Monday, August 8, 2011

ALL glory to God!

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support these last months as we prepared, and especially during the 2.5 weeks we were in Thailand. We had an incredible trip because of your prayers and God was so faithful to bless!

Hear more about the trip THIS SUNDAY, August 14, in all four services!
(Pro tip: different members will speak in each service, so if you want to catch them all, be prepared to run around a bit)

9:00 Mandarin, Cantonese, and Youth services
11:00 English service

In addition to our team, come hear reports from Arizona, India, and China teams! God is moving around the world! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Teacher Serenade



We often heard this student's wail/cry/singing across the hallway and in the classroom.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Everything Skit


Order of appearance:
Lorraine - God's Creation
Sonny - God
Greg - Romance
Alisa - Other love interest
Josh - Greed
Noreen - Drunkenness
Kara - Vanity
Alex - Drugs

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's Raining Men

This is the captain speaking...

The boys and I just finished taking a group shower, outside, in the rain, from a large bucket of water. If that isn't team unity, then I don't know what is.

Anyway, today has been a long, crazy and fun day! Let's recap...

Happy Camp - Many, many kids! Praise God that it was overcast so it wasn't too hot for both the kids and the team. After a fun time of games, testimony (applause for Alex) and prizes, we ended the day with Elephuñata! Kids bashing an elephant-shaped box with a broom handle, what can be better??

Mini event at Akha dormitory - We held a small camp at a dormitory that housed Akha (tribal people) students. It was very spontaneous since we didn't know what to expect so we just played games and crafts. Turns out the Akha dorm manager's birthday was tomorrow so the students had prepared a surprise cake and gifts. It was pretty awesome to hear about how much the manager cares for the students (LIKE, for touching moment and teary students!). Even though we were only there for about two hours, we definitely felt God's love amongst the students.

Youth group - We had the opportunity to attend the weekly youth group meeting at the orphanage/church. It was nice to interact with the older youth and we even performed the "Everything" skit for them. Performance + sweatiness = AMAZING.

Anyway, the reason for the initial paragraph was that there isn't any running water currently so we had to make do's with what we had. And don't worry, the girls were able to shower in an actual shower area. No shame for us guys showering outdoors (LIKE, for a group of adults that sat about 10 feet away from us).

Though we may be leaving tomorrow, please continue to pray for the spiritual impact that we hopefully had made for the last two weeks. It's been a blessing and I'm sad to be leaving, but we know that He will continue the work. God is good. All the time.

Over and out.


Sonny

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kiddies!

This is your captain speaking...

We just arrived at the orphanage! It is super hot and humid but it was exciting to see the kids again! There's actually a lot more kids than last year and we found out it's because the orphanage is housing Ahka kids who were flooded from their dormitory last week. Please pray that their dormitory can be repaired back to a livable condition (but in the meantime that we can also have fun with them!).

Tomorrow is the Happy Camp and we're anticipating over 100 kids (a lot more than expected)! Holy moly! Please pray that our team will be able to make adjustments and overall be able to show love with our little brothers and sisters.

Sawadeebye for now! Salute!


Captain Somchai

Thursday, July 28, 2011

La gon, for now

Our two weeks of teaching are finally over! Yesterday after school we had our Evangelistic/Farewell Party. Though it seemed a bit rushed, PTL that the party was a success! We had 60-80 students in attendance, more than the number that usually comes to English Corner; some students even cried watching our "Everything" skit...Doris, too. (A few girls even cried when taking their last pictures with Caleb.) After the party we were bombarded with pictures, videos, and gifts. Overall, it was muy bien!

Last night a few of us had the opportunity to drive up the foothill border between Thailand and Burma next to our resort/hotel with the resort manager. It was dusk and the scenery was majestic.
Psalm 19:1-4
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
Today we will be leaving Maesai to the orphanage in Hwei Peung. Our bags are packed and ready to load into Peter's truck right after lunch at school. It's a little bittersweet not having to teach anymore but having to say goodbye to all our students and new friends. La gon, Maesai Prasitsart, you will remain in our prayers!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

.

I will share a story with you, a story of a sweet sweet girl named Chin (pronounced "Shin"). She is an M5 student (equivalent to a junior in high school).

I first met her at our "Happy Camp" last Saturday. I had previously led a scavenger hunt with them, so when Chin and her friends had finished lunch, they immediately swarmed over and surrounded me while I was still eating. There were at least 10 of them (10 vs 1) and were all very patient with me as they watched me eat slowly--trying to endure the spiciness of my noodle soup. So Chin, who sat next to me, picked up my cup and refilled it with more ice water (treat #1). They were very interested in me and asked me maaany questions...about America, my age, my nationality/ethnicity, my relationship status, Caleb's relationship status, how I liked Thai food & music, if I had free time to hang out with them later, and even asked me to smile for one of them. After I finally finished eating, Chin passed out a few of her snacks to her friends and gave the last one to me (treat #2).

