Saturday, December 31, 2011


Well it is officially 2012! 2011 was a year of trials, changes and many many blessings. This last couple months the Lord has really been showing me the shortcomings of man including myself. This Holiday season especially. Why is it we are ok to settle with only giving Christ the honor he deserves during this time of year? We make a huge deal out of Christmas and Easter but then it is back to normal? Did Christ not shed His blood to cover our sins every day? Did the beginning and ending of His life not save us from our wretched selves every day? Of course the answer is yes, yet we are satisfied to this limited exaltation. So many New Years resolutions... lose weight, better job, do better in life, etc. How about put Christ in His rightful place of preeminence in our lives? This should be each of our goals, as Christians to honor Him and make Him known, by word and deed.

This holiday season has brought about many opportunities to share the Love of Christ here in Thailand, and we have been so blessed to be a part of that. I think we have had more chances to share from the Word in the last three weeks than in months past. Christmas in Thailand is much different than the Philippines where we spent last Christmas, here Christ is not the reason for the season, Christmas is just a time for family, parties and presents, just like many other parts of the world, this has allowed us to share the message of Christ and the meaning of Christmas with fervor.

The Nelson family Christmas was really good, we had a small get together with the Johansens' and spent the day as a family around the house. The kids where all blessed with bikes from Grandma and a few items of clothing. They are especially excited about the bikes of course.

Enough about Christmas! We are currently separated with three of us, Joey, Jacob, and Myself are with Pastor Eric in Ban Nam Khem, Southern Thailand, serving among our Thai and Burmese brothers and sisters for about a month doing some training, evangelism, and general encouragement. While Sarah, Tyler, and Marissa are back at home with MJ doing the ministry there. Please remember this time in your prayers, for the separation, and the ministry in both places.

Joey just turned 13! I can hardly believe it, my son is a teenager.

Sorry I dont have any photos but will try to get some up soon. I will end this post just wanted to share what the Lord has been doing and also share about our Christmas. God Bless.

Salvation for Thailand
The youth the Lord has entrusted us with
Our time apart
Steadfastness in the Word
The going out of the Gospel

Sunday, December 18, 2011


It has been a while since the last post as I have been waiting for some new news to report. And I have it!
This last month has been a different month for us. Although our normal ministry has been slowed down, we have been very busy with daily life and miscellaneous ministry opportunities. Last week I (Joe) had the chance to accompany Pastor Eric and Mj to Central Thailand for a time of fellowship and a tour of the ministry there. We had a really great time, for me to see all the different areas of ministry there and also to talk and pray with Pastor Eric as we tried to catch a vision for that area of Thailand. Pastor Eric also taught in the church he pastored while in Central Thailand.
This month all of our film showing appointments fell through so we were unable to do that  but the Lord had other plans for us, we have been busy with other stuff here in Mae Sariang.
Our weekly bible study is going really good, I think most of the attendees that were coming for the novelty of the Americans have since left and we are left with about six kids that are showing some real interest in the Gospel and Christ. There are a few girls that we are really excited to see what the Lord does with them as they continue to seek Him. Due to this interest we have started doing service on Sunday also for those that would like to attend, so far we have had two of these services and both times we had 3 or 4 kids attend, we will see what the Lord does with this, prayerfully this is the beginning of a Thai Church plant.
A few months back I was invited to teach at a local Karen Baptist Church today December 18. I think it went really well, I had one of the better translators to assist me which was great. I had the opportunity to share about the birth of Christ, my text was Isaiah 9:6 with the emphasis on the Gift that was given through the birth of Christ. It is exciting when the Lord reveals His truths to you.
Joey and I went hunting Thursday with our Thai Karen friend Peter, we did not kill anything but we did have a great time of fellowship. We also hiked for about 6 hours most of which was straight up. I am so out of shape! Tomorrow we, Joey and I, will be helping in the fields, we will be planting a soy bean crop.
Sarah is still excelling in teaching English, the classes keep growing and there has been a new class started, teaching English for professionals, Business English. For the time Sarah is teaching this course, however I have been invited to teach it, I am prayerfully considering it. The school is also looking for another teacher to teach a pre-beginner English class. Tonight we went to eat with Tar, the school director, and he had many compliments for Sarah and her teaching. It is really neat to see how the Lord is blessing this school as a witness of Himself.
I want to thank all of our supporters for you continued support in the tough economy and also through this Holiday season, so THANK YOU!
May the Lord Bless you and may you Have a very Merry Christ centered Season.

