Whew, finally we can tell you what has been taking us so long to post about! We're moving to Thailand with The SOLD Project, and we'd love for you to hop on over to our website, drivenbyfreedom.com to read all about it. You can find our blog on the website, or get directly to it here. Thanks for following us the last few years as we've traveled the world as God calls us. We invite you to stay tuned at our new website/blog!
Sorry for delays in posting. We've got lots of exciting stuff in the works, and we can't wait to share it with you! (How long will we have to be married before I always have to add "No, I'm not pregnant!") There are great developments in the works, and we're working hard to create the best platform to start involving you in the excitement! Thanks for your patience.
Meanwhile, a BIG THANK YOU to my dad, Vaughan Wenzel, who is in Haiti right now as a phsycian with Omaha Rapid Response, an org he has been training with for several years now to be prepared for domestic and global disaster relief. You can stay posted on their team's trip at their blog. I'm so proud of him! Thanks for all the work you're doing, Papa V!
For some beautiful pictures of our trip, check out Rachel Goble-Carey's blog here. Her husband, Kevin, arrived with her in Thailand a few weeks early, and he posted a beautiful post on Thailand and "The Problem of Pain" while processing his first impressions of the country.
Carrie Shaffer kept a great blog of the trip, and her description of Home of New Beginnings is fantastic. It will make you appreciate even more her experience of visiting prostitutes that night. Thanks for the great VCDF pictures, too, Carrie!
If you're on Facebook, there is a great video created and posted by Rachel that summarizes our trip with Mike's Flip footage. I've also posted a "Thailand 2010" photo album.
We are home! We got in about an hour ago after David let us stop at Chipotle and stuff our faces. All of our attention right now is going into how to cut the giant claws on Mozno while he is so excited about us being home, then showering and passing out. But I wanted to let everyone know we got in okay.
I plan to post a good amount this week as we detox. I feel like my posts the past two weeks have been whatever is at the tip of my tongue and needing to get out within the few minutes allowed for computer time. I can't wait to start posting pictures, video, etc. And getting to share a few more stories.
Speaking of stories, Mike is doing fine. We've traded rice whiskey for butterfly bandages and he is feeling much better. Quite an interesting story though. :-) His Thai nickname is now Gimpy.
We've spent the last few days in northern Thailand's Chiang Rai at Nate and Rachel's home. It was a last-minute change in plans, but we wanted to learn more about SOLD and explore the potential for our future role in their work. Nate's sister flew in from teaching in China, plus Rachel and Carrie are here, too. There has been a lot of great conversation, and we're so grateful they let us crash for a few days.
Yesterday we tagged along with Nate and Rachel to English class at the school where the scholarship kids are, and it was a blast. The sixth grade practiced introducing themselves to Mike and I. The class included Aff, the boy we stayed with in the village, Meenong, our scholarship student, and Cat, the first scholarship student featured in their film. (She's so much bigger!) It was surreal to watch these kids learning and playing and laughing together, especially Cat and Meenong who we've seen and thought about so much.
We rented motorbikes to experience what it might be like to get around here. Mike, who has never been on a motorcycle before (much less driving one), hopped on one alongside with Carrie and Rachel while I opted to ride along with Nate in the truck. Long story short, we were immediately in rush hour, the driving is on the opposite side of the road, and Mike took a pretty rough fall when a Thai stepped out onto the street in front of him. We are thankful for traveling with two nurses, because there was some blood loss from his hands and feet, but he is okay! Nothing a few shots of rice whiskey and lots of gauze couldn't handle. He is going to have a rough time traveling as he is pretty sore and stiff, but we're just thankful that is all that happened. We returned the bike the next day. :-)
We are leaving in a few minutes for our 40+ hour trip home. One bus, four flights, and a night sleeping in the Bangkok airport. I am keeping our toothbrushes at the ready. We'll arrive Sunday night around 5:45 p.m. EST.
We live in Grand Rapids, MI. We are both freelance writers and are currently preparing for our move to Chiang Rai, Thailand with The SOLD Project. All either of us really want to do is serve God however and wherever He pleases.
How You Can Help
Pray: For us--we desperately need the power and provision of our God and Savior; For The SOLD Project and other organizations and individuals around the world working tirelessly to end human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children; For those in slavery--that through the work of God's people and the Holy Spirit, they might be set free.
Give: Please consider supporting uswith a tax-deductible gift for our time in Thailand. (Select "yes" for giving in someone's name and type in ours.)
We know God's calling us to go, and even though we don't have the funds, we've committed ourselves to this adventure, simply placing our faith in God's ability to meet our needs through His people.