Monday, September 14, 2009

Mid-September Already?

During our field trip to MV Doulos when it was docked in Bangkok.

Is it really mid-September already? August has come and gone and we have not done any blog posts. July and August were busy months. At the time of our last posting, all five of us were suffering from flu, at the same time! We weren’t sure what kind of flu we had so we closed shop, locked our doors, and kept everybody out. We were isolated for two weeks. Neighbors were afraid to come near us. Although it wasn’t fun to be sick, it was a good time of rest for us.

Thankfully, we got well enough to start a new home-school year as scheduled. The boys adjusted to the schedule and routine quickly and very well. The two older boys wake up in the mornings on their own, eat breakfast, and do their chores. We’re blessed. Although things are going smooth for home-schooling, it’s been a challenge to keep the youngest boy out of trouble and away from his older brothers. Thank God for Ed helping me a lot with him.

Thank you for your continued prayers. Sometimes, we feel like all we do is deal with everyday mundane stuff but we know and trust that God is working – working in the hearts of the people we minister to or have conversations with, and working in OUR hearts, first and foremost, so we can be a light to those around us. Thank you for being part of what God is doing here through your prayers and support.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Team FBC from Visalia, CA

This past weekend, a team from Faith Baptist Church in Visalia, California came to minister in Kabinburi. FBC is the sending church of our ABWE missionary friends, Rick & Lisa Caynor. Here are pictures of their time with us.

The team arrived on Friday afternoon and did odd jobs
for us like: putting down rocks on the driveway...
... and cleaning our whole house/ministry building.
Saturday ministry day started with a game.
Telling the story of Samson with a Biblical moral application.
Learning a praise song.
Teen English class.
On Sunday afternoon, we all drove down to Cha-Am (three hours south of Bangkok) to help the Caynors prepare their building for moving in. On the team's last day there, Kelli (a team member) got baptized in the Gulf of Thailand. Kelli really desired to be baptized by Rick as the Caynors were instrumental in her spiritual growth. Ed and Pastor Aang assisted in the baptism.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another English Camp, Another Opportunity

On June 29th, we were given another opportunity to get our faces and names known in the community when we helped out in an English camp at a public school about half an hour from us. Sixty kids from five different elementary schools participated in a government funded/issued English camp. All the teachers pretty much let us "go for it" for the entire day, allowing us to change whatever we wanted to in their pre-set program and schedule. How gracious, they are! They were so excited and honored to have native English speakers come and teach the children. Our co-worker, Jenni Starkey, was able to take the day off school to help us out.

Seventh and Eight-graders who were not part of the camp played and babysat our three boys for the whole day. The boys enjoyed interacting with Thai kids - playing with toys and computer games, or just chatting with them.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Building Walls

Building walls... literally! From Monday through Thursday of last week, Ed and four other guys were in the town of Cha-Am (about two hours south of Bangkok). Rick and Lisa Caynor, ABWE missionary friends, are starting a new church planting ministry there next month and needed help constructing walls in their new home/Student Center. It was hard work and very time consuming drilling through concrete posts, matching two-by-fours and boards to a crooked structure but the men had a good time working together and getting to know each other a little better.

These men built literal walls so the Caynors can tear down the walls of religion in order that they may point people to Christ in that town.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

English Camp

Last week we had an opportunity to help in the English camp at Kabinburi Witthaya School, a public high school about a mile from our house/church.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whoah! Kids! Lots of them!

the kids waiting to play a game

The past weekend was a little overwhelming for Jenni and Darlene. There were 43 kids on Saturday, and 40 on Sunday. It is tough trying to teach all the elementary kids in one class, with them being in different levels. Not to mention having three or four rowdy boys in there. Thankfully, two of them didn't show up on Sunday so it was a little less crazy.

It is a good problem to have, though. We can't divide the kids into two classes yet. Jenni is still in language school so she doesn't have time to prepare for two lessons per weekend. Teaching Sundays is all she could handle for now. So, Darlene and Jenni are team teaching the whole elementary group. Please pray for us. Please pray for wisdom on how to effectively teach them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blessed

Ed and I had a discussion about this a couple days ago. We were in the kitchen waiting for the dinner rolls to come out of the oven when the mailman came. We received a letter from a supporting church stating that they're going to drop their support. We had three churches lower support but this was the first one to drop. We got to talking about finances – pinching (most of us are), but we are still doing good. Some missionary friends are struggling more and have lost more supporting churches. We said, “God’s been good to us.” Wait a minute! What about the ones that are struggling, God’s not good to them? This led to a longer discussion. Ed said, “Man shall not live by bread alone… but these rolls are really good I could live off them.” Hahaha!

We did our devotions that night on Psalm 1. The “blessed man” is very clearly feasting on God’s Word on a daily basis, day and night. He delights in it. Four things about him in verse 3:
- He is steadfast (even in the midst of trials).
- He is fruitful (not stuck in a rut kind of living).
- He is refreshing (he does not wither).
- He prospers. The word “prospers” is not material blessing or success measured by man. Success in church planting in Thailand can not be measured by comparing success in church planting in South America. “Prosper” means spiritual fruitfulness as we abide in God’s Word (Gal. 2:22-23).

