For everyone that knows that we are in this part of the world, wanted to let you know that we are okay and didn't have any problems. On Friday classes were cancelled and so we went and helped at a local church that had about 130 evacuees. It was a good time, we helped watch kids, vacuum, cook and clean up. On Saturday, having never experienced a hurricane, we stayed inside but it really wasn't that bad. We were supposed to travel to Fort Worth, but we rescheduled our appointments for a later date.We received about 5 inches of rain and some branches broke off the trees around the place, but compared to what I was expecting it wasn't bad. Today it is sunny and still breezy and most of the churches didn't have services today because they were hosting evacuees. Thanks for all the prayers while we have been here.
School is still going good. We are busy and half way through the first semester already. We are learning lots and working hard.
September 13, 2005
We found out yesterday that Tawm's grandmother in Thailand passed away quietly in her sleep. She was 84, had alzheimers and was in bad health before we left. We didn't expect her to last too much longer. Knowing that makes it a little easier but it is still hard for Tawm. Her parents are at the funeral which will take place most of the week. Pray for them as they go through another difficult time. Pray also for Tawm's parents house in Thailand. They live quite close to a canal and it is currently at the brim with all the rain they have been receiving and are worried that their house will flood. Thanks for reading our blog and being involved in our lives too!
September 12, 2005
I am sorry that I haven't updated this blog in a while. We are doing good still. We are keeping very busy with school and speaking in churches too. The weather is starting to cool off a little bit now. I had the opportunity to preach 3 times this past week at Unity Missionary Baptist Church in Longview Texas. It was a lot of hard work, but I enjoyed it however my voice hurt a lot when I was finished because I usually don't talk that much!!! The people were very friendly and most of them came for all three services. Thanks to the people there for your hospitality!
August 23, 2005
Well we are a week and a half into our studies here and we are up to our ears in homework, but it is keeping us out of trouble. This past weekend we were in Greenville, Texas which is about an hour east of Dallas. We visited the church that helped to furnish our apartment here in Texas. We had an opportunity to go to an Asian market in Dallas, and it really felt like we were back in Thailand, although no one spoke Thai, we were surrounded by Asian people. Tawm was having a great time buying oyster sauce, fish sauce and shrimp paste along with her favorite kind of noodles. We stocked up for the next few months hopefully. On Sunday evening, I preached in the evening service in Greenville and after the service, Tawm prepared a huge Thai meal for some of the people at the church. We had a great time, and now we have to catch up on our homework.
August 15, 2005
Now that we have moved back to America, this is one of the first times that I can remember living by myself (and Tawm too). Other times I have always had a number of roommates of lived in a community setting. When we came here, our electricity was on and our water was running, but we had no hot water. I talked to the matenance man here at the school and he came to take a look. He looked and couldn't find a problem, so he called a professional. The professional came and looked and he said that our gas wasn't turned on. I figured that that meant the school had done something to turn it off, however this was Friday afternoon, so we had to wait the weekend to talk to someone at the school. Today, being Monday, we discovered that we needed to phone the gas company to turn on our gas. The gas company told us they would be here on Wednesday. We arrived in Texas last Wednesday and ever since we have been showering in cold water. It is good that I have lived in Thailand for a while as I have had to take many cold showers there. People at the school have felt bad for us but really it brings our minds back to Thailand and life there. We are looking forward to hot water, but for these few days, because of the heat and cold water, it feels like we have never left Thailand (except for all the bread we eat).
August 12, 2005
Hello from sunny Henderson Texas. We arrived in America on Saturday in Indianapolis and we went to Anderson Indiana to visit people from our supporting church there. They bought us a vehicle to use while we are here in the states. We left to come to Henderson on Tuesday and arrived Wednesday. We have a nice aparment here and it is nice because a church in Greenville Texas has furnished it for us. We were told that the rooms are totally empty normally but when we arrived, we had a bed, 2 desks, 2 sofas, a dining room set, a tv, a stereo, towels, dishes and even food in the fridge. So we have been so blessed by everyone here. Thanks to both the churches in Anderson and Greenville for your support!!!
August 04, 2005
The final stop of our trip with the team was to a hilltribe village called Mae Hoy. Nicky Barnett works with a Bible School there and so we had a contact to get into the government school there. The school was a poor school with just over 100 kids. The students were between grades 1-6. We ran a camp much like the one in Chiang Dao, although we had to make the language easier as the students here knew less English and the young ones didn't know Thai very well as they spoke their local dialect. In the evenings, we were invited to the local Baptist church and the team sang, did a skit and someone gave a message and one night they had open question night asking questions about the Bible. It was great and we have been invited back to teach English more. Again, each student heard a gospel presentation.
