Merry Christ mas, from Thailand!

This year Christmas for us will be quite spread out in both time and distance. It will start for us on the 24th of December with a Christmas Eve service held at the International church here in SriRacha immediately followed by hot chocolate, cider and wonderful fellowship with friends from all over SriRacha and the surrounding areas.

Later the same evening we will be hopping into several different vehicles and heading several hours south to Hua Hin where we are going for ministry in the schools and mall. The students have been practicing dramas and a concert the entire month of December and we are all looking forward to seeing the show that they have prepared.

We will be in Hua Hin until Boxing Day when we will return home. Our plan is to have Boxing Day be our Christmas Eve with Baylee and Julia, making the 27th our day for Christmas morning. It is also the day that we will be having a big pancake breakfast outreach in the park, also a lot of fun!

On the 29th we are hosting a big Christmas party at our home and we are hoping for a huge turn out including all of the bible college students and as many of the staff as are in town! We are roasting an entire pig on a spit in our front yard and have a gift exchange planned and are thinking that with that many people involved, it could be quite the fun!

This being our 3rd Christmas on the mission field we are becoming used to the new "norm". It isn't about presents under the trees, or how many turkey dinners we can sit down to. It is about serving the people. Sharing the whole point of Christ Mas. Even here in Thailand where it is something close to 97% Buddhist belief there are trees and decorations and gift baskets everywhere you look. But they all still go to work and school on the 25th. Consumerism is the only reason for the season here. But it leaves us a wonderful opportunity to get in and minister to people as the schools warmly welcome us in to share with the students and staff. The Lord always makes a way when there is no way.

We wish you all the most wonderful Christmas, and a very blessed New Year!

CAMBODIA - Here is a story from my heart from my time in Cambodia.

I'm tired, hot and sweaty and I'm covered in dust. I have been travelling all day just to get to the "Armpit of Cambodia" - Poi Pet. To be honest the only thing I want to do is have a cold shower and put my feet up. But what I am going to do is hop into the back of pick up truck with my three travel mates and go to "home church" somewhere out in the Cambodian countryside. I don't really want to but it is expected, we are, after all, missionaries.

We have just pulled off the one and only paved road in Poi Pet and are driving into the countryside on a deeply rutted road that is really only suitable to ATV's and dirt bikes. It's a blast and we are all hanging on to the truck and our cameras as we laugh out loud and snap crooked and unfocused pictures. For a moment I had forgotten, but this is missions and I love it!

Out of nowhere there is a trail, two tire tracks wide veering off to the right of the "road" we are on and this is where we turn. We can only go about a hundred yards before the trail turns into a foot path where we are instantly greeted by the children in this small, hidden community.

It has been awhile since I have had an opportunity to experience ministry in this capacity but I fall back in, just like I never left the village. We all gather closely together and sit on the woven grass mat that is laid out for us. I wink and smile at all the little children gathered around us and they smile and giggle back. After the songs are sung we take the little ones and teach them all about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego where they laugh and giggle as they watch us act it all out.

Amidst the giggles and the colouring, I take in my surroundings. What I see saddens me. These beautiful people, struggling for each meal; living in raised shanties consisting of three walls and a roof. Chickens, geese and pigs rooting around and sleeping where children live and play. And what jumps out at me is the incredibly misdirected priorities. Each home I look in has a TV and stereo equipment.

How do they afford such luxuries when they can't afford a kilo of rice and a few small fish to sustain themselves? What concerns me the most is the stories I know to be true. Did some small child lose their innocence for these things? Are they now, at this very moment crying and scared in room with grown men they don't know and can't trust?

Too many times this is the case. Parents struggling to survive the day, offered a solution for the moment; and unable to see past the problems of the day they are living, jump at the opportunity to lighten the burden and earn six months of income at the same time - selling their own child for the amount of a small colour TV. The stories are shocking and all too frequent. The missionaries that we are working with regularly discover that children go missing.

