Friday, December 24, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Here were October and November highlights:
1. We had our very first Overnight Youth Camp on October 15th-16th. Twenty one kids signed up but only sixteen were able to go. Some had to go away for a sports event. For some others, something came up. We did have a great time. It takes only 20 minutes to get to the camp site but it took us about two hours! We had non-stop heavy rain for two days by that time and the rivers were rising, flooding Kabinburi and Nadii towns. We couldn't find our way into the camping resort. Finally, someone had to meet us and lead the way through a different route. It rained through the night still. Ed and the guys heard loud knocking on their door at about 5 o'clock in the morning. They had to move to another room as the water was starting to get into their room. Our camp program was scheduled to end at 12 noon on the second day but at 10 o'clock in the morning, we were told to immediately pack and leave for fear that the only way out of the camp site left will be flooded as well. We did have a great time in spite. Please check out the pictures to see what fun we've had.
Overnight Youth Camp Pictures
2. The flooding this year was the worst in 20+ years in Kabinburi history, we were told. Fifteen provinces in Thailand were affected. It included the Cambodian side of the border this time. We are thankful that we are on higher ground, by a major road. Only about 100 meters behind our building, the flood waters began.
4. Numbers on Saturdays and Sundays are fewer in November than the previous months but we are still going between 30-45. Still a high number considering it's just the three of us here (Ed, Darlene, and Jenni). We thank God for strength and joy in serving. We are blessed to have these young people in our lives.
5. We have been preparing and practicing songs for our Christmas Service on December 19th. Please pray that many family members and friends of kids in our Student Center will come for that. We will also have a piano recital by Darlene's four students and lots of singing of praise songs and Christmas carols.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Mrs. Nut taught Sunday School to the elementary aged kids.
Pastor Soonthon and family rendered a special song. They also have a son, Daniel, who was not able to be with them that day.
Pastor Soonthon spoke and shared their burden and plan on leaving for Cambodia soon as the very first missionaries through TABWE (Thailand Association of Baptists for World Evangelism).
These are the four teen girls that got saved. The one on the far left has been coming with her sister for about two years now.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
God, in His mercy and grace, chose to uplift our spirits with good news. One evening, a lady named Tooktik, came and told us that she recently had asked Jesus to come into her life and turned from Buddhism. "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy." (Psalm 30:11).
O, the very first one who got saved in our church plant in Kabinburi (she got saved back in 2004), brought Tooktik to our Student Center. Tooktik had been coming off and on since November 2009 for English classes. Many times she would stop by just to chat and ask questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. This past Easter Sunday, Ed had another very good witnessing opportunity and really challenged Tooktik regarding salvation. She wasn’t ready then, she told us. She needed to think about it more and wanted to talk to her grandma about it. You see, it was her grandma who raised her.
For about a month now, she has been doing discipleship Bible classes with Ed in the evenings, three to four times a week, in our kitchen while Darlene looks on and helps some. She is really hungry for the Word. It is such a joy to watch her face become serious as she listens intently and writes down notes during the studies. Please pray for her growth and that God will continue to become first place in her heart now. Please pray for boldness to share her faith with her family and friends at work.
Many months ago we were so discouraged because no adults were getting saved. The adults that we have had here that got saved and were discipled before we took our first furlough were not walking with the Lord. One of them has decided to turn her life around. Another one is still resisting the Holy Spirit’s prompting in her heart and continues to reject God’s Word. We keep learning that our duty to God is not how much these people are walking in the Spirit, but how faithful we are to what God has called us to do in this town.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Little did we know that through Papé's death, God would give us ministry opportunities (literally) beyond our borders.
The Kabinburi Football team owner is a Muslim so Papé's family's wish of having the body prayed over within 24 hours of death was granted. He was also gracious enough to invite Ed to pray also seeing that Papé was a dear friend and he lived with us. Ed took that opportunity to share the gospel through his prayer.
The Senegal Muslim Association in Thailand came in behalf of the Senegal Ambassador's office met with us, came to see the body at the hospital morgue, and processed the paper work to get Papé home to Dakar.
One of the hardest things we ever had to do on the mission field was to pack the things of a friend who passed away. It was an awful feeling.
Ed faithfully took videos of several people that we posted on youtube for Papé's family in Senegal to watch and understand the circumstances around his death. They barely spoke English. The people we took videos of spoke in French and in Wolof, their native language. We thank God for internet and technology that allowed us to get reconnected with the family and showed them how much we cared.
We had a simple memorial service at our Church/Student Center. All of the Kabinburi Football team, including the coach and the team owner came. Several people in Kabinburi who knew Papé also came. What an opportunity for us to share the gospel to these people that otherwise we may not have a chance to.
Darlene sang a song in Thai.
Jenni sang a song in English.
Our friends and fellow missionaries in Thailand, Rick and Tammy Salmon, came to support us.