Sorry for the delay in telling about the events of what happened next with the team. After the team finished in Chiang Dao, we went back to Chiang Mai and for 2 days we went to the university campus near our church. we want to do outreach to this campus in the future and we had the team help us test the waters there at the university. At lunchtime we would walk around the cafeteria and hand out fliers inviting people to come and study English with foreigners in the evenings for free. We rented a room on campus and each night we had about 15 students come. We played games, had talking groups where we had questions to initiate conversations, then we had some teaching of English for everyone and finally the team shared a testimony, did a drama and the second night we gave a gospel presentation. It was great to see their openness and we were impressed with the students there and hopeful for ministry in the future. The next day we handed out tracts to people in the neighborhoods around our church as we haven't done anything like that since moving to our new location. On Sunday the team came to our church, David Smith preached and then we relaxed for the rest of the day.
July 23, 2005
While the team was here, the first part of the trip we went to a town called Chiang Dao. Previous teams that have come have gone to Chiang Dao and we have been building on the relationship that we have with Tawm's parent's school. Tawm's dad is the principal of the school and every year we try to have an English camp. Each year we get more bold in our evangelism. For 2 days we taught about 250 kids from grade 5 to grade 9 English. We divided the kids up into 7 groups and they would cycle from station to station learning things like directions, fruits and vegetables and other basic things. One of the stations was a Bible class where Beverly told Bible stories and Nicky talked about the Bible. Over the 2 days, each kid heard a clear gospel message and we gave a tract to every student that was there. We gave away about 20 Bibles as well. We were very pleased with the way things went. A couple days later, Tawm and I and some church members were practicing worship at the church when the mail man gave us 6 tracts that we had given out from people requesting more Bible information. We were really excited and please pray for us as we try to figure out how to go about ministering to these people. Chiang Dao is over an hour from where we live.
July 21, 2005
One of the funniest things about living in another country is the signs that you see sometimes. This one I had to do a double take. I thought the sign was telling the elephants which way to go for a toilet, then noticed that toilet sign was only for people. The other sign was instructing people which way to go too. Although the elephants can be trained quite well, I don't think they can read signs yet.
On a rare occassion, usually not in the big city, although I have seen it once, you can see people using an elephant for transportation through town. At night, they tie a little blinking light to its tail so that you don't rear end it with your car or motorbike. Quite an amusing sight.
One of the popular tourist attractions here in thailand is to watch an elephant show. Asian elephants unlike African elephants, can be trained. In the past, this part of the world used elephants to fight wars, just like we used horses in the west. They have used elephants to plow fields and do manual labour. The elephants have been trained to pick up things, paint pictures, bow and raise a flag on a pole. The show is quite entertaining, and when it is finished you can ride an elephant too.
July 19, 2005
For those who haven't heard yet, we have received our visas to come and study in the United States. We leave Thailand on August 5th and will not come back here until the end of May 2006. We will be studying at Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary in Henderson Texas. Throughout the year we will be doing suppport raising. If you would like us to come and visit your church please get in contact with us. Please pray for the work here in Thailand. It is hard for us to leave, but we know that we need to study to be more effective here in Thailand.
July 18, 2005
Here is a picture of us. We travelled to a hill tribe village that was a 3-4 hour drive from Chiang Mai. We stopped at Doi Inthanon which is the highest mountain in Thailand and the mountain also has a beautiful waterfall. We stopped there to eat and had time to take pictures. It was nice and cool there because as the water fell, there was a nice cool mist.
July 17, 2005
Here is a group of us from our church in Chiang Mai. Included are Nicky and Beverly Barnett, Tim (a girl) who is our church secretary, Samson and Lemuu who are missionaries sent out by our church in Chiang Mai and Muek, our truck driver along with Tom and I. We all went with the STEAM team that was here for the past 2 weeks and really enjoyed our time together. I will update you more on what happened. Please pray for this group as they are the core people at our church.
July 02, 2005
We are excited to be having a team from America come with 11 people on it. We will be keeping them busy for the week and a half that they are there. First we will go to Chiang Dao, to the school Tawm's parents work at. Pray that God would open doors for a future ministry there. Then we will go to work at Mae Jo University. This is the first time that we are trying to do anything on campus. Pray for contacts to be made, and that our outreach would be received well by the students and that it would help us understand what a future ministry at the university will entail. Finally we will go to a hilltribe village and teach in a local elementary school and run a vacation bible school for the kids. The work in this village has been going on for about a year. Pray that this village, which is mainly Christian (in name) would come to a deeper commitment, or a first time commitment to Christ. Also pray for Tawm, Nicky, Beverly and I as we lead this team and that everything would go smoothly and according to plan.
June 28, 2005
Church this past Sunday went quite smoothly. We are happy to see new faces every week coming to our church. Some stay and come again, others we only see one time. Pray that our visitors would get plugged into our church and become active participants rather than sideline spectators. This past Sunday we had over 35 people come. We were excited that one family came, a mother and 3 children and they seem to have enjoyed our church very much. The lady came as a result of our ladies night outreach and her kids are now studying English at our church too. Praise God for these new people, and we ask God for more.
