After lying awake in the dark, early hours of January 2nd 2016, asking God “What is it?”, the words ’Go to Thailand, love the children, be at peace’ were to be the start of a life-changing adventure.
Checking the Grace International School (GIS) website, we saw openings for a Secondary Special Education and a Tech Ed (Design Technology) teacher advertised - our teaching areas in Australia. Over the next two to three months God confirmed in many ways that we were to Go to Thailand.
Wayne and I had enjoyed teaching in Christian schools in Brisbane for many years. We love being part of young people’s lives, teaching, speaking truth and journeying with their growth. Global mission is in our hearts. We have prayed for a people group for many years, led cross-cultural trips, and actively supported those serving beyond Australia.
We arrived (with the rain) in Chiang Mai in July 2016, each dragging our 40kg of baggage, to be met by my supervisor, who proceeded to exemplify God’s love and acceptance and what community looks like. Over the next three years God gifted us with an amazing adventure, growing in discipling and community. Yes, there were challenges. We were to look, listen, laugh, love and learn. Our hearts for global mission expanded as we met families serving in various ways across Asia, and loved their children.
Around 90% of GIS students are MKs (missionary kids). WEC prepped us before leaving about the American curriculum/culture of GIS, so we were well aware of and embraced the differences. We loved the kids. They were thankful. After a lesson I would regularly hear, “Thank-you, Mrs Wright”. We helped out at the WEC dorm on a regular basis and started TBD (The Blessing Directive) club.
In our third and final year it was a joy to regularly take 30+ TBD students to Hope House children’s home and watch them “love on” their buddies. Wayne discipled leaders in a group of Grade 7 boys and I had unique discipling opportunities with several girls. We both enjoyed caring for young teachers who were the same age as our daughters. Some called us their Aussie parents.
In our experience GIS students were more cooperative than those we had taught in Australia; they wanted relationship with teachers. They valued their schooling and were aware of the competition for university positions in their home countries, resulting in a more diligent approach to their education. Many were more open to the Kingdom of God as they lived by faith in action, trusting God. There was a greater level of responsibility and opportunities for students to lead and serve.
We are so glad we obeyed God’s leading to Go to Thailand, love the children and be at peace, and should God lead us to do it again we will gladly obey.