Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Village Trip

Last weekend, the 19th & 20th, Stephen, Mary, John, & I went to Nong Kio. I always love going there because it is the village where we stayed on my first mission trip here. :) The main reason for this trip was for Stephen to meet with the Asians for Christ evangelists from Burma & to get updated on their ministries there. Three evangelists came and the wife of a fourth. The fourth evangelist is over 80 years old & has trouble seeing at night, so he wasn't able to travel, which is why his wife came in his place. There have been many people baptized there & many more who want to be baptized! It is amazing to see how God is working there! We also talked with the evangelists about the next medical mission trip with the team coming from ACC again. We discussed many ideas & possibilities. It was really neat that as we were discussing the next mission trip, the team was preparing to hold their first fundraiser for that trip!

On Sunday, I held a small clinic in Yasa's living room. I saw around 15 people this time before leaving for church. This trip was a great time! Below are some pictures from the trip.

We stopped on the way to Nong Kio & John & I bought "cepe"s.
They were so good, we stopped on the way home, too!

Where we stayed - Yasa's house

Peanuts drying

Hashi & Mary making dinner

Me "helping"

The dinner we made :)

Stephen & the Evangelists

Me, Stephen & Mary, Yasa & his wife, & the Evangelists

I forgot to mention earlier, I taught my second English class before we left for Nong Kio. There were 7 kids again. We went over numbers & colors. :)

Thank you all for your continued support & prayers!

Serving Him,

Monday, November 14, 2011

First Medical Clinic

After the first Thanksgiving service, I held my first small clinic. In about 4 hours, I saw & treated around 35 people for varying things ranging from stomach ulcers & infections to allergies & upper respiratory infections to general aches & pains.

Instructing a Lisu woman on medication

Lisu women waiting to be seen

My "pharmacy"

Consulting my trusty "Where There is No Doctor" book
I highly recommend this to anyone living in or travelling to a village area!

Overall, it was a good clinic & many people received medical care that they would otherwise not have access to. More importantly, I hope they saw the love of Jesus through this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Highlights from Thanksgiving

So...I just realized how far behind I am in blogging! Sorry bout that! I'll try to catch you up in the next few posts :)

On Friday the 11th, I went with Stephen and two girls, Hashi & Tutu, to a village for a Thanksgiving service. The village was only about 150km away, but it took around 4.5 hours to drive there because most of the drive was up & down & through the mountains. (By far the curviest trip I've taken in Thailand! Thank you God for dramamine :))

I don't want this post to turn into a novel, so I'll just give you the highlights from this trip through pictures.

A look out we stopped at on the way to the mountain
Me at the lookout
Hashi, Tutu, & Me
We stopped at the top of a mountain just as the sun was setting...BEAUTIFUL!
There are a lot of coffee shops on this road, so we also stopped for cappucino...delicious!
As we were leaving the same spot, the moon was rising on the other side :)
(Sorry for the poor quality of pictures...I need a new camera!)

This is the church where we attended Thanksgiving service

The church is nestled into the side of a mountain

The first harvest offered to God in thanks for the blessings He provides

The Lisu ladies of the village cooking rice....lots & lots of rice!
A Thai Thanksgiving is a lot different than an American Thanksgiving. In Thai, it literally means "first harvest". A Thai Thanksgiving is church-centered. It begins with a church service full of praise & worship to God in thanks for all of the blessings that He has given. After the service, there is a time of fellowship & a meal for the whole church family. It is a very neat service! It really reminded me that Thanksgiving is not just about family, food, football, & shopping, which are all good things. It is about being thankful for all that you have & remembering that all of this comes from God, who should be our real focus at all times. I learned a great lesson from the Thai people during Thanksgiving!

