Monthly Archives: November 2013

Rainy Season Adventures

English Class at the Church Building

We were able to start our English class at the church building this month! When we first advertised for the class we said that students should be at an intermediate level with their English. When we had our first class we realized that we’re going to need to be teaching at more of a beginner level. The first class was more of a “get to know you” class, to help us see how our students English was. So for the first class we taught simple introductory phrases like, saying their names, where their from and what they liked to do. This past week, with it being Halloween, we taught them how to express emotions. Many of them are very shy about speaking English, so we try to make each class fun and interactive to help boost their confidence. Each class is ended with what we call, “Food for Thought”, a short thought from the Bible. Glome, the senior minister at the church here, shared this week’s message. For most of the students it was probably the first time for them to ever hear God’s Word. Most of the students listened intently as Glome shared his message. One student stayed after class to attend our Wednesday night Bible study a couple of times already! Pray that God continues to take hold of this outreach. We may never know what fruit will come from the work that we’re doing now. Several of the leaders in the church here came to Christ through a very similar outreach.

Teaching our first English class at Soi 4.

Teaching our first English class at Soi 4.

Joy (smiling bottom left) works at a coffee stand down the road from the church building. Many of us at the church know her and get our daily fuel from her. It's exciting to have her in class!

Joy (smiling bottom left) works at a coffee stand down the road from the church building. Many of us at the church know her and get our daily fuel from her. It’s exciting to have her in class!

Visa Run to Pattaya

Last week we made our first visa run, and it was quite the experience! We recently found out that we could extend our visas in nearby town called Pattaya. The trip to Pattaya is much shorter than going to the Thai border so we thought we’d give it a shot. We we’re able to buy tickets for a van ride down there for a great price. Unfortunately when we went to get on the bus all of the sets were taken except two in the back row of the van. Which meant that we had to spend the 3 hour trip sandwiched between two strangers. Michelle had to sit curled up into a ball!

Pattaya is probably one of the least liked cities in Thailand. By both the Thais and the expats that live here. Sex trafficking is a major problem. Seeing an older white man walking down the street with a Thai girl some 20+ years younger than him is an ordinary site in Pattaya. The city is tacky as all get up! It’s very corrupt with many things being controlled by the mob. And it’s totally over run by tourist, primarily from Russia for some reason. We may have seen more Russians there than Thai people! 

We hoped that we would have a more relaxing trip. But with it being the tail end of the raining season here, it rained most of the time we were there. Many cities all over Thailand have been flooding. When we tried to go out sightseeing, we literally got stuck in the center of town all day because of the flooding in the streets brought on by the rain. Once the rain started, the streets transformed into flowing rivers within minutes before our eyes. Overall it wasn’t the best trip, but at least we were successful in getting the visa extension we needed. After our trip we really came to appreciate Bangkok a lot more, making Bangkok feel much more like home!   

Flooded street in central Pattaya.

Flooded street in central Pattaya.

New Brother From Pakistan  

We had previously asked you to pray for a man named Jarvas from Pakistan. A couple of weeks after we first arrived Gary started studying with him. And we’re excited to tell you that took on Christ in baptism! Jarvas came up out of the water cheering, “Yes! Yes!” like his favorite sports team just scored a winning goal! Jarvas, his wife Rose and their two teenage sons are living in Bangkok as refugees after fleeing from their home country. Another Pakistani refugee family with 3 young girls started attending church the same day that Jarvas was baptized. They’re from the same town that Jarvas is from. They fled the country because of religious persecution. Their youngest daughter was shot while they were leaving church one day. This happened a couple of months ago, so her wound is fully healed but you can still see the scars of the entry and exit point on her shoulder.

On Monday we went to have dinner at the home of Jarvas and Rose. They were so excited to welcome us into their humble apartment! They also invited the other Pakistani family over. It was the first time for either of us to eat Pakistani food and it was great! We spent a few hours there with these families talking and getting to know them more and played some games with their kids.

We had a great time at Jarvas' (shown center) home.

We had a great time at Jarvas’ (shown center) home.

We’ve been able to do some research on the situation of urban-refugees in Bangkok and have contacted a number of local non-profit groups that assist them. It is very difficult for urban refugees to get jobs here and find good places to live since, by Thai law, they are considered illegal immigrants, regardless of them having a UN sanctioned refugee status. Refugees come to Thailand from many places such as Pakistan, Burma, Laos, Sir Lanka and Nepal. While we were at Jarvas’ apartment they all sang a song for us in their own language about how God is our strength and deliverer in times of trouble and how with Him we have nothing to fear. Seeing Jarvas’ faith and trust in God while he has so little in life is a huge encouragement and at the same time a big challenge since we as Americans can so easily take many things that God has blessed us with for granted. 

Prayer Request

We have a lot to ask you to keep in prayer! Pray for our efforts with the English classes. We’ll start back at the Dusit nursing school this coming week! Pray for Thailand! There are so many people here who don’t know God. They need to hear God’s message. We pray we can be used by God to further His kingdom here. There are also so many hurting people all over Thailand. We mentioned Pattaya earlier but the hurting, poor, the used, and homeless are everywhere. We see them everyday and it weighs heavy on our hearts! These people need a better hope than this world has given them! Pray they are able to receive the hope that can only come from God! Also pray for our refugee friends. Pray that they can be content with where God has brought them for this season of their lives and that God provides for them what they need.