Sometimes God uses individuals as puzzle pieces to cover the world with His Word. No matter where the piece is placed, it is still needed to complete the final picture, the journey to Heaven. One piece of this puzzle was where eight Atlanta Adventist Academy (AAA) students would go on a mission trip during their spring break. When initial plans fell through, an opportunity arose for the students to be part of a mission trip to Sukhothai, Thailand, planned by Denny Grady, pastor.
Kayce and Roby Norton, friends of Grady, went to live in Thailand after a calling they received from God. The two moved their family to Thailand, with no idea what God wanted them to do. It didn’t take long for the Nortons to notice the need of children who had been abandoned by their parents. Smiling Eyes Group Home for at-risk children is the home the Nortons’ run solely on donations from Adventist Church members and volunteer support.
Out of the many things the group home needed, a small house for volunteer staff was at the top of the list. Students, staff, and friends on the mission trip helped build that house. In addition, a hand-painted playground for the children at the group home was built. A Vacation Bible School was also held by students, and a musical performance was given at the nearby school where some of the home’s children attend.
The living conditions for most in Thailand are drastic, when compared to those in the USA. Students at AAA noted how happy Thai children are with the little they have. Through missionary work, God was able to show the students how life is for others, while allowing them to grow spiritually and help others through mission work. His placement is impeccable and will forever be, as long as they allow Him to use them as His puzzle pieces.
Georgia-Cumberland | June 2023