Some of our church young people also came and helped serve food.
The Lord's ways are perfect and beyond our human comprehension. We thank God for Papé's friendship and the fun memories we have of his short time with us.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
"We'll have some more of that barbeque chicken this week or next week, Papé," I said as we were driving away.
"OK! I love that chicken! That was the best chicken I've had. I'll come by and see you, guys, tonight after training," he replied. Then he turned to Jayjay and held his palm side up, "Give me five, man!"
We got a call from someone that Papé was at Kabinburi Hospital. He passed out during soccer training and so his buddies took him to the hospital. He was unconscious. They were going to call us when they know more.
Jenni Starkey called us. Papé is gone. He was only 27.
Picture taken a few hours before he died
Papé is our African friend from Senegal. It's a long story but his friend/cousin, Chris, was staying with us at that time. He came to stay with us from the latter part of February until about a couple months ago. Papé and Chris are professional football (soccer) players and were wanting to try out for a Thai team. Chris is a Christian. Papé believed in Allah. He was one of the nicest non-Christian guys we've ever met - very polite, helpful around the house, and great with our boys. Our youngest one was very fond of him.
Ed had a chance one night to witness to him about Christ and the love of God for a good hour. It wasn't hard for us to be good friends with him right away. He and Jenni became very good friends as well. We tried our best to show the love of Christ through our friendship. We hope he saw the difference in us.Papé is missed around here already. Jayjay is too young to understand. Someday when he grows up, I will show him pictures and will tell him about his "uncle" Papé. We all really wish he knew the Lord. That's what makes us really, really sad.
(UPDATE) Tuesday, July 6th 11PM. We learned this afternoon that when Papé's father heard of the news that he went into shock, passed out, and is now in comma. Please pray for the family! They need the Lord! An uncle is supposed to be flying to Bangkok either today or tomorrow. Not sure.
(UPDATE) Tuesday, July 6th 9:30AM Chris and missionary friends were able to talk to a family member in Senegal this morning. He is trying to get the earliest flight he could get to come. Two missionary friends, Ed, Chris, and Jenni are finding out what they can do with the body while we wait for the father or uncle's arrival.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Now... if you have a weak stomach, please don't look at the next photo. Ed found a couple of our neighbor guys one day using a blow torch to "grill" their dinner - field rats that they caught in the rice fields. Many Thais like to eat them. We haven't had them and don't plan to try them. Our son, Jojo is telling us just now that the smaller ones that they didn't "grill" were released back into the field to grow a little bigger. I have no other words except for "GROSS!"
Friday, June 25, 2010
We seriously thought those people were going to stand back and AWAY from the rocket as they light that thing up. We were wrong!
See how close those people are to the rocket??? I had my zoom lens on for this shot! The sound alone was deafening.
Every year we have been involved at camp in some way - giving lectures or helping in music. We were not asked to do anything this year so we volunteered to help in one of the children's classes. Ha! You know, sometimes when you volunteer, you end up being asked to do the whole thing. We taught the 4th-6th grade class and it was a BLAST! Jenni Starkey taught the Bible lessons; Ed led the games; Darlene did music, memory verses, and crafts. We were thankful for Pastor Ang and Orn, and Mae Sanit for their help. We had five sessions in three days: three hours in the mornings and two hours in the evenings. It was a fun fully-packed camp and the kids had fun. Boy, we wore them out! And yeah, we wore ourselves out too!
April is the hottest month of the year. Thais pay homage to their lord Buddha to ask him to send the rain.
The older folks, usually 70 years old and above are seated in a row so the "younger" ones can bless them by pouring water on the shoulders and hands. We love this part of Thai culture -showing respect and bestowing honor to the older ones.
Three days prior to Easter Sunday we had our "Summer Fun" for the Student Center kids. We had singing, memory verses, games, movie, popcorn, crafts, and swimming at a public pool. The kids, as usual, had a blast. Our friend, Ron Powell, from California came to help us out during those days.
One of the crafts we did was coloring eggs for the Easter egg hunt. After our worship service, we went to a nearby park for lunch and egg hunt. Both big and little kids had tons of fun with that. Ron brought some plastic eggs from the States so stuffed those with Thai coins and candies. The Thai kids have never had anything like this before so it was a pleasant surprise for them. Sorry we don't have anymore pictures of the "Summer Fun." I (Darlene) thought I saved all the photos but couldn't find them anywhere on my computer or any other disks.
Jenni Starkey did a series of lessons about the life of Christ which led to the resurrection. After Sunday School, two girls came up to me and said they were ready to ask Jesus into their hearts. I sat down with them and explained God's plan of salvation just to remind them of what they had been learning on Sundays. They were so ready. I wish you could have seen their eyes and their excitement. The angels rejoiced that Easter Sunday when Jin and Faa asked Jesus to live in their hearts. What a great day for a spiritual birthday!