Well, I am writing this Blog in a state of happiness! I am happy because everything I wanted to accomplish this month is done (except this blog, lol)! This month has been a month of confusion, frustration, and accomplishment. But the most exciting thing is that I paid the tuition fee of our scholarship students just a few hours ago. I am still afraid that I will get an email saying that I sent the money to the wrong bank acct. but I hope that the Lord will take care of all of that. You see here in Thailand things don’t work the same way as they do in America. In America this would have been much easier, they would tell me the price then I would would give them my credit card number and then it would be done for the whole year, but here it is not that simple. I have been asking for an exact price since the first day I thought to send these kids to school but have only been given rough estimates and no one knows how much it will cost for a whole year. So finally about 2 weeks ago I was sent a PDF with about 1000 students names all written in Thai with prices next to the name. So it took about 30 mins for my wife and I to find both of their names, then we found the price but found they both had different prices, which led to confusion because they are both going into the same program. After I got that all figured out and go the prices correct I had to call the school to figure out how to pay, you cannot just send a check or log on to their website and pay so I was lost. So, I called and they said to transfer the money into the schools bank acct. I said, “OK, but how do you know which students it is for?” Then the lady said, “Oh yea, here is a phone number use this phone number to find us on LINE and send us a screenshot of the payment and the students name.” But the only problem was that number didn’t work when I called or searched on LINE for it. So, I sent the payment and e-mailed everything to the principal hoping that everything will turn out OK. So, please join me in praying that everything will get there and be OK.
1 month later
Well, we are a month away from those kids going to Chiang Mai, the money was sent to the right acct and we just booked the plane tickets last night. We are excited to go up there and we are excited to take them on a plane because they have never been on one and they are afraid, so it will be fun!
Well, these last few months have been exciting in more ways than one! The one thing I am most excited about is our new worker! Cherry! Cherry is Chompoo’s younger sister and has felt God’s calling to come and work in the On Nut 49 slum. Cherry had been feeling God calling her to quit her job as a nurse taking care of an old rich person to come help at On Nut. She was not sure if it was God calling and making good money she wanted to make sure that it was really God, so she asked God to give her a dream about working in On Nut if it was really Him. Well, in the next few days she had a very vivid dream about working with us. So, she quit her job in Phuket and came to Bangkok to live with her sister and help with the everyday work in our church. With her experience in nursing and her gentle spirit she has been exactly what we need. We are now able to help people in a whole other way not only with their spiritual well-being abut also their physical well-being. Also, Cherry is in the middle of her 15 minutes of fame being featured on TV show here in Thailand quite often, all of the little girls see her on TV and want to be around her and be like her, which makes her an awesome addition to our team.
These last two weeks Cherry and I have been down there everyday praying, helping and feeding the people down there. We have also started doing physical therapy with the mentally and physically handicapped people. It has been a blast!
There are very few things better than helping someone who really needs help! There are a lot of people down here who have been forgotten and are being neglected. We have met a few people down here who act like they don’t want help and then you keep pushing them, they break down, crying, actually sobbing, because they really want us to help them. It seems to me like they have had people say that they want to help them and have been let down or that no one has offered help to them in so long that they cannot believe that people actually want to help them. I think that they reject the help initially because if someone offers them help, it comes with expectations, expectations that they will get better or that they will have to do the work and both of those things scare them. Either way it’s not hard to see that they need help and we are not going to leave them alone, if they say no today we will be back tomorrow.
Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So, This is not the only exciting ting that has happened for us! We have had several groups come and visit our church to come and see the things that we have done, are doing and plan to do. It all started with the MissionTREK group which consisted of two families, the Woods and the Adams They are filming a show about mission work for kids, trying to inspire the next generation of missionaries. They came and joined us for our cookie give away. We had the kids make cookies for the first time in their lives and then packaged them up with a card that they drew or wrote on one side and an encouraging verse on the other side. It was awesome and everyone really enjoyed it. We were able to give out over 400 cookies (which I spent hours baking) and show people down here the love of God. Here is a video that someone who came and visited made for us. The next day they came back and we did one of our most glamorous jobs we have ever done, picking up garbage around the slum. We formed four teams and went around the slum picking up garbage, mostly with our hands. We had a few sets of tongs but most people had to use their hands, we did not anticipate the amount of people that we had come. We had a big lunch afterward because picking up garbage for hours in the hot sun makes you mighty hungry. Not only did we have MissionTREK with us that day we also had volunteers from Bangkok International Church as well. I praise God for all the people we had that day that were willing to sacrifice their time and effort to clean up after other people. We started the day with about 8 kids and ended with about 20 who stopped what they were doing to come and help us pick up after all their neighbors and probably themselves, lol. We picked up 29 bags full of garbage.
