This past year of ministry has been so exciting for the entire Van Tifflin family! A year ago now, we were still actively partnership building/fund raising with Free Methodist World Missions in order to relocate to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Last summer was filled with many church visits and several different family camps to attend. By July 2017 we knew our plans to move to Thailand were becoming more realistic. Funding came in and our missionary support account was fully committed for the year ahead, we were now ready to purchase one-way air tickets for our family of four. We departed Flint Bishop airport on August 9th, 2017.
Settling into a new country, culture, house, ministry role, etc… with two children under the age of three was a big undertaking! A couple months into this big move to our mission field, we all came down with a severe strain of the flu. Having to figure out the medical procedures in a foreign country was also a new experience for us! Thankfully we received good care and were all healed, praise the Lord!
We have been so proud of Jason this past school year, he was enrolled in an all Thai kindergarten school just around the corner from our house. He told me after a couple days of school “Daddy, they all speak Thai and I don’t know anything they are saying!” After just a month or so, Jason began understanding more and more of the language and conversations at school. Jason is now beginning to identify and write the Thai manuscript. They say that full immersion into the language and culture is the best way to learn a new language. He mentioned to me just the other day that he enjoys attending his school. Jason also has been studying the piano, attending lessons one day per week. He has really enjoyed learning this new skill.
Hlawn Hlawn has just completed a sixth month course of speaking, reading and writing Thai language. She will continue this course work for the next year or two. She’s doing an amazing job!
Seth has been traveling for ministry work quite often throughout several S.E. Asia nations (Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia). Seth is serving as the Asia Area Administrator for Free Methodist World Missions. Seth is also the Executive Director of In Better Hands. In Better Hands is now an Affiliate Ministry Partner of FMC-USA/FMWM. Please visit the website to see the Kingdom work that is being done in S.E. Asia through In Better Hands.
Seth and Hlawn Hlawn have both really enjoyed creating new friendships in Chiang Mai. Hlawn Hlawn has had the opportunity several times to share her faith and relationship with Jesus to international classmates. We’ve invited friends over to our house and have even shown the Jesus Film. Please pray for the Van Tifflin family as they continue their work in S.E. Asia, drawing people to Jesus through their ministry work and everyday living.