Sunday, July 22, 2012

a little shaky

We have successfully made it to our connecting flight in Korea! this last flight from BKK to Seoul was the shakiest flight I've been on. There was consistent turbulence the entire way and a few of us were sick. however God is good and we are all well ready to board our 14 hour flight home. ( no throwing up this time please!) please pray for Peter as he tries to renew his travel papers that allow him to stay in Thailand! Continually thankful for our mother Lillian and father Peter in Thailand :) see you all in 14 hours!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Final Hours

Tonight we got to splurge--on dinner! Being our last night on the Mae Sai "Strip," dinner consisted of pad thai, pad see eew, fried chicken hamburgers, 2 white chocolate cakes, spaghetti, sausages, and more. I definitely had to go to the restroom immediately much food!

Besides having super satisfaction tonight, as John said it's been quite a week. And what an interesting day today was. This afternoon when we had come back from the market, we had learned that our resort was still out of electricity and had to pack yet another day-pack to head over to our other hostel. Thank God for Lillian, Peter, and the resort manager for being willing and helping us get quickly arranged and transported from place to place.

Today was also our last official day of English Corner. We had a special Goodbye Party for the students. First we led the 20-some students in song--Jesus is a Friend, Making Melodies, and Swing Low. Then we performed the "Lamb of God" mime. Afterward, Kara shared her testimony with Lillian translating in between. Pray that the students will ponder Kara's words, and that God will place the same sense of peace that Kara witnessed about in their hearts as well. Then we played Over-Under with water. And to end the day, we had a special cheer, group photo, snacks, and more photos.

I am sad (and still can't believe) that yesterday was our last day of teaching, today was our last day being on campus, and tomorrow will be our last day in Thailand--our final chance to live out God's kingdom in front of these students. Where has the time gone!?  This mission seemed like it was a really short short-term missions trip. It all makes me wonder if I did everything I could to be a good witness...did I let God use me in every way possible? Nonetheless, we will leave the seeds that were planted this year and the seeds that grew from last year with Christ and the power of His love and salvation.

Continue to pray for us! John told us to go to sleep early so we won't be grumpy in the morning...we will see how that goes (sorry, John). So pray for a good night's rest so we can be alert for our day tomorrow. TOMORROW IS OUR LAST DAY. Pray pray pray! Goodnight! Cakes, snacks, and manao soda tonight!

PS: I regret agreeing to share a bed with Esther! She's gonna kill me! jk.

A Weird Few Days

After the weekend in the Ahka village, we thought the events of the coming week would be as they were the previous one. Hmmm. Not really. 

Some Thai schools, including MoPoSo (for short), are unusual in how they operate. Let's just say there are too many students and not enough teachers. The result is that students are left alone in classrooms to self-regulate during independent study, when teachers have meetings or when teachers are absent. Repeat: students are to self-regulate and be productive in the absence of a teacher. On Wednesday, one of the students invited a few of the team members to sit in on her unattended class. She had gotten permission from the her teacher, who was to be in a meeting. With other students, they sat and talked, not disrupting the norm. Somehow word of our presence in the class got around to the foreign department head and he went ballistic crazy. He said it (very angrily) that it was not right that the team members were were in a science class and were disturbing the students' work time. That put a damper on the day. Despite being invited and doing things correctly, there was still this guilt that we had messed up. 

When we returned from the school that night, we were greeted with candles. Our bungalow-style "resort" was without electricity. No lights, no A/C, no water from the tank-less water heater for showers. For the last two nights (and soon to be three), we've had to pack overnight bags to stay elsewhere. The majority of our luggage still is sitting in our bungalow rooms. We give ourselves a few minutes to pack a few belongings and then we're off to a different hotel. (We haven't vacated the resort because it's too much stuff to move, and there's no present demand for the rooms :)  

Though we've had these weird occurrences, God remains faithful. We could have been told to end our program at the school and leave but that didn't happen. We continued to share about God after school. And with this exodus from our bungalows...we were set up at a nicer, more modern hotel at the expense of the resort management. It's clean, there's plenty of electricity, and it's mosquito free! 

I love the missional adaptability and flexibility of this team. Yes, we've had some weird events and location changes, but the team continues to trust in the Lord without complaint. He's even blessed us this second week with cooler days. 

Please pray for our last and final day here in Thailand. On Saturday (22 July) we host an EV party at the resort for the students (9a-11a). It'll be our final opportunity to reveal the great news of Jesus Christ. Pray for strong attendance on for a Saturday morning, very receptive hearts to the Truth and people would pursue Christ, and we'd not have any difficulties at the resort. Later in the day, at 6pm, we head to the airport for our departure flight. Pray for smooth sailing. 

Thanks for all the prayers. They are being heard and answered by the Father!


Monday, July 16, 2012

a little quiet time goes a long way

Yellow! I realize that this is my first post so I will try not to make this too long. I want to thank all of you for your constant prayer and support letters that we are slowly reading during our time here. Each one helps uplift our spirits and remind us amidst the weariness of why we are here and the people we are ministering to. I can't count how many times I have felt frustrated or ready to give up but then I read a word of support and felt energized to go again. When I came for the first time last year I never would have imagined leading this year. I am constantly worried about failure and responsibilities but God has taught me that he will shine through it all ( 2 Cor. 12: 9-10). there are days when my teaching group is able to teach later so I take more time with my quiet time with the Lord, and every time he reveals more and more about His awesome timing and love. The weather has let up and today (despite rain) was cool enough that I could eat soup at lunch. Small reliefs like this show me that God always knows when to take care of us and when we need his peace the most. We are meeting to plan the evangelistic parties now so hopefully I will get a chance to write again. pray that we will use the gifts God has given us to reach these students and continued praise for His never ending protection over us. SawadeeBYE! - Captain Kara

In the Middle

We've had a very busy last few days. In preparation for a visit to an Ahka village on Saturday and Sunday, we had to hand wash our laundry in advance, pack an overnight bag, prepare all our ministry supplies, AND pack all our remaining luggage for relocation (To save money, we vacated our rooms while we were gone. It doesn't make much sense but we saved the money.) The visit to the village involved a one and half hour drive up windy mountain roads. 

