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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, bring on 2009

So 2008 ended up being an awesome year new experiences, new friendships, new language, learning lots from God's Word and seeing the way that God is working in the lives of people over here, being pumped to be serving God more and being amazed at the privilege it is to be able to serve God in our lives. I'm just constantly amazed at the way that God works and the more i learn about him and see him in action, the more convinced i am of how awesome our God really is and how worthy he is to be receiving our praise, and how more people just need to come to know him grow in their knowledge of Him.

Believe it or not, i'm actually having a quiet NYE in with the family (apart from all the neighbours karaoke going on outside...interesting...). To be honest, i'm actually really glad about the quiet night in, as i'm just wasted from all the partying from Christmas, then a team retreat which we just got back from this afternoon. Not that the retreat was heavy going, but it was just still being on the go. So hopefully the next few days will be some nice chill days to catch up on about the last 3 months lot of sleep, and spend time with the family before the new year kicks in and things go nuts again.

So while i a had a few minutes, i thought i'd just wish you all a Happy New Year. Thanks for all your support, encouragement, prayers and partnership in the Gospel with me this year! it's been awesome to have all your support and do know that i wouldn't have been able to do it without all you guys! Look forward to keeping you posted on all that happens in 09!!


check out this lawn mower!! i guess they built them to last in the old days :)


the Team


family shot at the Dam

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bethany House Kids Caroling at Le Meridien

video

Last Wednesday 24th, the kids from the Bethany and Cana House orphanages got to sing at the Le Meridien Hotel in Chiang Mai. For those of you who don't know, Le Meridien is one of the most expensive hotels going here. So i'm sure many of them were feeling a bit out of their comfort zone. But they were all really excited about it and had a blast of a time singing there. they want to go back and do it again.

I won't go into the whole story of how it all came about, but let's just say, God is good and the hotel are really keen to support the kids in whatever way they can, and are wanting to get them back in the future to sing and even possibly dance at some other thai festivals and special events during the year. So that's some exciting news.

Being asian, i've been trying to score a 'free' meal there since it opened (and even before) as one of friends Kim works there. So course i jumped at the chance to be part of the 'crew' for the kids in order to score a free meal. So believe it or not, i got to put some of my Shiseido training to good use and got assigned the role of 'makeup artist'!! :) haha So i was ready for my free meal at the plush Le Meridien. That night, they had special christmas eve meals and buffets going for like 1700bht!! that's like 56 meals that i could get at my neigbouring thai restaurant!! So, i was all geared up for some awesome food. Before i got there, we were joking around that we'd probably get fried rice, gang jeut (a plain soup), stir fried veg and anything else that you'd expect was pretty 'typical' simple thai food. So when we got there, i spotted the buffet table and made a bee line for it. And what was on the menu......fried rice, gang jeut, stir fried veg and a basil eggplant!! how lucky am i to score such a special meal there?!?!? Well, i suppose, beggers can't be choosers :)

Anyway, above is a short video of some of the stuff that went on that night and some of the kids and here are a few photos from the night


the kids in the lobby


i really did do makeup


some of the kids


the classy buffet we got :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

School Christmas Party

So today we had our school christmas party which ended up being rather amusing, since i was asked to help MC the party and translate into english all the Khruu Tor said. So given that i was handed the mic on many occasions, i thought i'd take the opportunity to 'elaborate' at times on things that were happening or said to help make the day a bit more fun too. A very dangerous thing if you're people who i tend to enjoy glaanging (teasing) :) hehe

Anyway, here's a video of my teacher with a few of her students singing Last Christmas. My teacher is the one who's completely embarrassed in the video. not hard to miss. She'll kill me for putting this up, but hey, why not? :)

video

For those who are interested, Gai Yaang is a dance that kids get each other to do as a 'punishment' - or more a way of embarrassing those who might come in last or lose a game. So here's Khruu Jai with Eugene doing Gai Yaang since they came in last when playing the 'relay' game.
video


Since i ended up doing lots of the talking and forgot to hand my camera to someone to happy snap, i didn't manage to many photos of me in action at all. but here are few shots of the day anyway.


