Transitions are difficult. That’s putting it lightly. Transitions can be a total pain.

My wife and I feel like we’re finally nearing the terminus of a two year transition—from China to America to the Philippines to Thailand.

• After thirteen years of living and ministering in Southwest China, it was time to entrust the reigns of the ministry of Within Reach Global to our local missionaries.

• We moved to America for what was supposed to be a one year furlough, but we’re not very good sabbaticals.

• Manila was the perfect place for my wife and I to receive the medical care we so desperately needed.

• After many medical procedures, returned health, and the birth of our miracle baby, we felt the itch to get back in the action of a cross cultural mission field, and Chiangmai was the perfect place to raise a family and continue our ministry expansion.

But it’s been difficult and at times overwhelming to move between cultures and countries. And if it’s been difficult for us as adults, I can only imagine the confusion that major transitions mold upon a young infant mind. 

But it’s been difficult and at times overwhelming to move between cultures and countries. And if it’s been difficult for us as adults, I can only imagine the confusion that major transitions mold upon a young infant mind. 

Enter Cara Liana, our beautiful six month old miracle baby, and the cutest little third culture kid I’ve ever seen.

She has stamps and visas in her passport from the Philippines, China, Malaysia and Thailand.

She is growing up hearing English and Tagalog spoken at home, in a Thai environment, while mom and dad often communicate with people in Mandarin.

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Fingers with all different hues and skin tones have pinched her cheeks, and she has been held by red and yellow, black and white, all the precious cultures in God’s sight.

lullabye babyCara is always in transition, but one major thread of consistency that has woven within the tapestry of her ever changing little life is Lull-A-Bye Baby: Worship. She first heard this music in neonatal ICU days after she was born. We play the worship tunes on planes, in hotels, in public transportation, and to calm her to sleep at home.

In chaotic circumstances, she finds peace in the gentle tones of baby worship.

And don’t we all need the ever present presence of God in our lives? We need to know that he is there, leading and guiding us in the hard times and in the easy.

We all search to detect the hint of God, like a thread of consistency, weaving through the tapestry of our lives. [CLICK TO TWEET] We long to find that fingerprint that marks his glorious presence, bringing the realization of peace in an otherwise chaotic circumstance. [CLICK TO TWEET]

It’s raining outside, and I’m writing this in the living room of our Chiangmai home. I hear the resonance of the mild reverberation of worship in the bedroom. Cara is falling asleep, comforted by familiar sounds.

And as a father of a TCK child, that comforts me.

The rain is getting stronger now, and the torrential rhythmic downpour booms like bass drum and snare, and a thousand high hats. Cymbals crash. A rise and fall, ebb and flow, climactic musical value.

If I quiet the slow beat of my heart, I can faintly hear God’s whisper, “I’m here. Don’t worry, I’ve always been here.”

Like rain and sadness, warmth and joy and longing, the presence of God is a lengthy multi-colored line of thread weaving itself through the tapestry of life’s transitions. The needle enters the the fabric of my life. The tip disappears then resurfaces, over and over again, puncturing and pulling together as a masterpiece slowly emerges.

Like rain and sadness, warmth and joy and longing, the presence of God is a lengthy multi-colored line of thread weaving itself through the tapestry of life’s transitions. The needle enters the the fabric of my life. The tip disappears then resurfaces, over and over again, puncturing and pulling together as a masterpiece slowly emerges.

Cara’s favorite song on Lull-A-Bye Baby: Worship is Blessed Be Your Name:

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Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Where there is God’s presence, yes, there may be pain. But there is always more joy than sadness. [CLICK TO TWEET]

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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