Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pressing on

As most of you know by now Thailand is in a state or mourning. The longest reigning monarch passed away October 13. Things are carrying on mostly as normal, although there are some changes, for example, it is requested for this month all our clothes honor the mourning process, so we are dressing in dark colors. The entertainment industry was shut down mandatory 3 days and was then extended out to 7 days with differing stipulations. It is a sad time, especially for the Thai people but having spent the last 5 years here has taught us alot about the kind of leader he was, and there is also a sense of sadness for us, not only that of a sympathetic manner. Please continue to pray for Thailand during this time, the "official" mourning is for a year so we will see what the time brings.

Ministry is doing well, always ups and downs. We have been having alot of conversations about the possibility of a "home" for women, what it would look like, how much it would cost, who would run it and who would the partners be. This has been a huge area of great success and there is currently only one other ministry that is praying about and walking slowly in faith to work with these women. We live in one of the top sex tourism destinations in Thailand and this is a very pressing issue. Our goal is always the Gospel and God Word. Please pray for this as well and more information will be given as we have it. The church, as it seems with most, take 3 steps forward 2 steps back, always progressing always pressing in to Jesus, and always being tested. The Lord is good and leadership training continues, outreach continues and we are always looking for opportunities to share His word. We have been visiting the local university again and that is always a wonderful time of building relationships with the next generation of public school teachers. Excited to see what comes of this in the future.

Lastly but not leastly WE HAVE A NEW MAILING ADDRESS for donations. Please send all donations to the new address: Grace Across Asia PO box 1852 Diamond Springs, CA 95619. We are with the same organization they have just changed their address.

We covet your prayers, so please keep them coming!

One of the classes at Phuket Rajabhat University

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.