It was then time to rejoin everyone for our second session of "Happy Camp." But it took a while for all the students to come back together because there was an ice cream man in front of the school! Naturally, most of the students (and us teachers) bought ice cream because it was so hot! When Chin came around to the ice cream man, she asked me if I wanted any. But with a smile I shook my hand and said, "No, thank you." I sat down next to some other students with Uncle Peter, waiting to get started again. Five minutes later, Chin came up to me with two ice cream bars...she sat down next to me again and gave me her second ice cream (treat #3)! And it was one of my favorite ice cream bars, too!

With that, I am reminded of all the students who I've met here...how friendly, open, and interested they are in us.

PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!

Hey everyone! So in exactly 5 hours, we will beginning our evangalistic program at the school. In LA time that should be around 1am. So it's fast approaching and we're all getting a little anxious. If you happen to still be awake at that time, then by all means PLEASE PLEASE PRAY AT THAT TIME!!!!

Pray For:
1. Open hearts from the students
2. Caleb's testimony
3. Lillian as she talks about the 4 spiritual laws
4. Our performances:
-Lifehouse's Everything Skit
-Body Worship to Unchanging, Chris Tomlin
5. For our hearts to continue to trust in God and really be focused on Him throughout the event


May all the glory be to God forever and ever!!! If we succeed in even bringing one person to know God, then our mission's trip will be counted as a success, so PLEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASE PRAY!!!!!!!! Thanks!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot Hot Hot!

All the nice gloomy rainy weather has disappeared. Now all that's left is the regular flaming hot Thailand weather. It's more than half way through the mission's trip and you can tell all the little things are taking its toll. Bug bites are always a bring down. Since it's humid here, laundry doesn't dry quite the same, so everything smells like mildew (gym locker room). The hot heat is especially draining in church attire (teaching attire). Riding in the back of the truck is fun, unless there are thousands of birds above you or if it is raining super hard.

But Yahweh Yireh or Jehovah Jireh. The LORD will provide...

"In the chaos, in confusion
I know You’re Sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do Your will"
-"None but Jesus" by Hillsong United


-Josh

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayer Party!

Hello friends, this will be a quick post since we have English Corner... now! Haha. Here are our team's individual prayer requests:
  1. ALEX- time management to use the last four days of school effectively; also for boldness, courage, and faith
  2. ALISA- presenting Bridge to Life at English Corner tomorrow; also pray for strength and renewal
  3. CALEB- giving testimony at the Evangelistic Party on Thursday, pray for the right words to stay and good preparation
  4. DORIS-to build good relationships
  5. GREG-to finish out this week strong, and looking for opportunities to share or build relationships
  6. JOSH- ENERGY. No hesitation
  7. KARA-Jump at opportunities to share with the kids I've connected with
  8. LORRAINE- have wisdom/guidance to lead more deep spiritual conversations with students; energy
  9. NOR- wisdom to lead, patience to wait on God's timing, and focus on the task at hand (and not being anxious)
  10. SONNY- be more personal with students
  11. STEPHANIE-to share the gospel with a couple of students I've become close with; pray for no more bug bites!

THANK YOU EVERYONE! We are starting our last week here, so pray that God will continue to use us effectively! Kup koon ka! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

bugs can't bring me down

hello hello !

I can't believe the first week of teaching is officially over now! Only being able to see these students once in class makes it very hard to believe that we will only be here a little longer.

From the very first day the bugs have been on a rampage eating their heart's out on American blood, and the itchy bites that they have left behind can get very distracting at times. However, God has been very faithful and even bug bites can't hold us back from interacting with the students and wanting to know them more. I was very blessed yesterday to be able to get to know some of the M5 girls during English Corner afterschool, and their willingness to talk to me and get to know me was so encouraging after a week of feeling like I wasn't getting through to any of them. I was able to share that God's love for me was the best gift and further explaining the meaning of my name "kara: God's mercy".

Time to go meet with the director now. Until next time frands


Kara

So at our meeting last night...

The Lue family got extremely scared of ONE jin-jook (lizard) above them. A baby one landed on greg and for the rest of the night, they were paranoid enough to go through the rest of our debriefing with the most cost effective umbrella over their heads.