I know that the work being done in Cambodia is relevant and necessary. Without the love, hope and forgiveness of Christ how can these trends be brought to an end? Families need to be drawn and bound together and how better to do that than with Christ as the foundation?

I see Christian leaders who themselves live impoverished lives in the slums of Poi Pet stepping up to shepherd and teach their fellow citizens. Men and woman who love the Lord first and recognize the difference in their own lives and want nothing more than to see their neighbours and countrymen find that same peace and reliance.

I leave the village ashamed of my selfishness but so grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an incredibly necessary and worthwhile effort. So much so, that during the rutted ride in the back of the truck, it is decided that our trip will be extended and we will stay in Cambodia longer than planned. We want to return to the village.

Aside from the awesome time we had in the villages in Poi Pet we spent numerous hours at the AIDS clinic. We did simple things there, we prayed and handed out water and food. We held cold cloths on fevered heads and helped women remain modest while relieving themselves on buckets in the middle of the room. But I think what mattered most was that we came, and we held hands and rubbed swollen feet. We brushed hair and hugged the lonely and kissed the sad. We became the family that they lost when the results came back. The stories out of this ramshackle clinic are all the same and all sad. Unfaithful husbands contracting and passing along to unsuspecting wives. Young woman forced into prostitution either by parents or husbands to earn a meager living. All abandoned upon diagnosis and left to die alone.

We were at the AIDS clinic 5 of the 6 days we were in Poi Pet, we were family at the clinic and it hurt to leave. They smiled so big when the saw through the doorway, our small team walk into the courtyard. They cleared spots on their beds so that we could just sit next to them and hold their hands. And though all of our communication happened through love and charades as we rarely had interpreters, there was never frustration even though we never even got to learn names. It was simply pure, undefiled love we got to pour out on these women, and I thank God for sharing with me His heart on the matter.

I learned a lot while I was in Cambodia, a lot that left me once again scratching my head wondering "where do we fit into this Lord and what exactly is it that you want us to do?" What He placed in our hearts in Canada, to reach families trapped by poverty and to share all that a life filled and focused on Christ can afford them can be done right here in our back yard, in SriRacha.

There are the same stories here, the same kinds of love needing to be poured out on the same kinds of hurting people. The same poverty, the same helplessness, and the same children at risk. Dean and I now look to our own backyard. It isn't necessary to only focus on the border towns and mountain villages. It is all right here, it has been the whole time and this is where we start.

Please pray that as we venture out in starting new outreaches of ministry here in SriRacha we will be warmly embraced by those we seek to serve.

We love and appreciate you all so much, thank you for your prayers and financial support of our family!


Dean, Kathy, Baylee & Julia

Life in the East

Continuum Magazine
We completed the magazine on October 23rd, sent it the printers on the 24th and then flew it to Canada on the 28th. It was quite the straight up learning curve, but it was fun and we did in fact learn a lot about producing a magazine.

The focus for the relaunch issue is "7 Weeks in Asia" but there is also a feature on Pakistan and a story about being in motion and hearing God. All great quality writing.

We are pretty happy with how the issue turned out and know where some improvements can be made for the next issue, set for print in February 2010.

If you would like to receive a free copy of the magazine let us know by either leaving a comment or sending us an email, we will be happy to ensure that you get one!

Hua Hin South Trip
On October 27th Dean, along with two other leaders left with all the bible college students for an eleven day missions trip to southern Thailand. While they were in Hua Hin they ministered to four different schools in a single day. In morning chapel Dean spoke from 1Timothy on how the world is watching our example and then later in the day they worked at the church constructing a new building aptly named "Timothy House". It will be home to the Sunday School as well as a free English centre where classes are available to any and all who would desire to learn English.

From Hua Hin they travelled further south to Nakhon si Tamarat, 12 hours by train. There they cleaned and prepped a newer, bigger building for the church. The new building has been rented by one of the church members!

Another 16 hour train ride followed by two more hours on the bus and they found themselves back home in Sri Racha on November 7th.

