Monday, June 18, 2012

BurnettBunch Update June 2012

BurnettBunch Update June 2012

For those of you that have known us for any length of time, it will not come as much of a surprise to hear that there are big changes in the near future for our family – yet again!

The biggest change for us recently has been finding a new church home. We have felt God leading us to find a different church for some time but did not quite have the big answers yet... the where or the when. When Mike & I took some time to really press into the heart of our Daddy God we heard Him saying “You need to find a church that is more missions minded”, which was something that absolutely lined up with our hearts and what God has been doing in our lives over the last year or so. It was very difficult for us because it was not like we were physically moving and leaving Abilene, but it was God leading us so we stepped out on faith, that He had a good plan for this move. Well we had NO IDEA what God was about to unleash in our lives!!

The very next week after we told our leadership that we would be leaving God rocked our world (and our man-made plans)! Mike received an offer for promotion at work – he would get to be the installation manager for a new project. Wow! This was a great thing in and of itself, but there was more. The offer was for a position overseas, in either Brazil, India or Australia. Mike said he would talk to his family about it and let them know.

I have to interject a little side story here: Three times, not once, but three times earlier this year Mike had plans to change industries to the oil field so that perhaps sometime in the next 5 years he would qualify for overseas work so that (1) he could make more money and (2) so that we could do business as missions... work while we evangelize. We wrote this dream down approximately 8 months ago as a 5 year goal that seemed very complicated, expensive ,and far off. But we still dared to dream. And we watched God close the doors we thought it would happen through. Not all that encouraging really.
But God..!!

He always has better plans... more that we can seek, ask or imagine! After we accepted the offer, Mike as offered the opportunity to manage a new wind farm installation in... INDIA!! We are so excited for so many reasons. This is a positional promotion for Mike within his same industry. He loves what he does and he is exceptionally good at it. The reason he was selected was for his impeccable reputation! I couldn't be more proud of him! There is also a financial blessing it all of this for us. Not only the pay raise that comes with the positional promotion but a 30% increase for working overseas. This is huge! Most people hope to keep up with inflation and God is handing him a 30% increase. Thank you Jesus!

It is so like God to offer a promotion that satisfies the desires of everyone involved! Since returning from Thailand in March I have known that this is what I was created for. I remember one of my favorite things to do while spending time at my Grandmother's house was to spin her globe and put my finger on it to see where it would stop. I had never felt more alive in my entire life than when I was delivering the message of heaven in Thailand.

All the details that have fallen into place for this to happen are amazing. Our lease for our house had just ended the week that the job offer came. My first week at our new church (First United Methodist Church/FUMC) I walked blindly into a Sunday school class {since I was late}, and there was a missionary from India, speaking about the children's orphanage that the church supports. There are so many more of these instances I could tell you!

It is all happening so suddenly, which is another way God has moved in our marriage since the very beginning. Mike is scheduled to begin in India August 5th. We have been very blessed to have our dear friend Chloe join us as an au pair (mother's helper) & missions partner. Mike will go ahead of us, and to make traveling easier on the kids Chloe and I will take a more scenic route to India via London & Paris, taking 5 days to enjoy each city, take in the 2012 Olympics and to adjust to the time changes. A 15 hour direct flight from Newark does not sound reasonable for a 2 and 4 year old!

We will be using our blog at to keep in touch with everyone through posts and video logs. We should be in Gadag, India somewhere around 5 months, but we will have to see how the project goes once it gets going. It will certainly not be the same as a project done stateside! We are so excited about this adventure for our family!

In the meantime, the kids and I are traveling to Alberta, Canada to visit with my family for the month of July. We leave June 27th and will return around July 29th and a week later we'll be on our way overseas. We are so excited to meet the beautiful Ms. Molly, my brother's sweet baby girl and to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday and retirement. Harrison & Heidi are looking forward to time at Grandpa's farm and camping with Grammy in the “big bus”/motorhome. Again, I'm so grateful for God's great timing – that we get to see everyone before we go. What an amazing, detailed God we serve!

I am also excited to share that whenever we are done in India we will be spending some time in Pattaya, Thailand, where I went in March on the missions trip. I am thrilled to go back to serve the amazing Ricketts missionary family! I can't wait to see them all again!

Please keep in touch with us and please be praying for our family through all this change and transition. God has given us a supernatural grace to handle changes that would potentially ruin most people. Please pray for our health, for our safety and for our family to be in alignment with God's vision for this amazing adventure.

In love with the King,

Michael, Jennifer, Harrison & Heidi Burnett

Thank You!!

Thank you!!
It is very hard to believe that it has been almost 3 months since I returned from Thailand! There is so much to tell & share of God's goodness!

Since my return I have finished all my coursework and graduated from my first year of TSSM (Transformation School of Supernatural Ministry). This was a really important step for me – I even remarked to Mike that it feels like I worked harder during this year of ministry training than I did during 4 years of university; and not only that, but it means more to me than my degree. Thank you so much for partnering with me! You have each been an integral part of God changing my life. Yay God!!

Our trip was nothing short of amazing! Thailand is a beautiful country, but my absolute favorite part was the people. They are so gentle and sweet. I absolutely loved being out in the culture. It was in Thailand that my heart was awakened to the fact that I could definitely be a permanent missionary. On some level I have always known this, but it was during this trip that I knew that I knew. God is always so faithful! I built a really great relationship with the missionaries there, Jason & Sarah Ricketts and their family. It was so difficult for me to leave and return to the US, although I was happy to see Mike & the kids!

