Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I've Been Found in Texas

 We've been without internet access since May 11th. But I'm BACK!!

But we're finally settled in our new (temporary) home in Waco, Tx.

We're going back to school folks! The school and church we'll be apart of is Antioch Community Church.

I have so much to tell you!!

But first, let me share.

I'm from Texas.

I'm a Texan.

I love Texas.

Our state flower is the Blue Bonnet

Texans eat Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Our boys wear coon skinned hats.



Saturday, May 10, 2014

God Rolls Out the Red Carpet in D.C. Part 1

So while we're in the mountains of Tennessee with Chase and Sydney, we met these other missionaries from Uganda who were staying at Eden Ridge

As we were talking, they asked us if we had ever heard about a ministry called Christian Hospitality Network. We had heard of it and had been to one of their retreats in Phuket, Thailand. I won't go into all the details of what CHN does. You can read about it on their website. 

The Carriage House on Capital Hill
 But they proceeded to tell us that CHN had expanded their ministry to include 1000 Bed and Breakfasts in the states.The Bed and Breakfast owners aren't always Christian, but just wanted to offer a discounted rate for missionaries. Wow! Great! When they said it, it got my wheels turning and thinking on Clinton's desire to bring the family to D.C.

Staircase brought in from SC

After looking around at hotel prices in D.C. quit a bit, I had told Clinton there was no way we'd be able to do D.C. "Maybe another time, babe.

But this news gave me a spark of hope.

Once we left TN, and were heading to NJ, I began to search the CHN website to see what they had in D.C. There was only 1 Bed and Breakfast listed. So I gave them a call. I got a voice mail that had no message on it so I just hung up the phone.

Not very persistent. I know.

Then next day, as we're leaving Cracker Barrel, a favorite restaurant for the traveling missionary with 6 children, one daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter, I got a call from the owner of the said Bed and Breakfast.

I began to ask her if she had any openings on such and such days and how much a room would cost for missionaries. I told her we had two adopted Thai children and a Thai daughter-in-law and that we really would love to show our children our heritage and a glimpse of the capital city.

She told me there were no openings, and that she didn't really know what the price would be. "It just depends on the time of year, and if it's a holiday and such." She replied.  I felt like she was blowing me off.

I told Clinton, "That was a strange conversation and I'm not too sure why this lady had her Bed and Breakfast listed  with the CHN."

Oh! Look it's me in the reflection of this marvelous cabinet

Several hours later, as we're driving along, I get a text.

"What were the dates you wanted again?"

I replied and she text me back that those dates were open.

I then asked her if we could reserve two rooms and how much would each room cost.

She wrote back, "I no longer rent it out by room. I rent out the entire house. It's a four story home, with five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a full kitchen. It's located on Capital Hill and 1.3 miles walking distance from The Capital Building. I rent it for $610 a night, BUT I'LL GIVE IT TO YOU FOR THE CLEANING FEE OF $100 A NIGHT!!!!!!"

I thought I was misunderstanding her so I asked again to make sure.

She said, "I'll give you the entire house for $100 a night."

"Am I dreaming???"

OMGosh!!!!!!! HOLY COW!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING??????

I relayed the news to Clinton and he was so elated!! Remember, he'd been praying about this trip for months!

When we walked in the house we were awe struck. It was magnificent!! Every corner, every detail. This woman had put her heart and soul into decorating this house.

The winding staircase, that ran up and down all four floors, she had shipped in from South Carolina. The tables, the chairs, beds, pillars, chandeliers....... everything! It was beautiful!

Each room had a theme and the colors and textures she used to decorate were amazing! The whole house was like constant eye candy. Each room had french doors leading onto a porch or veranda, a flat screen TV and a beautifully decorated bathroom.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Carriage House on Capital Hill.

The pictures on their website are much better than the ones I took with my phone. Go have a look.

What are some ways God's rolled out the red carpet for you?

I'd love to hear your stories!


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

How Could I Forget Lady Liberty??

I know that I promised you in my last post, that I'd be sharing a "roll out the red carpet" moment, but as I was going through my pictures, I remembered Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty. And I COULD NOT leave it out. 

I need to start out by telling you, that had our friends not brought hats, gloves, and jackets for each person in our family we might have died on this excursion!!! 

I can see the headlines now, "Missionaries from Thailand Died From the Cold on Ellis Island"

Thank you Carrie Healy for saving our lives!


