Time with The River – by Tim

We recently spent two weeks looking, listening and learning at The River ministry in Hang Dong, Thailand. Led by Erik and Marianna Klar The River team aim to raise, train and empower people to be effective through their lives and in their communities. The journey has taken many years of making connections and serving the people of Thailand but this team has seen many lives transformed in a number of areas around the country.

Here are some of the highlights from our visit to The River…



It was here that we really got to learn about Thai culture and customs. We learnt to always wear footwear that was easy to take on and off regularly. Suited me greatly!


We found some great places to explore. There are loads of coffee shops all over Thailand and Chiang Mai was booming with caffeinated goodness! The photo below was taken at The River Cafe where we got great food and coffee or fruit shakes.



We also got to feed some giraffes and many other animals at the Chiang Mai Night Safari! Paradise for a two-year old who is obsessed with animals.



We got to hang out with many amazing people including these basket cases!!! We’ve known the Rudresh family for many years and it was so great to spend time with them and be blessed by their lives of faith.


I had a great experience going to a mountain village with Erik, Rudy and Colin. It was a great day meeting with locals, connecting with the pastor in that region and hearing about what God was doing. I left very inspired and blessed.




I also had the opportunity to visit The River ministry in Bangkok. I went down with Erik Klar and two others, Corinne and Steph. We walked the streets and prayerfully observed the environments of the bustling city. From the simple alleyways to the booming malls and to the red-light districts we covered a lot of ground via trains, taxi’s, tuk-tuks and lots of walking. It was a great day!




Back in Hang Dong as much as we could we participated in prayer meetings, kids clubs and church services. It was an amazing environment and Jess and I felt refreshed and blessed by been there.



After our two weeks we moved on once again. It was sad to leave this place but we hope to visit there again one day.  Thank you Erik and Marianna and Rudy and Lara and all the team for some great memories!


From Tim

5 bad and good things by Jess

Here are five things I like and don’t like about what we’re doing.

Firstly the bad (so we end on a positive note)…

1. We have been sharing a room with Amy since about three weeks into this adventure. That means, since about mid April. That’s four and a half months people. FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS. I love my daughter and I know how incredibly blessed we are that she’s even here, but I look forward to the day when we will no longer have to share a room.


2. We’ve meet so many amazing people… which we have said goodbye too. It’s hard constantly getting to know people and then (after too short a time) leaving their side.

3. I haven’t had a ‘Jess’ day since my birthday on the 1st of June. Considering Tim, Amy and I are always together, we do pretty well. But there are times when I just want to hang out with my besties over a coffee and an avo smash. Mmmmm avocado smash.


4. Now that our ‘plans’ have run out, it is actually pretty stressful making last-minute decisions and finding last-minute accommodation options. Before, I could spend months looking at the options and budgeting carefully. Now I long for those days and laugh hysterically at my unknown good-fortune. These days, as one example, we had two days to book our accommodation in Ho Chi Minh and I just have to hope and pray I’ve made a wise decision.

5. Mentally (or emotionally), it’s hard to process what you’ve seen or done at one place while you’re moving onto the next. It’s a constant looking behind and looking ahead at the same time. There are not many long hours to digest everything. Firstly, even though we have our down times, this is not a holiday nor does it feel like one. So when we go to a place we are viewing it or processing everything through a different ‘lens’ than a tourist does. Secondly, even when we get our quiet moments… there are no babysitters. We are always functioning as a family, which often means reflection times are interrupted by a little blonde haired, blue-eyed girl wanting to play hide and seek.

The good…

1. We meet so many amazing people! Everyone we come into contact with inspires us with their own story and passion.


2. This leads us to the different organisations we have visited or joined. It is interesting getting to know the culture and heart behind each group. We’re pretty quick at picking up whats going on these days.

3. I have seen and done things I never thought I would. I believe I spent almost two and a half months of our time in Brazil in constant disbelief that I was actually there. And on Friday… I’m going to Vietnam!

