February 28, 2007

I Love Rap Music... No, I love Flute Music...

I don't know what you would call this, the only thing that comes to mind is... its cool. Rap Music, Inspector Gadget and a flute all rolled up into one. You can't lose. One thing is for sure, the guy is talented.

Church Picnic

 This past Sunday after church we had a picnic in the park. Although we had a number of people missing at church on Sunday, we had a great service as two people were introduced to the congregation that had made professions of faith in the past week. After services, anyone that wanted to piled into our truck and Rusty's truck to head out to a hot spring in Sankampaeng. We had a good time of fellowship, playing games together and many people went bathing in the hot spring. Sunday was a great day.

February 27, 2007

They're Back!!

One of things I miss most living in Thailand is being able to follow college basketball. Since all the teams are American, and I am Canadian, I'm able to pick whatever team I want as my favorite. When I was in high school, I was a huge John Wallace fan (who knows where he is now) and as a result, fell in love with Syracuse and have routed for them ever since. A couple years ago they won the championship. Last year they made an impropable run to the Big Dance and this year it looks like they are going to finish strong and make it into the Big Dance again, just wish I was there to see it all happen.

February 24, 2007

God's Continued Faithfulness

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
I Corinthians 3:6

We have seen God do just that in the life of Jaa, a newcomer to our work. Rusty and Susan have a housekeeper that comes to help them on Saturdays named Tip. They invited Tip to come to church, to study English at the foundation and talked to her about God. After a few months, Tip and her older sister Jaa applied to study English at the foundation.

When they came, I had the opportunity to teach them. I talked to them about God and invited them to church. Both of them wanted to know more about God. I asked them if they had a Bible and they said that they had never seen a Bible before. When we finished studying, I gave each of them a Bible. When I talked to them about coming to church to study the Bible, they were excited and asked how much does it cost? I told them it was free. That Sunday Jaa came to church and the Sunday after, Jaa, Tip and Tip's daughter came to church. Jaa said she had been to church twice in her life. Both times she went to church, she went to an English speaking church because she heard they gave out free coffee. She didn't understand a word, but enjoyed the coffee. After the services, all the white people sat together and ate and the Thais went home or ate at another table. When she came to our church she was so amazed that at our lunch fellowship, foreigners, Thais, Chinese, and hill tribe people all sat together to eat and actually talked to one another (that made me wonder what kind of church they had gone to). She said she had a good time at our church but didn't understand much because she had never learned about God before.

Tawm encouraged Jaa to come to her women's Bible study on Friday afternoons to learn more and Jaa said she would come. Yesterday in Tawm's Bible study, Tawm taught about salvation. Jaa thought she was a Christian because she believed in God and did good things. The lady's Bible study looked at many passages of Scripture and Jaa saw that that wasn't God's plan and that God's plan for salvation is through repentance and faith in Christ. Jaa realized her need and put her trust in Christ. Praise God!! Please pray for Jaa and he walk with Christ and pray for Tip that she would be saved too.

February 22, 2007

Bam chooses to follow Christ!!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Rusty, Tim and I went out to Mae Hoy where the village Bible School is located. We had a good time there. While we were there, Tawm had 3 cousins over for the evening. All three of them come to church regularly and they have been asking a lot of spiritual questions too. Tawm figured it would be a good opportunity to talk to them more about God and praise God, that Bam was saved. Bam is the youngest of the three and please continue to pray for Benz and Bell, her brother and sister. Bell has shown a lot of interest but hasn't made the decision to follow Christ. Benz, Bell, and Bam are the children of Naang and Air, Tawm's aunts that made a decision to follow Christ last year. We thank God that he is working in Tawm's family!!

February 18, 2007

The mistakes we make

As a foreign missionary, I often wonder if I am ever going to get this language. It gets easier and easier everyday but I still feel like I have a long ways to go. This morning in Sunday School I was teaching and was trying talk about something that happened when I was a baby. When I came to the word baby, instead of saying dek ta-rok, I said dek na-rok. Although I only got one sound wrong, instead of saying baby I said, hell child. I caught the mistake right and fixed it but thankfully the members at Antioch are very patient, they barely even cracked a smile until I made a joke about it later.

In case you were wondering, I was a very good kid (according to my mom). Although the word slipped out, it has nothing to do with the truth!