Here are some prayer requests:
Salvation!!! The people around us need the Lord to Save them.
Baby church plant and Bible study
Direction in ministry from the Lord
Continued health

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week of Blessings

This week has already been crazy. While I wrote the last update I was waiting for a new motorcycle. This motorcycle was a blessing from our Karen movie partner for the work of the video ministry which also works great as we needed something else to help with transportation. I was able to pick it up from the shop on Saturday after some engine work. What a huge blessing this has been already in just a few short days.

Today, Tuesday, Pastor Eric and I were given the opportunity to help harvest rice with the Karen, again through our movie ministry partner. Neither of us knew what we were getting into and were really excited for the chance to help. Our day actually started around 6:30 as we went to check on purchasing a goat yes you read that correct GOAT. We arrived home about 7:00 pm after picking up Pastor Eric's goat and harvesting rice. Today was such a huge blessing. God is so good and faithful.

The kids all have fishing poles now and we have been able to fish two times. We even caught some fish, the biggest was almost two inches! There is a small lake between the Johansens' and our house so it is very near.

The kids are doing really good in their Thai lessons at school we are sitting here talking with Joey and the boys and also their school teacher Tar. Sarah's English class is going very very well and that is still an area of prayer, please pray for Sarah in this area of ministry.

Here are some photos of Both the new bike and us harvesting rice. God Bless.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jesus Film

Quite a lot has happened in the last week or two, since the last post. 
As I had mentioned before we were trying to get a Jesus film showing up and running, we have had two opportunities to show the film now. Last Sunday we were invited to visit a local Karen Church and the Pastors son has a film showing ministry, not really what you would expect. Any way Pastor Eric has worked with this man is the past and has been working with him to get this ministry going now that the Lord has provided transportation. He is a Thai Karen man serving in the Thai army so he has access to many of the remote villages, and being his father is a Pastor everyone already knows him, really a connection of the Lord. Upon arriving for church, about thirty minutes early the family and I were introduced and then he invited Eric and I to show the Jesus film later that night, about one hour further into the mountains from the church. It was a neat time of fellowship and getting to know this new brother. Once we arrived I was asked to share a word of encouragement to the existing body of believers, about ten, and then we were to share the film. About 20-30 people showed up and heard and saw the Gospel in their own language, Praise the Lord. 
This Sunday evening we journeyed back further up the mountain from my house, where we had scheduled a film showing the week before. As we arrived in the village we could hear the local church starting their Worship service, and were directed to the church to join. Talk about the timing of the Lord! Pastor Eric was asked to share from the Word as an encouragement to the Body, again about 10 people. After church we spent some time with the Pastor in his home while we waited for the sun to drop behind the mountains so we could begin. Many people showed up to see this movie, I would say between 30 and 50 including children heard the Gospel last night. What an exciting time here in Northern Thailand, please continue to pray for this area of ministry, also as we join forces with our Karen friend that our styles mold well.

It is now cold season here in Thailand and it gets fairly cold. We are only in about the third week and it is already down to the high 50's at night. It is beautiful during the day though mid 80's. Who would have thought it is actually cold here? I guess it will get much colder but we will see. 

This past week was Loy Gratong festival, a Buddhist holiday in which one can ask, basically, "mother earth" to be forgiven of their sins. This was a great opportunity to minister as there were so many people gathered together, we used it to pass out tracks. One night we passed out almost 300. It was really neat to watch people stop what they were doing and read the track. One man stands out; As I was handing him the track he was very reluctant to accept it. He instead aligned himself with me so as to read the heading better. After reading the heading, "THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY" in Thai he accepted the track and stood and read it, I traveled on down the path. There were many shops along the way so the going was slow. This man of about 40 caught up to me and thanked me with a huge smile on his face, then continued on his way also. About half an hour later we crossed paths again and he made sure I saw him, still carrying that huge smile. That was a real blessing to see the change in this man, whether he was encouraged or believed in the Lord for the first time only he and God knows but there was definitely a change. This is just one story of several similar.