Christmas at CLS


Me with Khruu Jai


Some of the teachers at school


Group Photo

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas in Thailand

It feels kind of odd that there is no public holiday for Christmas over here, which makes plenty of sense seeing as it's not a christian country, however it also means that all Christmas celebrations get spread out all over the month of December. Given that Christmas is not really celebrated here, i've been so encouraged by the ways that many of my Thai christian friends have been taking hold of Christmas as an opportunity to be sharing the gospel and trying to help others know what the true meaning of Christmas is - that it's not just about the new year. So here's just a summary of the christmas events that i've been up to/will be up to this month:
5/12 - Pioneers Christmas party
13/12 - Png's Christmas party (with over 100 people)
19/12 - School Christmas party
19/12 - Church carolling
20/12 - Ken & Kristy's Christmas party in the muu baan
21/12 - Christmas at church
22/12 - Christmas party at Baan Tawai
23/12 - Cell Group Christmas party
24/12 - Orphanage kids singing carols at Le Meridien hotel
25/12 - Christmas Day
26/12 - Christmas party for the Bethany House Orphanage kids

As you can see, it's a pretty nuts end of the month - where our team will also go away for a team retreat from the 27th - 31st. So it'd be awesome if you could be praying for all these outreach opportunities in the next couple weeks, for those who aren't christians, to be hearing the true meaning of Christmas and being challenged by that. i'd also appreciate prayer for the busyness in the next few weeks, that i won't get sick and that i can do it all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mae Tia



Despite the early 6am start, the trip down to Mae Tia was awesome! I'm actually really glad that i woke up early to go to the meeting and prayer time at 6am that day. it was just a really nice way to start the day, reading parts of God's word, being reminded again of the gospel and why it's just so important for others to hear it and praying. As people slowly drifted into church, what was originally going to be about 25-30 people going, ended up being about 50 of us!

In the lead up to the day, i was again able to see God work in amazing ways in just the group that i was working with - with the kids. Originally, it was just going to be me and Gun looking after the kids (which could have numbered up to 90), which was a seriously daunting task, as i've got plenty of ideas in how to run the time, but not the language to control 90 kids, and Gun has the language, but probably isn't the best upfront person, and didn't know many of the games or skits we wanted to do. So, we obviously prayed a lot for a suitable solution. Thank God that he was able to give Kim the day off work, so she could come, along with Maggie and Ice too. Thankfully as well, we ended up with about 20 kids, instead of 90 (which would've just been crowd control). So what was potentially going to be a nightmare, ended up as a really good time, where we were able to share with the kids what Christmas is really about, a simple explanation of the gospel through 'gospel beads' and give them all some presents.




Apart from what we were doing with the kids, there was also heaps of medical stuff going on too - with general check ups, dental hygiene, physio advice, eye checks and even hair cuts. But while all that was going on, there was also a team of people who were just chatting to people there and sharing the gospel with them. We also had a brief time to go visit the houses too to chat to more people who might not have been able to make it out to the area we were holding the mission. It was really exciting to see how the different professions and abilities of people were able to join together as one body for the sake of the gospel.




It was actually pretty funny at times to realise that many of my thai friends were struggling to understand all that these people were saying too - as many of them spoke a weird northern dialect which they probably only really use in their muu baan. So it made me feel a lot better that i wasn't the only one who was struggling to understand what they were saying.




Our prayer is that our time there would have opened more doors for Png and others in the future who have the chance to go and be a witness to this village. At the moment, there aren't any christians there, but there are some who are interested and the fact that they let us come in and do a mission is huge as well. Please pray for this village, to come to know God, and especially for Png as she will probably continue to be the main christian contact that this village has in the near future, for her to be able to keep on proclaiming Christ to them. Pray for the villagers, that they will come to know Christ and accept Him as their saviour

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mission to Mae Tia - December 10

Unfortunately, or should i say fortunately considering all the recent trouble that's been happening in down in Bangkok with the closure of the airport, we didn't have any teams from Oz come over this year but that hasn't stopped my church from doing it's own one day mission down to Mae Tia, a hill tribe about an hour out of Chiang Mai. This Wednesday (10th) is a public holiday here, so the church decided to use it for mission. It's actually really exciting for me on a few levels.

1, this is a hill tribe that Png, our good friend has been visiting and working with for the past couple years. i've had the chance to go down a few times now, and it's really exciting to see the people there being really open to hearing the gospel. Although none yet are christians, there are some who are showing interest. So this can potentially be an awesome opportunity further outreach to this group of people
2. it's exciting to see our church coming to help out other fellow thai christians in their ministry and outreach. it's thai's working with Thai's which is just awesome
3. i'm really pumped to see my church and many in the church so keen to be actively involved in mission.
4. we're not only able to share the gospel with them, but our church is one that is made up of lots of dr's (gp's, gynecologists, dermatologists, psychologists, physio's, optometrists just to name a few), plus hair dressers, really good cooks etc, so we're able to go down and run a medical mission for this poor hill tribe that really has no access to many of these types of dr's or services that we can offer them.