During our time in Pattaya we taught at-risk children about Jesus, we ministered to prostitutes working on the streets and we even had some opportunities to minister to the broken and hurting “johns” {men that are living/visiting Thailand with the sole purpose of exploiting the sex trade}. Holy Spirit moved and poured out His unconditional love on EVERYONE, regardless if they were Buddhist, atheist, happy, sad, angry, men, women, children, believers or not. The true gospel.

One of my most unforgettable experiences though was at the local prison. Unfortunately we could not take and photos inside the prison, but I will do my very best to capture the experience with my words. This prison has men, women & children. It is an initial “holding” place until the authorities figure out what they are going to do with the people. The entire cell portion of the prison is no bigger than
50' x 50'. Women & children are on the right hand side side of the room and are separated into cells of Thai and “foreigner” which is mostly Cambodian, but could be anyone, like you or I. Cells are about 6' deep x 10' wide with cinderblock walls between cells. The men's side was similar except slightly bigger cells, because there are way more men. The day we visited there were 3 women, no children (thank you Jesus!) and 27 men. There is one potty in the cell for everyone to use in the wide open. The stench was horrendous. I was gagging as soon as the door opened for us to enter the
5' wide walkway between the cells. We brought sandwiches, bottled water and apples to distribute. They were so thankful to see us because lots of them had been locked up since the week before and hadn't had anything to eat or drink for 4 days. The corruption is bad in Thailand. Most of the men there were from Cambodia and had come to Thailand to work illegally on construction projects, likely for the Russian mafia {who own most of the new real estate development}. What happens is that they hire illegals because it costs less. They house them, hide them & feed them but they do not pay them until the project is complete. You can probably see where this is going... so the end of the project is nearing and instead of paying their workers, they call the police to raid the jobsite. They pay off the police instead and the workers are hauled to prison and deported. Then likely they do it all over again.

While we were there I had the interpreter ask if anyone needed a physical healing in their body. One Cambodian gentleman limped forward from the back of the cell. He could not walk, only hop because one leg was in excruciating pain. I could feel the anointing of Holy Spirit all over me and as I held his hand and prayed {in English, without interpretation} he started to stretch his sore leg and move it around. I prayed more and very intensely because of what God was doing and God reached down and healed my friend!!! As I cried and we held hands to praise Jesus, our fingers side by side, he had on a plastic yellow ring that said LOVE and I had a silver metal ring that was stamped LOVE. Love wins, every time!! He walked easily back to his place in the cell, no longer in any pain. Yay Jesus!!

God moved powerfully through myself and our entire team while we were in Pattaya. During one night of our VBS we were teaching the kids to “soak”, which is simply to sit or lay still, let music play and listen. We didn't even tell them we were going to listen for God. We said it was ok to close your eyes, relax, and just listen. Afterwards we went around the room and asked the street & slum children {ages 3-15} if they saw or heard anything. Their responses and experiences truly blew me away: I saw a white, glowing man smiling at me; I saw gold & clouds; I heard pretty music; I feel really loved; I saw God. Wow!!!

A very powerful moment I will always remember for the rest of my life took place on Beach Road, where men and women meet to negotiate sexual contracts of various natures. We were walking there purposefully with the intent of blessing people. God “highlighted” a woman to me, who was standing around, waiting to be approached for work. I could not take my eyes off of her, so I knew God wanted to do something. But what? I asked Him. I did not get an answer, so I approached her anyway. With my interpreter I asked about her night, was she busy, could we talk? She told me about herself, where she's from. She came to Pattaya to make money to send home to her mother in a northern farming village. This was her first night in Pattaya. I knew then that God had sent me to her. She started talking about trying to meet a husband, a good one though, one that would take care of her and truly love her. I started talking about a man I know, and how He already loves her, He's always loved her and will never quit pursuing her – that He's passionate about her!! I said much more but I can't remember the exact details because most of it was straight from the heart of the Father. I was on my knees, proposal style, in the dirt, surrounded by other prostitutes and johns and I asked her if she wanted to know that man, that His name is Jesus. I will forever remember how hard her finger nails dug into my hands when she said YES! We prayed right there that Jesus would come into her heart and that she would give her life to Him. We then connected her with a ministry that would give her job training so she never has to get involved with working on the streets. She then told the interpreter that she could hear voices singing and I believe it was the angels in heaven rejoicing for a Buddhist prostitute, turned Daughter of the King!! My new sister, Pong!

I could write so much more, it would probably fill a small book. Maybe I will do that. But what I want to do more so is thank you for investing in me, in the children and people of Thailand, in my family, and in the Kingdom. Your heart to sow generously has been blessed and I pray it be multiplied back to you 100-fold. Each prayer and financial partner was critical to this work of God, and I thank you each from the depths of my heart. I know that a life of missions has been birthed in my heart. I do not know exactly what that looks like, but it will be a God-led and Spirit-filled adventure!

Now for some exciting news! Mike has been offered a promotion at work; He has been asked to manage the construction of a wind farm overseas, in India! We will be able to go as a family, be together and to preach the gospel as we go. This is such an incredible God setup for us, we couldn't be happier. We will leave August 6th and will be there for approximately 5 months. Afterwards we will have the chance to go to Thailand to visit the Rickets, possibly for a month or so. God is so good! Myself & the kids have to pay our own airfare to get there so if you would consider whether you are to support us in any way, that would be greatly appreciated, especially since we have such a short time frame. We just found out 2 weeks ago :) God is so good!

I love you each dearly as Brothers & Sisters in the Kingdom. May joy, love and peace fill every day you have. May you continue to sow extravagantly into the works of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In total devotion,

Jenn Burnett