Saturday, July 13, 2013

Late Night Recap

Sawadeeka from Bangkok! We are halfway through our 10 hour layover in Bangkok on our way home...I can't believe the trip has come to an end so quickly! Since we haven't posted for a while here is a quick update while I wait (not much is open in the airport at 4am..)

We continued our teaching with the same schedule as last week but there was a definite rush and tension from the whole team as we knew our trip was already coming to a close soon. After picking up our final member, Noreen, on Sunday night the team was complete and poised for God's work. One of our biggest conerns this trip was finding a time to formally share the gospel with the students and after many conversations and moving of the time/day from the administration we were given Wednesday afternoon! (they told us on Monday after school) My mind was immediately in panick mode thinking about how we were going to put it all together in a short time but God soon reassured me me that we had all been preparing for this in all the trainings from before we came. With excitement, late night practices and lots of prayer, our program was ready with Body Worship, a testimony from Kevin, singing, Lamb of God skit and the EvangeCube presented by Caleb. That afternoon The Lord brought more than 70 students to the Sanuk Sanuk Party! Despite no immediate salvation decisions, I am confident in the Holy Spirit's work among the students and staff at Jian Hua. 

On Thursday morning we were given the opportunity to sing and pray during the schools morning assembly time. Each morning a time for Christians are given after the Bhuddist students say their morning prayers. We sang You Are Holy(Prince of Peace) and although the students did not necessarily understand our singing it was enough to encourage them in prayer. I am reminded of Paul's Prayer for the Ephesians church which is my prayer for the Christian students of Jian Hua. I pray that they will be steadfast in their faith and I think God sent us to encourage those already believing as well as to minister to the lost. Just as Paul encouraged the churches to stay strong in their faith despite the strong Bhuddist hold on Thailand. 

The airport is waking up and so is the team so I will say "ta ta for now"! Thank you for all your love and support! See you all soon! 

Kara

Monday, July 8, 2013

NUNG SONG SAM SEE HA (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

There are 5 positions on a basketball team and each member has a specific role they need to play.  Just like the body of Christ, each member has their own spiritual gifts and strengths to help build each other up.  When one part suffers, the whole body suffers.  When one part rejoices, the whole body rejoices too. I'm blessed to be on this Thailand team filled with many diverse personalities and each member with their own strength coming together and working as one.

We had a basketball game against some of the students at Jian Hwa Vocational school this past Saturday.  It was a great experience to play with and to build our relationships with the students. Win or lose, the students were filled with joy and excitement for their team and ours also. I was really humbled and blessed to see them providing us ice cold drinks, benches and a big umbrella for shade. The basketball game was also a great way for some of the team members to bond with each other and work together. I hope we can continue to build relationships with the students and and eventually be able to share the gospel with them.

Also that night we took the kids from the bahn-nana orphanage and had all you can eat BBQ and hotpot type of dinner. It touched my heart to see these kids filled with joy by just eating all theses foods, since what they usually ate for food consisted mostly of rice and veggie type of diet.

Something that God has been teaching me so far is to have patience and humility with my team members, since we see each other like everyday for hours, we can get annoyed or frustrated with each other.

It's already Monday and more than half way through the trip already. Time flies! I'm going to zzzzzzz soon.

A few things you could pray for are:
  • That God will move in this community and continue to open up the doors for us to interact with the students and to share the gospel when possible. 
  • That the team would continue to be united and show love towards the students and also with each other. 
  • Also pray that we would continue to be bold and courageous when we are talking to the students and also when teaching. 

"And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

-Jimmy

Horatio the tank


Horatio bringing joy.
Horatio's valiant sacrifice.

 Day 8- Sunday July 7, 2013

Hello Wolfpack followers! Meet our newest yet the shortest lived member of the Wolfpack, Horatio the Elephant. Although Horatio may have had a rugged look on the outside, he had a beautiful heart, which was filled with the sweetness of Laffy Taffy on the inside and was able to bring joy and laughter to the orphans of Banh-nana. 

Today we spent our last day with the orphans of Banha-nana and it truly was a bittersweet moment for the whole team. Within the span of just one week, our team was able to make a positive impact on the lives of the orphans. Although we may have not been able to effectively evangelize to the orphans through words, as a majority of the orphans did not speak a single word of English, we were able to evangelize through our actions. From actions such as playing games and making balloon animals to even the simple action of just holding their hands and being by their side. In this short trip to the orphanage, God has truly shown me what it means to love unconditionally. Just as how God is able to love us despite our past and our sins, we were able to fully love the orphans without knowing their past.

-Ian

Sunday, July 7, 2013

HELLLLOOOOO!


Belated Saturday.

Hello Thailand blog. There’s really too much to say about this trip to be encompassed into one blog post – but one thing for sure is that we have an almighty and all powerful God.

