The unknown and the unexpected

It’s been a while! As I head back to Thailand in a short TWO days, I’m reflecting on the journey I’ve been on to get here, there’s been a lot of me being in the unknown and being surprised (good ones and annoying ones).

Most of you know I am heading back to Thailand to continue missions. I’ve been home for 5 months working as an ECA and fundraising to go back. This summer was busy in the way I didn’t expect, but I also knew I wasn’t home for vacation necessarily either. I didn’t get to do all the fun things I did in summer 2017.. I did some fun things this summer, which was awesome, but it was different this time. I physically and mentally felt how busy I was with work at daycare and fundraising on the side.

When I came back, I had two constant questions people asked me and I gave two constant answers to those questions. Question #1: are you back for good or are you going back? answer: i’m going back. Question #2: When are you going back? Answer: September! It’s November right now and I am currently in bed in Canada writing this.. see the issue? right. It came down to August, and I was still answering “September” but the doubt of that actually happening started to surface, then September came and I wasn’t feeling confident about leaving, it was almost embarrassing for me to say “September” to anyone again cause it just wasn’t happening. I was disappointed and frustrated, I felt like I had no money (I did, but I felt like it wasn’t enough), I had no flight leads, I had no apartment lined up. I was tired and ready to sleep at a big mall in Bangkok at that point. I felt like I was left in the unknown the whole summer, I honestly had no clue about any details of anything, like nothing. The only thing I am sure of is Who called me and where to and to do that thing He called me to do. 

October came around, and I had an apartment, flight BOOKED, money was becoming decreasingly less of an issue, and I gave my resignation. All of you are like huh what. This all happened very suddenly. Like I mean sudden and unexpected. My amazing friend in Thailand found me an apartment that I actually like! this apartment popped out to her twice and it wasn’t until the second time that she showed me the apartment and I was actually impressed and loved the room. Flights, now this hurdle was super interesting and happened out of no where. It was the third week of October and I got a wave of something and it was very real, it gave me the approval to quit my job on the 29th and the “it’s time to go” approval. Holy Spirit comes in waves we can’t explain, and honestly this is something I couldn’t explain even if I was an English major cause I got no words for it. So I had to get approval from my amazing PAOC coach to book flights and she gave it to me along with my finances queen, she also gave me approval!!!!! So I’m suuuuper excited at that point because that meant booking flights and visa application time. I booked a flight with an airline that I actually feel blessed using because anyone who knows me knows I love Korea and k pop culture, all the korean dramas just give it to me. I’m flying with Korean Air! so that was a win win for me. I booked my flight for Oct 30th.. that date and the fact I’m still in Canada, don’t add up right?! I’ll tell yaaa why. MY VISA. So I’ll take some humble pie and admit partially that is my fault but also this was an out of my control kinda thing. Canada post is on strike and every piece of mail gets delayed, but LOL my passport couldn’t be mailed back to me anyway because I didn’t give them anything to mail my passport in so lose lose situation for me. This was one of the unexpected things that happened and actually the annoying surprise I got. I went to Vancouver and got my passport back with a THAI VISA IN IT. My mom rebooked my flight and now I peacefully leave in 2 days and I couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!

Finances.. what an uphill battle this is. I am blown away at how much I managed to save because if you know me well.. you would know I d o n t save money for the life of me. I am feeling blessed and humbled by the people who have financially given to me, the churches considering me, and the people who are looking at giving to me. This isnt 100% taken care of, but I am getting to watch it all unfold and Gods hand work through my finances 🙏🏽.