June 24, 2005
June 23, 2005
Every Wednesday night our church turns into a spa. Many people have been telling Tawm that she knows so much about keeping care of her face. So she felt like she could use it as an outreach opportunity. Last week Wednesday her and Beverly started "Ladies Night", an way of reaching out to people in the community. Last week they had 4 women come. Yesterday they had 5 women come. They give the ladies a facial and facial massage among other things and afterwards they sit down together and they talk about different aspects of beauty, God and everyone that comes receives a tract and information about our church. I am so happy that we are reaching out to people in the community through creative ways. Please pray for this church outreach.
June 10, 2005
One of the most difficult things in adjusting to life in Thailand, isn't the food (the food is wonderful), or the weather (don't miss the cold). The hardest part is a concept called saving face. The concept is that a person always wants to look good and doesn't want to do anything to look bad, even if what they did was bad. So instead, a person will lie to cover the previous mistake in order to make themselves look better. Also it causes problems when people do things wrong because you can't be too direct. In North America, when people do things wrong, you can confront them and tell them what they did wrong. Here you must guard your words and almost correct in an indirect manner or risk losing face. Once a person loses face, they are extremely hurt and it is difficult to gain their confidence back. Please pray for us as we work with Thai people, instructing them on doing things right and how to deal with issues in our church and with people in Thailand in general without losing face.
June 07, 2005
This week we had another great Sunday. We were blessed with 8 new adult guests along with some new children too. We had over 30 people again. We thank God that many new people are coming to our church, our new prayer request is that people would come to know Christ and then become a part of our church. A lot of the guests have visited however we haven't seen them again, some because they are busy and others we aren't sure why. Please pray for more people to continue coming regularly.
June 02, 2005
one of the unique things about living in Thailand is you get to see how progress and the old ways mix. thailand is a country that is developing quickly, however there are many people that have missed the wave and are still living life in by their old traditions. middle and upper classes are using computers, cell phones, and other modern technologies, whereas poorer classes still use old methods to work. in this picture, this cow is located right in the middle of the city. surrounding this small farm is a mall, hotels, 7-11's, clinics and travel agencies. i love seeing how the old and the new mix here, some people want to progress while others want to keep things the way they were.
May 31, 2005
We are having some really exciting times of seeing God answer our prayers. At the beginning of the month, we started a prayer group at our church, and since then our church has been growing. We thank God for answers to prayers. Two Sundays ago we had over 30 people, this past Sunday we had almost 30 again. We have been praying for people to come that don't know Christ, and God has been answering that prayer. We have also asked for men, to come, and this past Sunday we had some new guys come to our church too. Our last prayer is that God would bring more Thais. We are thankful for the many hill tribe people that are coming but we want to see more Thai people come. Praise God for our church growth.
May 23, 2005
Yesterday we had a good church service again. I preached and finished a series of sermons on the fruit of the Spirit. We had most of regular attenders there again this week. Our church members are eager to learn more all the time. After the service we ate together, which we do every Sunday and for those that wanted to, we had a prayer meeting after lunch. We feel it is important for our church beginnings to be based on prayer.
May 21, 2005
living in thailand you end up seeing a lot of things that make you laugh. in north america we have door to door salesmen but they are usually selling encyclopedias or vacuum cleaners. here in thailand we have door to door ladder salesmen. i guess they come around selling things that you really don't need either, i guess it isn't much different than north america, it just looks a little funny as they walk down the road.
May 20, 2005
As most of you know, I am a big basketball fan, and a big Indiana Pacer fan. I was so excited to see my team advance so far into the playoffs when everyone had written them off since the brawl in November, and in my mind they are the champions this year. If they hadn't lost Ron Artest all year, I really think they would be holding the champions trophy this year. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be and unfortunately we need to say good bye to one of the best basketball players, and one of my all time favorites, Reggie Miller. I have many memories of watching him on TV and since coming to Thailand following his career on the internet. I am sad to see him go and maybe he will make a return next year!!
it is amazing how much location and advertising can do. for the past year, our church has been located on a small street, kind of off the beaten path. as a result, we never had unknown guests stop by. a few months ago, we moved our church on to a busy road but only last week did we put up an actual sign for all to see and we have had a few people stop by to see what we were about and last sunday we had someone come to our church service just because they saw the sign. even though i studied marketing in university, sometimes it is easy forget that things as easy as location and a sign draw people to the church. we are thankful for that.
May 18, 2005
Please pray for one of the children that attends our church. Last night she had a dream that her mother was drowning and she was throwing her mother a life line to save her. However it turns out that she wasn't just dreaming, she was sleep walking or sleep acting too. Her mother woke up in the middle of the night because the fan was off and wondered why it wasn't running. When she turned on the light, she saw that her daughter had wrapped the cord from the fan around and around her neck. If she wouldn't have woken up, her daughter might of killed herself. Thank God that she did wake up and please pray for the protection of people who attend our church. Pray especially for this girl, her name is Awm.