Perfect example is Job. Everything and everyone in his life was stripped away from him but he was still a blessed man. All he had left was God. That was enough for him. The blessings that he received at the later time of his life were, I would say, God’s reward to him for delighting in His Creator. When God gives us blessings, they are not merely for our own enjoyment… they are given to us so we can GLORIFY God by meeting other people’s needs, whether they are material, emotional, or spiritual needs. That's what we are here in Thailand for! -ddw

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Holmes' 25th Wedding Anniversary

We fondly call them Uncle Charlie and Auntie Lourdes. Our children call them "Lolo and Lola," which means grandpa and grandma in Filipino. They are diamonds... Very rare... Amazing... Beautiful people! I could write a whole book about them.

On May 19th, they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary in Bangkok. They have been involved in so many people's lives and ministries that to be invited to a small celebration gathering was an honor. Small, meaning less than 15o. They wanted to renew their vows in the presence of loved ones who were at their wedding 25 years ago, as well as to encourage us younger couples. The big surprise was on us 30+ couples. After the Holmes proclaimed their love for each other, they wanted all of us who were there with our spouses to do the same. Talking about on the spot PDA (public display of affection) in a Thai culture! It was a blessing!

Uncle Charlie and Auntie Lourdes hold a special place in our hearts. They were our match-makers. They are God's gift to us, to Filipinos, to the Thais, to Americans, to anyone they have encountered. Happy 25th Anniversary, Uncle and Auntie! We love you! -ddw

our attempt in trying to get serious

probably half of the married couples
in this picture were match made by the Holmes

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Baptism!

On May 4th through 7th we took six people with us to the annual family camp hosted by the Fellowship of Romphrakhun Baptist Churches. It was another time of spiritual refreshment and fellowship. On the last day, four from our church plant were baptized on Jomtien beach. It was our second baptism since we started this ministry six years ago. It was also an extra special time since one of the believers that was baptized was Bea, the very first one who got saved, who also happens to be our adopted son's biological sister. Their birth mother, Dtim was also baptized. She had been looking forward to this time and so showed her excitement by lifting her hands up in the air in jubilation as soon as she emerged from the water.

Ed teaching the English-speaking class at camp Prayer before getting into the water An ABWE missionary friend, Rick Caynor, assisted Ed

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Fun for Student Center Kids

We planned for a week of music camp this year during the kids' summer break, but the kids' schools didn't end on the same week. There was only one week that we could do it but the "teachers" who were going to help in our camp were not available. It just didn't work out.

We didn't want to do an English Day Camp... again, for five years in a row. So we decided to do a "Summer Fun" on March 31st through April 3rd. Four days of a different activity for each day.

Day 1, we watched movies on the big screen (our Student Center wall) with matching popcorn and soda pop. I think some of the kids came just for the popcorn! Something cool happened... right when the kids were arriving, an elephant came by so the kids got a chance to feed it!
Day 2, we took 35 kids on a 50-minute train ride to the provincial city, Prachinburi, and ate lunch there. The ride going was nice. On our way back, we were sardines in a can!

Day 3, swim day! Most kids were in the water for three hours, taking breaks only to eat or get a drink! Everybody got a good tan that day.

Day 4, our last day, we took all 35 kids to a town a little over an hour away to go bowling. We ate lunch at a pizza place. Three kids never had pizza before! Most kids had never been bowling.

The week was a blast! The kids were good and well behaved. The teens helped us a lot in keeping eye on the smaller kids during our trips. Three adults with 35 kids must had been a sight for many. You should have seen the people's faces - priceless! The whole week was also a great time for us adults to bond with the students. The students were also able to bond with each other. Praise the Lord for fun and safety!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Diggin'

I read this on facebook the other day: "Time flies like the wind. Fruit flies like bananas!" Funny!

Time flies like the wind, indeed. Seems like I updated this blog only a week ago, but it's been two and a half months! I need to do a better job keeping you all updated.

For the whole month of February, Ed and I spent digging our front yard. It's a long story. The gist... We've had problems with our driveway flooding because all our neighbors' front yards are higher than ours so when it rains all the water comes to our side. Ed and I (with co-worker Jenni helping out on the weekends), removed the top layer of the soil and made canals to let the water flow onto the street instead of on to our driveway/carport. When it was all done, we covered the whole thing with rocks to keep it neat and pretty. Talk about BACK BREAKING WORK! I have more appreciation for construction workers. Below are pictures of the finished product with an addition - a flower garden for me and a bench to sit on for quiet times and hang out times with my boys or anybody! -ddw


Boom and Jayjay "helping"
Jayjay trying out Daddy's ditch voila! a view of our house/student center from across the street

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Catching Up - part 5

Promise, this is going to be the last one for the "Catching Up" series. Wow! Were we behind or what!