I think they're really excited about us all coming down, but can't seem to get their head around the fact that it's all FREE!! That God has footed the bill for it all now, and they don't have to pay a cent. there was a meeting a couple weeks ago with them to try and sort out a few of the details, and no matter how many times Png said to them it was free, they kept on coming back and asking, 'so how much is this going to cost?'

For me, it's a huge reminder for us too to remember how much God has done for us in Jesus and how that is just FREE too. all we have to do is accept it.

So in Sunday School for the past couple weeks, we've been teaching the kids about Christmas. That while it is a time that we do receive gifts - the biggest and best one of course being jesus, it's also a time where we should also be giving gifts out too - because of what God has given to us. So we've spent the past couple weeks preparing a whole lot of presents for the all the kids at Mae Tia (89 of them) which we'll give out to the kids there. On top of that, the church will also give out special packs which include a toothbrush, soap, tract and books to everyone there, and i think each household will get a simple medicine/first aid type pack.


with the sunday school kids preparing the present bags to give away at Mae Tia



It's going to be a monster day with lots happening with medical stuff, a kids program, a group who will be going to chat with the people there, plus others cooking and doing behind the scenes stuff. i'm going to be helping out with the kids, so hopefully that'll be fun and not too tiring. Cos we've got an EARLY start. not sure how i'm going to GET to church for 6am!! :) haha here's the rough program
6am at church for worship time and prayer
7am Breakky at church
8am travel to Mae Tia
9am get there, set up
9.30am it all starts
lunch at some stage
arvo activities
get back to CM.

For those praying, please pray that the time will be really worthwhile and beneficial, for open hearts of those that we get to talk to. Pray for safe travel there and back, and for the last minute prep that is currently taking place (believe me, there is quite a bit of it!!) Please also pray for language and ability to communicate. Because it is a hill tribe, they have their own dialect which can be hard even for native northern thai speakers to understand as well. Pray that won't be a hinderance.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fun Times at Baan Tawai

Aside from all the amazing things that are happening at Baan Tawai and the opportunities that we're having to share the gospel and introduce people to Jesus, there are also lots of really funny things that happen down there which just crack me up. So i thought i'd share a few quick stories with you.

There's one guy called Chai who goes who is really wanting to speak english all the time, and so will take every opportunity to speak when he can. Only problem is that his vocab is somewhat limited at times, but it doesn't stop him from starting every sentence with 'I am.....' which usually gets finished with a thai phrase, or a literal translation from Thai if he knows the english words. So it's quite common to hear...
'i am very kor tort' = i am very sorry
'i am sawadii' = i am hello
but my favourite of all time is
'i am bathroom man'. My first thoughts were that he had just invented some kind of new superhero called Bathroom Man - i was just imagining him armed with a toilet duck and brush ready to give the bathroom a huge clean. But what he wanted to say was that he wanted to go to the mens bathroom

Tonight we had a few more classic moments. When asked what i learnt today, i answered 'i read a story about songkran' - which brought a lot of confusion to my friends face as he thought i said something about a red strawberry.

Later on, Ken ran a game where we gave them all an english word which the group had to answer with a word of the opposite meaning. I never thought it could get so amusing. So the game went something like this:
Ken: Right
Group: Left
Ken: Wrong
Group: Short (thai's sometimes get the 'R's' and 'L's' mixed up. So they eventually came up with right)
Ken: Loud
Group: Thai (they thought he said Laos)
Ken: Sharp
Group: had no idea, so we started spelling out the answer, and at the same time we got to hear them sounding the word out aloud which went something like this: B....BL.....BLU (bloo)...BLUN (bloon).....BLUNT (bloont)
Ken: Dark
Group: what's the opposite of a duck? chicken?

