The road to Thailand (Part one)

Thailand here we come……


Once upon a time a dreamer and a realist fell in love…..


I don’t know about your family but in our family we have definite roles… For the most part in our relationship I am the gas, and Chad is the brakes. It {usually} works, it’s sometimes frustrating for both of us, but it’s just how our relationship is wired. I am the one who has crazy big ideas and Chad helps me see that crazy big ideas will not come to life without smaller more intricate steps. That crazy big ideas need crazy big roadmaps and do not just magically appear….(this is where I would usually insert a big eye roll emoji)



So you can imagine the confusion that was happening in our family when the roles became reversed… After Chad came home from Thailand he had a fire in his soul about what his purpose on this earth was… Thailand gave him a new perspective of needing to do something in this world… Nobody was more surprised than me, but he came home with his very own crazy big idea. 


Suddenly Chad was the gas, and I was the brakes, after about a week of hearing him struggle to explain exactly what he saw, felt and experienced in a poverty ridden village off the coast of Thailand, he finally blurted out, “let’s sell everything, pack it all up, and move to Thailand,… We must do something and the time is now!” While my usual role as the gas was excited and intrigued by this passion and fire that suddenly Chad had… I quickly realized the reason we normally work, is because someone plays the role of the brakes,… And shockingly this was my new role. Now, please know I had no intention of squelching his desire or excitement, but in true brake fashion, there were just some intricate steps and roadmaps we needed to consider.


After some talking to the girls and looking at the calendars, we realized that the crazy big idea of “sell, pack, move” right before Chloe’s senior year was probably not optimal for her. That perhaps traveling to Thailand in the summer of 2019 for an extended preliminary trip would be a better first stab at what we are considering.


That brings us to the hear and now… Chad is a teacher and of course has summers off, I have a private counseling practice and a flexible driving business, and the girls both have the summers off from school…summer started to make sense and feel right and the concept of a preliminary trip might just be the perfect scenario.


Having our logistics out of the way, we shifted our focus back to the idea of “why are we going…?” The answer is still…we do not really know!


However, the most important part of this plan is, that when we go to Thailand we actually need to serve a need. That we do not become a burden to anybody just because of our desire to go there. Our soul purpose is to go there and support the missionaries that are church already supports. In this time we hope to see what they do, learn about Thailand and really see if it’s even possible for a teacher/counselor to go to Thailand and truly help.


We know that we are fine in whatever supporting role gets bestowed upon us, and we definitely know that our skills may not even be put to use this first trip. We are fine with painting, building, supporting, babysitting, scrubbing, whatever the work may be that they need done… We will do!


One thing we are certain of… God knows how this is all going to play out, none of it will be a surprise to him, but most likely in the end….probably a total surprise to the Hartley clan!


While the particulars of the whole thing are fuzzy, the pull to go is strong, Chad‘s excitement is infectious, and we are committed…..we will go! Christ calls all of us to love the widows and the orphans, to help them in anyway that we can… If that means supporting the missionaries while they support the orphans… That’s what we’ll do!


We are excited about this adventure, also nervous and trepidatious, but mostly just excited… We hope that you will partner with us in prayer as we boldly move forward in complete faith that God has a plan for us and Thailand. Even if the plan ends up being limited to just one summer trip, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a wonderful, amazing, big plan for us! 


And we will step forward into this crazy big idea and we will go…