February 16, 2007

A Revealing Study on Thai Society

Over the past several years, Thailand has had a marketing campaign called "Cabbages and Condoms". I am not sure who has funded this campaign, but their goal is to make condoms as common as cabbage here in Thailand. HIV/AIDS has been a major problem here in Thailand however in recent years the problems has consistently gotten better. However in a country in desperate need of God, they still have a long ways to go according to a recent study.

According to a recent study published in the journal of the Royal College of Pediatricians of Thailand, Thai teens are having sex a year earlier than Californian teenagers and a lot fewer are using condoms, a survey of the two teen population revealed on Valentine's Day. The average age that Thai teens start having sex is 16 compared to 17 for Californians. Even more disturbing is that the rate of condom use among Californian teens was 58% and was only 23% among Thais. Thais have a much higher percentage of teenage pregnancies (90/1000) compared to California (50/1000)and the number of HIV-positive teens in Thailand was 60,000 compared with only 4,000 in California. Both California and Thailand have similar teen populations of about 7 to 8 million.

This study surprised me a lot because Thais in general are much more modest that westerners, but I guess that the east is becoming more westernized. Although the push for sex ed here in Thailand has increased, it shows that need to learn more than just how to protect themselves, they need to know their creator and His design for marriage. That is the only way that Thailand will be changed. Please continue to pray for the nation of Thailand.

February 15, 2007

A Challenging Read

Over the past few years, I have had many people recommend John Piper's book, "Let the Nations Be Glad!" because John Piper addresses the topic of missions. Although the book is several years old, I've never got around to reading it. I was able to purchase this book a couple weeks ago and its been a great read so far and it has really challenged me. Although I don't agree with everything the author writes, the author makes some great points about missions that have really challenged me and I'd recommed this book. Here are some quotes from the book to wet your palette.

Missions is the ultimate goal of [churches]. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn't. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.

Persecution can have harmful effects on [churches], but prosperity it seems is even more devestating to the mission God calls us to... we should be wary of prosperity, excessive ease, comfort and affluence.

You cannot show the preciousness of a person by being happy with his gifts. Ingratitude will certainly prove that the giver is not loved, but gratitude for gifts does not prove that the giver is precious. What proves that the giver is precious is the glad-hearted readiness to leave all his gifts to be with him. This is why suffering is so central in the mission of [churches]. The goal of our mission is that people from all the nations worship the true God. But worship means cherishing the preciousness of God above all else, including life itself. It will be difficult to bring the nations to love God from a lifestyle that communicates a love of things.

February 09, 2007

Overcoming what people say is Impossible

Growing up in a small city in Canada, racism was never an issue. I had friends that were different races and I never thought anything about it. I would hear stories of things that would happen in the south and would wonder how people could believe things like that, especially Christians.

However, I never thought I would have to battle racism when I came to Thailand but unfortunately lots of people struggle with it here too. The difference isn't skin color because the people looked down upon are Asian too. For many Thai people, especially rich ones, they think they are better than hill tribe people who have come from other countries. Hill tribe people look a little different than "normal" Thai people but usually the easiest way to tell a hill tribe person from a Thai is by their accent. Over the past few weeks we have been battling this issue with people that come to study English and it just makes me shake my head. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that racism exists even on the other side of the world, because people in Thailand are in desperate need of Christ and racism is one of the enemies tactics to keep people from sharing the truth.

I am so thankful that the church we are trying to plant here is a mixture of different people groups. Many people, Thais and foreigners, have told us that building a multicultural church won't work, you have to focus either on Thai or a certain hill tribe because even hill tribes won't mix. However,we are seeing God bless the work here abundantly and on some Sundays we have Thai, Chinese, Karen (2 different Karen people groups), Lahu, Shan, American and even Canadian (if you want to call that a different nationality!!). We know that God is bigger than a person's skin color or accent and we pray that we will be able to continue overcoming this huge barrier in the minds of many people.

February 08, 2007


In my opinion, there is nothing that I would rather do than be a foreign missionary. The rewards are awesome however there are definitely struggles. One of which is the difficulties people encounter after they have professed Christ.

We were so excited a couple of weeks ago when Joe was saved. Since then however, it has been a real struggle. Joe like most Thai people has a Buddhist background which is a worldview that almost nothing in common with Christianity. Buddhist believe in evolution, Christians creation. Buddhist believe in salvation through works, Christians believe that is by grace through faith. Buddhist believe in reincarnation and karma, Christians don't. Taking the step to follow Christ is a very big decision in many people's lives because it can mean ostrasation from friends and family. The first Sunday after Joe was saved, he was so happy as I posted in another blog but since then, Joe's Buddhist friends and family have not been too happy with his decision to follow Christ and abandon his Buddhist ways. His wife has criticized him and he is scared about what his family might think. Someone gave Joe some kind of Buddhist book since then, a book on Buddhist prayer (I think) and he has been reading that book. We were able to find a Bible in his native language, since he can't read Thai, but he is scared to read it because he doesn't want to upset his father and make him angry.

