Friday, January 20, 2017


No one can prepare you for how sweet, exhausting and incredible parenthood is. We have loved every minute of it! It's beautiful to see all of the ways God speaks to us as parents. I have never in my life learned so many lessons in such a short amount of time. Every emotion that you can possibly feel is all bundled up in a little smiley butterball of a human being! One of the lessons that I have been learning from Evangeline is how connection with people is essential for living a purposeful life. We are hardwired for deep meaningful relationships. Just the other day, I was visiting a friend who lives in one of Bangkok's slums. My friend has been through a lot of difficulties and she also has a sweet little baby the same age as Evangeline. As I was visiting with my friend, it was so precious to watch our two little babes smile at each other, touch and babel with one another without a spoken language. My friend and I's hearts were melting to see the connection that was being made between our babies. The more I see my Evangeline look, smile at, love people and make deep connections the more I am reminded of the call God has put on our lives. We are so committed to making sure that those we work with [the marginalized, the overlooked, the vulnerable] get opportunities to be connected with people. Connection is what gives us hope! 

Evangeline making connections with a friend :)

I love this quote from Brene Brown. She says, 

"I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel heard, seen, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship."

Did you catch those words? SEEN, HEARD, VALUED. This is my prayer especially for those we work with, that they will truly encounter these 3 significant aspects of life. Everyone desires to be seen, heard, and valued just as they they; flaws, shortcomings and all! Thanks sweet Evangeline for helping me learn deep lessons from you, just as you are- my gentle, determined baby girl. Happy 11 months.... By the way sweet thing, right now you loving to try and stand up on your own, you have been taking your first few steps, and you make really funny faces with those big eyes of yours!

Just a few pictures for fun! 

In the village visiting a friends family during New Years. Evangeline and her buddies!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Our lives got a little crazy September-December, as you can tell  keeping up with our blog has been no problem  haha.... So here's our 3 month recap :) We traveled to America for 2 months to have family and friends finally meet our sweet Evangeline. It was such a wonderful time together enjoying her and everyones company. Evangeline was a busy little girl! In September when she turned 7 months we had her baby dedication at church. She was precious! It only made sense to dress her in a traditional northern Thai outfit.

7 Months

Mommy and Daddy felt extremely blessed to be surrounded by family and church community while we asked God to bless and protect her little life. Here's a look into the letter we wrote to Evangeline that we read out loud at church....

Evangeline when we first found out that we were pregnant it was quite a surprise to us. Our lives had completely changed because we had just moved to Thailand to pursue God's calling to be message bearers of Jesus. When we found out we were pregnant with you- we had just begun language school, we moved into a new neighborhood and didn’t know a single soul. During that crazy time of transition God saw fit to bless us with YOU! And boy, have we been my overwhelmingly blessed! Our lives have become infinitely richer with you in it! With the excitement of this news, we began praying about what your name should be. It was such a beautiful process to pray over you and the name that God had already chosen for you. As we asked God to guide us in naming you, He gave us the name Evangeline Nora. Evangeline means good news and Nora means honor.  We pray that you would see the honor it is to be a message bearer of the good news of Jesus. Our soul prayer is that you would surrender your life to Jesus and follow Him anywhere, no questions asked, and even from a young age, you would be a witness of the good news to the world around you. 

Evangeline, you are unmatched in beauty and loveliness. The way God intricately formed you makes us certain that you will impact this hurting world with deep deep love and care. We promise to guide you through this beautiful messy existence called life. Along side of Christ, we will carefully journey with you through every stage, trek to the mountain tops and brave the deep valleys. We understand that you will need redemption in this life. Oh that you would know Christ and his majesty. He is mysterious, daring and adventurous.  
My prayer for you is that you would look into the eyes of the marginalised, hard-pressed and the overlooked and see beauty, see humanity-God’s intended image bearer for himself. I pray you never create borders in your heart, but instead that you would be a sanctuary of hope for all who seek refuge. I long that you enter into the mysterious places that God lingers and whispers your name, and that you would be fully satiated in him. I pray that you would know your utter beauty, and that a mirror would not be a confirmation of this truth. And if everything in life falls apart, I pray you would find yourself secure in our love for you. I look forward to growing together in this adventurous life. I love you, sweet Evangeline. 

