Time sure does seem to fly when your having fun. The past several weeks have flown by in a flash. As each week passes we learn more and more about this beautiful country, the amazing people and our school community. We get asked often how we are transitioning and how our kids are doing. I am so thankful to say they are thriving and doing better than we expected. We owe all the praise to God for the amazing changes we have seen in our children during this transition.
Fall break was at the end of September. We originally decided to do a staycation and explore more of Singapore during this time. A couple nights before break we made a spur of the moment decision to go to Thailand instead. We knew that if we stayed in Singapore we would continue to dive into work and not spend the much needed time as a family with Dawson and Ellie Anna.
I know going to Thailand sounds extremely expensive. Thankfully, it’s very cheap. That’s one of the amazing benefits of living in Southeast Asia. (As an example: Flying to Thailand and staying for four nights is cheaper than driving to Branson for a weekend if you live in Arkansas or driving to Corpus Christi to the beach for a weekend if you live in San Antonio.) Little did we know the spontaneous trip to Thailand was just what our hearts needed.
While in Thailand Nick and I realized very fast how much time we have wasted the past few years not making memories with our kids. We let the hustle and bustle of work take over. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to hop away to Thailand and make some unforgettable memories. I think we all laughed more during our time in Thailand than we have in a very long time. The memories we are getting to make are something I will forever cherish. The icing on the cake on our trip was on the last night. Dawson and Ellie Anna both stated at different times that they were ready to go back “home” to Singapore and that they missed the condo.
It was eye opening to hear our children call Singapore home on their own and out of the blue. It was the affirmation that we needed. The four of us are all in this together. No matter where God takes us, we will continue to follow his lead. When we were trying to decide to take the leap of faith and come to Singapore a good friend of ours urged us to not worry about leaving “Home”. He told us that a home can be built anywhere, but “HOME” is wherever we are together. Looking back, that seemed so impossible, but it is something now we will never forget.
As time passes by, we fall more in love with this country, our amazing school family, and the students we get to serve. This past week I got a first hand look at just how much some of our students rely/need our school family. A student of mine received the devastating news that his family would unexpectedly be moving back to his passport country. Singapore is the main country this student knows. He depends highly on our school family. All the hard work and love the amazing previous and present teachers at ICS have put into shaping this student is evident. Tough times are ahead for this student, but I pray he doesn’t lose his way. I pray he keeps his eyes on christ when all odds are against him. I pray he realizes his worth when he feels his family does not. I pray that over the next several months, God paves a way for him to finish high school. Most importantly, I pray for his safety and for him to fully give his heart to God and walk with the Lord in the trying days ahead. I will never forget this student as well as many others.
This situation was a great reminder to me that as teachers we are blessed with the opportunity to shape the future generation and to instill the core values of what we dream our nation to be. Most importantly we have the opportunity to be there for the ones lost and show them God’s unconditional love. We can help them pick up the missing pieces when they stumble upon the wrong path. We can shower them with kindness and love as they try to figure out where they fit in this crazy big world. Everyone deserves kindness and love no matter what walk of life they come from. Your past doesn’t define who you are. What matters is who you become and the next steps you take. When life throws our student lemons, as teachers, we should help them make the best lemonade they possibly can.
Until next time….. Here’s a video of our Thailand adventures.
Sending much love and prayers to all our family and friends. We miss you all dearly!