Friday, September 23, 2011

Good New's Club/ Khanat Khaaw Dii

        Every Thursday we do a Good New's Club at this one place. It's at a refuge home for children who's parents are in jail for a long time and have no one to care for them. There is a house for the boys and a house for the girls.

Here we are singing songs! Phii Aam plays the guitar and the words are hand written out on fabric. 

They clap and do crazy motions with the songs- our's look quite boring in comparison!

This past week they sang "Be Bold, Be Strong" in Thai. I didn't recognize it until Corinne told me what it was! The Thai words are so much longer that they don't have the echo with it and the tune has to change!

Then we play games!

If a game makes them look silly, the better! They love to laugh at themselves!
The first week I was there, we played the game where you have to run and spin with your forehead on the top of a bat! The losers get powder on their faces!

                                                                           They love it and everyone ended up getting power on their face! Above, they are playing a game where they all have to hold on to each other and jump forward, backwards, right, or left when told! It was so funny!

Then we settle down for the story. Here is Corinne holding the youngest boy on her lap.

They go over their memory verse. This one was Prov. 3:5

Then they listen to the story. Koi taught the first week and Phii Aam taught the second week.
They've been learning about Moses and his journey to the promised land!
This week a puppet helped to tell the story!

Please pray for these children. All but two of them are Buddhist and this may be the first time some of them have ever heard about a God who created them and loves them. Pray that not only will they understand and believe, but that they can remember and grow in their Christianity in their adulthood and be able to share with Thai people about the love of Christ!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Lesson of Thai... check!

First day of Thai lessons a success! But lots of studying to do- it sounds so funny sometimes! My teacher is great! You can be praying that I will be a good example of Christ to her and that she may experience His light someday too! I bought lunch on my own yesterday from the market! Meeting a lot of new people and will be posting pictures soon of Good News Clubs and the awesome Sunday service I went to! God is gracious to me even when I'm complaining to Him. The hardest thing I'm dealing with now is the lack of community- to talk and laugh and go shopping together just to enjoy each other's company. Crocheted a washcloth and a headband. Pretty soon I may buy a cross-stitch kit! Thanks for your prayers- sorry I haven't posted recently- it's been kinda hard to process stuff lately.    Love you all!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wat Phra Kaeo

Here are the pictures I promised you from the Buddhist Temple. This temple is called Wat Phra Kaeo. 

Here they discovered an emerald statue of Buddha when lightning struck this dome. They carried it through the streets as a special icon and eventually it was taken to Bangkok to be put in a museum there. 

They do many things to earn merit- to get them to a better level of heaven (or if you are a woman, to be reincarnated as a man)
Here is Greg beside a huge gong you can ring to make merit.

Or you can ring bells- it sounds pretty if you leave out the meaning behind it!

People also earn merit by feeding animals or letting them go from cages. There was a whole pond of turtles people could feed. 

Here is the inside of the smaller portion of the temple. I couldn't get a picture of the sanctuary because there were men worshiping there and I didn't want to disrupt or annoy them. There are pictures all around the sides telling about how the emerald Buddha was found. 

The small egg-like things represent the king and the queen.

This is another little side building that you can burn incense at.

This is the base of a Bo Tree (can't remember what it was called in English). Buddha was enlightened while sitting under one and so they are all revered. 

As we were leaving I got a far away shot of some monks walking around. They have a school there on the other side of the temple. It is a common site to see monks around town. Some of them are so young. Please pray for these men/boys who are so blinded by such a complicated religion. Pray that they will be discontent until they know the light of Christ. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Settling In...

