April 27, 2008

Changing Preaching Style.

The last two Sundays I have changed the way I preach in church. For the past year and a half, I have typed out my sermon in English, translated as much as i could. Then Tawm editted it or helped me to finish translating the sermon. Then Saturdays were spent memorizing the sermon. With all the translating and memorizing, it really cut down on time I had in really preparing the sermon. On top of that, I could only memorize so much and as a result, my sermons were pretty short. On Sundays when I preached, I was pretty rigid and I couldn't really go off on tangents because I didn't want to lose my place in the sermon.

However, I came to the point now where I figure my Thai is good enough to begin preaching. My Thai still needs lots of improvement, but I could be here 20 years and say the same. As a result, I decided to try to preach for real. I now go into the pulpit with my introduction typed out in Thai, just so I get off on the right foot and after that, my skeleton outline is in English and i preach from that. The past 2 Sundays have gone well, there is still lots of room for improvement. My sermons have now doubled in time (don't know if that is good or bad). The biggest plus is that I am now excited about preaching again and I feel my sermons have more life and passion too. A couple people have told me that they like it when I preach this new way better which has been an encouragement to me.

April 14, 2008

Bible School Seminar

At the current time, I am overseeing two different Bible schools, one located in a remote village, one located in the city of Chiang Mai. Because of these responsibilities I was really excited about Joe Morell and Ed Brown coming to Chiang Mai to give a Bible School Workshop. Joe Morrell (in the green shirt and glasses) is a missionary to Lithuania/Latvia/Finland and God has really used him there and the Bible School that he started in Lithuania has been instrumental in what God has done there. The thing that encouraged me the most was that the churches in that part of the world are self supporting and not relying on money from foreign countries (even though the average income is only a couple hundred dollars a month). Joe said that when he went there, the Lithuanians thought it would be impossible to be self-supporting but Joe always asked, "Are you going to trust God or trust America".
Since then, the work there has grown alot whereas many other ministries that are financed from the "West" are struggling.

I have always believed that indigineous, self supporting, self propogating, self governing churches was God's model and it is great to see that God's model has worked there and I believe it will work here too even though it is so contrary to the way most missions/missionaries do work here in Thailand. ain patient and know that this is the way that God really wants us to do missions. Even though it is slow going and we wonder if we should abandon God's model, I know that this is the most beneficial way for the Thai people for us to do mission work. Foreign funded programs may make our reports look good but they hinder what God wants to do through the Thai people. We hope and pray that we will see these things come into fruition in the coming months and years ahead.

Ed Brown (white shirt on the right) who is an itinerant preacher also encouraged us from God's Word. It was great to hear some good preaching because we don't have that many opportunities to hear it live and in person. Both men were a real blessing to us and the work God is doing here in Thailand.

It's Begun

Songkran or Thai New Year officially started yesterday (although people began throwing water on Thursday) and will continue until tomorrow. Songkran is the closest thing that Thailand has to the Christmas season. Since it is a three day holiday, most people return home for the break. Unlike Christmas where the older generation tends to give gifts to the young ones, here the young ones buy gifts for older people. That means that the older you are the more gifts you get!!! In return for giving a gift, the older generation gives the gift givers a blessing.

It is also the time when people clean up their houses and go to the local temple to help wash the Buddhist idols. The thing most foreigners know about Songkran is the water fight. If you step outside, it means you are willing to get wet. In Chiang Mai, the best place to be during Songkran, there are literally thousands and thousands of people throwing water. However along with the water fun, there is a lot of drinking which can make things get kinda dangerous though. Being new parents, we are staying away from the water but as Owen gets bigger, I'm sure we will be in the middle of it once again.

April 08, 2008


We've been really busy over the past couple of weeks, hence no posts. I will be blogging about the things that have been happening over the past couple weeks over the next couple days but most importantly (and because my mother asked), here are some pics of Owen and us too!

Owen getting ready to try his first burger. (Not really, just a cute pic)

Us at a waterfall near Mae Sa

us at the Mae Sa Elephant camp - if you look closely, you can see Owen checking out the ivory

Owen's growing