Our Friday Bible study, now held on Saturday, is going well. We have lost a few of the original students but have gained several more, there are usually about ten youth 12-18 and one adult. Two weeks ago we showed the Jesus film in Thai to them, this puts the teachings of Pastor Eric and I into visual form and enforces them as well. Please pray diligently for this group of youths salvation, they have heard and will continue to hear as long as we are entrusted with them. 

On a family note, the boys are starting to really enjoy schooling at the public school. They are still working on the Thai alphabet. Sarah is doing really well in teaching English and the school has doubled the number of students since classes began. This is the biggest area of ministry, many lives are being touched through this opportunity. Most of the kids that show up for Saturday Bible study come from this school. We get the chance not only to minister to the students, but also to the other staff members and the parents of the students. We as a family and a team (including the Johansens) spend alot of time either at the school or with the staff or students. The Lord is really doing something here so please pray. We just traveled further North to Myanmar for our visas. Following are some pictures. (top: film showing, some new friends and us, Family photo on the border)

Prayer Requests: 
Spiritual Awakening for Thailand
Family Growth in Grace
Kids Schooling
Sarah's English Class
The Lord's Provision

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Week of Halloween

It has been over a week since the last post...oops. Well as most of you know Halloween is over hope you all stayed out of harms way. I learned something new this past week, did you know Reformation Day October 31 1517? This is the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the door post of his church. Reformation Day is a protestant Holiday. I thought that was kinda cool, no need to redeem a wicked day Martin Luther did that almost 500 years ago. All that to say we had a good day, we reflected on what the Lord has done for us, spent some time with the Johansens and both families talked about the need for following the Word of God and sometimes the cost of doing such things, as seen by Luther. We ate some "German" food (Goulash and hotdogs, that's as close as we could get here) and had fellowship. It was really neat for me to learn about this part of Christian History, I learned things I never knew before. Praise God.

We have been praying about what to do for the kids social development, adults aren't really the best avenue, and the Lord directed us to have them attend Thai public school part time. The last week or two we have been seeing that through and today was there first day. None of the three boys were very excited by the thought but I think they really enjoyed it. They are attending classes in our friend Tar's class three hours a day, during this time they study Thai language, writing, reading and also get the chance to interact with other children. Sarah and I are excited to see how fast they learn the lessons taught.

Sarah is in her second week of teaching English and things are going well, with the curriculum we found online the students are able to be taught more at their level. The first couple of days Sarah administered a placement test and from this the classes were restructured to fit their needs better. This is really exciting please keep these classes in your prayers.

So that is the boys and Sarah as for Marissa and myself, Marissa is doing very well in her schooling and her reading is coming along excellent. She is currently working her way through Amelia Badelia for practice. Pastor Eric and Mj have two daughters aged 5 and 3 so she gets lots of play time. I have been helping Sarah with organizing her school stuff, and also with the homeschooling of the children. I was blessed to be able to teach at our weekly evangelism Bible study this Saturday and at a local Karen Baptist Church on Sunday, both went well if you ask me, but I am the one that taught so its kinda bias.  Eric has all the equipment for film showing and we have been praying about opportunities to do some outreach, today we took a drive into the mountains to a Karen village that Eric had never been to in hopes to meet up with someone from that village that could assist. Get permissions and that sort of thing. The pastor was out farming and we were unable to make a contact, but were shocked at the size of the village, we both felt it would be a great place and are going to pursue making contact. Please pray for this area of ministry.

Next weekend we will be traveling to Chang Rai to do visas, it is about 6 hours away. We will have to cross into Myanmar to get a stamp, this is the closest and normal place to renew visas. We will stay the night in Chang Rai, Thailand, and return home the following day. Even with our one year visa we are required to exit every 90 days, going now will put us on the same schedule as the Johansens and enable us to travel together.

Below is a picture of our Bible study group, as you remember please pray salvation for each of these young people.

