Welcome to PlaaPlaaPlaa!

So you may be wondering why PlaaPlaaPlaa? What are those strange fish symbols above? What is ปลา and what does it mean? In short, this is a blog site, so surely there's going to be plenty of rambling. Unfortunately BlahBlahBlah was already taken, so I had to settle for the 'Plaa'. But there's actually more to it then just ramblings. The first fish symbol is actually a Christian symbol meaning ICTHUS - a greek acronymn which means "Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour". The other strange letters you see in the last fish is actually the thai word for fish which funnily enough is pronounced "Plaa". So when you put it all together, this site is going to be my ramblings in telling people about how Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour in Thailand (with plenty of good stories about food in between). Happy reading.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Info Night Highlights

Thanks so much to those who made it along to the info night last night. I hope that it was an informative and encouraging night for you in hearing about what some of my plans are for Thailand next year.

For those who weren't able to make it, here are a few of the highlights and a bit of a summary of the night.



Personally, i think one of the biggest highlights was the supper. Thanks Jen & Rosemary. You guys are THE BEST!!


The Night started with a video which i thought i'd share with you guys here. It's a short vox pop on 'Would you go on overseas on mission? (Sorry to embarrass a few of you, but i may as well if i can right?)

video

Funnily all those comments (apart from 'i get sick travelling') are all comments that i would've made if someone had stuck a video camera in my face even up to 9 months ago. So what changed? how did i go from being a supporter of OTHERS going, to going myself?

In short, i don't know. i think maybe God 'flicked a switch' or something in my head. i think of it more like someone who has heard the gospel dozens of times but didn't want to become a christian but one day they hear the same gospel, but it just completely changes their life. It's only because God's spirit works in us to change us. if you want to read more about how i decided to go, check out my post on 'so why go to thailand back' in august.

Then i showed another video on why i'm going to thailand.

video

From there i started talking....



and talking...



and talking...

about all the possible opportunities for next year. in the next few weeks, i'll put more detail into the the various opportunities on this blog but for now, here's a summary of what possible opportunities there are:

1. Study Thai part time (i'll actually be over there on a student visa)
2. Help out at Bethany House Orphanage
3. Possible opportunities to help disabled Thai people get established in business to help them get a better standing in life
4. Build relationships with Thai Christians, and help them grow in their understanding of the Bible so they can teach others
5. Work with Missionaries over there in producing relevant and useful christian resources for Thai's
6. Get involved at church - join HG, youth group, maybe music, whatever other opportunities there are at church
7. Building relationships with non christian Thai's and share my life with them
8. Possibly opportunities to do things with CBN Siam, the christian TV network in Thailand.

Craig (my minister) then said a few words on video about why he'd encourage you to partner with me and ways that you can be partnering with me. Here's what he had to say:

video

I also got to give out my prayer cards too.



I've got PLENTY of printed ones, so if you want me to send one out to you so you can stick it up on your fridge or behind your toilet door, send me an email with your postal address and i'll send one out. Or click on the following if you want to download the prayer card or supporters slip.

Darryl and Chez then prayed for us all

and there it is, the night in summary. Of course i had to finish the night with some kind of typical Dweb video, hope you enjoy...

video

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Maranatha

Maranatha is an aramaic work that basically means 'Our Lord, Come!'. (If you want to check out the full meaning of the aramaic word Maranatha, check out Wikipedia)

Yesterday at my Por Por's (grandmothers) funeral, the sense of wanting Jesus to come NOW couldn't have been stronger. In one sense, i just want so badly for the pain and hurt of this world to be no more. I can't wait for the day til there is a new heaven and a new earth, when there is no more crying, mouring or pain. But i know that that wish right now is for selfish reasons. However, even though it's something i want now, i also feel like i'm in 2 minds. Because at the same funeral, there were plenty of other family members and friends who don't yet know God, who i also don't want to even imagine an eternity without. So i find myself also thanking God for his patience in not coming in order to give people the opportunity to turn back to himself.

Death always reminds me that time is short. We can't afford to 'waste' time and need to make the most of every opportunity.

I thought i'd share a video i edited up on behalf of the 'cousins' as our tribute to our Por Por. I actually had a great time and many laughs reminiscing her life while editing this video for her funeral. Maybe my por por's quirks explain a lot about me :) Besides, i did say that this site would have some good food stories inbetween - my por por's KFC stories won't disappoint. check it out.

video

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reality Check

So often in all the busyness and excitement of doing something 'big' (like heading over to Thailand on mission), it's easy to get so carried away that you, in some ways, lose sight of reality. You're so busy working out what you're going to do in the upcoming year, organising your life and work so you can leave and socialising as much as you can to make up for your absence in the coming year. It's so easy to get excited about all the awesome things to come, that you're left on a massive emotional, physical and spiritual 'high'.