As you mother and father we make these commitments to you:

We commit ourselves to each other so that our marriage will be a reflection to you of God’s steadfast and redeeming love.
We commit to seek forgiveness as your parents, because we know we will let you down in difficult places and will need to seek reconciliation with you.
We commit to modeling humility over pride. 
We commit to embrace an attitude of thanksgiving in all circumstances. 
We commit to celebrating you, always. 
We commit to teach you the truth of God’s Word in this ever-changing world.
And lastly we commit to slow down and savor life’s moments with you, to laugh together, to cry, to celebrate and give thanks to God whatever the circumstance!

All of our lives, we will love you Evangeline!

Later in September we also had the opportunity to get away with our family. We were blessed by a sweet couple who allowed all of us to stay in their cabin in North Carolina. It was sweet time having all of the cousins together! We did a lot of hiking, exploring waterfalls and enjoying nature! It was a much needed time of quite reflection with the family, sharing meals and stories of what God has been doing in all of our lives! It was truly one of our highlights when we visited the States!

8 Months 

In October Evangeline turned 8 months and she was really cutting some teeth and crawling around. She was on the move. She was crawling around like crazy... At one point when Mommy and Daddy were focused on making a "perfect" cup of espresso with the velvety smooth milk and all, as we were distracted we heard a little giggle and we caught Evangeline trying to climb the stairs! She was a quick one! She actually made it to the 3rd step! We ran as fast as we could to get her and she just laughed at us; as if she was thinking, "Hehehe Mom and Dad I know what I am doing, no fears here, just adventure." I think we are going to have our hands full with this sweet, adventure seeking redhead! All in all we had a lovely time back in America. When it was time to say our goodbyes again we had flood of emotions heading back to Thailand. Bangkok is home now and we love it but it does come with its ups and downs of missing family and friends. 

9 Months

 When we arrived back in Thailand Evangeline turned 9 months and along with enjoying watching this sweet girl grow we unfortunately watch her get her first serious dose of illnesses. No fun right, guys? Anyhow, we've all have covered and are plugging away at life, ministry, cutting teeth and learning how to walk! :)

10 Months

In December she turned 10 months! We can't believe it! She really is the sweetest little girl. She loves to be chased, she enjoys holding on and walking around the coffee table, she is learning how to "wai" which is the Thai way of saying hello. You put your palms together like you are saying a prayer and you slightly bow your head. AND she also gives kisses (the other morning she gave momma 6 kisses in a roll without any prompting- talk about a melting heart). She has never meet a stranger, she just loves everyone around her! Happy 10 months... Momma and Daddy love you!

Friday, August 12, 2016

                                                      Evangeline is 6 months! Really? 
                                          A half a year as gone by already... That is wild! 
                                                 This past month Evangeline has been: 

                                                    * Starting to eat bananas and carrots
                                                    * Starting to sit up all by herself
                                                    * Starting to try to crawl

Over the past 6 months of her life it has been such a joy for us to see is her interact with people. She is very social and she doesn't want to miss a thing! She loves making eye contact with people and smiling. One person in particular that we love to watch Evangeline interact with is our friend, Chompuu. Chompuu is one of our Thai social workers that we work alongside with in the ministry. Chompuu is AMAZING! She is an incredible social worker, compassionate, strong and very creative women! When I (Bekah) come into work with Evangeline, the first person to grab her from me is Chompuu. Chompuu calls herself "Mii Chompuu" which mean second mommy! Chompuu always tells us that she needs her baby therapy each week so often times we will find her snuggling up to Evangeline and playing the Thai version of peek-a-boo.

Chompuu is also a great teacher. 
When Evangeline and Chompuu are together Chompuu speaks Thai with her! :)

                                          Here's a little video of the two of them together! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

 5 months and still rocking! This little girl is such a joy! I seriously can't handle how cheerful, gentle and sweet her little spirit is!  Right now Evangeline has been growing and doing things at lighting speed! She is already starting to show signs
of trying to crawl (which makes her momma sad because she is growing WAY too fast). She is teething, rolling over, grabbing at everything near by! It is so much fun to watch her!

Five months has been such a blast! Speaking of months, this month is a special one because her Aunt Liz is here visiting us in Thailand! Aunt Liz will be here the whole month of July. Evangeline has been so happy to have family around! Evangeline also wanted to take Liz up to Chiang Rai to see the beautiful coffee farms and to breathe in the fresh mountain air!