Before my hectic summer here even started, God was speaking promises of faithfulness to me knowing I’d go through all of that^. I didn’t know I’d go through any of that, but He did. I didn’t think I’d be so deep into the unknown. Through all my tears of tiredness and frustration, my doubts, my trust issues, thinking I didn’t have big enough faith, I was sunk in Gods grace, and I watched my triumph unfold in front of me. I got to see Gods hand in everything as I left everything in His hands. There are lessons I had to learn here before heading back, I’m glad I learned them, I wouldn’t say I’m happy about how I learned them but they were crucial for me in my spiritual walk with God. He cares more about our hearts than the destination of where we’re heading. Growing me, preparing me, challenging me, stretching me. He does it out of love, not humour. Timing is His, not ours. Resting in Him; He cares about you, He cares about your schedules busy, overloaded, or free. I kid you not, I had a solid week and a bit of running around, shopping, and appointments up until the 30th with working full time on the side. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with all the appointments I made, or the busy-ness of my schedule.. that’s how busy I was. I couldn’t even imagine trying to get on a plane on the 30th because I was toast by the 30th. I was given 7 days before my flight coming up to rest, breathe, sleep, take a chill pill or 5, and feel the excitement about heading out on the 5th!! My busy week until the 30th, I wasn’t feeling the excitement of leaving, I wasn’t even processing what was going on because everything had happened so quickly, like that’s how on-the-go I was. Now that my restful self-care week is coming to a close and I am heading out in two days, I feel like I’m a lot more ready to go, and I feel the excitement I should be feeling and the joy in all this.

You’ll hear from me from the other side of the planet next.

Much love ✌🏼

Abbey

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future is bright✨

Hi friends!! I haven’t written a blog post in a few months and I apologize for that! But this will be a gooder and I held off for a reason, its been in the works for the last coupleish months!

Currently I’m at the Vancouver Airport because I am g o i n g back to Victoria. Am I coming home to stay? No I am not. I am coming home to raise more support, working at the daycare I was at before leaving for Thailand and visit with family & friends for the summer. I am only home for 2-3 months till I head back to THAILAAAAANNDD. Bangkok Thailand!! Bangkok has become home super quick, I was in Bangkok for 9 months today! 🎉 I’m so joyful its not over. Not over.. I’ll dig into that. 🎉

Over the months that I’ve been in Thailand, I’ve learned alooooooot of things, you learn more about yourself than you think, its kinda cooool. I’ve prayerfully decided about my future in Thailand. What that looks like? I’ll give you a general picture; Going back to Bangkok and starting something completely different, opposite, new & MY DREAM JOB!!!!!!!! Honestly guys, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t belieeeeeeeve it when the door opened and I went through it and got accepted right away. This is within the lines of my passions & calling. The EXACT thing I knew I wanted to do with my time in Thailand, or at least hope to do. Right now, I don’t think I can publically give you specifics on my job because of the nature of my job.. But I can tell you my role, organization and who we work with. Buuut if you want to know what my job description is, you can always ask me!

I will be a Case Manager. If you know social work or if you’re a police officer oooor know how cases get solved haha, then you know what I’ll be doing. The organization is called Nightlight international. Nightlight helps women who are negatively impacted by sexual exploitation. Women who have been trafficked or are in prostitution. We work with Thai women and international women. I am required to stay for a year and this is a full time job, because of the nature of my job, full time can look like 50 hours a week rather than 40. Although I am required to stay a year, I do plan to stay longer than that. I see Thailand being home long term, and if all goes well with Nightlight, its where I’ll stay! Future is b r i g h t ✨ I am so so excited!!

This opportunity scared me, shocked me and got me excited. Feelings all in order^ haha, because this is a dream and something I thought I wouldn’t be especially in another country on the other side of the planet. Right now, Im happy and excited and still in disbelief but Im fine heh🙈

As Im home for the summer, if you’re the type of person to pray.. these are some things you could pray for, you can pick one or all or none. Power to ya ✌🏼

  • Fundraising/ working for all the money that needs to come in.. comes in because I still am a missionary with the PAOC.
  • Cheers to reverse culture shock.. not.
  • Time with family and friends this summer will be restful rather than anything else.
  • Me as I prepare for something completely different, I feel unequipped but thats the beauty of God and how He calls people. Yay Him.

If you do want or feel like supporting me financially, here is PAOC account link! This is how you can support me that way.

https://www.paoc.org/missions/donate/abigailmiller

My bio hasn’t been updated (sorry PAOC🙈) but from reading this blog post, you know what I’ll be doing in Thailand. Thanks so much friends!!!

