It is hard to believe it has been a month since the last newsletter. That means this will have a lot of shorts to get us up to date. The period from October to January in this part of Thailand is pretty much festivals and fun. Schools are in session but not much teaching is going on. It makes it difficult for the churches because many schools decide to have school on Saturdays and/or Sunday to try and make up days lost. There is no consideration for the Christian student because the numbers in a particular school are so small. Our local high school of about 600 students has, maybe, 3-4 known Christians and only one or two who are firm in their beliefs.
October 14-17, 17 teens from the Association attended a youth teaching seminar at Korat. Great success was enjoyed by all and they will apply what they learned in working with the children at their individual churches.
Christian Mission put the training into action Oct 22-24 with our second yearly VBS. There were 25 children in attendance and we had 8-10 youth teachers. Several of the children have returned to our Saturday program and to church on Sunday.
Maeo and I have moved from the second floor of our home to the first floor. Her son, daughter-in-law and grandson have taken over the second floor. We have decided the challenge of the stairs several times each day just isn’t worth it, and after a week or two on the first floor, we are sure we have made the right decision. Our office is more convenient for visitors, and everything we need is much handier. There are minor changes that we will be making, but that will happen over time as God provides.
Both of our vans are in the shop for a few weeks. While making a left turn into our driveway, a pickup truck decided to pass on the left hand side. Thank and praise God we saw it and were able to get most of the van out of the way, but the pickup clipped the front of the van. In Thailand there is no insurance for older vehicles, so individuals usually pay for their own vehicle repairs unless the police are involved; however, the custom here is that if you are an American, it is already assumed you are wrong so you pay for both vehicles. Costs for both vehicles will be about $1000.00. Thank God that he provides.
The second van, with almost 300,000 thousand miles on it is having engine problems. Since it is a European model and not a Thai model, parts are more difficult to get so we are waiting parts. Again, thank God that he provides – funds are available for the repairs.
We thank and praise God for Ernie’s visit November 7-10. It is always good to have him visit with us and we were able to discuss many issues and work on a lot of different plans.
Pray for our youth. We are going to start working with a team of youth from New Zealand to see if funds can be raised to either send our youth to New Zealand for a visit or have the youth in New Zealand visit us. The ideal for us would be for them to come here.
We are also available for short-term mission visits. Depending upon the size of the group, quarters may be available at the mission; if not, there is a very good hotel close by with a rate of $10.00 per day for two people. Primary activities would involve working with children learning English. You don’t have to be a teacher to listen to them, work with them on word recognition, pronunciation, and general beginning conversation. If there are folks interested, contact Ernie Schache in New Zealand. He is presently working on a future team of adults as well as youth.
- Pray for Bee and Lita. These are our only two believers still living full time at the mission and receive tuition assistance for school.
- Pan and Ploy – these two believers are planning to live at the Christian Mission Friday-Sunday. They both can be great assets in teaching Bible as well as English. They also receive tuition assistance
- Jane and Fanta – these are two 4th year university students, English majors wanting to be teachers. They are not believers but provide valuable teaching at the Christian Mission and our Saturday English Camps. They also receive tuition assistance.
- Dao – Dao spent most of her elementary years at the Christian Mission. She now a university students and claims she believes some, but does not believe some. She comes most Sundays but does not participate in activities regularly. She receives tuition assistance.
- Tat – Comes on Saturday and Sunday and assists in the English program but is not a believer. She used to live here but moved back home. She is not receiving tuition assistance at the time, but wants to apply for it.
- Dtee – continues to progress in his Bible study correspondence program. Pray for strength and wisdom for him. He has a lot of pressure on him to turn away from God and go back to his old ways. He also has several medical issues that he doesn’t want to face because he thinks the news might be very bad. Pray for courage for him to get a complete physical checkup so he knows what is wrong and can deal with it.
- Pray for the children that attend, that they will take the word home to their parents; that God will soften the hearts of the parents and bring them to church also. Pray God will give them the courage to stand up and accept Christ, if they truly believe, and go forward as witnesses.
- Pray for Toon – Dtee’s wife. At one time she was a believer and was baptized. She has turned away from God and refuses to return. She also has medical problems she is dealing with. She works as a housekeeper for us and cooks for the children on Saturday and Sunday.
- Pray for strength and wisdom for John and Maeo.
Thanks and God Bless with love.