Tamar Centre
On the 9th of November Dean and I rode our little Fino scooter 28 kilometres south to Pattaya. We were there for the opening of the newest Tamar Outreach Centre put in place by YWAM Thailand. The Tamar centres are set up as a place to help prostitutes escape the lifestyle they are trapped in.

The new centre's front is a beauty parlour but this is simply a means to get men and women in so that they can be ministered to, offered an alternative, and kept safe.

You see, Tamar is located on Soi 6. The worst sex trade street in all of Pattaya.

Soi 6 is only 1200 meters long and there are over 60 bars, brothels and skin shops crammed along it. Tamar is located directly in the middle and consists of an entire four story corner lot. The main floor is the salon and the second and third floors have classrooms for English. The top floor has a large balcony over looking the entire street in both directions and holds the prayer room which is open to any and all that wish to come and pray fro Thailand and the nations.

Sitting out on the street for the opening is quite the experience. The celebration does not even get rolling until dusk so the night life is well underway by the time we get there. Pattaya is nick named "Sin City", it is a place that doesn't sleep.

We are sitting amid a large crowd comprised of fellow believers and those curious as to what we are doing. Maybe they are drawn by the music and our boldness or maybe they are drawn by the mouth watering aroma of the roasting pork. It really doesn't matter, because either way they are there, hearing about the love, forgiveness, and acceptance of Christ. They are also hearing stories from people just like themselves; once ensnared in a life consisting of nothing more than sex, abuse and drugs and alcohol on Soi 6 but now free and redeemed through Christ Jesus.

I look across the crowd and stare right into the camera the brothel owner of the ladyboy "So What Bar" next to us is holding. He snaps pictures of us all as he talks to the police on the phone. He is complaining that we are a disturbance and blocking traffic. He must be upset because "his" ladyboys are standing outside listening to and watching us even though they try to make it look like they aren't.

The police do come, but quickly see that we are doing nothing wrong and leave us to our celebration.

After an hour of singing and praying the Tamar Centre is opened to the public. Everyone files in to see the beautifully redone building and praying over all who will enter through its doors.

Afterwards, large bundles of long stem roses adorned with a short message of Christ and an invitation to attend free English classes at Tamar are scooped up by the attendees who then walk up and down Soi 6 and enter each bar giving girls and ladyboys a rose. A symbol that they are loved, thought of and welcome.

Dean and I had a great time meeting new people and gaining a better understanding of the inner workings of this dark world.

All along the 1200 meter stretch of road scantly clad young men and woman line the way. Just one more commodity available for purchase. Very, very few are there by choice. The majority aren't even from Pattaya or any other city centre. They are from remote villages in Northern Thailand or neighbouring countries like Cambodia or Burma. Brought here under the promise of a better life and an opportunity to earn riches for their poverty stricken families. But it always ends the same...

Trapped into a lifestyle where the brothel owners controls every single aspect of life. There are no riches to be gained, only a growing debt that can never be paid.

It isn't easy for men and women locked in this prison to escape, but it can be done. They need help and somewhere to go. This is the desire of Dean's and my heart. To affect change in the lives of those ensnared in this world. We are still waiting and praying for the exact direction the Lord wants us to go. In this time we continue to investigate , pray, and walk through each and every open door.

Please join with us in prayer the the Lord will reveal to us quickly what His will for our lives in this area entails.

We are ready and eager to follow His lead.

Until next time,
Dean, Kathy, Baylee & Julia

So much to tell...

19 days in we find ourselves learning a new language, shopping for a home, taking a class on the book of Romans, re-launching the Continuum Magazine, mentoring a couple of bible college students, doing outreach ministry, and, oh ya...helping Baylee & Julia in their schoolwork too!

All this to say that we are busy!

Thai class is three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday for an hour at a time. Plus all the practice in between. Our teacher Becky tells us that we will be fluent by mid December! The Thai alphabet consists of 44 consonants, 26 vowels, tone marks as well as 5 tones. PLUS, it isn't regular letters, its characters; almost like hieroglyphics! We think we need to pray for divine intervention!