Cheers to summer 2018🎉

Much love ✌🏼abbs

busy bee 🐝

Hi friends! I’m back from christmas/ new years season (for the past 2ish weeks). My schedule got fuller, I don’t know if that’s a word but today it is. Today, my FAMILY arrives in Thailand! Such a weird concept to me.. they’re coming to see ME. It’s like reverse psychology or something. Normally, the kid goes and see their parents/ other family but its the other way around this time, interesting🤔. But whatever, I’m excited for them as they’re currently on a plane making their way here! Woooot🎉🙌🏽 I’ll be spending time with my family for 8 days, then they’re off to see our family in the Philippines 😭

This is a ministry update, couple new things I’ll be taking on this year that I didn’t do last year! Here we goooo👊🏼

Once a week I go to this community with two youth pastors I work along side with, we do outreach for children in that community. Last week, I was there and P’Nung was teaching a story from the bible.. (can’t remember which one 🙃) but afterwards she led them into prayer. I see this every week, but specifically this last week.. I was looking at the children thinking about them. Thinking these children don’t know God, they know about Him because we teach them about Him. But they were all praying to this God they don’t know which was REALLY interesting for me to see and actually think about. Most if not all may be coming from buddhist backgrounds and for them to be praying to the “Christian God” was just nice to hear and see. My wednesdays have changed, instead of doing community outreach in another community.. I do one on one English with one of our younger youth girls. This girl is a light in our church, so innocent & kind hearted. She knows no English. So I teach her the very basics, and its 1 on 1. So she tells me what she wants to learn rather than me throwing a bunch of English at her. Woooot for learning📚

My thursdays are also changing. Alot of our youth come out this certain community that one of the youth pastors & myself, plus one of our university girls will visit every week. This is a way for us to connect with them other than Sundays. 🎉 you will hear more about that when we actually start that up.

Saturdays are for E N G L I S H. I have already done one saturday (2 days ago). But I now teach English at the church. There are different levels of English within our youth group, some know little, some know nothing, some know alot to a point of understanding and being able to speak English well. I teach the basics to those who know little or no English. And then if those who know alot of English want to learn more, I teach them a higher level of English. I took English 12 three times, I think I’m equipped enough ;). This is new for me & I’m happy to do it, but I’m sure there will be challenges along the way! I can doooo itttt 👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼.

Prayer requests? Strength, patience, and wisdom.

I do have a flight booked to come back to Canada, whether I take that flight home is a big question I’m having to answer soon. Pray for wisdom & discernment as I make these kind of decisions among other decisions I would have to make. Yay for life. For real though, pray please 😩

kk before i go though, does anyone else feel like January feels like 2018 as a whole? Like is Feburary even coming or nah.

Muchlove!

abbs✌🏼

New year. New feels. Fresh starts.

Happy new year friends! My NYE was unforgettable. 🎉✨ I hope all of you are looking into this year with anticipation & excitement or maybe thinking 2019 is your year.. instead😉

This blog post is about where I’m at right now in my waiting season that I talked about a couple months ago.. (no I’m not revealing secrets yet). That means being honest & vulnerable. Woooohoo for honesty hour with abbs🎉.

One thing that’s true about Canadians or Westerners in general is that we want everything to happen RIGHT NOW and we want INSTANT RESULTS and just impatient. (I’m not trying to offend anyone in saying that). Just an observation 😌. Do you see where I’m going with this? If I were to sum up this entire blog post, it would be this: I want my waiting season to be over. Yep. That’s how impatient and sometimes frustrated I have sometimes been.

If you tell me your waiting season was magical and bliss, you are lying and don’t talk to me for 5. For real though.. I was talking to one of my best friends back in Canada and she said “I don’t know why people romanticize waiting seasons so much” and that hit me. Like yes, waiting seasons have valuable lessons which I’ll touch on further in.. but also, this season isn’t rainbows and roses, piece of cake easy peeeezy. Everybodys waiting seasons look different, I can’t speak for everyone in what they learned or what frustrated them. But I can say they mostlikely didn’t make it sound like a fairytale.

