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, April 25, 2009

fun times

Since getting back from singapore, even though it's still the big 'new year holiday' and lost of people have been away, for some reason all the days still manage to fill up, although, i have managed to find some time to chill out. So what have i been up to? well, i've taken Kim to her graduation, and taken lots of photos for it (graduations over here are just really big. people even have pictures of themselves from the graduation in their wallet to show others), have been on a day trip with some of the teachers and students from school, had dinner with the teachers and students and played Wii. One of the teachers Khruu Nan, was a classic playing Wii boxing. i thought it was pretty amusing that often she had to be physically separated from her opponent. we almost had several 'wiihaveaproblem' moments. Overall, it's been a great time of getting to know people better, having some time out before the year really kicks in again next month. Sunday School has taken a break over the past few weeks, and will be starting up again next month, so i'm taking the opportunity to head to another church in the countryside with my teacher this week to see what church out there is like. Will report back a bit more soon. But in the meantime, here are a few happy snaps of the past week...


Dinner at Jasmine's with the teachers from School

With Khruu Tor and Khruu Jai


Kim pretty stoked to have finally graduated


graduation outfits here...


oops, sorry, more like this


with kim and wood


thought this was a cool artistic shot


trip to a waterfall with the teachers


Thought this was a cool arty shot of Khruu Nan video
Wii Boxing. Check out Khruu Nan on the left

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time in Singapore

Despite a bit of an uncertain start to the trip to singapore, praise God that i got there safely, had a great time with everyone over there. Thankfully i've been to singapore a few times before, so i wasn't too fussed whether or not we did all the touristy things or whether we just stayed at home and chilled out. We ended up chilling out at home quite a lot, spending time at the pool, eating lots of crab (gotta love singapore chilli crab!!) and playing Wii Fit (to burn off all the crab we ate.....not). We also made it to the zoo one morning as well, where we discovered another major benefit of me having an asian face. As my friends were members of the zoo, they were able to get 2 adults and the kids in for free, but it meant that i would have to buy an extra adult ticket. Kris had a brilliant idea, thinking that if i played a nanny/maid for the day, i would also be able to get in for free (seeing as nanny/maids are really common over there - especially for westerners). So off we went to the zoo, i made sure that i was pushing the pram and had all the bags, and without a question asked, i got my zoo stamp and was in the gate. Matty and Tans were working hard to make sure i earned my keep that day, and apart from not having to change any nappies, i thought i'd make a great nanny/maid - although not sure i'd want to do it full time, but who knows the future :)

All up, it was a great time catching up with friends, being able to help celebrate Ellie's 3rd birthday, meeting Annika, swimming lots, getting some time out and some even some 'exercise' (thanks Wii). Thankfully all the protests in Thailand had calmed down by the time i got back, so i was able to get back to Chiang Mai with no drama's at all.

Here are a few photos of my time over there. Sorry there are no shots of 'singapore', didn't actually end up doing any touristy stuff at all apart from the zoo and about an 1hr on Orchard Rd to buy some souvenirs. But all up, a great few days away :)


Ellie's 3rd Birthday


with Tan and Annika


Ellie in the pool






'Hi mum'


with Tan & Ellie

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Back safe & sound

thanks to all of you who have been praying for thailand. Even though there's still a long way to go before there's some final solution to the political problem over here, there's plenty to give thanks for that for the time being, the recent protest has ended. Unfortunately not without bloodshed, but at least it has ended. I'm also thankful that i'm now back in Chiang Mai now safe and sound after my trip to Singapore. So praise God that i could return with no problems at all. The time in Singapore was awesome. i'll post up some photos soon of my time there and tell a few stories of the highlights of the trip.

for those praying, please keep on praying for Thailand and all the issues going on here, that it will be resolved soon, and that somehow through it, God will be given glory. It is nuts and many Thai's don't understand their own country and people. To have Thai's fighting against Thai's like this is something they can't understand and would love to end, sooner rather then later.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Political Unrest, please pray

I'm sure most of you would've heard something about all the political unrest and protests etc that's happening over in Thailand at the moment. It's just crazy in a not good way. In all honesty, the way that it's currently going, i don't know how Thailand will ever come to a resolution, because as soon as one party gets their way, the party that just lost protests and causes problems until that party gets kicked out, then the other party comes back to get their way again. it seems to be a never ending cycle. But we do know that God is able to do all things, so now would be a great time to be praying for Thailand and for those in power.

As a small aside, praise God that i was able to make it to Singapore safely today, despite some uncertainty last night when traveling through to Bangkok. But i'm meant to be returning on Thursday. Thankfully i don't need to travel through the city at all and only need to change planes at the airport, so please pray that there won't be any problems with that, and that i'll be able to get back into Thailand safely on thursday.

