God leads. As a family, we had experienced his leading before. He had led us to working with him overseas. Then he led us to choose Thailand as the country where we should go.
When it came time to find a house to move into, the question was, where? We were open to different towns within the province where our team works, but didn’t know for sure which place we should live in. We knew that rental houses can be really hard to come by, and so we trusted God, that he would provide a house in the place where he wants us to live.
Before we were due to move, Josh came to look at houses and choose the one that we could move to. One house looked good, we could be comfortable there. It was in the main city, with not many other houses around it. Then he looked at another house, in one of the smaller towns of the province. This house wasn’t as set up; it would need some work. When Josh visited it on a Sunday, he saw 10-15 children hanging around and playing out on the street beside it. Not only did we think that our children would have other kids to play with, but that it would be a community that we could get to know.
Josh rang me one night, and together we discussed the two options. This is when we felt God leading us. We felt we should live as part of a community, not isolated by ourselves. Our calling was not only to ‘do’ work in this place, but to also ‘be’ here and do life alongside the people. So we chose the house in the smaller town, because we could already see that there was a community of people living around it.
We moved to that house, and have begun getting to know the people in our community. Children come to our place to play in the afternoons, and I’m teaching English at the local church. We may not yet know fully why, but we know that this is the place where God has led us to live. Yes it hasn’t always been easy or comfortable, but really it’s been so much better than that.
As we hear in the Western world, “location, location, location!” But what kind of location? Is it just about the proximity to work, or to the shops, or to friends? Or does it also matter about the people we choose to live amongst? That there are people to get to know, and to do life together with? Here in Thailand, people are part of a community. In these places, people know their neighbours. They spend time together, and they look out for each other. May we all be willing to listen to God’s leading, and find the people he wants us to be amongst.