What is my waiting season? A word was spoken to me and that word got CONFIRMED. PRAISE HIMMMMMM🎉. I’m sorry I can’t speak further into that until right timing, but I can assure you God is moving in my life and is rocking my life more than I could have ever imagined!! That’s the wonderful part of my season plus the excitement, anticipation, hope & joy that’s been placed in my heart.

Sucky part of my season? Waiting. Sometimes doubting. Waiting. Frustrated because of circumstance or situation. Not knowing the next steps or what’s next. But friends, this is normal. This is not because my faith weak. This is seen as a good thing because your faith becomes STRONG in these times. Nonetheless, those times^ do suck. I am reminded that saying yes to God isn’t always easy, BUT I want what God has for me, 100%.

What is God teaching me? A lot. A lot about me, a lot about what I thought was right but actually wrong, about how He is ALL KNOWING. Here’s a few things He’s been teaching me and reminding me✨:

What is coming is better than what is gone” Let me tell you.. that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to realize and come to terms with AND accept. I shed alot of tears learning this lesson. My plans and Gods plans are different and it was hard for me to humble myself and submit to Gods will rather than my own. He has his very best in mind for us, better than what we think is best for us.

We must understand that life is like a long road, we can only see so far ahead. Isn’t it comforting to know God can see the whole road?” This is the characteristic “all knowing”. God is all knowing, that’s one of his wonderful characteristics. I am comforted by this. That’s the simplest way yet most beautiful way I’ve heard about God being all knowing. God has been God a long time, He knows what He’s doing.

God is doing a new thing in your midst, He’s already at work on my behalf”. This is a reminder, constant reminder. He is doing something new, I am aware of what it is but how He’s doing it.. I don’t have the full picture. He’s fighting battles for me that I don’t know about. He will complete what He has already started. That gives me shivers yet a smile on my face because He has started this new thing and He WILL complete this new thing. Comforting? Oh absolutely🙌🏽

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says this: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

These are a few things that have come up during my waiting season. This is. what makes this waiting season bearable. Along with friends and the support I have on both sides of the world 😉 they have made this season bearable and filling me with wisdom.

With all of that being said.. I am anticipant, hopeful, excited, little scared, fully loved, believing for breakthrough and saying YES.

Cheers to fresh starts and believing 2018 will unfold what 2017 started. ✨🙌🏽🎉

much love!

abbs✌🏼

Christmas 2017 🎄

Christmas in Bangkok is beautiful. All of our big malls went all out for Christmas with lights, big polar bears, santas, very tall christmas trees and so much more I can’t even list off. Bangkok might be doing it better than Victoria?? oops🙊🙈

Christmas is looking different for me this year. I’m not spending it with my family, I’m not seeing you, I’m not going to Glad Tidings, I’m not going to uptown to get the classic picture with the huge tree in the middle of uptown and I’m not getting starbucks christmas drinks. Instead, I’m spending Christmas with people who have made me feel like family, whether that’s the pastoral team I work with, friends in the church, or the youth. Instead, I’m going to Central world and 4 other malls for Christmas pictures. Instead, I’m exchanging snow for sun and I’m completely fine with that. I’m starting to believe my body was made for hot climates not -2 degrees. Instead.. I’m going to TAIWAN. WOOOOOOT🎉! Early Christmas morning, I will be heading out to Taiwan with 8 other people!!! Some of them being the pastoral staff & family. We’re going for 4 days🎄.

A couple at our church is sponsoring all of us to go with them to Taiwan! This couple is one of the best couples I know. As I’ve gotten to know them, I’ve felt so blessed and lucky to know them. They’ve made me feel welcome and loved in the silliest but a loving way. I wish you guys knew them because they’re some of the most fun people I spend some of my days with. They’re also very generous. This is one of the first things I’ve observed about them. They don’t just pay for our food to be polite and take one for the team. No, they are seriously generous with the money they’ve been blessed with. They use it to bless other people. It seems like it’s natural for them to do that. They set an example and holy do they ever set the bar HIGH for showing generosity😭

