Bob & Charmaine training to work on the Thai-Burma border
Posted by Bob and Charmaine Trendell at 10:25 on 20th December 2010
A very blessed Christmas and New Year to you all and we pray that it will prove to be as exciting a one for you as it undoubtedly will be for us. Both of us had felt that the mission field (which we had always felt called to) was now a possibility, but were unsure whether at sixty we were both a little past it! Thank heavens God is not ageist!! Charmaine was in the fortunate position to be able to retire from teaching at sixty (the last of the fortunate ones) so we made tentative enquiries about the possibility of voluntary or short term work with BMS World Mission on the Burma/Thai border. Charmaine surprisingly still has some Burmese from her childhood which will be useful, as the majority of refugees in Mae Sot (where we are going to hopefully make our home) are fleeing from the horrors and repressions in Burma. Much to our amazement after a number of interviews and the rigours of the Candidate board we were accepted as Mission trainees by BMS for long term mission work, for five years, and are at present studying at IMC (International Mission Centre) in Birmingham. How extraordinary is our God? We have seen the reality of “all things working for good” (Romans 8), even when it seemed an impossibility.
Our family have been wonderfully supportive of our plans and we are really thankful for their love and encouragement. We shall miss them all so much and especially our grand-daughter Bella who is now two and are thankful for Skype to help us keep in touch. Our other challenge is putting our house up for sale, after 24years of calling it home, as yet there have been no takers and we can only put our trust in God, knowing that all things are in His loving keeping.
We are enjoying being students again even if it does mean having to go back to writing essays, but on the plus side there’s no cooking and just the odd bit of washing up. We are living in a community of 21other mission trainees with us being the oldest! We are made up of young families, couples old and young and singles and we shall be traversing the globe; from Peru to Kosovo, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to Nepal, Thailand and China. Between us, our work ranges from youth work to nursing, to teaching English and training teachers, to working with young girls in the red light areas of Bangkok. Bob and I shall be working with partners called Compasio in Mae Sot who have set up orphanages and safe houses for Burmese and Karen children who will have faced considerable trauma. They are also working with refugee families living on rubbish dumps and eking out a precarious living. Our work is going to be very multifaceted, we will certainly be challenged and we would value your prayers as we prepare ourselves for our new adventure.
We will finish our mission training at Easter 2011 and will probably travel overseas in May for a twenty-one month term of service followed by three months of home assignment in Spring 2013.
We pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas and that you will know the deep peace and joy this Christmas and throughout the coming year.