Prayer Requests:
Continued strength
Salvation for Thailand
Our Family

 I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.  This is most certainly true.  Martin Luther

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Official

It is official, Sarah is now a volunteer ESL teacher. Tomorrow is the first official day Sarah will be teaching English at Mylongyee Learning Center. Sarah will begin testing students to see their academic level tomorrow, and end Saturday. Lessons begin next Tuesday. We found a curriculum available for free download that offers 4 levels of learning, beginner, pre-intermediate, intermediate, and advanced. This curriculum is a 2 year progressive course, that offers conversational English with reading and writing skills and also incorporates visual and audio comprehension with written expression ie.  audio book and movie reviews. We are really excited to see how this will all come about as this school is only in its' second semester and has no real structure. MJ, Sarah and I will be helping get a working structure in place. Please pray for all of this it is new to us, even though we homeschool, and we want the Lord to be glorified most importantly. The English camp that was scheduled for this week was cancelled due to lack of registration so, obviously, I have nothing exciting to share about it but wanted to keep you updated as to prior information.

I have been ill the last few days with a fever and alot of pain in all my joints and holes, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, etc. and a severe headache. It has lasted since very late Saturday night until present, however today about one I started to get some relief. This evening I am in some pain and have a slight headache, but I think it is passing. Thank you to all who received word and prayed and to those that did not hear, I did not want to worry you. So far I am the only one with any symptoms so you can pray that it stays that way, I can say it is nothing nice. Aside from this our health has been rather good, we are all in good health and spirits, as we pray you are when this letter finds you.

This past Saturday Pastor Eric, Joey, and I were invited to a Karen wedding by our friend Peter. The services were held in a nearby village about 50 kilometers away. I think we arrived late, as it was well under way, but it was neat to be there anyway. After the wedding we hung out for a while eating and fellowshipping before returning home.

The Friday Bible study is a continued blessing. This past Friday there were about ten young people in attendance, they were all from Mylongyee Learning Center. They said they enjoyed the time together and would return again next Friday. Pastor Eric taught Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. It is neat to see the Word pricks the heart. I believe it will now be our Saturday Bible study to accommodate Sarah's teaching schedule. Please, please remember this in your prayers.

Below are some photos of the last week. Top to bottom: Man powered ferris wheel  (four seater), Jacob, and Aubrey loaded, Joey patiently waiting and Marissa taking her turn, round and round we go, Eric and I being presented Karen bags by the Pastor at a Karen church we visited, Pastor Eric gave the message, Bottom: Mylongyee family, this is our group of friends, some missing.

Prayer Requests
Christ to be known!
Sarah's teaching & Mylongyee learning center in general
Getting adjusted to new schedules
Friday Bible study
Our friends to know Jesus & new friends
Continued health
Finances  monthly provisions and vehicle


                                   A Psalm. A Song At the Dedication of the House of David.
            I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper! You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,  To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

September Gone!

We are now into our second month, and time is flying by. This last month has been interesting with many things happening as you could imagine, getting settled and meeting people. I hope you are all following weekly. Since our last post there have been some new events. Pastor Eric has been in the refugee camp, at the Bible college teaching there with Jead, a fellow missionary here, and Bem a short term missionary from the Philippines, he has now returned. Sarah and I are still teaching English in the near by Karen church, that we also attend. Mj started a women's study also that her and Sarah and Jead will be helping with, this was the first week, Sarah was not feeling well. As you may remember I was invited to the radio station with Tar, I was able to attend one Saturday evening and we played two Christian songs on the radio. It was pretty cool, Mj was flipping through the radio stations and heard Christian songs, that is how she found the station. Christian music is not played on the radio here.
Sarah and I have had the opportunity to go on two "dates", one was her and I and the other was with a group of people, both were quite nice. We went out to coffee shopping and dessert alone, and enjoyed a meal together with Pastor Eric, Mj, Bem, and Tar.
Starting today we, Eric and I, will start a prayer meeting and some training. Thai lessons are still trying but we are coming along rather well. We have learned most of the tones and have about 100 words in our vocabulary including numbers and colors. We are still trying to put them into sentences, although we do have several of them down pretty good. It is kinda cool listening to people speak around us and being able to pick up some, not much but some is better than none a month ago.
Last week I was able to travel to Chaing Mai, which is about 120 miles away, and purchase some things that we needed, hot water heater, and some clothes storage items. It has been really nice to take warm showers. It is also the first time the kids have really had somewhere to put their clothes, since leaving America. They did have a bookshelf in one house and one shelf in the other, but that is hardly somewhere to put their clothes. It was so neat when the kids got up, we arrived home about two a.m., to see how excited something like dressers got them. What a blessing to appreciate something so small and be able to recognize God for the gift He had given them.
We would like you to join us in prayer for a vehicle, car, truck, or van. We have the one scooter which is working for now, it takes two trips to get us all anywhere, which is fine, but we will need something more suitable to our family as time goes on. We have been looking around and have found some at a decent price, so please join us in prayer for the Lord to meet this need.
Teaching English is really being used by the Lord here to open up the door for ministry, we have been invited to teach in many different areas, and are planning to use them as the Lord confirms His will in each. On this note, this month, 15th and 16th there is a Sr. English camp through the English school that Sarah will be teaching at. This will be for students 25+. Sarah, Mj, Jead, and I will all be helping with this, please keep these dates in prayer.