Greetings loved ones, let's take a journey

I know a place, where the grass is really greener!!! But in all honesty, it's probably because it rains here ALL THE TIME. We've been getting rain atleast 4x a day which is ridiculous because I'm not talking about a slight drizzle here and there, it's is literally raining, and sometimes pouring. However, it is a nice change to previous years because it is keeping the weather nice and cool, although sometimes humid. And it has been fun riding in the back of Peter's pick up truck with umbrellas open and wind/rain blowing everywhere. This crazy ride has currently taken the lives of 3 umbrellas.

The biggest difference however would have to be the school we are teaching at. This school is pretty unorganized when it comes to scheduling, so everything has been kind of up in the air as far as classes go. We can never seem to get on the same page as the teachers, so that is definitely something to be praying for! We want to be a Christ like example to them, as well as the students, and so far we don't seem to be making too much progress with them.

Continue to pray for our afterschool program, and for this upcoming Saturday when we do our "Happy Camp" English day. We rarely get to see our students, so this will be a good oportunity! That's it for now ttyl! :D

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I am aware of my effect on girls... and boys...

A common trend that caleb and I are coming across is that we are thai high school girl magnets.. and boy magnets as well.

It's funny because it was NOT like this last year. That was matt and stu..


here's a video of what it was like on the first day of school here. They had an assembly to introduce us. This is us before school started, getting stared down and staring down kids as well. Just to give you guys a taste..

video

and us chilling on the back of peter's truck


video

-Josh

me of little faith

Last time I wrote how nervous I was about English Corner, and when we went upstairs to meet the students, no one came. After about 20 minutes, I started to wonder if anyone would come at all and even thought that because of the rain maybe we should just leave. Then Greg told me that students were here to meet us... 29 of them! I really couldn't believe it that even with the disorganization of the first day, that many still came out. We discussed love in groups and it was hard for some to understand (and hard for our team members to explain) 'unconditional love' but it was a start.

Yesterday, we had 36 students and sang Making Melodies, Deep Deep, and Jesus is a Friend. The students seemed to like it and had fun doing the hand motions, and later, even started to ask who Jesus was. Lillian was able to quickly explain the song lyrics... doors are slowly opening!

Today we are having discussion groups again, and tomorrow we will be sharing the gospel through the wordless book colors. God is on the move! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aloha from MoBoSo!

MoBoSo = the nickname for our school

Day 1 of teaching was a little chaotic, but good. It took a little while, but everyone was soon settled into their teaching schedules and went off to meet their students. The staff is very kind and helpful, many being very fluent in English. 5baht Thai tea + 25baht seafood soup noodles for lunch = $1 USD! I love Thailand!

During lunch we sat in on the singing competition for the Foreign Language Department. It was pretty funny watching the kids sing along to Kelly Clarkson and Ingrid Michelson!

A few recent adventures...
- speed boating across to Laos
- eating dinner on the street and having torrential downpour fall on us.. then driving back to the resort in the back of Peter's truck. Everyone was soaked!
- giant dragonfly invaded my & Steph's room last night, a big lizard the night before..


OKAY! Time for our first afterschool program. It was a little rough trying to publicize this event, so pray that many students come! More updates to come soon!

KUP KOON KA, everyone!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Guns Blazing

Just finished teaching our first class. These kids are a little iffy, they either really know their english or barely any at all. And the class we just taught was supposed to be one of the best in terms of speaking english.

We went in there without the original teacher to guide us, hence, guns blazing. It was definetly different from last year, bigger class and more unruly kids. This is our team's first access to internet since we landed in an airport with free internet. Most of our team is currently in the school's computer lab.

Pray for flexibility for the unknown, as there is plenty of that still as we began our first class of the week. Plenty more to talk about but we have another class to teach very soon..

-Josh

Internet Success!

Ahem, this is your captain speaking...

Sawadeeheyy everyone!

We finally found internet! PTL! Sorry that we weren't able to update earlier but we finally were able to get online at the school we are teaching at.

The first few days have been... scenic. Our team had the opportunity to visit (the outside of) the Opium Museum, the Golden Triangle, and even take a boat across to Laos. Many random adventures courtesy of Pillian (Peter & Lillian).

And today... we have finally begun teaching! It's been kind of hectic today because we found out that class schedules were different but as with any missions trip, you have to be flexible. And now that we've met students, it's kind of exciting and challenging. Excited to meet new students but challenging in terms of the language barrier. Please continue to pray that God will open opportunities to build relationships and witness.

Alright, hopefully we'll be able to provide more updates throughout the trip. Please continue to pray for safety, good health, mosquito repellant effectiveness, and open hearts.


Sincerely,

Captain Sonny

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bonjour, Taipei!