Aaaaahhhhh....happy days :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Close Call

Just had to share these pics with you of a car that came crashing through the church wall today during church. We were teaching sunday school at the time and as we heard the accident take place. It was unbelievably loud and seemingly never ending as there were like 3 crash noises. Then there was just silence as we all thought the worst. Praise God that no one was hurt at all and even the poor tree that was run over has managed to survive (how? i have no idea). I'm sure that there is some kind of way that we can use this story in a talk sometime in the future - a modern day parable of someone trying to reach jesus - but instead of through the roof, they thought they'd drive the car through the church wall? hmmm....still needs a lot more work :) haha


boring picture of the church building and sign? Look again


this is what you'd see if you were on the street


a closer look. Amazingly the tree under the car somehow managed to survive

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disabled Workshop Catalogue

OumChu Painting is the disabled workshops that we've been helping out this year with a range of things. In addition to being an awesome outreach opportunity for us (its the workshop that we run all the Baan Tawai english program from), it's also an opportunity for us to do some holistic ministry too. In helping disabled people have a chance of making a life for themselves through having an opportunity to work and get training in a trade - like painting or woodwork (carpentry) and giving them hope in life. Unfortunately in Thailand, there isn't the same type of government support for disabled and disadvantaged people in society, and often many of them are looked down upon. So over the past year, we've been working with Boonchu and her husband Jutterong with their workshop, in helping with business advice, accounting and marketing tools and ideas. It's been exciting to see it grow from being a 2 man business to a place where they've been able to employ a number of disabled (and able bodied people) too. There's still lots more potential for the workshop, but it's definitely moving in the right direction so far. For us, the thing that has been much more exciting about the workshop is the outreach opportunities that it's providing us down at Baan Tawai, but that's a whole other story (check out some of the other blog posts for more about that).

Anyway, today turned into a bit of a milestone when we FINALLY managed to get the catalogue for the Disabled Workshop printed. We've been wanting do up a simple catalogue for the workshop for a while now to be used as a bit of a sales and marketing tool to help drum up some new customers and hopefully get some of the current customers expanding the range of products that they might order from them. As much as the delay in getting it printed lay with me because i couldn't manage to lock away a few solid hours to just finish it, so it's nice to finally get it done. So here's what it ended up looking like...










It'd be great if you could keep on praying for the workshop, and for all the outreach opportunities that it's provided for us too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

God's Big Picture

It's been a mad past week with very little free time, so sorry for the lack of posts. But just had to share with you one really exciting thing. A few weeks ago at cell group, we were trying to work out what to 'study' next. My friend Kim, who is one of the people we're training up at Sunday School, spoke up and suggested to the group to look at the 'big picture of the Bible'. This was something that we spent about 12 weeks teaching the SS kids earlier this year. For Kim, learning about God's big picture has revolutionised her understanding of the Bible, so that it now makes sense, and has given her a hunger to understand the bible more and more. Not only this, she wants to be able to give everyone else an opportunity to learn all the things that have been changing her life this year. At the time, no one in the group really wanted to take on the responsibility of leading the group, so were happy to give Kim the opportunity to teach God's big picture, despite having no idea what it was.

So tonight was the first night we got to teach it. it was just an introduction to why it's important to learn and what we'll be doing, but i was just blown away by how interested and excited everyone else in the group was about learning it as we began to explain it all to them. There was a little scare the night before, when kim called me up to say that she was feeling really unwell and was even contemplating going to the hospital. If only it were all in english, i would've been more then happy to take the reigns and teach the group, but in Thai......that's another story. So late last night, i started preparing in case i had to teach. i even had my teacher all lined up to help me at school too if i had to. But thanks to God, she felt much better this morning and was able to take the group.

It was an awesome night for me to see some of our 'dreams' start coming true in seeing Thai's that we've been training, taking the initiative and going for broke in teaching the Bible themselves to others. At the end of the day, our hope is to see Thai's teaching Thai's the Bible, cos they're the ones who will be able to explain it best to their own people. through the night, Kim wanted me to take a few of the activities that we had planned (cos she didn't feel 100% confident). What i did was really just a drop compared to all the stuff she taught. I'm now starting to see a massive advantage in me not being able to speak fluently, as it's helping give Thai's the opportunity to give it a go themselves, but i can be there as moral support. I'm just feeling so in awe of the way that God is working over here in people's lives. HEAPS to be praising God for!! Unfortunately due to a whole host of reasons, we've decided to postpone teaching the rest of it til the new year (long story), but i think it's for the better that that's happened.