Here are some recent photos:(top to bottom) Marissa eating a fried meal worm, Joey, Jacob, and Princess ready for bed, Tyler and I at a retirement party Namdib school, squid and beef on bbq Sarah and I dinner date, Tar, Sarah and I dinner date, Mj, Eric, Tar, and I dinner date, Tyler's dresser and space, and last our new water heater.


Prayer Requests:
New friends
English opportunities
Salvation for Thailand
Thai lessons
Upcoming trip

English Camp                    
Provision (vehicle, monthly)

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little Note

Hello everyone!As most of you know, we are settling just fine and quickly as well.It feels like the time is just going by so quickly.God is so amazing it is such an honor to serve him.Ministry is going well here,Friday night fellowship is the best.We have dinner and then we dig into the word.It is a great opportunity to answer questions and to show the great love the Lord Jesus has for others.Saturday is fun teaching English to the Karen children as well as a bible verse.Sunday we have English service at the Johansen's, it is just our two families but, we make a whole church.I think for the first time Saturday our children met some friends as it is not cultural for children to be outside.200 firecrackers go a long way.This week in Thai we learned sentence structure.The kids have been speaking Thai to there Grandmas this last week, they got a kick out of it.Joe was able to take some of our music down to the radio station this week for them to play.Joe is also doing well in his online class Kingdom Expansion 101.He has a great facilitator Dain Waidley.The kids are doing well with there studies.We are learning the tin whistle this year for music,the kids love it.I almost forgot on Saturday we were invited to Naamdib School to watch their athletic competition.They had a thirty legged race!It was so cool!After the competition they served us homemade strawberry ice cream!It was fabulous.One of our new friends Tar is a third grade teacher at that school.Continue to pray for our new friends.Thank you all for the love that is shown to us and for your prayers and support.

Prayer Requests
Our new friends
Thai Lessons (God to give us the ability to speak this tonal language)
Friday night bible study
The Nelson Kids to meet some more new friends

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Links Available!!

Greetings everyone! Joe asked me to set up links to a few websites for him. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog, there is a section of favorite links. There you will find three links. One of the links is to a video produced by a group of people who want to bring to people's attention the plight of the Karen people of Burma. A second link is to messages by Pastor David Platt of Disciple-Making International. He is one of the pastors of The Church of Brook Hills in Birmingham,AL. DMI is a parachurch organization that desires to provide resources from the local church to support other churches around the world. And the third link is to sermon messages given at Joe and Sarah's home church of Calvary Chapel Valle Vista in Hemet, CA.

Stop by and check out the links. Watch the video on the Karen people. It's quite enlightening. And also be sure to stop in and check out the messages from Pastor Cliff at Calvary Valle Vista! And for more sermon messages about various topics, stop by the DMI website. All three are great places to visit and will help you grow in your walk with God!!

Thanks and have a blessed week!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hi Gang!

