happened.  I came down with a cold.  Coughing and congestion.  I thought to myself, “Well, maybe I could just get on the plane and pretend not to cough for the next 36 hours.”  Then I lost my voice to laryngitis.  So I figured I had better postpone my flight.  It’s just not a good Christian witness to cough all over some unfortunate person in the next seat as we fly over the Pacific. Fortunately, I was able to reschedule the trip for a week later. 

I stayed in bed; took naps; drank OJ; slurped chicken soup; spoonfed myself honey; drank ginger tea; spritzed zinc throat spray and inhaled warm steam under a towel tent.  Every remedy I know…but the cold prevailed.  And a week later, I am still wandering around with my arms wrapped around a box of Puffs.  Grr. 

How come other missionaries are delayed from going back to the field for worthy reasons, like civil war or environmental catastrophe, or something?  How come I get a cold!?  How mundane.  How inglorious.  Well, I had to suck it up and delay my flight another week. 

I attended a Bible study last night.  We were studying the Exodus, and the first verse we opened to said, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter…God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.” (Ex 13:17a,18)  God brought his people all the way down the Sinai Peninsula, then took them for a few loops before leading them up into the promised land.  My friend, Christine Palmer, who was leading the study, explained that, “He led them by this roundabout journey because in God’s purposes, destination is not always a place.  Sometimes it’s a state of spiritual maturity.” 

No matter where we are in the journey, God has things for us to learn.  So what is my lesson from this two week delay?  Perhaps I’m learning to be patient and surrender to God’s purposes.  Perhaps there’s someone I need to talk to by divine appointment.

Perhaps this was simply a moment of God’s grace forcing me to take some Sabbath rest and enjoy the fall leaves. Whatever the lesson is, I’m trusting that the Lord has placed me right where he wants me to be for today. 
 
Love, Kit
kitripley@pobox.com
www.newlifecenterfoundation.org
 

Editor's note: Kit finally was well enough to board a plane Sunday, November 15, for the 36 hour trip back to Chiang Mai. The extra time she spent here did allow her some rest and time for prayer after all her US travels, so that she could return renewed in the Lord's love.

 
 

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News from around Kit's Network

"Festival of Tables"

Highlights

New Life Center

 

by Susan Rice,

Missionary Partnership Team Coordinator

 

Kit's home congregation in Cincinnati wanted to send a special blessing back to Thailand with her, and found a fun and creative way to do that last month. The women planned a Fall fellowship and outreach event called a "Festival of Tables". We combined it with a silent auction to benefit the New Life Center.

What is a Festival of Tables? This event is a meal where each table is decorated in a different theme chosen by a team of ladies. The themes included favorite places, such as Nigeria (pictured above), Australia, or the beach; or an idea such as music (pictured below), chocolate or board games. Fun and creativity reigned!

We asked for items to be donated from within the church and around the community. Bid sheets for each item allowed women to browse and write down their bid. We were overwhelmed with the generosity and variety of items and services donated, and at the end of the day we had raised over $4,000, much exceeding our goals or dreams. And yes, there were a few light-hearted bidding wars among friends!

As we enjoyed a great brunch and fun event, how wonderful it was to think that we also were putting food on the tables for young women at the New Life Center and sharing her work with our friends!

PS--if you would like some info or pointers on doing a special event like this, email me (sjrdfr@yahoo.com) and I will be glad to talk with you.


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Attention Fresh Start Network!

(that's everyone who is reading this journal!)

How do you, your group or church pray for, support or publicize what is going on at the New Life Center? Perhaps you have visited the Center or have a visit planned? Your ideas and experiences can be an encouragement or spark an idea for others who also care about abolishing human trafficking and bringing a "Fresh Start" to the young women at the New Life Center.

Email me and let's network!

-Susan