This past week has been absolutely amazing – from the moments we, as a team, share floor space at the airport due to a layover, to spending time with the Thai kids at an orphanage, to making Tesco runs, to winning basketball games for Leroy Jenkins, and most importantly, teaching and building relationships with students at Jian Hwa vocational school (in hopes of sharing the gospel!). Ahaha, but in all seriousness though, God is so good.


Here’s a photo of us post-basketball game with some of the Jian Hwa students. There was quite an amount of excitement and competition leading up to this game since apparently, we’ve never won before. In fact, we were smashed on years prior. It was like the game of the year for some of these kids, and teammates. Ahaha. I mean, we had an unofficial official and this huge scoreboard. It was all pretty great and entertaining, but regardless of the result of the game (feel free to ask!), it was such a great experience to carry home. A little switcheroo from the usual standpoint of being servants, it was humbling to be served by the students and staff of Jian Hwa. Prior to the game, they brought us a bench to the other end of the court. Since the weather is hot and humid (normal for them, but not for us), they brought us a huge umbrella to withstand a bit of the heat. And lastly, they brought us cold drinks in a bucket filled with ice. Wow. The generosity and love the staff and students extended for us were pretty astounding. Their hearts are so pure, and their kindness is so genuine. Although they don’t know it, they exemplify a lot of things that we, as Christians, sometimes lack. The Thai people are always serving – constantly putting others before themselves – so humbling, so loving, and so patient. In addition to that, the players were all so kind! That’s always pretty awesome. Good sports, good sports. It was a blessing to share a court with these fellow ballers.



Secondly, here are two photos that wrap up the rest of the day! First photo is a snapshot of our Tesco run with the kids from the orphanage. Oh, these kids. The Lord is breaking my heart for what breaks His. They are such sweet, beautiful children. Anywho, we were allowed to bring the kids to Tesco just to roam around for a good 45 minutes – in which we were all pretty confused as to what we could do in a supermarket with the kids for 45 minutes – which God provided for! I’m surprised we didn’t get kicked out since we let them ride the bikes, bump some volleyballs, and run around in circles in between aisles. Ahaha. To end the day, we took the kids out to a buffet! So much happy faces, so many lit-up smiles. Man, it was such a joy and honor to serve, love, and hang out with these kids. They don’t receive these opportunities often, but when they do, they truly enjoy every minute of it. I can’t even share with them in words how much God loves each and every one of them, but I fully believe that God’s at work with these kids. They’re going to be world-changers some day.

This post doesn’t even share the fifth of it, but it’s ohkay. All Glory to our Heavenly Father.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Prayer Requests:
-       We, as a team, would be of the same mind, of the same hearts, with the same love. Pray that we would be unfailing support systems for one another in times of inadequacies, loneliness, and encouragement.
-       It’s already week 2, and we’re gone by Saturday. Pray for us to be bold in the opportunities that we share with the students at Jian Hwa. Pray over the language barrier that some of us have, to trust that even God can use our weaknesses for His glory.
-       Pray for health! There’s been an influx of sickness within the team, from one person after another. One gets better, but then another person gets sick. Just pray for God’s protection over the team as whole, so that we’d be able to teach and hang out with the kids!
-       These are just a few, but I got to go now. I still need to shower and it’s 12:20 am here in Thailand. We have to be up by 7:30 tomorrow. Whomp, whomp, whomp. If you have any encouraging words or prayers, please feel free to e-mail me at omggitscindyy@yahoo.com! :) Sawadee!



Friday, July 5, 2013

week one of teaching: finished!

Hello hello!

It's Saturday morning right now, which means it's been a full week of teaching here in Thailand! I just came back from teaching a Saturday class, and that's all of them for this week! It's been a huge blessing seeing our interactions with the students become more comfortable and confident, and our relationships are growing as well.

Something that I think the team has been very cognizant of from the start is that God has definitely blessed us with a diverse wealth of talents, abilities and personalities, and we've seen it all at work as we get to know the students better both inside and outside of the classroom. Even though the language barrier limits the kinds of verbal exchange that we can have, God has provided. For example: Cindy speaks some Thai (which has been a HUGE blessing), several of us play basketball (there's going to be a game against some Thai kids later today), and the Frisbee that I decided to bring on a whim has proven to be a really great (and sweaty) way of bonding with the kids. We were playing Frisbee a couple of days ago after school as the sun was setting behind the mountains, and I'm pretty sure I've never seen a more majestic backdrop for throwing a plastic disc around.


 Some quick prayer requests:
  •  Proverbs 16:9 says, "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." Pray that we would be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do as we interact with the students, even if we planned otherwise. Our time here is limited, and the relationships formed here are for naught if we are too timid to share the Gospel when called to.
  • Week 2 of teaching is fast approaching, and then we fly out on Saturday! Where did the time go?! Pray that the familiarity we have with students as we return to their classes will be used wisely and fruitfully, before we have to leave.
  • We will likely be doing a short body worship and Gospel presentation at the orphanage this weekend, so pray that God would work through us and surpass any language barriers that may oppose us. 
I hope everyone had a fun (and safe) July 4th! No fireworks for us here, but we ate some Pocky and drank tea as we sang "God Bless America." We celebrate in style... 
 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

wednesYAY!

