Ministry Blog

The latest updates of our adventures and challenges in ministry.

Socks

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

You may live in a tropical country when your kids get excited over wearing socks. Such is the case today. The weather is cool, the tile floor is cold, and we pulled out the socks to take off the “chill.” Hmm… Looks like Dad is the black sheep of the family. :-)

 

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Going Green

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

I’m enjoying some green tea in a green mug with green bananas. How’s that for going green?  Btw – this variety of bananas is ripe when green. Interesting.

 

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Comparing Scripture with Scripture

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

Today I had another great Bible study with my friend Masae and his family. It was great not because of any fancy teaching on my part, but because we allowed the Bible to explain itself.

We were studying 1 John 3:9, a passage that is often labeled as difficult to understand, requiring much explanation. 

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9

However, we prayed for the Holy Spirit to help us understand each word, in the context of verses 8 and 10, and started asking questions about this passage. The result was a clear understanding of the verse in a way that everyone in the study could own for themself. We started with the majority idea that this verse seemed to contradict other passages in the NT. We ended with the mutual understanding that Scripture always agrees with Scripture.
It would have been easy to just explain my knowledge of the passage and ask this group to trust my interpretation. However, I left with the satisfaction of knowing that God’s Word was lifted up, and that this group of people had discovered the answer for themselves.

The Bible is amazing.

   
 

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Transition time

Posted by on Jun 27, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

Transition time

We have just 3 days to go before our move North, and we are excited! Excited to finally be able to pack some of those items we use every day, Excited to be over a week-long bout of sickness. Excited to be moving forward.

This is a bittersweet time as we close out a chapter of life and ministry in Chiang Mai, and say good bye to many friends, our neighbors, and local shops. The sweet part is knowing that we have many new adventures ahead as we move to the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Yes, we will miss the convenience of Chiang Mai, but not the construction or the congestion of the roads. Mae Sai is a much smaller town and I believe the quiet will help us focus on the task at hand.

So, as we check off the “lasts” here in Chiang Mai, we are looking forward to the “firsts” in Mae Sai. Change is a good thing in that it helps us re-evaluate the essentials, our goals, and priorities. It also reminds us of how much we depend upon our unchanging God and the prayers of His people. The Lord is guiding us through a time of many decisions and questions, and we appreciate your prayers on our behalf. 

 

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House Hunting in Mae Sai

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 0 comments

House Hunting in Mae Sai

Last week we drove up to Mae Sai on a house-hunting expedition with our good friends Eric and Jackie Wolf. They have been praying with us for months about us finding a suitable rental house and we were excited to see what the Lord would provide as we stepped forward by faith.

After living in Chiang Mai for a year and a half, we are used to seeing rental signs everywhere. Not so in Mae Sai since it is a word-of-mouth housing market. Fortunately, I had enlisted the help of a Thai real-estate agent and he had a couple of properties in mind. However, somewhere along the way he forgot the requirement that we needed three bedrooms in a single house. The first property that he showed us was more like a motel, with a row of apartments. Nope, renting two adjacent rooms was not going to work for our family. I guess the other two properties that he had in mind were similar, since he dropped them when he realized that we needed a single-family house.

We returned to our hotel dissapointed and a little confused. However, our trust was in the Lord and we were confident that He would provide the right place. A few hours later we received a call from the real-estate agent saying that a friend had introduced him to a place that should work well for us. Anne and I went to look it over and found that it indeed had potential. Now, I like options, so I thought it would be good to keep looking and then compare our findings with this house. We also wanted Eric and Jackie to come and give their input. You see, they were kind enough to watch the kids for us while Anne and I went looking.

The next morning, we drove around for over an hour looking for any signs indicating a house for sale or for rent. We saw several houses for sale and single rooms for rent, but not a single sign indicating a house for rent. I stopped by a nearby housing office and asked there. “Nothing available.” was the repy. Maybe in a few months we could come back and look again. So we went back to the house recommended by the agent and looked it over again. It was clean, with a simple layout and three decent-sized rooms. Our only hesitation was the layout of the kitchen. or I should say, the space available for a kitchen, since the house was empty. If we could customize the living room into a kitchen/dining room and use the “kitchen” area for a den/office, that would be ideal. Our agent and the daughter of the owner had different thoughts. They did not like the idea
of us cooking in the living room because of all the grease and smoke. I tried to explain that was not the way that my wife cooked and that she liked to keep her kitchen clean. I explained the plan of where the sink and appliances would go and how I would envision it working. More discussion, but no forward progress. I was ready to walk away, when one of the guys helping to show the house pulled out a piece of paper and drew a diagram of our kitchen idea. His paper and persuasion changed everything. Heads started to nod and after some more discussion they announced that it was ok: we could rent the house and make the changes. Praise the Lord!