In the meantime though, it's been great to be able to see my friends tan, matt, kris, nick and all the kids again here in singapore. please pray for a good time of rest, relaxation and time with them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

PI MSEA

Sorry about the week of silence. I was at the PI MSEA retreat (PI SEA = Pioneers Mainland South East Asia). It was an awesome week away of hearing from God's word, meeting other missionaries from around SE Asia, encouraging each other and just some time out as well. The highlight of the week for me was definitely the talks which was based around the theme of Freedom in Christ. We were reminded and challenged by the sovereignty of God, The Sufficiency of Christ, The power of the spirit and what it means to be a 'slave' to God. It was just awesome to be reminded and challenged by many of the truths that God has been recently teaching me about the forgiveness we have received and the freedom that we have a result to be serving God without the feeling of any guilt or debt to have to 'serve', but that it's a joy and we free to do so and should want to do so, cos when we understand that we are truly free, that's when we can be free to serve and be god's 'glory bearers'. For me, it was just really nice to sit in 'live' talks in ENGLISH for the first time in over a year. So that was just awesome.

it was also a good time to meet new Thai friends as well, who happened to be working on our retreat. In some ways it was kinda of weird where i actually found myself wanting to spend time with these thai's and in some ways even feeling more at home with them them other fellow native english speakers.

Tonight, i'm off to Bangkok, then to singapore for the rest of the week for a holiday with some of my friends from Oz. I'm really looking forward to catching up with Tan and her fam in Singa's, it's the first time i've seen her since coming over. actually it's the first time that i've left Thailand since coming over, so it's kinda feeling a bit weird. Even though it's only a a few days that i'll be over there, i'm already missing many of my friends over here, and am going to miss Songkran in CM yet AGAIN (the 3 day national waterfight). So i guess i'll just have to come back in the future so i do get to play Songkran :)

for those praying, praise God for the week away at the retreat and the many things i was challenged by. Pray that i'll continue to be challenged by them and that i'll be remember the freedom that i have in christ always.
Please pray for safety in travel to singapore and for a good time away

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the past week

It's been a pretty full on past week, which has kept me out of mischief. Last week, i had lunch with Daa and Ajarn Jazz from church. It was an awesome time to get to know Ajarn Jazz in particular, a lot better. She's an awesome lady who's the head of the History Department of Chiang Mai Uni. She became a christian about 3 years ago after reading through history books and realised that Jesus was someone that she had to make a decision in her life as to whether to follow him as her Lord or not. Since then, she's just been on fire for God and takes every opportunity to share the gospel. She's one of those older ladies that everyone just loves! She's so down to earth, so 'real' and so loving and caring. It's amazing to see the way that so many of the uni students look up to her and love her to death. During the Uni summer holidays (ie loooong holidays), she's coming down to Baan Tawai to help us with our english classes and outreach. It's been invaluable having her come down to Baan Tawai with us. In just a couple weeks of going, she's been able to help with so much, personal issues with people down there, being generous with giving flash drives to a student there, helped explain the Bible, prayed for those down there, she goes around and invites all these people around the shop to the english class too and uses that time to evangelise...it's just amazing to see her in action and such a big encouragement!

I also (reluctantly) went along to a 'book club' at church, which i thought was pretty amusing seeing how much i love reading english books, so what chance do i have of reading a thai book?!?! Felt kinda stupid going to this book club seeing as i didn't have a copy of the book let alone even open or read a single page of the book! But my friend kim was one of the people leading it, and she really wanted me to go to support her, so that's why i went.

Last saturday, we had a school 'field trip' where we went bamboo rafting. It was tops fun, even if it was crazily dangerous at times. for those who have been before, it actually had small rapids, which don't seem that bad until you're the person who's 'steering' the raft and you realise how hard it is to turn the raft so you don't crash into the rocks. Let's just say that after one massive pile up of rafts, and a few decent crashes into rocks, i'm really surprised our raft was still holding together by the end. Every time we hit another rock, i was sure that was going to be it for the raft. But thank God, it held together! Heaps of fun tho, and a great time to spend more time with teachers and other students from school. I also got to ride a chopper back from the rafting which was awesome fun. First time i've ridden a 'real' motorbike since being here. So despite breaking every rule that Ange and Rich ever taught me about riding - ie wear proper protective clothing, footwear etc. i ended up riding back through the mountains in shorts, t-shirt, thongs, no gloves and a helmet that didn't fit me!! Only in thailand. But it was heaps fun!! Here are a few pics from the day

the crash


chilling out at the end


typical 'deb' shot


me trying to take Aor out


Aor


On the way there - how many people can you fit into the back of a Ute?!?!?


At lunch


Khruu Nan & Khruu Ang

Then there were the usual church activities on Sunday, school and baan tawai on monday, team meeting and bible study prep with Kim on tuesday, then school and catching up with my friend Buu tonight. Starting this weekend and all next week is our 'Area Retreat' - basically all the Pioneers misso's who work in the mainland south east asia area will be coming together. Should be a good time to get to know lots of the other misso's heaps better, get fed with some bible teaching in ENGLISH, and have some much needed time out. for those that are praying, please pray that this time will be a good time away of encouragement, feeding and rest.

The week after that, i'll actually be heading over to Singapore for a few days to meet up with some friends from Oz. i'm really excited to be able to catch up with Tan, Matt, Kristen, Nick and all the kids over there. It'll be my first time out of thailand since arriving, so it actually feels kinda weird, but really looking forward to seeing some old friends. Gotta thank God that we could find days in common and that it's the week that school has a break too, as it's songkran week that week, and that there were really cheap airfares over there too. I got return tickets for all of $270AUD!! not bad eh?

so for those praying, please be praying for the conference, for Ajarn Jazz, for Baan Tawai, and for safe travels over the next couple weeks. I'll try to put up a few posts over the next couple weeks, but i'm really not sure how much net access i'll have, so we'll see how we go :)