Chiang Mai Impressions – 3rd July 2016

Chiang Mai Impressions – 3rd July 2016

Have you ever run the last quarter mile of a 26-mile marathon, and wondered if you’ll ever reach the finish line?
OK, maybe not………but that’s a little bit how life feels for us right now. We’ve been running the race in Thailand for almost 11 years now, but the final month is no easier……..we need extra energy for the final push to the end.

We’ve been intimately involved with SIM’s ministry in C-SEA from almost the start, and we’ve seen it grow from a small ‘family-style’ area of less than 30 missionaries in 3 countries to now over 150 missionaries in 6 countries. In one sense it’s grown so big that the old family-feel has gone…….but in its place now are multiple new ‘families’ in 6 countries – and we’ve journeyed with almost all of them since they moved to Asia. We’re only in our 40’s, but we feel old being the longest serving in the C-SEA office and Thailand!

It’s been a huge privilege to work alongside all these people in various ways, and assisting them with financial and personnel matters. We’ve loved reading their prayer letters and hearing how God is working across Asia.
We’ll definitely miss aspects of this………but God is moving us on, and we’re both very excited for what lies ahead.

Please pray with us for the final few days here – we leave Chiang Mai in 16 days, and still a lot to accomplish:

Pray for Steve handing over his Treasurer role to Barbie (our C-SEA Services Manager). She’s an accountant and is not new to SIM finances (having also helped on many SIM audits over the years); but she hasn’t been a Field Treasurer before, so there are lots of procedures for her to get up to speed with. These next 2 weeks will be a steep learning curve for Barbie – pray for strength, good memory, and good communication for us both.
Sherree will also be handing over some of her personnel responsibilities to Barbie on Tuesday this week.  Pray that Barbie will be able to manage her time and these additional roles over the next months, until a more long-term Treasurer replacement arrives.

We need to sell a few last things – the biggest being our motorbike.

Pray we find a good balance between moving on/letting go, and keeping in touch with those we’ve become close to. We may feel a bit empty like we’re ‘not needed’ any more – which is true…….no-one is indispensable or irreplaceable. But we’ll no longer know what’s happening, and no-one will need to ask us for our opinion on things……..we’ll enjoy that freedom most of the time(!), but pray we manage the change well.

Pray for good closure with Thai friends – some of Steve’s squash friends have become very close friends. He’ll miss them, and vice versa.

On Sunday 17th July, Dej with his wife and 3 kids have invited us for a meal at a Chinese restaurant. This is an honour – pray we can have a good evening with them, and be a lasting influence in their lives, and those of other Thai friends.

Thank you for your prayers. God bless you,

Steve and Sherree

P.S. Attached is the recent newsletter of JCS, . our partner agency in Mongolia. Steve was on the JCS Board for 4 years, and we’ve been very impressed with their work and ministry – this newsletter is about environmental challenges in Mongolia, the and opportunities for ministry it presents. A lot of it could fit in almost any large Asian city……..Kathmandu, Nepal having big pollution problems too (as does Chiang Mai). Please enjoy reading some of the articles if you’re interested – and pray for our lungs and those of our colleagues living and serving in heavily polluted cities.

Email: steve.francis@sim.org or sherree.francis@sim.org
Skype: steveandsherree
Phone: +66 818 156338 (Steve) or +66 884 151521 (Sherree)

Serving In Mission – see http://www.sim.co.uk or http://www.sim.org

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