For those who are praying:
Please pray for Kim especially as she spends the next few weeks preparing the lessons and how to teach the cell group.
Pray for the group as they learn. thanks for their excitement in wanting to learn as well
Give heaps of praise for everything that's happened with this!! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Loy Krathong


Narawat Bridge with heaps of the Khom Fai's floating in the sky

For those of you like me who are wondering what on earth Loy Krathong is, here's a quick excerpt from Wiki
In Chiang Mai Loi Kratong is also known as "Yi Peng". Every year thousands of people assemble to float the banana-leaf krathong onto the waterways of the city, honouring the Goddess of Water. A multitude of Lanna-style hot-air lanterns (khom fai) are also launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the skies. These are believed to help rid the locals of troubles and are also taken to decorate houses and streets. (if you want to read more check it out here Loy Krathong

So the festival started off for me heading over to Denise & John's landlords place for a Loy Krathong party last night with the kids. Apart from eating waaay too much, we got to make some krathongs (the banana leaf 'decoration), then 'loy' them (set them off afloat), then play with firecrackers, in the way that we used to when were kids before the government decided they were too dangerous. Whether it was a good thing for us to 'loy' the krathongs, i'm not sure, as many of the christians here say it's not good to do as it's a buddhist thing. It's one of those things where we know that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. For the sake of me being here for my first loy krathong, i think i was forgiven, especially after i reminded them that it's by grace we're saved, not by works. So the kids had heaps of fun decorating krathongs, 'loying' them and playing with fireworks.


Mimi with Norng Kim and the krathongs they had decorated


The kids with their decorated kratongs ready for 'loying' (floating)


James trying to spell with a sparkler

Then today at school, we got to make our own krathongs as well and had a bit of competition to see who could make the prettiest one. Unfortunately i didn't take the honours (no surprise really), but it was heaps of fun making them and hanging out with the teachers and other students. So that was a nice introduction to the real festivities that happen down at the river here in Chiang Mai.

Me with my teacher Khruu Jai


Making Krathongs with the students and teachers


me with my non winning krathong


Everyone with our Krathongs

Despite being warned by various friends that it's dangerous to go, i decided to go into town anyway. Hey, i've never been here in Thailand during a Loy Krathong festival, and while i'm here, i may as well experience as much of Thailand as i can. It's like telling someone who's never been to Sydney, to not go to watch the fireworks on NYE. It's definitely an experience I've never really thought of Thailand as a place where public safety was it's highest priority, and heading into town tonight, i definitely felt that. It was MAAADDD. Walking along the street with firecrackers going off left right and centre. Seriously, you have to have your wits about you at times. Then as they many of the lanterns were let off into the air, despite being really pretty, there was also the occasional tree that was on fire when one of the lanterns got stuck in the branches. Seriously though, it was lots of fun, really pretty and just maaaddd. It's hard to put into words all the sounds, smells, sights of the night. It really is something to see a bridge just packed out, with people letting off firecrackers, launching lanterns into the air so that there is just and endless stream of lights going up into the air. Then looking down at the river and seeing all these krathongs floating down the river. In many ways, many people seem to celebrate Loy Krathong here in the same way that many celebrate Christmas back home. Even though it has some religious/significance to some, many just embrace it as a fun time and get involved in the festivities, so that the meaning of it has been lost. Still, it's definitely an experience which i'm glad to have had.


some of the festivities


Just some of the mass loying (launching) of the krathongs


me on the bridge


krathongs for sale en mass


masses of people with Khom fai's being loyed every 2 seconds

Thursday, November 6, 2008

msn

i've discovered how great an invention msn is. Not only in helping me keep in touch with many friends back home, but it's been a priceless piece of technology that's helped me get to know many of my thai friends much better, has helped me enormously with my thai reading and writing, learning plenty of stuff like 'slang' that you'll never find in any of my school books, and how to type in Thai. I don't know if you've ever thought about it, but there are like over 70 various letters/vowels. So if you ever thought touch typing in english was hard, give Thai a go!! It's insane!!

my well loved keyboard where half the letters (from stickers) have been worn off)

Thankfully now, it's not taking me 3minutes to find a letter. Apart from the odd rarely used letter, i generally know where most of the letters are, but i've still got a long way to go before i'll be typing at the same speed as i do in english.

One of the biggest drawbacks of msn however is that it also results in way too many late nights where i can be up chatting quite easily til 2-3am. hmmmm.....

Here are a couple random photos for you from the past couple weeks.
On Sunday, we went for dinner at Airport Plaza (like a big westfield) to celebrate Kristy's (our new team mate's) birthday. When i went out to the carpark to pick up my bike, there was all this noise like a massive concert. So when i looked up, lo and behold, a huge section of the carpark had been converted into an outdoor concert for a heap of the current Thai pop stars. I was wondering where concerts get held here, but the carpark of Aiport Plaza was not what i was expecting. Since didn't have a ticket, i stood at the gate (where you could still see pretty much everything anyway) and enjoyed the concert for a while.


