Monthly Archives: November 2012

It Has Begun!

We have begun our support raising process and all that it entails! With many of our ministry’s major events for the year ending in Mt. Carmel we are shifting our focus towards preparing for Thailand. We have our support packet all together and have sent it out to many congregations that we know. 

I have been transitioning out of my roles and responsibilities that I’ve had in our ministry. This has included resigning from the board of directors at Camp Wabashi in Terra Haute, IN where, for the past three years, I have directed the Fall Retreat. The theme for our retreat this year was “Seven” and we looked at the 7 “I am” statements of Jesus from the book of John. We had over 60 teens attend and a great weekend diving into God’s word and learning more about how to live like Him in our world today. 

Some of our camp girls that we’re really proud of. They were all baptized at Camp Wabashi over the past couple of years!

The kids at camp have been very curious and excited about what we’ll be doing in Thailand so we set up a table displaying cultural items we brought back from Bangkok for them to look at. Michelle gave a missions presentation sharing what we did on our survey trip and what we’ll be doing in Bangkok as missionaries. 

Kids at Camp checking out our Thailand booth

 This year at Camp Wabashi’s annual Appreciation Dinner Michelle and I were honored and received an award for our time and service to the camp. Working with Camp Wabashi has been a large part of our ministry in Mt. Carmel and we are thankful for all of the great friendships that we have through this camp. 

Being honored for our work with Camp Wabashi

This weekend we will be giving presentations at two congregations in Kentucky. On Sunday morning we’ll be with Scottsville Church of Christ where I will be giving a presentation during their morning Bible class. I will also be preaching on the Mission of God for services. Sunday evening we’ll be with the Alvaton Church of Christ to do a presentation there as well. Both of these congregations helped us to go on our survey trip and I’m really looking forward to being able to share about our trip and the need for the gospel in Bangkok.

We spent this Thanksgiving with Michelle’s family in Gatlinburg, TN where we rented a cozy cabin in the mountains. We’ve been having a blast spending time with everyone. From sisters to aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, parents and grandparents, we are truly blessed and thankful to be a part of such a loving and Godly family. I hope that you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving as much as I have! God bless!

-Gary

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fords!

Visiting with Soi 4

After a lot of time in prayer and thought Michelle and I have decided to move to Bangkok to work with the Somprasong 4 Church of Christ! Our survey trip earlier this year went really well. While we were there we were able to take part in many of the things that we will do with the church once we move there. We are thankful and blessed to have gone on the survey trip since it helped us gain more realistic expectations of what it will be like for us to live there as Missionaries.

Michelle had heard a lot about Bangkok since I had lived there as an AIMer. But experiencing something for yourself is a whole new story. Michelle had said that she thought she knew a lot about what it would be like but was still shocked by how large and fast paced Bangkok is. The traffic and crowds of people were even crazier than in other large world cities that she had been in like Moscow and Mexico City. Bangkok can be a pretty intense city!

Our view while riding in a tuk tuk taxi.

So let me tell you some of what our trip looked like. We arrived in Bangkok on a Saturday afternoon and chilled out most of the evening recovering from our 34 hour trip. Somprasong (called Soi 4 for short) spends their whole Sunday together. They have their worship service first which goes for an hour and a half. The sermons normally are about 45 minutes long. Then they have their Bible classes for an hour. Michelle and I met with their youth and college age class. I was originally going to teach this class that morning but services went long due to a special presentation about their family camp at the beach. So we all spent time introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. Later through the week, we ended up spending time with several from that group, going to two different small groups, watching the Avengers at the theater, eating ice cream  and enjoying a nice authentic Thai meal together. It was great getting to spend time with them and to know that once we’re there we will have others to do things with as friends! They were all such a welcoming group!

After their morning Bible class the church stays together for a fellowship meal. They then have another round of Bible classes offered in the afternoon. Then onto some church fellowship and chill time before they have their evening services. Evening services is often followed by time playing games in their courtyard like basketball, volleyball  and soccer. Even without me teaching class it was quite a long first day for us!

We spent a lot of our time there with some of the Soi 4 minister’s that we will be working with in Bangkok. With Bhee and Nueng we were able to visit a couple different colleges to explore outreach opportunities teaching English. Bhee’s mom is one of the elder’s wife and is an associate dean at one of the universities we visited. This school is on the other side of the city and takes about an hour to get to by taxi. The other university we went to was much closer, about 20 minutes from the church. It is right by Victory Monument one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. It was great being able to meet with the English department heads at both schools and explain how we’re willing to help as NON-professional volunteers. They were very excited to meet us especially since we are young American English speakers. Most English speakers that teach there are European or from the Philippines. Michelle and I are by no means English professors but do have experience teaching conversational English.

Meeting with the nursing school department heads with Bhee (far right) and Nueng (upper right).

On another afternoon we went with Glome, the church’s lead minister, to visit a smaller campus just down the road from the church building. It was great spending time talking and dreaming together with Glome about all that could be done in the Kingdom within this neighborhood. There are definitely plenty of opportunities to take hold of in Bangkok.

Please keep Michelle and I in your prayers as we are now raising our support. Pray also that God continues to open doors of opportunity ahead of us. 

To see more pictures from our visit with Soi 4 and other friends click here! To see our pics of Bangkok city life and culture click here! Enjoy!