Happy hearts because we are all together!
While Evangeline was up north she got to hangout with her favorite Thai coffee farmer, Pat! Pat is a old friend of ours. We spent time with him 3 years ago when we were in Thailand and we have reconnected with him randomly when we were at the airport a few months ago. Crazy huh?! We love how God has allowed our paths to cross again! Anyhow, Pat comes from the Akha hill tribe. This hill tribe is one that has faced a lot of oppression in the past and currently. Usually the government does not recognize this people group as Thai citizens even though they have born in Thailand and lived here many years. The Akha people are beautiful people. Pat has been working hard to provide a steady income for his family and for the Akha hill tribe. His passion for his people, coffee and diligent work ethic is amazing to see and we all had a wonderful time visiting him! Evangeline especially loved getting some hugs and kisses!

Pat and Evangeline enjoying the sunshine and beautiful scenery!

Can't stop kissing her!

Monday, June 13, 2016

4 months has been so fun! This little sweetie smiles all the time. She loves to look into peoples eyes, coo at them, and hold their fingers! She loves to talk and be around a crowd of people! I swear, our lives have become 10x richer with her in it! Evangeline has continued to make new friends. Just a few weeks ago we got to spend time with our Pakistani friends from church. They are asylum seekers looking for peace and refugee in another country. Our friends had to flee their home because of their faith in Christ. They are now in Bangkok waiting to hear from the UN if they will be placed in another country as refugees. We connected with this sweet family at the International church that we attend. 

After church they invited us over to their home for a delicious Pakistani meal and we had a wonderful time!

One of the Pakistani girls just recently had a baby too!


Evangeline and her little one are just 1 month apart! Our time at their house was deeply encouraging to Josh and I. The strength, perseverance and faith they have is beautiful! At the end of our time together we prayed for each other... We found solidarity with one another because Bangkok is still becoming home to all of us!   

[Reflections from a Momma's Heart]...
I had a very sobering moment the other night. I was in a taxi with my sweet Evangeline and we were stopped in heavy Bangkok traffic. Nothing new there BUT it just so happened that where we were stopped I had a front row view of one of Bangkok’s notorious red light districts. As I sat there looking out my taxi window I could see women dressed beautifully, men of all ages searching for company, and children begging on the busy streets. As I watched the hustle and bustle of the streets I saw a man in his late 60s with a young Thai women about 18 or 19 years old. The man grabbed the girls hand and led her to the nearest tuk tuk driver. The driver and the man were negotiating a price for the ride to his hotel. Just a few minutes of bartering then couple jumped into the back of the small 3 wheeled tuk tuk. My heart was heavy. It wasn't my first time seeing all this. I have been down that road a million times; talking with some of the children who beg or some of the women working. This area was not new to me but for some reason it hit me a lot harder than usual. As I watched all of this from my taxi window my precious Evangeline was tucked away in her baby wrap. Her head was leaning against my chest and then she turned, tilted her head to look up at me. Those huge blue eyes, smooth cheeks and pink lips melted my heart! While my sweet girl was cuddled up next to me I was contemplating a thousand thoughts! I was thinking, “How can I raise my daughter to have the courage to not turn away from the broken places like this?” “How do I equip her to engage the messy world with compassion?” “How do I teach her to love in a way that gives dignity and respect to some of the most marginalized people groups?” My mother’s heart so desperately wants her to be brave enough to engage society and to be able come alongside those who are vulnerable and exploited; to affirm and empower them with dignity. As a parent of course we all want to shield and protect our children from brokenness and evil; but I believe the best thing we can do for our children and the world is to teach them to be brave, compassionate and to know how to interact with pain; just as Jesus did. As a think about raising my child cross-culturally I pray each day the the Holy Spirit will give me wisdom to teach her how to gracefully engage life with not just her words or good intentions BUT practically and tangibly help people. It makes me think of James 2:14-17.

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, 
if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? 
Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister
is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them,
“Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about
their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself,
if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

O Lord my prayer is that you give me wisdom to equip my daughter with steadfastness in You; so that she can enter into the brokenness of the world with humility yet courage to stand up for justice and peace like you did! O Lord let us all who call ourselves followers of you be brave enough to enter into the mess. Let us be compassionate to move into action and not just talk about doing something for you. Let us be sensitive to ask questions and to truly learn from people. Let us empower them and give them dignity as we serve! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Evangeline is 3 Months!

