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