Soon, after that the Woods left to India to continue filming while the Adams stayed in Bangkok and helped as much as they could. I took them to a trampoline park, we had fun playing dodge ball, doing flips and playing basketball. But while me and they guys were playing basketball LillyAnne, the Adams family oldest girl, 14, tried to do a flip and broke her elbow in 2 places. We spent the next 3 days in the hospital. She was in incredible pain and her mother was incredibly scared for her. They had a few weeks left in Bangkok and had a girl in pain and with a broken arm, which made all of their plans just a little bit harder.
She was in a ton of pain but we all made the best of it and I don’t know about them but I had a good time just hanging out with them and trying to lighten the mood with some jokes every now and again. After about 3 days out of the hospital she was feeling better and not in constant pain with her broken arm.
The Adams family took a special interest in our scholarship student, Praew. Praew taught the MissionTREK girls how to make black sticky rice and how to say some things in Thai. They in return took her to the store and bought her everything that she needs for school, new shoes, new clothes, new supplies, new everything. Praew was very thankful! It was awesome to see their generosity.
After, they helped us we had another group come in. The Reeves,this group was doing a scouting trip to see what they could do when they came with a much bigger group later this year. They only had one day in Bangkok and that was the day they arrived. I personally would have used that day to rest and sleep off some jet lag but these guys were troopers. They came and met me in the middle of the day, when it is the hottest and wanted me to show them around our area and talk with them about the plans that we have and what we would like to do if we had unlimited resources. It seemed every house that we came to had a problem and we were there much longer than I expected and by the time we left almost all of them were passing out in the taxi. After they left us they went to Khon Kaen where they were able to visit with my wife’s family and they are planning a trip back in December where they plan to help out with harvest. That will be interesting, I hope I can be there too.
After a visit from this nice missionary family we were able to have Gem Castor come to our church and preach for a few days and give us a call to follow God! It was a great time where a lot of people made commitments to follow God through thick and thin and to be the people that has created them to be. I had never met Gem before he came and I was very impressed by his story. He is a Filipino who lives everywhere and goes everywhere on faith and preaches, he doesn’t have money and I don’t understand how he gets visas but the Lord works miracles for him and he goes everywhere. It was awesome to hear his testimony and to hear all the miracles that God has work in and through him.
I hope I am not forgetting anyone else that visited, I guess this is why I should make blogs more regularly, so I don’t forget lol. We have a lot of work in-front of us still. We have started a weekend class where we have 6 students. I teach English and Chompoo teaches Ukulele. The kids really love the ukulele and it has been awesome to see them grow. I always have fun teaching and my kids love it too, thank you God! We will soon be transitioning to an after school program which will be much harder and require more help. So, please join us in praying for more Thai speaking volunteers!
Also, many of you are probably wondering about what is happening with a trip back to the states. Well, we have realized that God has a different plan for us at this time. We were not able to get a visa. We are excited to see what God has in store for us here!
My wife will be quitting her job at the end of April and will be focusing on teaching and mission work with me! We are excited to see God provide for us. We have no jobs, no funding, no way to support ourselves, so it will be amazing to see God provide for us and give us everything we need. We hope you will all pray for us! We also need to buy a van for the church sometime soon also which we have no money for, so please pray that God will provide us with that as well.
We will be doing a few construction projects down here as well, building a new bathroom for a church member and a new roof for a man with polio. Please pray for our church to be unified and going in the same direction.
I will leave you with random pictures of things that we have been doing.