Evangeline is growing so fast, she is 3 months already! How can that be! This little sweetheart is such a joy! Just the other day I was riding on a 'songthaw' (a large truck with seats in the back) we were heading to the market and this sweet Thai girl who was 6 years old came and sat next to me so she could see Evangeline. This precious little Thai girl was so adorable talking to me in Thai, saying how cute she thinks Evangeline is. It melted by heart seeing this girl love on her. It amazes me how children are such natural bridges into relationships. It's funny, I felt like Josh and I have been doing a pretty good job building relationships in our neighborhood community. We have been intentional to get to know people over the year- having dinner with some neighbours, going out on walks & talking with them but sometimes it just takes time to develop deeper relationships.

But since having Evangeline it's like everyone who a little unsure of us "farangs" (foreigners) they all have come out of hiding to talk to us. It's beautiful how children breakdown any cultural barriers and make people feel safe! It's been such a thrill to see how she is a blessing in building relationships because of the joy the she brings! We are so thankful for her in our lives!

Here's what the little miss has been up too!

Not too long ago we did a home visit in one of the slums here in Bangkok. We were visiting with a friend of mine who is apart of the Dton Naam program. Our babies are one week apart so Evangeline already has a little playmate! 

Making friends and getting some cuddles from one of the children 

While we were doing a home visit, it was a great time getting to see my friend, meet her baby and get to know her community's specific needs. Evangeline also got to visit another friend in the hospital. Sweet little Jubilee just one day old in this picture! 

Evangeline has also had a few adventures at our local swimming pool. The pool is in our Thai neighbourhood, so there are a lot of families and little ones swimming around!  She was very talkative and relaxed in the pool! 

Evangeline caused quite a stir- all of the Thai people loved seeing her float with daddy!

As a new mom, it has been a great journey so far. It has been challenging at times to know how to balance work and motherhood. I thought for sure I would still jump right into my "official staff role" at Dton Naam ministries. But since being a first time mom, no one can prepare you for all of the changes. Your desires change. You priorities change. Your baby constantly changing. So,  just recently I have decided to lessen my hours as a social worker with the ministry. I will still be very much involved with the ministry- building relationships, making disciples, participating when I can in the program classes with the students. Josh and I have felt God call me to slow down, enjoy being a mom and enjoy focusing on the family. We really believe that having a healthy strong family unit will be a blessing and a place of healing for our Thai students. We believe deep restoration can take place as we model our family life and we pray that God will use us in more profound ways because of the three of us. Ecclesiastes 4:12 a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Three really is better than two! We love you Evangeline! You brighten up the world!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2 Months Young!

 She is a happy baby!
Passport check! Ready to travel!
Evangeline has been a busy one! She's only 2 months but she has done a lot of traveling already! When she was just a few days old she had to go to the American Embassy to apply for her passport. She got the passport just in time to travel with her mommy and daddy. They had to go on a visa run to Cambodia to apply for a brand new work visa. Usually visa runs take a long long time, with lots of long long lines to wait in, BUT this time is was a breeze! We waited for about 3 minutes for the whole visa process! Everything went smoothly and God provided all that we needed! While we were in Phnom Penh, Cambodia we also got to visit with some fellow laborers. We enjoyed the time with our friends and got to visit a temple, see some monkeys, visit other NGO cafes and eat some delicious Cambodian food called Amok which is like a casserole type curry!

In Cambodia at the Wat Phnom temple

Right after Cambodia, Evangeline had to catch a flight to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the Dton Naam ministry staff retreat that her mommy & daddy are apart of. While the whole Hilts family were in Chiang Mai we did some planning and dreaming for the future of the ministry and the cafe. Evangeline got some cuddles and love from the Dton Naam staff too! After the staff retreat Evangeline made her way down to Hua Hin for the Songkran Festival (the Thai New Year). We all got away for a few days down by the beach with some of our colleagues from The Mission Society. It was a great time for community, encouragement and rest.  

Pii Bpoo is our office administrator Evangeline loved getting cuddles from her!

At Hin Hua celebrating the Thai New Year!