Here's a pic of Kristy sporting an AWESOME bruise which she got after slipping over in her kitchen that had flooded from all the heavy rain. Only in Thailand!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Baan Tawai

Just wanted to quickly share about an awesome night that we just had at Baan Tawai tonight. Tonight was the first night back at Baan Tawai after a few weeks break as we went on holiday and during the school holidays over here when lots of people went back to the home towns etc. It was also the first time that we started a 'special' time at the end of our english lesson and english bible time to also have a short talk in Thai about Jesus given by a couple of our Thai christian friends from church since the best people to be reaching thai's are thai's themselves. So we started our time together as usual, at dinner together, then had some english time, then taught a story from the Bible in simple english, then handed the time over to Maggie and Ice. They started by singing a song, which everyone wanted to learn. Then Maggie did a short talk about how we need to be 'cleaned' on the inside and the only way is through Jesus. Afterwards we had a time for people to be able to ask questions, then an opportunity for them to share anything that they might want us to pray for them. We had NO IDEA how they'd respond to any of the stuff that we wanted to do tonight as none of these guys are christians at all. Would they feel obligated to stay and listen, would they just want to make the bolt the minute we finished? would they be scared to come back again next week?

It turned into an amazing night where everyone was having a ball from the time we started teaching english, til after we finished, and after that! We had an opportunity for people to ask questions and there was a really good question about can anyone pray to God or not? We then broke up into 2 groups, guys and girls for prayer time. It was the first time that we've every prayed with these guys, and we had no idea what was going to happen when we asked if anyone had anything that they wanted us to pray for. So when we posed the question, it took all of 1/2 sec for the first hand to go up and the prayer points to start flowing. after about 3 seconds of the first person sharing, everyone else decided they couldn't wait their turn, so it turned into EVERYONE (barr me) talking at once. I had no idea who to try and listen to and as a result any idea of what was being said. I'm so thankful that 3 of our Thai friends from church came too and could help me. So finally, i got Kim to pray for us all (since i wasn't sure how they'd feel praying if it was potentially the first time that some of them had ever prayed in a group, or even prayed. I think many of them really appreciated the prayer and after the prayer finished, no one wanted to go home. they all wanted to keep talking, and the guys group ended up singing and learning a heap of christian songs. Usually we finish at like 8-8.30. 10pm, we were still there!! Some of them were talking about friends that they want to bring along next week. It was just awesome!! HEAPS to give praise to God for for tonight.

For those who are praying, please keep on praying for everything that's happening down at Baan Tawai, that God will be opening hearts, they will be interested and want to find out more and come to know God. Please also pray for our thai christian brothers and sisters who are also coming to help us down there. That they too will really have a huge fire in their heart to want to help these people know God more and more. Please thank God for them - for Maggie, Ice, Kim and Gun.

In the next few weeks, i hope to introduce you to a few of the people who go to the Monday nights at Baan Tawai. There are some people there who really do need some huge prayer and are doing it really tough, but especially, don't yet know God. It'd be great if you could be praying for individuals in the future down there too :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Up's mum

Up is a guy from church who is currently studying at Bible College here with hopes of going into full time ministry in the future with his wife. Earlier this year he got married to Mam. His mother has been battling cancer and just last week, lost her battle and went to be with the Lord. It'd be great if you could be keeping Up, Mam and their family in your prayers. Whilst it is really sad news, there is also an upside in that his mum was a christian. Unfortunately i wasn't able to make it to all 3 days of the funeral, but what i did go to, and what i heard about the days i missed, the gospel was presented really clearly and even though she will be sorely missed by her family and friends, many were also rejoicing that she no longer has to suffer and is now with God. Today at church, it was really encouraging when Up got up to say a few words in church about the past week. To hear and see how he has been challenged in his faith in the past week and how he wanted to encourage others of the certainty that we can have in Christ and that while it is right to feel sad, it is also a time for us as christians to rejoice when others are able to go to be with God.


At Mam and Up's wedding earlier this year.

I'm still completely astounded by the number of funerals that i've been to this year and the number of deaths that i know of (especially as i feel like in many ways, i'm still new here and don't really know that many people). It's a constant reminder of how we really don't know what the future will hold for us and that we need to make the most of every opportunity that we have.