After this Thanksgiving, I held a small clinic. (I'll blog about it in my next post) I thought we would be leaving to return home after this, but Stephen said that a village close to where we were had invited us to their Thanksgiving on Sunday, the 13th. So, we stayed an extra night in the village & I attended my 2nd Thai Thanksgiving! :) 

The church at the second village we went to

The first harvest offered to God at the second church

This was a great trip. I experienced some new things & learned some good lessons. I am very thankful for my first & second Thai Thanksgivings!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Walk through My Neighborhood

Last night, Mary, Becky, John, Isaac, & I went for a walk to the little store down the road from the house. Since I haven't done a very good job of taking pictures for you, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity! So, here are a few pictures from my neighborhood:  

Everyone walking to the store
(It's the building on the right with the tin roof & plastic signs hanging down)

Flowers on the side of the road growing in rocks :)


Palm tree with coconuts

They're SO good here!

View looking to the Northeast - rice fields & mountains!
This is a video of a plant that closes at night & when you touch it! When I told Missy about it, it reminded us of the plant from "Little Shop of Horrors" that says "Feed me, Semour!" :)

Well, that's my neighborhood! I'll try to be better about taking pictures, but I'm not making any promises :) We are going to a lantern festival this week, I think, so I'll try to remember to take pictures there!

Serving Him,

Week 2 Done!

As I'm writing this, it's the beginning of my third week here! Not a lot happened last week...until the end of the week :)

The first part of last week was much like my first week here, so I don't have a lot to report on those days.

On Saturday, I taught my first English class! This was the part of my ministry that I was most concerned about because I feel the least prepared for it. So, of course, this would be the first thing that God wants me to tackle because I have to completely depend on Him to get me through it!

To back up a little bit...Most of this past week, I spent time on the internet looking at TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) websites. (FYI - to demonstrate how unprepared I am for this...I just had to google AGAIN what exactly TESOL stands for - and my first guess was wrong! :) ) As I was looking through websites and trying to find ideas of how to incorporate the Gospel with teaching English, God gave me an idea of what my "curriculum" should look like. I just started writing idea after idea for over a half an hour! It was completely unrelated to what I was looking at at the time, so I know it was from Him. I'm SO excited to get started on this!

Back to Saturday...I had 7 kids attend my first class! There were two 4 year olds, a 7 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, and two 11 year olds - quite the range in age! Some of the older kids already knew the ABC's, but the younger kids didn't. So, the majority of our 2 hours was spent on the alphabet. I had made worksheets to go through and also printed out the alphabet in lower case & upper case letters to color. The coloring sheets worked much better than the worksheets I made! We also went over greetings and acted that out many times. After 2 hours, I could tell the kids weren't going to learn anything else & I was at a loss for anything else to try, so we had a snack :) (Thanks to Becky, Stephen & Mary's daughter, for helping me translate!)

Here are some pictures from class:

After class, one of the mom's found out that I'm a Christian. She was very worried that the only thing I'm teaching is the Gospel & that we would be "forcing" the kids to learn it. Nuan, who also lives here with Stephen & Mary and helps around the house (she also wasn't a Christian when she first came here, but has since come to know Jesus & been baptized!), reassured this mom that although we are Christians, we don't "force" it on anyone, but will answer questions and talk about it when you are ready to. This satisfied the mom.

This was my first real encounter of opposition to what I'm here for - and I wasn't even there! I just heard the story after the fact. I have to ashamedly admit - I failed this one. My first thought was "Well, now what am I going to do? I can't start teaching Bible stories because no one will let their kids come back!" That was exactly what Satan wanted me to think. Thankfully, I recognized that for what it was immediately & am now even more committed to finding the way God would have me reach these kids for Him. As I was teaching them the ABC's, my heart was breaking for them and I had this overwhelming feeling of compassion for them. All I could think was how much these kids need to learn & to know Him - their eternity depends on it!

(I forgot to mention the first time I posted this that in God's perfect timing, I'm doing a Bible study on Ezra & Haggai - one thing I've learned so far is that God's people stopped building the temple because they were frightened & discouraged! I will not be frightened or discouraged from teaching these kids His love!)

Another part of God that became so real to me this week is His omnipresence - that He is everywhere! As I was sitting praying for my family one morning, it became so real to me that the God who is here in Thailand with me every moment of every day is the same God who is in America with my family every moment of their every day in every trial that they are facing. That truth is SO comforting!

I hope you've all had a great week! I start language school to learn Thai this week - I'm SO excited! Thank you SO much for your continued prayers & support!

Serving Him,