Am I making it clear? 


When we stepped out of the car it was about 31 degrees F, raining and windy. 

Honestly, I wanted to jump back in the car, turn on the heater and enjoy the view of The Lady from my windshield, but our friends had purchased tickets to see The Lady, up close and personal. 

 I decided I better carry myself like a mature adult. I have boys watching. And a daughter-in-law. And a granddaughter. 

Get. Out. Of. The. Car. Amber!

Oh the responsibility a mother must carry. 

Every time we tell someone in the south that we saw The Statue of Liberty it's always accompanied with the reply, "I've never seen the Statue of Liberty! You're some pretty lucky kids."

Every item of winter clothing was borrowed. We live in Thailand. Remember?

Blessed indeed!

First stop was Ellis Island. We were able to see the port where the Immigrants were brought when entering America for the first time.

Knowing all we do about immigrating, and bringing foreigners to America, this really had a special meaning to us.

Can you imagine coming to America on a boat? Can you imagine staying on that boat for months?

Can you imagine coming to a Nation where you didn't know the language?

Okay. Doesn't this picture make you want to sing the National Anthem??

She really is a grand as you think she is! It was breathtaking and tear jerking to see her standing in the harbor!

On the ferry going to see Lady Liberty

That's New York behind us!

I had to add this picture because of their faces. Have you ever seen someone make a face like this on purpose and want you to take a picture? No?

Well, this is a cute face for the Thais. It's very acceptable and common to see this face in many pictures.

I still don't get it. I've been there a long time and I still. don't. get. it.

But who says I need to.

You're probably wondering how in the world we got this shot??
We are standing on the base of The Lady and Clinton is lying down on the ground in front of me.

Yes, he's lying with his entire back on the ground and lifting his head up just enough to see through the camera lens.

I had to get me and my baby in front of The Lady. He's even saying cheese for the picture.

Blistering cold. But fun.

We made some memories!

Until tomorrow.


Monday, May 05, 2014

Why Hello New Jersey!

This whole trip to New England started with an invitation from Grace and Peace Church in New Jersey.

Grace and Peace has a been a long time supporter and friend of ours. The Pastor's son, Sean Healy, was our neighbor when Clinton attended at Brownsville Revival School of Ministry in Pensacola, Fl. Sean was also a student. 

With a jug of Sweet Ice Tea that we brought over, we quickly became friends with a group of boys we affectionately called "the Jersey boys"

The new Pastor of Grace and Peace, Pastor Jim Wheler, wrote and asked Clinton if he would like to speak at their Missions Conference. They offered to helped us with a portion of the plain tickets, and provide a hotel for all 9 of us! Amazing!! He said, "we want  you to come!"

When we arrived at the Ramada Inn in Toms River, New Jersey,  which they had reserved three rooms for us, we were blown away by their kindness and hospitality!!

These rooms, and the gift basket with a card was like water on our souls!! I was shocked at how meticulously they had prepared for our family. They thought of everything!!

They even had gift bags for our boys with games and things to do while we were in the hotel!!

Oh my word!

We love you, Grace and Peace and are honored to be linked up with you in the winning of souls in Thailand.

But on a serious note. 

Clinton preached a message called "When He Walks into the Room Everything Changes"

God moved in power! Peoples lives were changed. Words of knowledge came forth as did healing.

Colton was able to share his heart and passion for Thailand and even played a David Crowder song in Thai that he translated himself!

We're so proud of you, Colton!

Clinton spoke at a Men's breakfast on Saturday morning, and preached in two services on Sunday.

On Sunday after the second service, we prayed for people for at least an hour. God was with us.

When I was praying for a little old lady who was having ringing in her ears and pain in her knees, she began to shake and tremble. She said to me, "Oh! I think I need to sit down. I can't stand up."

She had a hot heat all over her body and God was moving in her body.

The next day she told us that she still had the ringing, but that her knees were completely healed!

Come on Jesus!!

That's what we love to see. God doing what only God can do!!

In my next post, I get to tell you about the most amazing "roll the red carpet out for the Garsees" story that just might leave you speechless.

Well maybe not.

But until next time.


Together Again!!

Wow! Wow! Wow! 

We're all together again and this time with an addition!! 

And of course, our first dinner together was Thai food! I made some Penang curry and stir fried veggies.

We had a rendezvous in Tennessee at a place called Eden Ridge. We stayed a  beautiful log cabin on 130 acres on the Cumberland Plateau. 

