Testimony of Ana & Steve Westhoek


Isaiah 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Laos was the last stop of our “extended honeymoon”. We already knew and felt in our hearts that this adventure period was over and God was calling us into a new phase.

Our three stops in Laos


This is the capital and largest city of Laos. It has a relaxed vibe to it and feels more like a small village than a bustling capital. We did not hit many touristic attractions as these were mainly simple Buddhist temples and a few governmental and royal buildings. We mainly enjoyed riding and cycling along the river, visiting the food markets and grabbing the best-steamed fish in Asia in a restaurant called Papao (definitely recommend it).

One thing that was fascinating to me in Laos and specifically in Vientiane is the number of electric cables you can find in one street pole, honestly, I have never seen anything like it!

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is a great inexpensive city to visit in Laos. It is undoubtedly beautiful and with striking sceneries. The viewpoint, caves and the Nam Song River are definitely worth the visit. Along the river there are breathtaking karst, jagged mountains with clouds beautifully floating through it, quite unique! We visited during the rainy season so the Blue Lagoons were not so blue but more like a muddy colour. The Nam Xay viewpoint was the highlight. The hike up was quite adventurous, not so much due its steepness or difficulty but more due to how slippery it is. The views from the top are spectacular and there are two bikes at the top (I have no clue how they got them up there!! haha).

In Vang Vieng we also enjoyed some Lao food. Our favourite restaurant was called Sanaxay – we got the red curry stir-fried chicken many many times (it was delish!).

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is totally worth a visit if you ever go to Laos. It has a beautiful colonial architecture, a lively night market and amazing nature close by. Hence why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

We were able to catch amazing views from the river to the Phousi Hill viewpoint. My highlight were the waterfalls and especially the Kuang Si, which were the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Our favourite restaurant was called Atsalin. We enjoyed some steamed chicken, stir-fired veggies and the duck house dish. At night we would hit the night market where many locals and tourists get together. You can get pretty good food including roasted fish, chicken, vegetables and sticky rice (yummy ?).

What were we feeling in our hearts?

As written in our last blog post we are forever thankful and feel very blessed to have had this opportunity to get to know each other in the first 3 months of our marriage in such an adventurous and exciting way. But, the desire of our hearts was never to make travelling a lifestyle and to take more time than necessary.

It was after our time in Vietnam that we knew and had the desire in our hearts to know more precisely where God wants us for a more prolonged time. We really felt that we wanted community and fellowship and craved to be with other brothers and sisters to grow in Christ and live out the life He has called us to.

So we started to seek God more strongly and prayed about a location. “Where do you want us to go God? Where is the place you have reserved for us for this next season?” We prayed daily and a country did come into our hearts but there was uncertainty regarding if this was truly from God or our own desire.

We shared our hearts with the Body of Christ and got a lot of advice. It was so interesting to know and hear about other people’s experiences and how they move. We are truly encouraged and can see that our God is so much higher than we think. His ways are above our ways and His thoughts and higher than ours.

Ultimately, as we prayed we realised that yes, this may well be genuinely a God-planted heart for this nation but the timing and “ways” that we can serve and actually go can be very different than what we think.

There are so many ways we can serve a nation without physically being there. We can pray and fight spiritually for a nation, we can pray for its political leaders and intercede that they would be inspired by the Holy Spirit or we can help people that live there and provide for the poor, etc.

We sense in our hearts that if God wants us there physically He will open the way and all the doors. Until then we will wait on Him to confirm the time and His ways and thoughts for us. We will wait on Him to show us His ways but until we arrive there we will keep fighting for Him and pursue Him wherever we are.

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By Ana
Testimony of Ana & Steve Westhoek

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