But there's nothing like a reality check to bring you back down to earth. You know what i mean, when people close to you have major (life threatening) medical issues, or when family relationships break down....or people you love pass away.

In the past 2 months, it now feels like for every really exciting and encouraging ministry breakthrough that i've experienced related to next year, i've had a reality check of equal or greater size to bring me back down to earth. With everything from my brother-in-law ending up in ICU and being resuscitated, to my best friend's life being turned upside down with family breakdowns, to just this last Tuesday, my grandmother (Por Por) unexpectedly passing away at age 86.

As much as i'd do ANYTHING right now to get my por por back, or to make my friends family relationships better, or my bro-in-law's health restored, i know it's a big reminder to me on a daily basis how fallen this world really is, and how much the world, our friends, and our family really need to know Jesus. Because it's only through Him that we can ever have the life that we were created for. To be with our maker in heaven where there will be no more crying, mourning or pain.

I've spent plenty of hours of late contemplating all the reality checks that have been thrown my way in the past couple months. Are they the work of Satan in trying to bring me down and make me question God and his faithfulness to me? Is he trying to stop me from heading over to Thailand next year? Or is it God testing me, moulding me, teaching me perseverance so i can be prepared for what's to come next year? Or maybe he's just trying to make me realise how fallen the world is and how urgently it needs to hear about Jesus?

At the end of the day, i don't know. What i do know is that for each of these things that has happened, i am reminded of the frailty of life, the falleness of this world, the urgency of telling those we love about the gospel. Who knows when our time will be up.

For those who are praying, i'd appreciate your prayers as i head over to NZ this week for the funeral. For opportunities to share Jesus with with family members who are not Christian. Pray that God will soften their hearts and that they will turn back to Him.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Coincidence or Godincidence?

Do you ever wonder if things that happen in life are just a coincidence or if there's actually something more? Just recently, i was introduced to a new word 'Godincidence'. Unlike a coincidence where it seems like luck drawing a random set of events together, a Godincidence is when God orchestrates everything to come together, even if they may seem like a random set of events at the time. Ok, so it's not a word that has yet made it to wikipedia, and i still need to refine the definition, but i'm sure you get the idea.

Since deciding to go to Thailand, i've been really blessed to have experienced more 'godincidences' then my mind could've ever imagined. I know that it's not just me being REALLY lucky in experiencing my lifetime quota of good luck just this year. How could i seriously think that it was JUST good luck? If God created the world and continues to sustain the world, why should i doubt that he could cause so many godincidences in my life?

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to write a 'thesis' on all the cool things that God has been doing (and i doubt you'd have the time to read it all anyway), so i thought i'd just mention a couple.

So, one of the things i'll do when i get to Thailand is learn Thai. Let's face it, if i want to communicate with Thai people, i'll have to. I can't expect that they'll all speak english with me. If that were the case, why even go?

So i decided that i'd try and learn as much thai as i could before i go over. But have you ever tried to learn another language from a textbook, or worse - a lonely planet guide? Trust me, it's not that easy. it's more like trying to decipher a really hard suduko puzzle, but without the solution published the next day. The thought had crossed my mind that it'd be great if i could find a Thai friend in Sydney who could help me, but apart from going to my local Thai restaurant LOTS of times to meet them and get to know them, i wasn't really liking my chances.

So, bring on a 'godincidence' and enter Ant, a thai girl who has moved to Sydney in May to study english. She's a friend of Tong, a guy that our short term team worked with in Thailand last year. I won't go into all the details on how we ended up meeting, but lets just say it's been great getting to know her and have her help me a bit with learning Thai. And in getting to know her, i've also had the opportunity to speak to her about God, take her to home group, church and have given her a thai/english bible which she has been really eager to read.

Another cool way that God has worked recently is through my new nephew, Sean, being born in Chiang Mai in June. Before knowing my plans for next year i'd already organised to go over to meet my new nephew and have a holiday with the family. What an awesome opportunity that was to not only hang out with the family, but to also use holiday as a bit of a survey trip. In my 10 days there, i was able to meet both old and new thai friends and be shown so many awesome ministry opportunities that i could be involved with next year. One of the most amazing 'random meets' was meeting a girl called Gao who works at CBN Siam (Christian Broadcasting Network). What were the chances of meeting someone who works in a similar industry to what i currently do here in Sydney? Coincidence or Godincidence?

Since deciding to go to Thailand, one thing i've found is that the more i let go of trying to control everything and the more i hand everything over to God, the more amazing things he shows me and the more 'godincidences' i seem to experience. i'd encourage you to really give God a go and let go of trying to be in control and let God really show you what he can do. It's AMAZING!

Why i shouldn't be in front of the camera

So, while the video on why i'm going to Thailand is still in production, i thought i'd give you a sneak peak of what's to come...well, at least my attempts in making the video. The lesson i've learnt - i know which side of the camera i belong on :)
video