We payed the security deposit, signed a one-year contract, and headed for lunch. The next day, I started to make a mental list of the blessings attached to this house.

1) It is clean, empty, and customizable. We were coming from a furnished home that has too much furniture and no ability to be customized.
2) It is a single-story house, situated well to capture any breaze and repel the worst of the afternoon sunshine. That will save on cooling costs.
3) It has a wide area around the house and out front for the kids to play or to host groups of people
4) It has a little garden area that can be filled with plants and flowers to offset all the concrete
5) It is built above the road decrease the chances of flooding (Mae Sai is known for heavy rains and flash floods)
6) It is on a corner lot at the edge of a quiet neighborhood
7) It is about 10 mins from the border and 10 mins from shopping. Convenient for people to come to us or for us to go to them.
8) It is near a large school, which should provide some good opportunities for meeting people
9) The rent is cheap. This 3-bedroom home is about $30 more than what we are paying for our current 2-bedroom townhouse.
10) It has a great porch. I can envision small groups seated around studying God’s Word together.

The greatest blessing is that we have peace that God provided this place just specifically for us – in answer to the prayers of many. We rejoice in His provision and are preparing to move at the end of June.

 

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Things You Might (Not?) Know…

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Ministry Blog | 10 comments

Things You Might (Not?) Know…

I’m joining in with the Baptist Missionary Women blog in sharing a few things about me that you just might not know. Once you get done reading, please go visit with Susan – a fellow missionary wife!

So, here are five things you may or may not know about me…

1.) Before we came to live in Thailand, I very seldom let any form of coffee pass my lips. I truly could not stand the taste of it, and went out of my way to avoid it. After our move to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I succumbed to the constant, visual bombardment of coffee shops (they are EVERYWHERE here!) and started trying iced lattes and iced cappuccinos. I found I liked them. Very much so. Sugar has a way of drawing me in. :-) So now I’m working on cutting off my iced cappuccino sugar addiction. Fascinating, right?!?

2.) I love a clean floor – good thing we live in Thailand, because so do the Thai people! Unfortunately, my two kids do not. Particularly during meal time. I have a wonderful cleaning lady come every two weeks who does an amazing job get my floors to shine. I admire her cleaning abilities, because clearly, I cannot compete with her. So Friday she came to clean and everything looked SO NICE!! My husband very sweetly accommodated my request of eating dinner outside to keep the floors clean. So for one meal, my floors sparkled. Saturday morning’s breakfast returned them to their normal state… :-)

3.) God perfectly matched my husband and me up because we both enjoy being frugal. Each month we play a little game with our monthly budget. For instance, we have a set amount in our grocery budget, but I try to stretch that grocery money as much as possible so we have something left over at the end of the month. We always wait until the end of the month to see if there’s anything left in the grocery budget before buying fun food like cheese or chocolate chips. So anything that is left over in our overall budget, depending on how much we ran the air conditioner that month, is pushed into a special savings plan. Last year we worked hard to save anything we could because we knew we would be returning to the States for 7 weeks at the end of the year. The hard work paid off (haha, no pun intended!) and we enjoyed our time in the States and picking up/doing a few special things as a result of those savings.

4.) I really enjoy simple pleasures, like taking a bike ride at a nearby lake or watching my son kick a ball on our quiet street. As I get older (32, in case you were wondering), the thing I enjoy most is spending time with my family and hearing my husband and children laugh.

{my little balls of energy}

5.) The itch to travel is in my blood. I was talking with my aunt about it one time, and we both agreed I come by my love for travel naturally, with my dad’s side of the family (a few generations ago) moving to America. I love, love, love to travel and greatly enjoyed our deputation. Oh the places we’ve gone and will go!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to stop by Susan’s blog!

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