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.
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