March 26, 2008

Gettin' Excited

Earlier this week, Robert Wallace returned to the States. Tomorrow, Joe Morrell and Ed Brown are coming to Thailand. The main reason that they will be here is to give us a seminar in how to start a Bible School. Since I am currently overseeing two of them, this will be very beneficial. The guys from Udon will also be joining us for the seminar.

On top of that, they will be the speakers at Antioch's revival services and Joe Morrell will be accompanying me to Kinetchu, a village about 5 hours away, to visit a church that Nicky Barnett helped start. Haven't been there in over a year so I am looking forward to their visit.


March-April is always a time I miss being in North America, who doesn't love watching March Madness. I filled out a bracket again this year. Since I haven't lived in North America for about 5 years, my college basketball information is 5 years old. So far I'm doing pretty good. I have two whole regionals correct. I have 12 of the final 16 teams correct. The only problem is, the team I picked to make it to the final got ousted... At least I didn't pick them to win it all.
Here's my final four.
North Carolina

Memphis over UCLA
Georgetown over Carolina

Memphis over Georgetown.

March 18, 2008

Awesome Day

Yesterday was a great day. All of us, including Owen and Robert Wallace headed out to Jom Tong, a city located about 50 kilometers away from Chiang Mai. It is a city of 60,000 people. All of us are praying about starting a new ministry there. However before you can start a new ministry, we have to have some contacts and before yesterday we didn't have any.

In May-June we will have a basketball team here and so we thought it would be a good way to meet some contacts. We've never done anything with an athletic team, so we didn't know what to expect. We went to the government office in Jom Tong and try to find someone to talk to. After talking with one person, he pointed us to a young man who just happened to be the person who oversees athletics for the city of Jom Tong. We talked with him for a while, getting his input. He encouraged us to try to go to some schools, especially one called Sop Tia School. So we went there, he went with us and we met with a couple teachers and then met the principal. The principal of the school just happened to be the superintendent of all 36 schools in the Jom Tong district. They gave us the go to come to his school and he would look for some other schools to do stuff. Tawm told him we were a Christian team and wanted to have an opportunity to talk about God and he said that that wouldn't be a problem. That night they had a meeting and began planning for our trip. They also begged us to come back and teach English. Afterwards we went to look for accomodation for the team and the first hotel we went to, Tawm met one of her friends from high school. He is engaged to the owner's daughter and as a result, they gave us a good discount too.

Thanks to all those who prayed. We asked God to open doors and He threw them wide open! We are really excited.

March 15, 2008

Team Preparations

Robert Wallace (left), one of the teachers from Texas Baptist Institute where Tawm and I spent a year studying is arriving here in Thailand today. At the end of May he will be returning with a team of basketball players. He is arriving in Thailand today to begin preparations for the team. Pray for us as we try to set up this outreach. We have never done anything like this before. We don't want to do stuff for the sake of doing stuff but want it to be a benefit to the work we are doing here.

March 13, 2008

Awesome Family

God has blessed us with two great families, one here in Thailand, the other in Canada. My family has been so supportive of me (and now us) since I came to Thailand. It wasn't easy for them at the beginning, but God has been great.

Over the past couple of months, they have been creative in showing their support for us. Last year when we were in Canada, I purchased a bunch of books that I couldn't buy in Thailand. Unfortunately, most airlines have lowered their baggage weight limits and as a result, I had to leave about half the books in Canada, waiting for someone to bring them or pick them up on my next trip back. However my uncle Rod (pictured) has a friend who knows a friend who is married to a Thai lady. Anyways, he was making a trip to Thailand to meet his wife and he wasn't bringing much luggage. My uncle asked if he'd be willing to bring the books over here and he agreed. Two weeks ago, I received the package in the mail and it only cost us a few dollars to get the books here. It was a huge blessing.

On top of that, my cousin Krista (also pictured) celebrated her 13th birthday last month. (Happy Belated Birthday!) For her birthday party, she told her friends not to get her anything but asked people to bring their loose change (in Canada we have 1 and 2 dollar coins) instead. She could have bought herself a nice gift with the money she got but instead of keeping the money for herself like any typical 13 year old, she decided to give the money to us and our ministry here. How cool is that! It was an awesome surprise for us too. Thanks to Krista for the gift and all those involved in getting the books over here.

Although we don't get to see our Canadian family very much, we want to let you know that we love you and appreciate everything you do for us.

March 10, 2008

More Owen


Here's a couple more pics of Owen. Owen just started using his Jolly Jumper that we got as a gift today. He seems to enjoy it although he still hasn't got the hang of it.


March 04, 2008

Sad Stats

I just started reading the book Planting Churches Cross-Culturally: A Guide to Home and Foreign Missions.
Although I am only a couple chapters in, I can tell that this book will be extremely helpful and is definitely a must read for anyone involved in missions.
One chapter teaches about the priority of teaching churches how to do real mission work. The author (and I agree because of what I have seen in Thailand) says that too many missionaries aren't doing real mission work. He says that only 28% of missionaries are involved in establishing churches, 25% are involved in church support and 47% are assigned to other ministries.
Although the book is over 20 years old, I'm sure the stats haven't changed much or from what I can tell, they have gotten worse. We definitely need more people doing real mission work: establishing churches!

March 03, 2008

Our Little Reader

Over the past couple weeks, Owen's neck has progressively gotten stronger and stronger. At the beginning we had to coax him in order to get him to keep his head up. One day Tawm decided to put a book in front of him and see if it would help him keep his head up. As it turns out, it worked. Now he will keep his head up for long stretches of time looking at the colorful pictures.