Our First Month in Bangkok!

Getting into the Groove

We’ve been in Bangkok for a month now! With our apartment hunt being over, and having been able to get settled in we’re now able to develop more of a routine. Next week we’ll start a new English class at the church building that we’ll teach every Wednesday afternoon. This class will be a great way to reach out into the community surrounding the church. We’re eager to get started!

This month the students at Suan Dusit University, the nursing school we’re working with, are on break. We’ll be able to start class with the students again at the beginning of November when their classes start back. We’ve still continued visiting the school to spend time with the university staff. We’ve spent time telling them about who we are and what it’s like where we’re from and getting to know who they are. 

We made posters to get the nursing students excited about English Club.

We made posters to get the nursing students excited about English Club.

A Step Ahead

Gary, having lived in Thailand before, has made our transition here much easier. Because he already knows Thai and understands the culture more that puts us a step ahead! Over the past month he’s been able to exercise his Thai. It’s not perfect but he speaks and reads it well. This makes our daily battles like buying food from a street stall, asking for directions and bargaining with a taxi or tuktuk driver go much smoother. One taxi driver said that Gary was just like a Thai person the way he bargained for a cheaper deal. Gary took that as a compliment! We’ll begin looking soon for a Thai school for the both of us to study at.

Gary practicing his Thai by writing out John 3:16.

Gary practicing his Thai by writing out John 3:16.

Bible Study with Jarvis

This past Sunday Gary had his second Bible study with a man named Jarvis from Pakistan. Jarvis is living in Thailand, with his wife and two sons as refugees. They’ve been coming to Soi 4 church for the past 2 months. The studies have been going really well. While talking with Jarvis he said how thankful he is for the ways that he has been able to see God working in His life by bringing him and his family here to Thailand. He said that he knows that God has watched over them by keeping his family safe. Please keep him in your prayers as he counts the cost of becoming a disciple, and for his family while they try and find good jobs here in Thailand.  

Jarvis and Gary after studying together.

Jarvis and Gary after studying together.

Working on Better Visa

P’ Sam, one of the Soi 4 ministers, has been helping us a lot with our visas while we’re here. We’re currently trying to get our non-immigrant visas so that we won’t have to leave the country as often as we would with our current tourist visas. Going through the processes of applying for visas can be a long a frustrating process since little information is given online and immigration officers aren’t usually the most helpful and welcoming of people, not even in the Land of Smiles. It will take some time to get everything we need in order to apply. So at the end of the month we’ll have to take a trip out of Thailand to renew our visas. Hopefully we’ll eventually be able to get the better visas, until then we’ll have to do visa runs every month to 2 months, like we had originally thought. 

Hosting Small Group  

This past Friday we were able to host small group in our new apartment! We’re really thankful to have found a place close enough to the church building (a 10 minute walk) with enough space to be able to host activities like this. Our small groups normally last quite awhile here. People normally arrive around 6:00pm as they get off of work and will stay until about 10-11pm! We eat, sing, have devo and hangout. Friday, Gary and Bhee (one of our friends and co-workers from the church) went to go meet several from small group on the street to get food and bring them up to our apartment. Everyone found food at the street stalls to bring back to eat together. After we ate Bangkok-brown-bag style, Gary led the devo with Bhee translating. Afterwards we introduced everyone to the XBOX Kinect that we brought with us from the states. None of them had ever played it before, and they loved it! We had a great time having people over! Hosting people in our home is a great way to be able to share our lives with them, and we look forward to being able to host more events in the future!  

Small group at our place.

Small group at our place.

Thank you everyone who has been keeping us and the work here in your prayers! It’s encouraging to know that what we’re doing is being brought before God by so many! Pray for us as we startup our outreach here and develop relationships. Continue to pray for us as well as we get adjusted to our lives here in Bangkok! 

12 Responses to Our First Month in Bangkok!

  1. Gala Covington says:

    I am amazed at u two always! God is already using u both and u barely got settled! Love u!
    (Your proud Mom)

  2. Melody Luscombe says:

    So glad things are going so smoothly. God bless you. You are in our prayers.
    Melody Luscombe

  3. Beau Hart says:

    Wow, a month already. That’s crazy! Glad that things are going so well. I am enjoying your updates. Know that y’all are being prayed for! God bless–Beau Psalm 121

  4. Doreen Waldbieser says:

    I am always excited to get your email updates, Gary and Michelle! Today’s arrival was perfect timing, as I happen to be home today. I sat down to read your update, and then I went back and prayed over each topic and prayer request. May the LORD continue to bless you and keep you as you continue to show others God’s love! In the love of the Lord, Doreen

    • gmford says:

      Thanks Doreen for letting us know! It’s always encouraging hearing from you! Thanks for all of your prayers! We saw that there was the Fall Retreat at Camp Wabashi not long ago and it really made us miss the kids and being involved with camp there. Hope that you guys are doing well!

  5. Steve Burns says:

    Thanks for the update on the wonderful work you are doing! I hope the visa process turns out to be a smooth one.

  6. Shirley Stanford, Bartlett Woods says:

    We are so thankful we can be a part of your mission work. Praying that Your sowing of the seed will be accepted and God will be glorified. Stay safe and well.

  7. Jessica McGaughy says:

    Loved reading your newaletter and am so exfited that you found an appartment and have begun jumping in with both feet! So neat that Gary is able to use his Thai, what a blessing…and that he has already met someone interested in studying. Love you both!

  8. Laura Bailey says:

    So proud of you all! So interesting to see your pics and updates! God is good!

  9. Chutney says:

    Ahh!! I’m so excited for you guys. You’re in my prayers and I hope to visit you guys one day 😀

  10. Jan Davis, University says:

    Glad you guys are adjusting well. Keep up the good work and keep the loving attitude. The Lord will provide! Enjoy hearing from you. Sharing His word and His love while there is yet time is important.
    Proud of you!
    Love & Prayers,Jan & Dan

  11. Jan Davis, University says:

    Looks like you are so busy. Glad you are safe. I saw you were going to Cambodia for a visa run. If you can try to hook up with Bill and Marie Claire McDonough if they are there. Do you have their address? I am not sure when I got this update. I found it in my spam list, so you may have been to Cambodia and back. 🙂 Love you guys and pray for your continuing good health and love for the people to know God’s word. You are mentioned in our missions meetings.

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