The second half of our trip to the Philippines was spent in Kabankalan on the island of Negros were Darlene grew up. We attended her high school class 20th year reunion. They are a tightly knit group of "big kids;" and what a bunch of silly people! Most of them are Christians and many are in full-time ministry, including seven pastors and two missionaries (both in Thailand). Darlene had opportunities to encourage some friends who are not walking with the Lord.
While in Kabankalan City, Ed had two preaching opportunities in two churches. Darlene sang solos both of those times as well. We praise the Lord for using us during our vacation.
Fellowship Baptist College, High School Class 1989
some of them sang a special song at
Kabankalan Fellowship Baptist Church on Jan. 4th

Monday, March 9, 2009

Catching Up - part 4

From Davao we took a five-hour bus ride to Malaybalay, Bukidnon where Darlene's parents are. Papa and Mama Taquiso enjoyed the noise the three boys made in their house for a couple of weeks. It was fun for Darlene to see many aunts, uncles, and cousins during our family get-together.

While there Ed preached one Sunday morning service at Papa's church, Faithway Baptist Church. Also, on Christmas eve, Darlene did a mini-concert of eight songs, while Jojo sang three songs. It was a joy for us to watch Jojo willingly play the piano and sing songs in front of a congregation.

Jojo playing a Christmas song during a Children's Christmas programmother and song music team already!
Christmas Eve mini-concert, Faithway Baptist Church

Catching Up - part 3

In mid-December, our family flew to the Philippines to spend Christmas with Darlene's folks and attend her high school class reunion. It was our very first time to spend Christmas in the Philippines since we got married in 1997; also our first time back as a family since May 2003.

Our first stop was in the island of Mindanao. We spent three days in Davao with some friends who came to visit us in Kabinburi twice already. We were treated to Filipino feasts, a trip to the Garden of Eden, and an overnight stay at Paradise Island Resort. Ed jokingly said that he used to think the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East and Paradise was in heaven; they are both in Davao!
Paradise Island Resort

with friends at the Garden of Eden

Of course, it wasn't all play for us. Ed was able to share the true meaning of Christmas with Panabo Christian Academy high school students. Although it is a Chrisian school, the student body is a mixture of believers, Muslims, Catholics, and other religions. Ed also preached a Wednesday evening service at Panabo Faith Fundamental Baptist Church while Darlene ministered through singing.

Panabo Christian Academy Faith Fundamental Baptist Church, Panabo, Davao

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Catching Up - part 2

Not quite sure how many parts this "Catching Up" blog is going to be...

On December 5th, we hosted a two-church youth meeting. Several teens from Nakhon Nayok Baptist Church (an hour away) came to join our teens. We had a total of 20 young people. Four young men from Bangjak Baptist Church in Bangkok lead in the event. There was singing, a really silly skit, games, sharing of God's Word, and of course, eating. Most of the teens from Nakhon Nayok were non-believers and it was their first time to hear anything about God. Praise the Lord for seeds planted that evening!
singing time at the Youth meeting
game time

December 5th also happens to be King Bhumiphon's birthday and so it is Father's Day in Thailand. On Sunday, December 7th, we had our first Father's Day celebration in our church plant. Our friend, Rick Caynor, shared his testimony and about how God is our loving and caring heavenly Father. The kids and teens performed skits, several songs, and Bible verses in English, and sang a song of encouragement to four dads and other adults who came to the event. Three of those dads had never been to our church before. We were so delighted that they stayed for the lunch fellowship and chatted with us. We continue to plant seeds in this hard soil.
Rick Caynor preaching. Ed translating.
Kids giving gifts to their dads
Kids and Teens singing

Catching Up - part 1

We feel like our lives have been nothing but running and flying in the past few months. The last blog post was on November 2nd, and this is the second week of February! Wow! We will try to get caught up with what has been going on in the Weber family. There's so much to tell but since a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll post several.

In November we celebrated our 11th year anniversary. Missionary friends of ours kept all three of our boys so we could go away for a couple days. One day was spent malling. We've almost forgotten how fun window shopping is without three little boys tagging along! Another day was spent touring the old capital of Thailand, Ayutthaya. We went to see the Bangpa-in Palace. It's so nice, and quiet, and beautiful there! We were also able to see the old ruins in the same city. We both agree that that was the most fun time we've ever had together. We praise the Lord for each other and the team we are for the ministry here.

Bangpa-in Palace


Ayutthaya ruins


We celebrated Thanksgiving day in Bangkok with fellow missionaries at the home of Ricky and Tammy Salmon. As any other thanksgiving feast, food was wonderful and oh... desserts were even better! Both the adults and the children enjoyed the fellowship - something we get to do only once or twice a year with this group of people. Before the meal, each one was given the opportunity to share what he/she was thankful to the Lord for in the past year. We all had so much to be thankful for. God is good and faithful!
Thanksgiving 2008 at the Salmon residence
The ladies at the thanksgiving gathering Baptist Mid-Missions ladies: (L-R) Darlene, Jenni Starkey, Hannah Scott, Maam Beckman
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