Little ministry update: 5 christmas events done already, and we have one more on Christmas Eve. 3 of those events being community outreach with children. 1 event with our youth in the church and their friends. And the other one being one of two christmas services + carolling till a little past midnight in 5 different communities! In all events, we have been given opportunity to either share the nativity story or sing/ share about what Christmas is to US. Wooohooo for open doors in the communities we do outreach in! 🙌🏽

Things are going to slow down as we head into the Christmas and New Years season, people go back to their home province, just like some of you go home for Christmas! That means all of us are out of the church office from Christmas Eve till a little after New Years. 🎄☺️

I hope all of you experience little joys and maybe even miracles this Christmas, enjoy time with family & friends, 20/10 relaxation and reflect on what this day did to the whole world 🙌🏽. Merry Christmas from the other side friends! 🎄🎄🎄

much love!

abbs ✌🏼

Love where you’re at pt. 2 ✨

Hi friends ✨

Busy busy busy. My first full month in Bangkok was busy! Language school AND ministry. Language school took up a lot of my time during the week, then church ministry takes up my weekends. I have completed my first month of language school!!! It’s a hard language to learn but SO worth it because I can say more than “sawatdii kha” or “khoop khun kha” (“hi” and “thank you”). I had a phenomenal teacher, she is the absolute best! I had an entertaining class to learn with and made friends along the way. These aspects made learning Thai bearable. I can say that learning Thai was the most work my brain has done so far in this life. 😉

Ministry: I am blessed to work with the people I do. Half of the pastoral team are women, this has been awesome and inspiring all the same time. They are so full of life. I have the opportunity to walk along side some of the raddest students. Some of you have seen pictures of me with a few girls (Chol, Toon, Nun and Mon). 3 of them are university students in our youth/ young adults group, and the other one has graduated already. They help out with youth but also participate. These girls are all stars 🎉 they have taken the foreigner under their wing and made it home for me. But for real, they have made me feel at home. The relationship I have with them is an adventure, a wild one at that. It’s amazing that even with a little language barrier, I’m able to invest into their lives and vice versa. Ugh, just a huge shoutout to them. Not only are they students, but they are definitely like sisters. LOVE YOU GIRLS. Another part of ministry is outside of the church walls, I join English Corner with a couple of Imagine Thailand workers who run it. It’s at this super cute hipster coffee house. Hannah and Zach plan little group games and then usually talk about something, a topic planned or unplanned. This helps improve our university students English (not that they aren’t already fab at it) but it’s a way of teaching them new words, and generally improving their English. This has been fun to be apart of, our students are SO fun. As I’m done language school (for now ;)), my schedule will pile up with church ministry related things that I wasn’t able to do when I was at school. I will still be doing English Corner, just down to once a week rather than twice a week.

Little (not so little) life update:

Ha ha ha ha.. oh my has my life been taken on a wild ride lately🎉 things have been revealed to me that are life changing and going to be life changing. Unfortunately, those things can’t be revealed to the public just yet (sorry🙊). I am in a season of waiting. Do I love where I’m currently at in this season? 50/50. Part of me does, part of me is kinda like this process could go faster but that’s just me. The learning curves of the season I’m in are teaching me how to love where I’m at. Learning curves such as: my timing and God’s timing are 100% different, my plans and His plans are 100% different and trusting in that and in HIM, He comes through for us on HIS time, He comes unexpectedly but wonderfully all at the same time and I’m learning a wack ton about patience. 😉

Last but not least – He taught my feet to dance upon disappointment. Oh my, has that ever been hard to do and to humble yourself because you had it wrong when you thought you had it right. This was very uncomfortable for me to do. I feel like ever since I got to Thailand, everything about my life has been out of my comfort zone. Goooo figure considering moving out of Canada was already stepping out of my comfort zone.

Ugh, I’m blown away at how my first month has gone! Like I said my schedule is going to pile up, so you’ll see more and hear more about ministry related things next month going forward.

This is living now. 🙌🏽

much love!

abbs ✌🏼

Love where you’re at✨

Hi friends! My first two weeks in Thailand have been restful. 

