Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good news from far away

[I have not posted a newsletter from my missionary friends for awhile. So please enjoy. And there is an important prayer request at the end,]

Ministry Update

Life is definitely in a new phase for us since our youngest child is now in the U.S. preparing for university this fall. Our son will be starting at Seattle Pacific University on the 24th of September. We are so thankful that God provided a good summer job and he was able to spend a few months with his grandparents; making up for some of the time he has missed being with them during his years growing up in Thailand.

Our daughter, a college junior, is doing an overseas semester in China as part of her course in international business. She and 25 classmates from S.P.U have been doing a study tour through Hong Kong, Shiang Hai and Beijing. In the next few days they will travel to Chong Qing where they will spend the remainder of their time studying business and Asian culture at a Chinese university.

Here in Chiang Mai, the ministry to children in the Thai hospital has been put on hold temporarily due to the threat of swine flu. In the children’s cancer ward especially, the children are immuno-suppressed, so the hospital is trying to limit outside contacts. Some Thai schools here were closed for a few days but they cannot close school indefinitely. We will have to wait and see how long it takes before the H1N1 virus ceases to be a major issue.

We were able to visit a ministry home for disabled children, and found that the care-givers were Karen. They had quite a surprise when we started talking with them in their own language! As is so often the case, it is the Christians who seek to help the most needy and vulnerable people. For others who believe in Karma, these children are receiving just punishment for sins committed in a former life, and that is why they are born handicapped. What a contrast to see these lovely Karen girls who really love and care about these special needs children.

Being some of the “old timers” here, we are often called on to help newer missionaries with questions related to their visa, car registration, house rental, household employees etc etc. It can be helping someone through the process of getting a drivers license or just figuring out how to get propane delivered to their house for the kitchen stove. Often people need a listening ear and encouragement to “hang in there” when the cultural adjustments seem overwhelming. We want to help and encourage anyone that we can to stay and continue the valuable work and ministry they are involved with here in Thailand.

Could I please also give a prayer request for Grace International School where our children graduated from High School? The school, which serves missionary kids from all over Asia, purchased a sports club some years back and has modified the facility for use as a school. Now, several years later, a new Thai law which protects the rights of consumers has come out, and former members of the health club claim that the school has infringed on their rights to use the facility. The law is being applied retroactively, even though the school purchased the property legally. The school lost the first court case and it is now under appeal to take the case to a higher court. Pray that justice will be done and that God would provide the funds necessary to build a new campus in a new location. Relocating nearly 500 students plus teachers and classroom equipment will be no small task. You can read more about this situation at

Thank you so much for your prayers. We truly believe that they make a difference!

[please go to the link, but I will also provide here the video about the school]

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