I guess there are highs and lows in ministry anywhere you are, but I ask you to pray for Joe and his walk with God, that he would understand the truth more clearly and be able to overcome his fears and the things others may say about him, including his wife and parents. And that many other people would come to know Christ.

February 07, 2007

Holy Sewer Water??

Rusty emailed me this story. It was originally published in the Phuket Gazette, but I have editted it for length. Although the Buddha never taught anything about the spirit world, this article shows how real the spirit world is here in Thailand. Although the story is humorous, it is a sad statement of how gullible people can be.

Last month in Phrae Thailand, a water spring was discovered in the middle of Anong Kwanphetch's front lawn. After investigating, she discovered water bubbling up out of the ground. When she poked around to find the source of the water, it began flowing even stronger than before. Amazed, she rushed to tell the neighbors about her discovery thinking the spring was connected to a vision she had about her late grandmother the night before. Thinking that her grandmother’s apparition was a hint that the water from the spring could be carrying magical powers, Anong brought flowers, candles and incense to worship the spring, asking it to provide water for her to keep as a cure-all potion.

News travels quickly in rural Thai villages, and before long word of the phenomenon had spread throughout the district and into neighboring ones. One neighbor said she had to wait in line for her chance to collect some of the miraculous elixir. Like many others, she offered candles, incense, flowers and money. The crowds around the spring grew quickly as some 1,000 villagers rushed to collect bottles of the holy water. When some villagers called for the spring to perform a miracle and send forth bubbles, it immediately responded and answered their pleas.

Word of the find soon spread to district authorities and before long some public health officers came to investigate. Unable to stop the villagers from acting on their beliefs, they allowed them to continue collecting the water but implored them to boil it before drinking. They were scared that if the water stopped flowing while they collected water, it would cause bigger problems. They waited for the crowds to thin in order to collect a sample. When they tried to collect a sample of the water, the spring suddenly stopped and the ground became dry. Finally the officers had to beg for a sample from one of the villagers. After about 20 minutes, the water began to flow again, leaving villagers suspicious that the officials’ attempts to collect a sample had angered some deities.

Surin Niphayothin, finally got to the bottom of things. He and a group of villagers began digging for the source of the mysterious liquid and soon found a small, leaky PVC pipe. On further investigation, K. Surin found that the pipe led straight to the old toilet of a house no more than four meters away.

When villagers who had been drinking the “holy” water learned its true source, scores of them joined in a large mass vomiting session. The owners of the pipe said they had been installing a new toilet and that the plumbing work must have caused the sewerage pipe to crack. They said they had no idea their old toilet could have been the source of the “holy” spring.

February 06, 2007

I'm not lovin' it so much

One of the benefits of living in a city of a million people so far from home is that when your taste buds are craving home, there is always the sweet smelling aroma of McDonalds nearby. For anyone that has lived outside the country for long enough, you quickly realize how great McDonald's hamburgers really taste. If you haven't realized that yet, well then you have been out of the country for long enough!! For the most part, the McDonalds menu in Thailand is similar to the menu in North America, unlike KFC which has a lot of menu items marketed towards the Asian consumer and A&W in Bangkok which markets waffles and ice cream. McDonalds has Big Macs, McChicken Burgers, McNuggets, McFlurries and French Fries too. However, McDonald's in Thailand is trying to market a healthier hamburger called the McRice Burger. It comes in 2 different chicken flavors and a pork one. Like most missionaries, I like to try new and exotic foods, whether it is eating dog, bugs, horse, snake or the most exotic of them all, the McRice burger. I wasn't sure what to expect. From the picture on the menu, the McRice burger looks like the rice patty buns are crisp, like a rice cake, but when I bit into it was normal white rice that had been pressed together and then colored with soy sauce on the outside. I almost burnt my fingers on the rice buns (go figure, I was touching hot rice) and the rice was soft like everyday rice. The burger had absolutely no taste, I guess that is why it is healthy! I have a feeling that this menu item won't last too long. As long as it does, I would rather eat fried bugs or even dog for that matter!! Come visit us and I will let you choose between the McRice burger and some deep fried silk worms. Hopefully you choose what I am thinking