My mom came with me and she stayed for two weeks. We had a restful vacation in Bangkok, getting to know the wonderful city I get to call home for an x amount of time! My mom generously paid for our vacation time because she supports the ministry work I’ll be doing here. (So dont worry none of your guys’ money has been spent). 

Last night (October 24th) I went to a Cafe for English Corner Club with some young adults and Zach Wylie. This is something I’ll be potentially doing one night a week. The conversation went from whats your name to a deep topic real quick. One of the questions Zach asked us was coming from a song lyric from Mumford and Sons, “where you invest your love, you invest your life”. When Zach answered that question for himself, there were answers that 100% related to me. So this post today will answer the “where you invest your love, you invest your life” question. 

I am a lover of the people, aka I love people.  I dont care who you are, I love you. Why? Because God loves me and has commanded that I love His people like He loves them (you included). That’s a big answer and seems like a typical answer at the same time, but I’ll break that down in what that means for myself. 

Over the years of my faith journey, I have seen compassion be built in me, I have seen my heart broken, I have seen it be in the process of being MOLDED, REBUILT and TRANSFORMED, I have seen it become BIGGER than imagined. In all of this, God has put overflowing amounts of love in my heart for people. He has made my heart bigger than I thought I’d like, but am I ever glad He did. Do not get me wrong, I have struggled to learn to love some people because I am human and this can be circumstantially frustrating to do. 

There are many different people in my life, different journies I’ve walked with them, different beliefs, different & similar struggles, different passions, different ethnicities, young as babies and old as however old, all kinds of different. All that I have been given to love. 

Having said all that, how does that apply to me here in THAILAND? Its 100% applicable. I’ll break down how. 

I 100% know I have been called here. I have left the comfort of my own home (Canada), and have moved myself, like immersed myself into South East Asia. Thats not Canada, no where close in terms of culture and where we are on the map. I have left people I love back home to be here. “To be here”, this is where the application comes out.

To be here” means loving Thai people. Means loving them enough to leave the confort of Canada, and come to a foreign country, their country. Even if it’s my second time being here. Loving them looks like respecting their culture and the season they are in right now that’s coming to a close. “To be here” means LOVING who is HERE. Thai people are different, just like Canadians are different to them. God has put a love in my heart for Thai people, a love that I didn’t know I had until last year. A love that grew bigger over my year and a half in Canada, a love that’s continuing to grow as I’M HERE. 

There are Thai people that I could think of right now that are examples of why I do what I do. Why God has called me BACK here. And if leaving my own comfort zone means doing THIS, then put me in coach cause I’m all for it. There are billions of people in this world that God loves just the same, He commanded we do the same. 

This goes for all missionaries, all of you are in different parts of the world. God has called you to those parts, and He’s given you a love for those people. Embrace it and love where you’re at. 

Love where you’re at part 2 coming soon friends. 

Much love! 

abbs ✌🏼




 

Thanksgiving.

Hi friends! This is going to be my life in THAILAND in a blog. The highs and lows, the vulnerability, the stories. TODAY is the day it all BEGINS!

Passports and pineapples.. the name is inspired by my phone background aka Pinterest and they are also two of my favorites so dont judge me ):

Today I am thankful for everyone whos been supportive financially, prayerfully, and emotionally. Friends and family have been such cheerleaders up to this point and even ahead. Most of all, Im thankful for a God who PROVIDES, who is consistent in His character and constantly FAITHFUL. He has gotten me this far and I cant imagine how far He’ll take me. This has been and will continue to be a journey of TRUST and dependence, and a TEAM effort with my heavenly Father. This life change is too BIG of a picture to imagine!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m making a move into the amazing land of smiles, Thailand! To do missions. To do what I LOVE. There are youth on my mind who I impatiently wait to reconnect with and do LIFE with. There’s a Thai and Canadian team who I also impatiently wait to reconnect with and do LIFE with, and serve with. 

So follow along with me cause I want to do this with you ALL as well. Pray, support in any way and Id feel encouraged just by that. Thank you thank you thank you. 

Much love! 

abbs ✌🏼