At the Ahka village, we had a good time playing with the kids (Kids just love balloon animals.) On Saturday night, Kevin gave his testimony, we performed our "Lamb of God" mine, and Alisa–with the help of others–taught "Making Melodies" and "Deep, Deep." On Sunday morning, during the Ahka worship service, Esther gave her testimony (in Mandarin!) and we prayed for the sick. Kevin, Caleb, John and our missionary, Peter, got to sleep on the floor of an Ahka hut under mosquito netting. What an adventure!—we tossed and turned all night. 

The church was built on a side of the mountain. In fact one wall of the church IS the side of the mountain. When the rain came during the middle of our Saturday night youth meeting, water ran down the side of the interior wall. These are the steps leading to the church. >>>

Here's a long, drawn out metaphor: At the village, there was a tremendously steep hill between the church and the village where we stayed overnight. On one side of the hill it was about a 50-degree grade, and we had to climb this hill to get to the church. On Saturday night, it was raining when we had to walk to church—steep, muddy and slippery. On Sunday it was about 85-degrees (F) and humid when we had to make this hike—still steep, and hot. Along the way there was an intersection, and it was here we stopped to catch our breath. It was only the halfway point. We still had another 50-yards to go. 

Entering our second week in Thailand, we still have an uphill climb, and there's still work ahead of us. The excitement of being in Thailand and the initial surge of energy have lowered. The heat and humidity of summer monsoon season have become irritating. We return to the school for our second round. We're halfway. We are only in the middle. But as we eventually made it to the summit of that hill—a bit weary and worn—we know that God will deliver us through the rest of this week. He's been answering a LOT of prayers, and we're frequently seeing how he's creating situations that encourage and bless us. Though decisions are hard to come by, many students are very receptive and open to hear the great news of Jesus Christ. 

Please keep praying for us. Kup koon krup. 

Praying for opportunities. God is answering.

Team Wolfpack finished our first week teaching at Maesaipasitsart School.  The administration has been a bit disorganized which makes it a challenge, but the kids have been amazing. Our team received less teaching classes than expected, but managed to pick up a few extra classes last week by hanging around the administration office during our down time. This is such a blessing because since day one we have been praying for more opportunities to build relationships with the students and God answered. Our lessons have been combinations of simple introduction questions (“Get to know you” questions), pronunciations (tongue twisters), emotions/moods, and word games. It is difficult to gauge the English proficiency of each class. We have seen juniors/seniors who have lacked basic English proficiency and lower grades who have excelled in it.

            As mentioned, the kids are absolutely wonderful. In the beginning the students were a bit shy and just giggled every time we interacted with them, but have opened up after the first two days. Through basketball, sharing meals/snacks, and English Corner our team has gotten to know a handful of kids in depth. It’s a bit odd that our team is treated or receives reactions from the students similar to a celebrity. Caleb and I have been keeping our swag by cool handshakes and catch phases, but I do pray daily that God will keep our team humble, as it can be a major distraction. We also have seen many doppelgangers here at the school like Cherise Chuck. Our doppelganger count is now at: 9

            Over the weekend our team went up to the mountains to visit two groups of villagers. Esther and I had the opportunity to share our testimonies with the AhKa village community. Pray that our testimonies will have a lasting impact to encourage the AhKa villagers. In addition to sharing testimonies, we played games and built evangelism bracelets with the local children.

            It is Monday night over here in Thailand. Our team started advertising for an Evangelism party/gathering scheduled Saturday morning. Please pray that God will use this event to introduce and bring glory to Him. We have a couple activities planned but are still adding to our program. Please pray that God will be in the forefront of our planning.

            There are so many more stories I would like to share about how God is moving in Thailand but I'm limited due to time. So let me end with a few more prayer requests. Pray that God will continue to give our team boldness to take advantage of every opportunity He presents. We recognized that our time is short and don’t want any of it wasted. Pray for physical health as some team members have been feeling sick. Pray for “Mean” as we have seen God moved through her to accept Christ. Pray for her friends that she has been inviting to English Corner that they will also be moved to call Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior.

            Kup koon krup & Happy Birthday Philly (photo caption: Hey Alisa, Philly is the city of brotherly love, but my heart is only for You! - Joshua Yuan) 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

God Doing Work

Today was a very tiring but rewarding day.  We were only scheduled to teach three classes but God answered our prayers for more classes by providing us three additional classes!  By the end of school, I was definitely feeling pretty drained but there was no time to rest because God had big things planned for English Corner today.

In English Corner, we started teaching the students a memory verse.  It was “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” John 3:16a  A lot of students memorized the verse and they were able to recite it to us throughout English Corner.  After teaching them the memory verse, I had the opportunity to share the gospel with the students through the “magic cube” (EvangeCube).  The EvangeCube is a storytelling picture cube that flips and turns to show six pictures that tell the gospel story.  After sharing the story to the students, I asked them to raise their hand if they wanted to know more about Jesus.  I think some were scared to raise their hand in front of everyone so as we moved on to our game outside, one student nicknamed “Mean” (who is actually really nice) pulled aside Esther and asked if she could talk and learn more about Jesus.

Please pray for “Mean” that God would continue to move in her heart.  She comes from a Buddhist background and becoming Christian means that she would be going against everything she was taught growing up.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to use and speak through us so that we can continue to show love not only to her but also to all the other students.

-Caleb (KK)