Friday, March 7, 2014

And So It Begins

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.
Over 20 years have passed since I, Kevin, heard a message from a pastor friend explaining Gods call on a life.  I remember thinking God is speaking to me.  Not long after this message Anjie & I were married.  We thought then that we would head directly into the mission field, but God had other plans.  Although we did not realize it, the twenty years following were Gods preparatory school. There was some heart sculpting that needed to be done.  Who knew, that the heart matters?  Who knew, that everything we do flows from the heart (Prov 4:23)?  Who knew, that everything we do will only be as healthy as our heart?  God obviously knew. This is true for the Clifton family and its true for you as well.  Along with God sculpting our hearts, God placed in our tool box some very specific tools that would be necessary for His call. After years of waiting we know now is the time.

Where do we go from here?  Our first stop is Grace International School (GIS) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  GIS currently serves 575 students of which 90% are missionary kids from 344 families serving across 24 countries.  These families reach out to the millions of people in Southeast Asia, one person at a time.  Without going into great detail GIS is being forced out of most of their current campus.  They have begun construction on a new campus that will not only make up for the space they are losing but it will also allow them to help more missionaries by doubling their enrollment.  The facilities department is overwhelmed with responsibility, and is in need of help. The school has asked me to come in and take over as Facilities Director and help with the project management of the new construction.  They have also asked Anjie to use her teaching gifts in the special needs department.  As Im sure you know a critical component in keeping missionaries in the field is educating their children; and GIS was founded for this purpose.  We know that joining with GIS is really God extending an invitation for us to join Him in what He is doing in Southeast Asia.  At this point our plan is to join the team in the summer of 2014.

God has a much bigger vision for the Clifton family than we could have imagined.  I believe that not only are Anjie and I being called into the mission field but this invitation is also extended to our boys.  We believe that God wants to accomplish some of His work in Southeast Asia through our entire family.  This invitation has led to a serious crisis of belief that has required faith and action from our family.  The major adjustments that our boys have made and will continue to make are nothing short of miraculous.  It seems the Clifton family is gearing up to experience God in an entirely new way.  We hear Him calling, Taste and see that I am good!