Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Craziness

Things have been pretty hoppin here in the South. A total of 11 bombs have gone off all around Southern Thailand, even 2 here in our town of Patong. All told there have ben 4 deaths and about 40 injured. We are very thankful that while the action was in our town...we were not. In addition to the 11 bombs there have been multiple incendiary devices many that have been effective and even more have been retrieved and disposed of. I think the damage from these devices is upward of 40,000,000 baht or just over 1,000,000  USD. The attacks appear to have stopped although daily they are finding a device or two, again all throughout the south. The latest reports have said the bombings are at the command of a single man, carried out by several individuals. One man is in custody as the search continues for more. The information we have been given is that they are not from an international group but rather a local anti-government group. Although at first this was all a little unnerving upon the release of information it became clear we were in no real danger and life would continue at a fairly normal pace, heightened awareness, and avoidance of public areas if possible aside.

As mentioned above during all this madness we were not in town, actually we were north a few hours where we led the Thai/Burmese church several years ago, Ban Naam Khem. We are now ending the 3rd year of studies at a Bible training center that has began at Calvary Chapel BNK.  This year I had the privilege of teaching through the Pastoral Epistles, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. The time was very fruitful and a huge blessing to be able to spend there with young Burmese Bible students.  We traveled there as a family and stayed one week, while Marty and team held down the fort here in Phuket.

Please remember Thailand in your prayers as the time is uncertain, especially with the bombings. Thank you and God bless

Sunday, July 17, 2016

We're back!

As I sat to write this update I realized the last update written was for exactly one year ago. Sorry for not keeping you all informed of the great things the Lord has been doing through this time. As most of you know we were able to go to the US for about 10 1/2 weeks, for the months of April and May. It was a really blessed time of much needed relaxation. We have now returned to Thailand and have settled in. No promises but we hope to keep you all better informed in the future.

During our time of rest, there was a lot of prayer regarding what to do, how to move forward. The Lord so heavily laid on our hearts to train up leaders, something we have always had the heart to do, just haven't really done it. As we began to pray for who and how, we were given clear vision of who this should be and what it should look like. Of course that also means that they must have a desire to be raised up and also they needed to hear from the Lord on their own. As we returned there were several meetings needed in able to meet with each individual and share what the Lord had shared with us. We are so thankful that each of the people the Lord had shown us also had heard from the Lord. Currently there is a pastor and assistant in training, an outreach leader, and also a worship leader. Each of these have stepped up in their respective areas and are doing a really great job. Currently the pastor and assistant are getting "pulpit" experience leading communion, prayer, announcements, offering and other church activities while the teaching is mostly my responsibility. The new worship leader has great organizational skills and in the short time since taking on the ministry has done really well. The outreach leader is another Calvary missionary and is heading up our continued English outreaches in the community.

As a fellowship we are really growing, not so much in numbers but spiritually. It is so nice to see people stepping up and out as the Lord directs. There is something to do every night of the week, except Monday, and the whole ministry shuts down for a day of rest on Saturday. School is well under way with the children finishing up the first book, of ten, in their studies. This year we have 6 students ranging from K-9. If you are reading this then I assume most of you also have Facebook....I encourage you to like our church FB page, New Beginnings Calvary Chapel Patong to keep up and see all the pictures of what goes on around here. Also there are usually bi-weekly devotions posted that are challenging and encouraging.

Thank you for you patience, interest and prayers as we continue to serve the Lord in Phuket, Thailand.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Nelson's Have Arrived!!

I realize that this is a bit late since they have already been here for about a month but I didn't want the time to slip by without a quick update. We have been having a super blessed time with Joe, Sarah, and all of the kids! It is a time of much needed rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation for them all. We have been enjoying their company immensely and we feel just a bit selfish in wishing they could stay for good. However, the Lord has work for them in Thailand and we stand behind that 100%.

While they've been here, we've had a lot of fun playing games, sitting around talking, eating, drinking coffee, eating, napping, eating, doing some projects at some of the homes, eating, and did I mention eating? Last week Joe made us a wonderful Thai meal called Keng Keaw Wan (guessing on the spelling). It translates as sweet green curry. It was delicious. He made a mild version and a spicy version. I accidentally took the spicy version and I can't eat spicy food. It's been about a week and I'm starting to get feeling back in my mouth and I think I can feel my tongue again. :-)  In all seriousness, it was delicious!!

Just last night we played a fun card game called Spoons. I think we've all pretty much recovered from our injuries from the game. You'll only understand what I mean by that if you've played the game. Sarah "the Crusher" Nelson was in rare form drawing blood from at least two of us and next time we'll have to make a rule for Joe that at least one foot must remain on the floor at all times.

Today is Mother's Day and Tim, Lisa, and I had a great time going out for lunch with Joe, Sarah, Mike and Evelyn. I also would just like to take a moment to recognize all of the moms out there who could never be repaid for all of their love and sacrifices through the years of raising children. Thank you to all of the mothers out there who gave selflessly through the years and may the Lord bless you richly. And may the Lord also bless those who are motherless for whatever reason and give them comfort as well.

Joe and Sarah have about four more weeks before heading back to Thailand. Please don't miss out on inviting them out for dinner or over for coffee and a homemade meal if you are able. The time will go very fast and so let's make sure they are totally blessed and refreshed before heading back. Please continue to lift them up DAILY in your prayers and be in prayer for the following items:

  1. Steadfastness in the Lord
  2. The gospel to go forth through their ministry
  3. Strength and protection over their family
  4. Evangelizing opportunities
  5. Financial needs
Thanks to all of you who support Joe and Sarah. As the Lord prospers you, please consider increasing your donation or, if you aren't giving now, please consider giving for the sake of the Gospel in Thailand, a nation with a Christian presence of about 1%.  Your contribution to their work there will pay eternal dividends!!

May the Lord's peace rest upon you!!

Mike and Lisa Larsen