Hello family and friends,

Wow, it's kind of crazy to think that it's already Wednesday night!  The days are going by so fast!  Today we didn't have any morning classes so we had the opportunity to go on a prayer walk around the community/area where we are staying.  It was a very eye opening experience because I could see how much that people of Thailand needed to hear about the gospel and how much they needed God.  As I was walking around, I felt that God was putting on my heart to pray for the people of the community, to pray against all the idols and the enemy, to pray for the king, and to pray for the Christians who are already here in Thailand. 

Prayer Requests for Thailand:
-People/community: Pray that God would work and move in the hearts of the people of Thailand so that they may know and receive Jesus as their personal savior.
-Idols/temples: Pray against the enemy, against the idols, and against the temples.  Satan has such a strong hold on the hearts and minds of the people of Thailand so pray that God would bind the hands of Satan so that wouldn't need to rely on or worship these false idols and gods.
-King: Pray that God would move in the heart of the king because the king has such a strong influence on the people of Thailand.
-Christians/churches: Pray for the Christians and churches that are already here in Thailand.  Pray that God would give them strength to continue to do His work.  The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.  Pray that God would continue to use His servants/messengers to be the light to those who are lost in the darkness.

After the prayer walk, we headed down to Maesai, which is at the border of Thailand and Burma.  We had the opportunity to visit "MoBoSo" which is a school that the Thailand team has taught at for the past two years.  It brought me great joy to see the teachers, to see all the students, and to eat some good cafeteria food!  It definitely brought back a lot of good memories.  One thing that was a huge encouragement and blessing to see was the team members, who are first timers, just engaging and hanging with the students as if they have known them for a while.  We weren't at MoBoSo for very long but I think we'll be going back next week so I can't wait!  After we left the school, we walked around all of the street markets and ended up eating some very delicious baos at a small restaurant.  Then we had to head back and get ready to teach for the night classes that some of our teaching groups had.  All in all it was a very long but fun day.

Okay its time for bed but before that, Happy Independence Day!  Have a safe and fun Fourth of July! #America! #USA

God bless,

-Caleb (KK)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Teaching Day One: [✓]

Harro frands!

Last night was the first time I taught with my teaching team! It went very well and the students were pretty responsive for the most part. Though we taught late at night, and that was our only class of the day, we still had energy and it went by a lot faster than I expected. Praise God that we were able to help the students practice speaking English while having fun! I'm so glad that we had enough energy to be as energetic as the students were. I hope that as we continue to teach, that we'll be able to build relationships with the students and become friends with them, and eventually find a time to share the Good News with them. It's hard to think that we may only see these students once or twice, so I hope that in those very few times we encounter them, we would be able to show Christ's love to them, and really be compassionate and intentional towards these students.

Gonna go shoot some hoops with the students now!

Sawadeekaa!

--joyce

Swatdee Khrab (Hello!)

Thailand Update Tuesday July 2nd

Hello Friends and Family,

What a crazy few days it has been! From the 18 hours it too us to arrive in Chaing Rei God has continually kept us busy and active. I feel that I've been here for 2 weeks already through all experiences we have encountered, as this was just a glimpse of the Thai Culture. As you can see from the pictures below God has truly been able to work on this trip.

On the first day we arrived, our missionaries here, took us to an elephant farm where we were able to ride elephants! What a blessing and an adventure! The next day (Sunday) we visited an Orphanage where I God really touched my heart. The simplest of things such as games and balloons can bring so much joy to these kids faces. I'm excited to see them again soon in the upcoming week as we will take them out to eat and they will experience their first buffet! Lastly, on Monday was the first day of teaching english at Jian Hwa Vocational School and boy was it busy yesterday! My group had two classes in day time and one in the late evening. It was a progression in getting comfortable with the students as each class went by, but in the last class of the day, the jitters went away and I'm exciting to continue to build relationships throughout this week. So today is my rest day with one class in the afternoon (it is about 10:30 now), time for me to play some basketball and grub with the students.


Until next time! Khrap Kum Khrap (Thank you!),
-Jacob

Prayer Requests
- God will open doors for us to be able to share to the Thai students, unlike the past we do no have a formal time slot to share, so pray that god will insert confidence in our hearts to get to know the students
- Growth in Teaching English. That through how I act and approach the students, I can be a shining example of Christ when I teach. Also, that I can be clear in how I present basic introduction conversation.
- Health. It sure is humid and hot here. So pray for the whole team that everyone will continually be healthy and hydrated.