The cabins were built for missionary families to come and take a rest in the quiet of God's creation.

We rented the entire cabin for only $39 a night!!! God is amazing!!

Of upmost importance was for the boys to worship together! When they play together the presence of God comes!!

It was a time of family bonding! Long talks. Worship. Food. Playing games.

Did I mention that I love my boys!!

I mean, how many mothers have two generations of sons in the same house! I DO!!!

Though we passed through some rocky times, we've made it through and we love each other and respect each other even more. God is faithful.

My older boys have become men of God and my younger boys are learning from the older ones.

And just to make sure things don't get too mushy, I thought I post a picture of myself with some green food in my tooth. Nice, Amber.

And Ms. Sydney fits right in! I mean she could be Chan's mom. Look at those two faces.  We love you!

We spent three nights together and had the time of our lives.

Thank you Father for making this possible.

What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?


Sunday, May 04, 2014

God Blows Us Away!

My precious husband was praying for our time in America for months before we even knew if we'd be able to come. 

He was asking God for specific things. A van to drive that would hold 9, gas for our itineration trip to the Northeast, an opportunity to visit D.C. since we'd be so close, these are just a few of the things he was asking God for. 

He said to me, "Honey, I've never prayed and been so specific like I am about our time in America. I feel like this trip is very prophetic and it's an Exodus out of Thailand for all of us and I really want our time in the northeast to be a history tour for all of our children. I want our time here to count." 

We arrived in America on March 20th. We had our trip all planned out and would need to leave by March 28 in order to meet Chase and his fiancé on the 29th and be in each place on time. Each day was planned out for an entire month.

However, it was now March 27th and we still didn't have a van and no sign of a van.

Clinton told everyone that night to pack their bags as if there was a van sitting in our driveway. So at 11pm we all began to pack our bags. When the job was done we lined them up in the garage and prayed in faith for our van.

Clinton woke up at 5 am and put all of our bags in the driveway and sat with his Bible and his coffee and prayed for a van.

At 7am, Bank (who we now call Jaeron) came outside and said, "Daddy, I'm gonna wait with you. I want to see a miracle."

By 8am we were all outside waiting for our miracle.

At 9:45am a friend called and asked if we had heard anything yet and if a van had come. The answer was "no"

She said that the day before, she told her husband to bring home two checks from the office for $2000. She told me to come get the money and they wanted to help us rent two vehicles as there were no vans in our city or anywhere in the surrounding region available.

I excitedly went and told Clinton and he said that was wonderful but that he wanted to wait until noon to see if God would bring a van so that we could all travel together.

In the meantime, I checked out the price to rent two vehicles plus gas and it was around $3000.

At 12:03 our spiritual mother called us and said, that she had called a friend and asked her to pray for us as we needed an miracle and were waiting for a van to travel. After prayer, the woman said, " I feel the Lord has told me to help them out with $1000."

Mrs. Phemia, called us and was super excited. The woman on the other end of the phone had no idea how much we still needed in order to rent two vehicles, but gave the exact amount we needed to be able to make the trip with two vehicles.

Shortly after that call, our friend Mark called and told us that we could use his vehicle and rent a vehicle.

We called the woman who had given $2000 and told her that we had been given on car and would only need to rent one, but she said, "It doesn't matter. We want you to have it! You're gonna need it for food and hotels. You're going a long way with a lot of people."

Just before leaving, one of Clinton's Aunts came over and brought us gas cards, cash, and some cards for Sonic and Chick Fil A.  The total of all of this was around $400!!

We were totally blown away by God's provision!!!

At 3:01 we hit the road.

As we all got into the cars and Colton and his family in their car, we could see clearly the hand of God in having Colton have his own vehicle. I think God set this up just for him. He's a man. God didn't want him in the back seat of his daddy's van for this long road trip.

Our first stop was in Hattisburg MS. We stayed at the MOST amazing hotel!!!! The beds were SOOOO comfy, the room was spotless, the price was good, and the breakfast was great. If you're ever in the area you need to visit Microtell Inn and Suites by Wyndam

I'm telling you it's a must!! I give this hotel a 10 out of 10!! I don't do that very easily. Although I'm a missionary and can stay anywhere, I had good "breeding" and know a good hotel when I see one. lol

The next post will be about seeing our son Chase for the first time in a year and meeting his fiancé.

Until then.....