We have been actively looking for a house for the last several weeks. We did have a house lined up before we got here and technically we still do but it is quite small so since we were not able to move in until the end of September we thought we would use this time to see if we could find something a bit bigger yet still in our budget. It will be very nice to finally unpack all of our suitcases. But more importantly, we need to find something that is central to both locations that we will be working at, the Continuum Media office as well as the Bible College.

Pastor Al Purvis is teaching a class on the book if Romans titled "The Gospel According to Paul". It's a very in depth look into Paul's letter to the Roman church. Right now we are discussing the covenant of God and man and God's mercy for us. We are only 2 days into the class but we know that we are really going to enjoy it and learn a lot at the same time. The Victory pastors from throughout Thailand have come to Sriracha to join the class making it a wonderful time to get to know everyone.

We have begun the task of redesigning and relaunching the Continuum Magazine along side the rest of the Continuum Media team. This is a very big job, especially when you don't really know anything about Photoshop or In Design. It is very much a "learn by feel" approach that Dean and I are taking.

The Magazine is a great tool for bringing awareness to the vast area of ministries that are going on not only in Thailand but also the surrounding 8 nations that A&D World Missions is involved in. And of course, it is a wonderful resource for sharing experiences, stories, and photos with people around the globe. We encourage you all to seek out a copy. The relaunch issue is set for release in December. We have a fellow missionary - Kris Pagan, who will be returning to Canada to promote the youth mission experience here in Thailand called "7 Weeks in Asia" and he will have plenty of copies. let us know if you would like a copy and we will make sure you get one.

Another thing for all you parents out there with children between 15 and 20 years old to consider is "7 Weeks in Asia". This is a wonderful opportunity for kids and young adults to experience something bigger than themselves. I have added a few videos from this past summers trip but I encourage you all to search "7 Weeks in Asia" on youtube to see some more and if you want further information about it you can email us or got to the Continuum website off of our links page and see more about it there. I myself, can't wait to take Baylee & Julia on next summer's trip!

We have 2 young men from the bible college that we are mentoring with their english. Daniel is from Myanmar and Peter is Thai and also one of the children from El Shaddai 2 children's home. This second home is parented by Pastor Al's sister and her husband. Both Daniel and Peter are nice young men and it is fun getting to know them better. They pretty much spend their afternoons with us going where we need to go and helping us out with things that need to get completed, and we spend time helping them with their english and with any homework that they don't understand.

Baylee and Julia started school on time this year and they have not missed any days as of yet - woohoo! They are both doing really well and we are very proud of them for the way they are adapting to school and life here in Thailand.

We are following the ACE program and I really love that the girls get to set their own pace and that the program ensures success. Each course is laid out very well for them and all of it is very easy to understand - even for me!

Dean went with Kris and a group of students to one of the prisons here in Sriracha to share the gospel and to give them fruit and clean drinking water. He was able to get a small camera in with him and snap a few photos. It is hard to accept why some of these men, women and even children are behind bars!

Some Thai construction companies illegally bring in foreigners from Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam because they will work for less money. When it comes time to pay them they instead turn them into the police for being in the country illegally! They are immediately imprisoned, with their children! Some people have been here for decades simply because they can't afford a ticket back to their country. It's a harsh reality when you see a child crammed into a cell with numerous adults, the only cooling air coming from two ceiling fans.

Please pray that the innocent will be released from prison so that they can return to their families and their own countries.

Well, you're all up to speed on what we have been up to. We anticipate two jungle trips before the end of the year as well as many more nights of street evangelism and trips to prisons. For the most part people are okay sharing their religion with us and then letting us share Christ with them in return. Some are curious, some think they have it all figured out and there are some who are genuinely seeking the truth. We share with those who will let us and pray for their needs if they allow us. At the end of the night the team gathers together and then we pray for each individual that was hungry for more of Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal the truth to them and to speak within their hearts and life.

Keep in touch, we love to hear from you so send us an email anytime!