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4. What an amazing opportunity for our whole family to experience this together. Tim and I often say how blessed we feel to be able to spend all this time with Amy. Not many other parents can say the same. It is rare and we do not take it for granted.

5. I am learning things about God that I don’t think I would have learned to this degree or depth at home.

So, that’s the inside skinny. That’s some of the good and the bad stuff I think about on this adventure. I am ever so grateful that we took that step of faith though. My goodness, am I even so grateful, we’ve come so far already and can hardly guess where we’ll end up!


Love Jess xxoo

A Major Update: Trust without borders

Since January 2014 until now, we have slept in 24 locations and had 14 flights (not including domestic transfers). Our family has travelled through five countries and stayed in 20 different cities/towns. During this time we’ve met many people who have inspired us and seen sights that have amazed us. Our experiences have changed us greatly and it certainly has been an adventure!


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Lyrics from Oceans, Hillsong

Well… It’s time to update you all on what’s been going on behind the scenes over the last two months and let you know what’s in store for the Greenwood clan.

Firstly, from us to you, THANKS. Thank to all the people who have prayed for us, followed our journey, given money, sent us emails and FaceBook messages and encouraged us when we needed it. Some of you are from Aus, some the USA, some Brazil and the list is growing. Without you, this journey would have been a lot harder. We honour you for taking time out of your busy lives and in-putting into ours.

Now for the update, we originally planned on spending a year in Thailand in Chiang Mai with a group called Destiny Rescue. However because of some visa complications and changes this is no longer possible at this time, there may be other options in the future. In knowing this we’ve been waiting to see what doors God would open.

So the Greenwoods flew into Thailand uncertain of what we would be doing in two weeks but feeling peaceful without knowing the next step. After a few days in Bangkok (spent mostly in hospital with Influenza A), we headed to Patong, Phuket for a missions conference. The conference was not only inspiring, but also provided us with connections all over Asia.


A few things have helped us decide what the next step is:

1. Re-reading the ‘about us’ section of our blog and coming back to what we felt God was calling us to do.

2. The realisation that once we fall pregnant again, we’ll need to ‘settle’ somewhere and will probably be unable to move around as much. This is a unique season.

3. Going back over a few prophetic words that emphasise the importance of timing and that there was something we were meant to do for a specific time.

4. Our interest in human trafficking/prostitution and therefore community transformation.

With all this in mind… we have (scarily) decided that perhaps our travels aren’t over yet. We feel that we’re meant to continue to travel to a few more groups around Asia to serve and observe what they are doing. It’s all about following God’s direction for where to go and how long to stay.

The complexities of constant travel are not unfamiliar to us. There are the cultural changes, language barriers, unfamiliar environments and looking into visas and flights which is never easy. However, when we talk about this idea, we’re filled with excitement and peace. We can set our own pace and we know what our family can and can not handle more these days.


There is an organisation called Doctors without Borders. DWB are doctors who provide medical care to people regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, because they believe that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national boundaries. We believe that God is asking us to trust him without borders. That no matter where He opens doors (regardless of gender, race, religion, creed of political affliction), we trust God and are called to serve people no matter what country they are in. We trust God without limitations, without borders.

So what have you been doing the last few weeks, I hear you ask? Great question. After Phuket we headed up to Chiang Mai with The River team where our friends, Rudy and Lara are based. We’ve been able to see a lot of what they do here, as well as rest, reflect and recover from various illnesses.

What’s next? On Monday we’ll catch a bus for 3 hours and have four days with Destiny Rescue in Chiang Rai before we head over to Vietnam to visit two groups there. After that, we honestly have no idea at this point. One step at a time.

So watch this space, the grand adventure continues. Perhaps we’ll be back in Australia in two months, or not until the end of next year. Only God knows. We will keep you up to date as best as we can. We’re taking a walk on the water with Jesus (Picture below by Dana Jensen) and that is pretty exciting!


To live IS an awfully big adventure.

Love Tim, Jess & Amy xxoo