Exploring the Missionary Life as Newlyweds

A year after Arunee (missionary in Thailand) left for the field, Joshua & Sue, her brother-in-law and younger sister, went in a similar direction – they are currently on a Serve Asia Programme in Thailand till early 2025. Joshua’s parents, Wee Seng and Marita will also be serving full-time in Thailand as dormitory parents later this year.

Arunee and Sue’s parents, Eng Kiat and Anong, have been serving as OMF missionaries in Thailand for almost three decades.

Joshua and Sue tell us more about their calling to Thailand as a married couple:

Q: What made you decide to go (back) to Thailand? Why not other countries?

Josh & Sue in their younger days.

Joshua: Thailand has always been on my heart ever since my first mission trip there when I was much younger. Over the years, as I went on several mission trips and trips with my family to visit Thai friends, my love for Thailand grew and became a burden for the Gospel in this nation.

Sue: I’m half Thai, born and raised in Thailand. As expected, Thailand and Thai people definitely have a special place in my heart. I’ve been privileged to be born into a Christian family and have the chance to grow in my personal relationship with God. For the majority of Thai people, that is not the case and this is a burden God has been putting on my heart gradually over the years.

Q: To Sue: Why did you decide on the Serve Asia trip with your husband? The purpose for coming on this Serve Asia trip is to explore the various ministries, have an open mind and heart to hear how and where God is specifically calling us to, and to take a leap of faith in obedience.

Although I have already been exposed to missions from a young age, I wanted to see what missions could look like in other areas through other means.

As of now, we don’t have a calling to a specific ministry and we are still on a journey in discovering our God-given talents. We wanted to go into this stint with an open heart and spend intentional time to hear God’s voice.

Quitting our jobs (Joshua was an engineer and I was a rehabilitation counsellor) and moving to Thailand for almost a year means leaving familiarity and the fairly comfortable life in Singapore. We felt convicted to go on this Serve Asia trip as an act of faith to fully trust in God’s providence for us.

Q: To Joshua: Being married into a missionary family, what made your heart beat the same as Sue for missions?

Thailand has a population of about 70 million people, and the percentage of Protestant Christians is less than 1%. This was head knowledge since my first mission trip at the age of 15. Through the years, the burden for missions was a gradual process. In fact, it was something that I personally had an internal battle with. Am I ready to give up my comfortable life? Am I capable of being in the mission field? However, the burden of the unreached Thais weighed more in the recent years, and now God has placed in my heart some urgency on this. It was never a specific moment, but through small steps of obedience along with assurances from God, that He has given me this conviction to take this step into missions.

Q: What do you hope to do or see God’s leading in your journey there?

We hope to see God’s heart for the Thais, with each ministry we visit. We also hope to be used by God, to grow in our conviction and calling of serving God in Thailand, and to deepen our personal walk with God. Ultimately, we want to obey God, regardless of where or what He has planned for us.

Q: How can we pray with you?

• Being away from familiarity as we visit different ministries all around Thailand, pray that we will fix our eyes on God and He will sustain us as we go through many transitions.

• Pray that we will be able to pick up/improve the Thai language so we can communicate and better connect with Thais.

• Pray that we will continue to be sensitive to God’s voice as He reveals to us where He’s calling us to.

This story first appeared in Go Asia, May-July 2024.

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