Hey everyone! Everything here is going great! The Lord is so good. We have made several new friends, Jeab, Tar, Steve, and now Peter. Jeab is our Thai tutor, which by the way is going pretty good, Tar and Steve are teachers at the school Sarah was asked to teach at, and Peter is Steve's friend. It is so cool how the Lord has brought us all together. These guys are all really neat guys and all from different backgrounds. We have had the chance to hang out about three times a week, just loving on them and sharing Christ through our actions. It gets better, As Pastor Eric has been away at the refugee camp many things have come about, teaching, radio, bible study, etc. He was able to come down from camp this weekend and we were able to share what the Lord has been doing and the doors He has been opening. Eric is all for them so far. It was really neat, last  Wednesday night, we invited Steve, Tar and Jeab to join for fellowship and Bible study Friday evening after Thai class, I was planning on doing something when Pastor Eric surprised us all with his presence giving him the opportunity to meet the guys and teach the first Bible study at his home with our new group of friends. What a blessing. Tonight we had plans to meet up with Steve and go to a "trade fair" more like a really organized swap meet, he took us there and had some things to care to so we were to meet up when we were finished. It was so cool, he told me, "Ok, we will come to your house, hang out, play guitar, and eat dinner." So, ok, we all went back to our house and ate dinner again. It is funny how the Lord works, right? I am so excited to see what the Lord does with this group of guys He has brought our way.
On another note, English class at the Karen church is really cool. Today we went through the alphabet with the kids teaching them the phonetics of each letter, this will be a weekly event, the phonics that is. We will be working on the vowels for a while, next week will be "Aa". During this time I also teach them a memory verse, not only does it implement the Bible, it helps with reading and pronunciation. Today was Genesis 1:1.
We are praying about a trip "inside" during which I may be teaching Microsoft Excel and Word. This will be a two or three week trip. It will probably be next month, October. Not sure any more details right now.
Also tonight I was asked to help Steve at the public school, he is the English teacher, teach conversational English. Just one more thing the Lord has opened up. With so many things coming up it is easy to take them all on only to find out later that some where not of the Lord. We have to be very cautious and bathe all these in prayer. Amen? God is doing amazing things here in Northern Thailand.
Please continue to pray for:
Our new friends
ministry opportunities ( both open doors and guidance to accept)
The new Bible study
Thai lessons ( Nelson's & Jeab)
Eric while he is away
Upcoming trip (the trip itself and the families behind, also the wisdom to teach these programs)

Here are some photos of us and our friends...
Top four: Celebrating Jeab's birthday  Bottom Three: Bible study

God Bless you and check back frequently to see what the Lord is doing in and through our lives. Blessings from Thailand! 
Galatians 2:20

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Photos From Thailand

Hi gang,

Joe sent me a few photos for you all. The first two are of the family eating and also what they are eating. It looks delicious!! I happen to really like Thai food and this stir fry (that's what I'm guessing it is) looks wonderful!!

The last two photos are of the family learning Thai with their tutor.

In His service,

Mike & Lisa

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Good evening,
All our Facebook friends have received some of this info already, but here is a more detailed explanation of yesterdays events; Around 6 p.m. yesterday Sept. 9th while we were waiting for our Thai language teacher to arrive at the Johansen's house it began to rain. And boy did it! It rained rather heavily for maybe one hour, however that was really all it took to. In that hour of rain, there where at least three landslides two blocking the road and one crushing a neighboring house. During this time parts of the downstairs were filled with mud. We were all safe during this time and spent it in prayer until the rain subsided. Unfortunately our language teacher was unable to make it as her mother in law was in the hospital .
We also had a meeting with an English school director after class and this went well also. Let me explain. Sarah has been assisting M.J. teach English at a local primary school, one of the teachers also owns an English school (like a tutor school) that helps teach English to the nationals. He invited Sarah to teach at this school. M.J. thought this would be a good way to get involved in the community and a way to build relationships for the gospel. This meeting was with the owner and the director discussing their needs and our availability.Pray for wisdom for us in this opportunity. Praise the Lord! This same teacher has something to do with a radio station, not sure as to the involvement but we have been asked if we would be interested in filling one or more of the slots. We are seriously praying this through as we work the details and get the permissions needed in order to be able to share God's word things of this nature. At this point it is only a prayer, but add it to the list of yours to be praying for, if it is the Lord's will it would be a great opportunity. By the end of this meeting the rain had stopped and we were able to head home. As we were loading up one of the emergency workers suggested that M.J. maybe find somewhere else to stay the night as the hillside was unstable. Cleanup crews worked all day in the area cleaning up the mess.
Sarah and I taught our first joint English class today at the Karen church we attend. This will be our Saturday ministry outreach. It was very neat to do it as husband and wife.
Here are some photos of the mud also one of the English class.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 2

