Thursday, December 17, 2015

Announcing a Life Change

A year ago, I never would have imagined that I’d be writing this.  That I’d be announcing this life change for our family. 

Last December we sensed that a change was coming, a change was needed. That sense caused lots of angst in us.  We loved our work in China, and we loved the people we did that work with. So when our family showed signs of needing to leave China, we ached, thinking that would mean giving up the work that we loved, the work we felt called to, meant for.

We lamented what we thought were our only two options: return to China after our one year home leave, knowing that certain needs of our family would not be met. 

Or say goodbye to the work we loved in China, and head into the unknown of a completely different life somewhere in America.

Aaron and I would lie in bed at night, praying for direction, praying for a release from the angst we felt as we stood at this crossroads.

We shared our hearts with leaders and friends, and through that sharing an idea was birthed.  A third path we never once had considered as an option.

What if we could continue serving with our organization, what if Aaron could continue in his director position (that felt like a perfect fit for his gifting and training), and what if we could do it from Thailand? 

Thailand. 

A place we knew and loved from the yearly time we’ve spent there.  The place Aaron and I first went to Asia together as a dating couple nearly thirteen years ago.



The place of our daughter’s birth.      



A place that holds memories for our entire family.



A place that has the opportunities our family needs in order to thrive. 

A place that acts as a hub for women serving overseas, the perfect place for me to lead Velvet Ashes

A place that offers potential for connection and development with students that we’ve been working with in China for years.  A place that has opportunities we'd love to tell you more about in person.  

Sometimes you can’t see the answer to your prayer, because you didn’t know to pray big enough.

Although the dream was planted, it involved months and months of waiting to see if it would become reality. 

Waiting in the tension, wondering through the “what if’s,” and then finally, finally the confirmation.

We’re moving to Thailand!

As planned, we’ll spend the next five months living and teaching on a college campus here in Missouri.  (We’re SO excited about this!)  And then come summer time, we’ll be packing our 10 suitcases once again, and this time our flight to Asia will take us to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The release of angst has come.  In its place is that deep down sense of knowing, the sense we’ve had each time we’ve made a significant life move.  That this is where he’s leading. 

We’re incredibly grateful to those who have walked with us through this time, who have prayed for us and sat with us in the waiting. 

And to all of you who are a part of our journey, part of our service to Asia, we say “Thank you.”  We are only ever able to serve because of you.      
  
While we know where our journey leads, there are still steps we need to take to get there.  We have two significant needs.   

Would you join us in praying for a part-time teaching position for Aaron in Thailand? (This would provide us with a visa and supplement our financial needs).

Would you consider partnering with us to meet our increased need in support?  We have a total of $23,000 additional support needed for the coming year.  We’ve already raised $10,000 of this.  If you’d like to financially partner with us, check out our new support page here. 

We're excited to share this next chapter with you as it unfolds.  I'll be sharing most of our daily life pictures on Instagram, so you can follow along here: @daniellemwheeler.  If you're not on our newsletter list and would like to be, email me or personal message me on FB with your mailing and email address.  If you're interested learning more of the details of our work in Thailand, we'd love to meet with you, or share with your church.   

Thanks for praying us through this next transition.  We are forever grateful for your love and support!  

We're about to pile in the car to road trip many miles to be with family on this, our American Christmas.  Wishing you and yours all the wonder and joy of celebrating Immanuel.  Merry Christmas!      

13 comments:

  1. I'm so excited that you're going to be closer to me in PP!! Let's get together next year when our fam is in CM! Love you!

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    1. YES, we'll be "neighbors"! ;) And absolutely, we must get together!! Will so look forward to it. Love to you too!

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  2. God ALWAYS has the perfect plan! We are rejoicing in His forever faithfulness to your family. So thankful that the immediate future is clearer to you. Love, love, love the way our beautiful Father unfolds His plan so perfectly for His people. Isn't He just so wondrous??

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    1. His forever faithfulness, yes and amen! Thanks for rejoicing with us, Erin.

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  3. Sooo exciting!!! So happy for your family!!

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    1. Thanks, Erin. Who would have thought back in 2003?? Not me!! :)

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  4. Sooo exciting!!! So happy for your family!!

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  5. I think I see Thai Ice Tea and Banana Rotis in your future (and mine when I visit!!!!)

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    1. I will have a jug of thai tea and a platter of rotis waiting for you at the airport. :)

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  6. "Sometimes you can’t see the answer to your prayer, because you didn’t know to pray big enough." YES. This. So much.

    Excited to see this big answer to prayers you didn't even know to pray unfold!

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    1. Thanks, Lindsy. Excited to see your new life unfold too!

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  7. Hi Danielle, I'm finally catching up on the VA Have You Seen post, and am excited for your news! This story really encouraged me. I am SO thankful for Velvet Ashes and your writing too. I live in Cambodia so it would be fun to meet you in person the next time I come to Chiang Mai!

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  8. Congratulations Danielle! I'm so excited for y'all!

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