This morning I was sitting at the coffee stand talking to the barista. Jana and I developed a good relationship with her last time we lived in Thailand. In fact, she even read my book! J About halfway through our conversation she said, “Jack, can I ask you a question? Why did you move back? When I looked at your Facebook pictures last year, everything was so beautiful and you guys looked so happy.” I laughed uncomfortably and said, “Actually, we missed your coffee so much that we had to come back.” We both laughed and I moved on to another conversation topic.
We have experienced the, “Why are you back?”, question several times since moving back. It has come in various forms from various people, but it always has the same quizzical undertone. And honestly, when we attempt to answer that question, it’s difficult. Living stateside last year allowed us to speak our own language, enjoy majestic scenery, regularly visit our family, and easily find support for Marley. There were numerous things we enjoyed about living in the States and still miss today. But, like many difficult questions that we encounter in life we must go back to our creator. Because without acknowledging a calling from God, there is no reasonable explanation for us moving back. Simply, we believe God called us back to serve at ICS Bangkok. Funny how that’s a simple answer to type, but not a simple answer to share with our coffee lady.
Since moving back, we have read a Bible story every night with Marley. But last night it was late, so I just told her an abbreviated story of Jonah and the Big Fish. Of course, Marley’s favorite part was Jonah being spit back out, but telling her that story made me think about us moving back. When we found out about the job opening at ICS last Jan, we felt torn. I think friends and family thought we just gleefully decided, but we spent many weeks arguing about what to do. We discussed all the comfortable things we would be giving up if we moved back to Bangkok. We even went through a period of resistance that was similar to Jonah, but God nudge us toward returning. And now after being back for three weeks, God is revealing the new plan he has for us at ICS Bangkok. Leaving was not easy for us this time, but God has shown us the great things that can be done at ICS.