Karis is almost 20 years old, very young yes .... but shows her maturity in making a decision that changes the rest of her life. She will marry a young man (around 9 years older) who is passionate about winning his people (the Isaan of North East Thailand) to the saving Grace of Jesus. Karis and Noom will begin a new partnership that we pray will make a lasting impact in the Kingdom of God amongst the needy Isaan people.
About 30 years ago, God convicted me (5-6 years before I was married) to begin praying for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, that He would pour out His Spirit on my offspring and blessing on my descendants to the 3rd and 4th generation (Isaiah 44:3,4). He burdened me to pray daily for this and to this day I cannot rest unless I have prayed that day for my offspring. God has built in me a desperate heart for my children ..... that's why, as we follow God's Call to the Central Thai people, that separation from the two eldest (Tim and Karis) over these last 2 years has felt like it has 'ripped my guts out'. I will die for my kids and want the very best for them.
Therefore, the upcoming wedding is a huge blessing and a huge honour for me to walk down the aisle with my 2nd favourite woman in the world. As I reflect on this today, my heart weeps (in unspeakable joy !!!) with the memories I have of my dear daughter growing to be the genuine Godly woman I know today. I remember the countless joys, the laughs, the fun times of fooling around (how this kept me younger for so long) and also the struggles of fathering a young girl who was yearning to be a woman. I look at her now and know that God has truly blessed her and is pleased with her desire to follow Him with all her heart, soul and mind.
I made many mistakes as a father and did some foolish things. But, my Heavenly Father compensated in His Grace and gifted us as a family with commitment, love and acceptance, and radical hearts to please God no matter the cost. My daughter, Karis, is now a testimony of this unfailing Grace of God. As of 22 August, our family will never be the same again .... we move on in another stage of this exciting life journey .... and another step toward the ultimate blessing (God willing) of seeing Godly influence to the 3rd and 4th generations. There is nothing else better in life than this - money or wealth cannot buy this joy and fulfillment :-) Below are some pictures as I remember Karis today preparing for marriage ......
Pictures 1 & 2 - Karis caring for her siblings in the snow and fooling around with autumn leaves
Picture 3 - Karis as a flower girl at Aunty Red's wedding
Picture 4 - Karis ready for her 1st school formal
Picture 5 - I get to baptise Karis
Picture 6 - Me with Karis in a challenging time
Picture 7 - Karis with Noom
Karis - I entrust you to this man for the rest of your life.
NOTE: I am unlikely to blog in the next few weeks because of the preparations for the wedding and then family visitors in the week after the wedding. So will probaby blog again by early September. In the meantime, watch out for wedding pictures on Facebook. You can also check our Facebook pages for daily status on our lives here in Thailand. Thank you for your support.