I can't believe I've been in Thailand for more than a week now. It feels like I've only been here a few days! Yesterday I finally arrived at the place where I will be staying for the duration of the time. It is a small house, but I have my own bedroom. The girl I'm staying with is named Koi (prononced "Goy") and is a sweet, quiet girl! God has certainly planned the entire thing because I needed someone who would be patient and slow with me in the beginning! I also met my Thai teacher (also named Koi) who will start teaching me for 2 hours every Tues, Wed, and Thurs. next week. She is Buddhist, but is open to conversation about Christianity. My hope is that Koi and Koi will befriend one another and it will bring another Christian in her life to tell her about Christ. It takes a Buddhist person a long time to understand the concept of one God, love, and trusting in Christ alone to save. On Monday I went and saw a Buddhist temple, I hope to post pictures soon from it. I know this is short, but at least I figured how to post from a Thai computer! It's been raining the last few days- sometimes a gentle rain, other times a downpour! Koi and I ventured down the street last night to get something to eat amongst the rain puddles and umbrellas! They are so used to it here! I've been trying to communicate, but it's not easy. We read Proverbs 12 together this morning and verse 23 made me laugh a little. "A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly." I definately am in a position that if I open my mouth it sounds like folly! I long for deep conversations though! Prayer is continually becoming so key. Conversations with my Father can go as deep as I want and He never tires of me talking to Him! I read the other day, "Just as a plant may die for lack of watering, so may a genuine work of God die and rot for lack of prayer." Please take a moment to pray for me and the Tai Yuan people- that they may have a want-to to know our Savior. Also mention my Granddaddy too- he's having surgery today on his back. Thank you all! Hopefully pictures will follow soon!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Greetings from Chiang Rai! First of all, I need to correct a mistake I made- I took a bus to Chiang Rai, not a train. I was a lot jet-lagged in my last post and apologize for any mistakes made. Getting on the bus, the trip, and  getting off all went really well. Thank you Lord! I loved watching the countryside- beautiful mountains, rice fields with water buffalo, palms and banana trees everywhere. It was a good trip! Upon getting to Chiang Rai, Greg and the boys took me to Big C, which is like their Super Wal-Mart for lunch (had Pa Thai) and then Corrine joined us to go to the fresh market- very cool! There are vender's everywhere much like our fair or fall foliage selling different stuff. One vender had turtles, birds, fish, and eils for sale. They told me that it was for merit- the people would buy them and set them free. (yet at the same time, someone put them in cages to do that!) I promise to be a little more detailed in the following posts, I'm just still struggling with jet-lag and it's been  hard to stay focused. I'm at the Hortman's house now- we had house church and plan to take it easy today by going to a dam this afternoon. I'm trying to stay calm over the lack of control and to have confidence to do things when I don't know the language. It seems like anything I learned beforehand has escaped every part of my brain! I'm so thankful to be here, though! I'm learning so much already- about my personality and faith. I can't wait to get into the swing of things and adjust! Thanks for the prayers!  

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Transit...

Hi everyone! I'm here, safe and sound. The flight was smooth and pretty nice actually! I was able to catch up with a friend of mine in Chicago which was super nice of her to meet me there! I'm staying at the OMF guesthouse right now and taking a train out to Chaing Rai at 9am my time tomorrow. It's been a nice day of learning about OMF and what is being expected of me. It's really nice that they have this in place so I can feel refreshed and knowledgeable. Thank you for the prayers for my journey. I've met some people who work here and am really pleased with the organization. The real culture shock starts tomorrow! It's been really nice weather too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last Post from USA...

So, I leave in an hour and a half and am finally packed- each suitcase weighing a little less than 50 lbs! I was doing my devotions this morning and the Lord told me very clearly through the book 1,000 Gifts that no matter the fears I face, I can have the ability to trust Him because He agreed to go through the cross and so much more for me- it should be an honor to do this for Him. I have to say, I am honored to take this trip. I am honored to have people come behind me and support me financially. But, packing? It is the thing I usually despise about travelling! But, today, my mother walked me through the entire process. Usually I stubbornly do everything on my own and get frustrated because there is not enough time and I procrastinate too much. But today I could enjoy packing. I was at peace, I had someone to talk to, plus I had a short trip into town with my dad. I didn't feel like I had to rush and really enjoyed my last day with my family. I will miss them, it has been a good summer. But now, it's time to take the next step and it involves a long plane ride! God is with me and I am so blessed to have the support of your prayers! Next post in Thailand!!!!    

Friday, September 2, 2011

Frustrations to Blessings!

     Well, I totally missed the month of August! It was a busy month with work, preparation, and time with family and friends! I can't believe that I will almost be in Thailand at this time next week! I'm excited, nervous, and know that I have a pile of things to do before I leave! So, yes, this is another thing that I can mark off my checklist- but it is also a very important one!
     God has been so gracious to me through this process. I have doubted His faithfulness so many times and each time He's been reminding me that He is in control! Knowing that I had such a short time-frame to work made me stress out more than I should have, but God is showing me that He works things out quickly too! The financial blessings have been awesome! I have also been blown away with how many opportunities this trip has given me to talk to others about the love and mercy of Christ. It has opened doors to conversations that would not have been possible before! I thank God for the awesome people He has put in my life this summer to encourage me and lift me up in prayer whether they live near or far! I love that I have two churches surrounding me in love and prayer! As I start packing tomorrow, I will be thanking God for every person that has been praying for me and will pray for me. I know this will not be easy. I know I will grow a lot. The growth I've experience these past two months have been enormous and humbling. If I gain anything through this trip I hope it is an awareness of the presence of God and the power of prayer. Thank you all for praying for me. I'll keep you posted!