We have been here in Northern Thailand now for two weeks and already so much has happened. We have reunited with old friends, spent some time with friends from the States, and said goodbye to our new friends we brought with us from the Philippines. It has been a busy two weeks that is to be sure. We have been purchasing the needed items for our home, that the Lord was so gracious to provide for, we purchased a transportation, refrigerator, washing machine, some misc. dishes and housewares, and beds for all of us. There are a few items that we are still lacking but they are not really necessary for daily living, things like storage containers for our clothes and dishes, cushions for our furniture, etc. Thank you to all who heard the Lord and listened when it came to helping finance these things. We also had the opportunity to travel with Pastor Eric, and his wife M.J. to see the Fletchers off at the airport in Chaing Mai for their travel home. It was a real blessing to have them here to assist in the move and get a feel for our daily lives. Chaing Mai is the closest big city with all the shops and stores of a big city, I think the real highlight for us was Burger King!
The kids have started school and it is going rather smoothly, considering we are starting a new school year and new curriculum, Joey started 7th grade, Jacob 5th, Tyler 3rd, and Marissa 1st, we also have Eric and Mj's two girls joining in the schooling this year. Tonight was our first official Thai language class, rather interesting, some of the sounds we need to make in order to say these words is rather foreign to say the least. The actual language seems to be pretty straight forward, word placement and sentence structure that sort of thing, it is all about tone, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Thai has five tones so each word can have five different meanings depending on the way you say it, but as time goes and the Holy Spirit does His thing we will get this worked out. Thanks again for you financial support and your prayers. Please continue to lift us up in prayer.

Here are some of the areas of prayer:
Finances/ monthly support
Ministry opportunities
English teaching outreach
Steadfastness in the Word.

God Bless.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thailand Update!

Hi gang. I wanted to share an email from Joe that I got the other night. He says:

So, I just wanted to give everyone a hello and let you all know what is going on. Currently we are staying at Pastor Eric's house as ours is still in repair. Tomorrow we should be able to get the keys and start moving in. We need a few things before we really can move in; a stove and a drinkable water source, both of which are easily attained. Our house is absolutely empty so please keep this area lifted to the Lord as we seek His provision. We do have the finances we need to purchase some things, not sure what as of yet. We are praying through our options and seeking the Lord as to the priority of the items needed. As it is now, we are looking at the two above mentioned items, as well as a washing machine and, most importantly, transportation. We are about 1-2 miles from both town and Eric so this is very important. That should leave us with enough money to get groceries until we receive funds again. The ladies have had the opportunity to teach English twice, as well as accompany MJ once. The guys have had some really good fellowship in the Word and have been taking care of the logistical things. Dennis and Caleb, two of my classmates, are here as well and they have been blessed and have been a blessing. Tomorrow we will hold our English fellowship here at Eric's house around 9 before heading to a Karen church at 11. We also meet with our language teacher. Language is hard but by the power of the Spirit we will get it. This is very important as English is very minimal at best. Please pray also for this, that her schedule would be open to once a day for an hour or so, and also that our tongues would be loosed to learn this new language. Around 2 we will meet with the owner of our house at which point we should sign papers and start the next process. This next week coming up we will spend cleaning and preparing our house to be lived in as well as many other things not yet decided. Bless you guys

It sounds like things are going well for them and it's exciting to hear how the Lord is blessing them as they hit the ground running! Please also keep the following items in your prayers as they get settled in.

The Lord's provision
New school year
Spiritual strength 

Here are a few pictures that I received as well.

Thanks for checking in and please continue to lift up Joe, Sarah, and the kids as they begin a new chapter in their lives in Thailand!! Pray that the Lord would break through the darkness there as the country is about 95% Buddhist and less than 1% Christian. They need Jesus in a bad way and Joe and Sarah continue to be on the front lines for the Lord! As always, pray for their safety as well. I would also ask that you'd pray that they would fall into the good graces of the Thai people very quickly and make inroads with the Gospel!

They should have plenty of rice varieties to choose from for meals since there are something on the order of 5,000 varieties in the country. Let's see. If they have one style per day, they'll get through all the rice varieties in about thirteen years!! LOL

Thanks again for your prayers and support. If you aren't currently supporting Joe and Sarah financially, please prayerfully consider doing so. They rely totally upon the support of others. I firmly believe that if you can't go on the mission field, support those who can and do. In doing so, you're partnering with others in being a part of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world! It pays eternal dividends!

God bless you!