By Ryan Shaw
In 2016 SVM2 obtained and renovated a wonderful property in Chiang Mai, Thailand for its Great Commission Equipping Center. This was the climax of a significant period where God led, revealed and confirmed His plans and purposes to provide such a property.
As believers committed to walking deeply with God, it is helpful and even necessary, to become students of the ways of God in guidance and coming into His purposes. The background story of obtaining our property lends itself well to this learning.
God’s processes for bringing His purposes to pass often unfold over a period of time. As early as 2002 God had put it in my heart that one day I would see and be a part of a thriving training center for the Great Commission. Over the subsequent years this was confirmed many times over.
Two specific dreams, given within one month of one another, six years before obtaining this property, were mightily used of God to lead us. The Lord often uses dreams in guidance and it benefits us to immediately write down as many details of the dream as possible.
In June 2009, while on a ministry trip in Lagos, Nigeria I had a dream. In the dream my family and I were looking at a big corporate type complex (not too unlike our current property). One of the buildings had a long hallway with many attaching rooms and offices.
The entire complex was being given to us. We were looking at it before beginning to use it. In the dream our family was living on the property. The specifics of how we obtained the property were not in the dream.
I have learned not to take dreams literally as they are often full of symbolism, however, upon waking I sensed this really did refer to an actual compound for a training center someday. I sensed the Lord speak, “I am setting things in order!”
In July 2009, while living in Izmir, Turkey, the Lord began to speak to Kelly (my wife) and I about a relocation. This guidance began through a dream reminding me of a crucial part of our calling.
Until that point SVM2 was primarily involved in empowering local ministries to be awakened to cross-cultural mission in different countries of the world, but not yet training itself. As I woke I had a strong conviction it was time to pursue the training school environment.
Immediately I began thinking about a school, and for some reason, my mind began wandering to such a training center located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, though I had never been to Chiang Mai and had to look it up on a map.
In 2012, once we had relocated to Chiang Mai, when starting our initial training school, the Lord led us to an initial facility. It matched all of our needs complete with suitable accommodations, library, prayer room and lecture room already in place.
The Lord gave us great favor with the owner as he reduced the price for us. We knew God was leading and orchestrating these circumstances. However, we also knew that location was a temporary one.
Several friends over the ensuing few years either had dreams or sensed the Lord speaking about SVM2 along the lines of “the current building is too small” and “you are going to need much more room” or “God is going to provide another facility with all the needs just as He did with this one.”
In July 2014 during a family visit to the US the Lord began speaking to me about a vision of another training school that would serve a different demographic. It came with authority and surety.
During the process of downloading very specific information about this particular training program, He spoke to my heart, “In two years you will be in a new building.”
This way of God leading us through giving specific timeframes has happened to us twice before. He has spoken on two separate occasions to Kelly and I about something that will happen within “two years time” and both have come to pass. This gave us increased confidence that He would do so this time as well.
When we returned to Chiang Mai from the US in August 2014 I noticed a property for the first time. I had never paid attention to it before though I passed by it every day driving in and out of our neighborhood.
As I drove by this time something grabbed me about it. A thought passed through my mind, “could this place be the Lord’s provision for SVM2?”
A private primary school had previously rented it and decided to build a new facility. The property was overgrown and in terrible shape, lying dormant for three years.
The thought lingered a few days, then doubt entered my heart as I considered the property’s size and concluded it was too big for us now. I then forgot about it.