With all the glory & honor to our Lord,
Dean, Kathy, Baylee & Julia

Home at Last

Our flight arrived into Bangkok on time at 3:20 (ish) and we were met by Matt who is a missionary here and married to one of Pastor Al & Terry's daughters. We had a very comfortable drive to SriRacha, the main highway here is very good and when I asked the speed limit Matt informed us it was somewhere between 120 to 140 km per hour - whatever the mood strikes ya I guess!

The humidity struck us right away, like as soon as we set foot off the plane and into the walkway tunnel to the airport terminal! It was like trying to breath thru a steamy hot washcloth! I thought that maybe it was just because the sun was beating down on the metal tube but nope - it is just that humid all the time! In fact it is so humid here that as soon as Dean stepped out of the van his glasses fogged up! If the camera wasn't packed I would have gotten a picture for you all! It is growing on us though...we are sure that it has to be therapeutic!

Our first evening was pretty laid back. Matt brought is to the Light House which is the building where El Shaddai 2 is. This is the second children's home started by Pastor Al & Terry. It is also an apartment complex that houses single missionaries and bible college students. It will be our home for the next month or so until we move into our own place. After all 16 of our bags were carried up 3 flights of stairs Matt took us to a bank to get some money changed and then we met with is wife Becky for a bite to eat - our first authentic Thai meal. It was very good - even if there was a bit of hog hair left on Dean's pork...he's such a trooper though, he just ate it anyways!

As some of you know we are pretty sure that we have a house lined up for the end of September but after getting here we have found that it is a bit far from the bible college which is where we will be spending quite a bit of time so we may do some more looking around to see if we can find something that is a little closer.

The girls are both settling in well. They get to share their own room down the hall from ours and they like the independence that comes with that. Julia is really looking forward to some exploring and to seeing an elephant. Baylee has met a few kids that will be starting bible college next week and we are really hoping for her to get connected with some great kids.

Our staff orientation is next Friday and Saturday and this is really where we all get our direction for the next year. Dean and I are both looking forward to this as it is not only when things really get started but it will also be when we ourselves get to connect with everyone else working here.

Today is Sunday and we had our first experience at the Thai church. It was pretty neat to hear familiar songs like "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" and "My Redeemer Lives" sung beautifully in Thai. Tonight we will go to Pastor Al & Terry's church which is called The Tower and is at the bible college for English church, we can't wait to go and meet more people!

This pretty much brings you up to speed; we have been pretty laid back since we have arrived. It has been good though as it gives an opportunity to get over the jet lag and get the girls started in school (which is tomorrow, and not at all overwhelming - really its not!) before things start jumping next week.

Please continue to pray for our family; its your faithfulness in this area that keeps our family covered and on track.

We would love to hear from you so drop us a line anytime!

Blessings and love to you all,

Dean, Kathy & the Girls

Ps, I have tried & tried to get new photos onto the blog for you all but I seem to need some help with our new Mac computer! As soon as I am able to get someone to help me figure it all out I will get some pics on there so check back in a little bit, sorry ;)

A New Beginning...

Well here we are again...

We find ourselves standing at the fore front of another journey that the Lord has laid in front of us. And with expectant hearts and obedience we go.

Our desire is to be used, in whatever way He wills; with that being said we are very excited about what God has in store for us in Thailand and we feel very blessed to be able to join Pastor Al & Terry Purvis and their team in Asia.

The mission in Thailand is going to be quite different from our mission in Rwanda. The biggest thing for us is that we will not be alone. We will be surrounded by other like-minded missionaries. This is so very important to all of us! When we were in Rwanda we were off in the village, which is what we signed up for and expected. But what we didn't account for is how much we would miss fellowship and friendship with other missionaries. This is something that we will definitely have in Thailand! Pastor Al & Terry Purvis really have developed a tight knit group of missionaries that work together, live close to one another and genuinely care about eachother and we feel so blessed to be able to join them!

Aside from the added bonus of community our tasks will be quite different. In Rwanda our role was that of Mom & Dad, something that we had some experience with. And our purpose in going was to train a Rwandan couple to take over that role. In Thailand we will be able to have many tasks - or at least to try our hand at many tasks and see what we are best suited for - you see, the need is very great!

The main areas that we will be concentrating on for the first year will be travelling into the villages of Thailand with Pastor Al and the team and ministering to the families there. If you have done any reading on the sex slave trade in Asia you will know that the number one target is poor families in poor villages who are approached about selling their young daughters into a "better life" in the city. Many, many parents - too many, jump at this opportunity and sell their daughters - many times for the price of what a small TV costs. The girls are placed in brothels and then made to work the sex industry to pay back the "loan" that their family received. They are charged exuberant interest rates not to mention the rent that they pay to live at the brothel. Its a never ending cycle that the girls rarely escape. What makes this all the more sad, is that the Buddhist faith involves the belief in karma - believing that you are dealt the hand that you have because of how you behaved or treated people in your former life. So these girls accept their fate as punishment for how they believe they were in a previous existence.

If the families can be reached early enough and shown the love, forgiveness and acceptance of Christ then this cycle can be stopped! This is our desire, to work with the A&D team to reach these families and share the love of our Father with them and to show them that this love and forgiveness is available to them at no cost!

Another area that we see ourselves being involved in is with the young students and the youth in the area that we will be living. There is a very dynamic youth centre that Pastor Al & Terry have in Sriracha that we would love to be a part of and that will involve reaching out the families of our own community thru the salvation of their children - all very exciting! We are really excited for Baylee and Julia to become involved in this area of ministry, we think that it is something that they will really be able to take ownership of in their own ways.

We are leaving for Thailand on August 26th. Time is quite short before we go, and there is still lots to be done before we leave, not the least of which is raising the finances to even do this! But we know that when the Lord is behind something it just happens - He is not usually early but He is also never late!

We are so looking forward to sharing with you all of our experiences in Thailand and the amazing ways that the Lord is working there. We hope that you will think of us often while we are there and that as often as you do, you will lift our family in prayer. We learned very quickly while we were in Rwanda that a strong covering of prayer goes hand in hand with being on the mission field. Please remember us. We also ask that you will prayerfully consider joining our family with your finances. If God lays it on your heart to bless our family, please be obedient, our family is 100% dependant on the obedience of the ones that the Lord calls to help. When you join a mission with prayers and or finances, you receive the exact same blessing as the ones that are on the field. Not all are called to go, but all are called to be obedient to their part.

We love to hear from you, so if you have any questions or you just want to say "hi" please email us at

We love and appreciate you all,

Dean, Kathy, Baylee & Julia

Leave a Life to Gain a Life...

As many of you know, the Lord called us to Rwanda Africa in January 2007. We took the next 10 months to sell our house and find new homes for just about all of our belongings including our two dogs. Little did we know, that in just 18 months time we would find ourselves back in Canada with no jobs, no home, and not too many belongings.

It was very difficult to leave Rwanda; when we left Canada to go there we really thought that it was for a life time. When only a year and a half later the Lord released us we were confused, sad and truthfully a bit angry.

It took us several months to get over all those feelings, and some days are still harder than others. It's one of the most difficult things to do - I think, to care for people so much that they literally become your family and then have to say good bye to them knowing that it could quite possibly be the last time you see them. A part of us will remain in Rwanda...forever really.

But, the Lord does not close a door without opening another! We are his children and He really is the best dad ever! He only wants what is best for us, and that means that when we don't understand - or agree! we still have to do what He asks. And for us, that meant leaving Rwanda early.

He let us come home and heal for several months before really calling us back to the mission field. We actually had Thailand presented to us by some very dear friends within weeks of us arriving back in Canada. And although we were very intrigued, we weren't quite ready so Dean and I didn't talk too seriously about it. It was four months later when it was presented to us again and at this point we knew for sure that we were ready to jump right back in.

We hope that you will follow our blog as we happily share with you all the exciting things that God is doing in Thailand and throughout Asia.

Dean, Kathy, Baylee & Julia