We have arrived in Taipei and we are getting ready to fly off to Bangkok! Sawadios!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

T-Minus 29 Hours...

Yes, we are ALMOST leaving! To think that the time has finally arrived...

Anyway, please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Around the Riverbend

Hola, Ni hao, and Sawadee friends!

The outpouring of love and support from over the last week has been tremendous. Like Pastor Danny said on Sunday, we go on missions as a church, and the FCBC body has been awesome!

Here are our team pictures:
L > R: Doris, Alisa, Kara, Noreen, Stephanie, Josh, Lorraine, Greg, Alex, Caleb, Sonny

...if we took these earlier, we wouldn't have had to show the silly pictures in Worship@11. Haha, oh well!

Continue to pray for last minute prep & packing. We're off in TWO days! :)

If you'd like to come for prayer send-off, meet at FCBC in the MPR at 12:00pm on Thursday, July 14.


Missions Monday
East Asia Y Team: students attending camp will be open to hearing the good news; creativity & wisdom for the team in openly sharing in situations that may be difficult; good health & traveling mercies.

Commissioned in Worship@11

Thanks to Adrienne for taking the picture!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Got extra knick knacks lying around the house?

Tomorrow, we are collecting used children's clothing, toys, travel toiletries, and other small knick knacks before and after Worship@11.

The collected items will be given away to the children and orphans in the rural mountain villages. Any leftover items that we can't fit in our luggage will be donated to veterans.

Look for our table in the courtyard! Or just drop by and say hello :)
10:30-10:55 and 12:30-1:00

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ESPM

Today's church prayer focus is for India missions team!
"Pray for the India missions team as they share Christ in very difficult situations: their safety; open doors & hearts that many would come to know Christ."

Join India + Thailand teams at English Speaking Prayer Meeting (ESPM)
TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 6 at FCBC in the Hall of Truth
7:30pm sharp!

Hope to see you there :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

SawadeeHEY!

Happy July 4th everyone! Hopefully everyone is enjoying watermelon and barbecues and pool parties, and not dying in the almost 100 degree (!!) weather.

Our team met yesterday to finalize details and plan out our supply lists. We leave in 10 days and already God has been so faithful to our team. Peter and Lillian have been working hard to coordinate things in Thailand, and they have some very cool things lined up for our team. Can't wait to see what God will do this summer! :) Continue to pray for each of our members, for Peter and Lillian, and for the people we will be meeting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
We are collecting children and youth clothing for villagers. Peter and Lillian will be distributing it as they minister to the various hill tribes. Collection will be THIS SUNDAY ONLY, July 10, in the courtyard from 12:30-1:00.

ESPM is praying for Thailand and India summer missions teams this Wednesday, July 6. Be there at 7:30 sharp! (upstairs H/Truth, first room on the left)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Come Support Us!


As our trip nears, there are many opportunities coming up to hear first-hand about the trip and talk with our members!

Sunday, July 3: Kara & Josh will be sharing in College SS, 9:00am

Wednesday, July 6: Thailand (and India) team will be prayed for in ESPM, 7:30pm
-- For collegians & young adults, a free dinner is provided if you RSVP. Contact Noreen or leave a comment below if you'd like to be counted!

Sunday, July 10: Worship@11 is commissioning the team, 11:00am

Thursday, July 14: Send-off, time/location TBA

This past Tuesday, Noreen and Kara were able to share about Thailand with the Primary VBS students. The 1st and 2nd graders filled crosses with sand to remind them to pray for students in Thailand. They also learned to say, "Sawadee ka/krap! Pra Yesu rak khun!" (= Hello! Jesus loves you!). It's very encouraging to have so many people praying for our team :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2 weeks left?!

Wow, wow, wow. There seems so much to do, but God continues to show himself so incredibly faithful! Just from last Sunday's meeting, it seems like our team has come together really well-- perfect timing, since we are planning in overdrive right now. Pray that God will continue to be close to each member as we prepare in the next two weeks.

Pray for the students that we will be working with! 10 classes x 60 students per class x 3 grades = 1800 students!!! Pray that in the short amount of time we have, that good relationships will be built with them. Also pray that many students will come to our afterschool program, which will give us a better chance to share the gospel and get to know the students 1-on-1.

Missions Monday:
Pray for Thailand: for our own missionaries Peter & Lillian as well as many others who continue to labor among the Thai people; for softened hearts of the Thai people and their salvation.

P&L's bi-weekly prayer requests:
(getting ready to apply for Taiwan citizenship) pray that the Taiwanese officials will approve Peter's application soon; wisdom, compassion & patience for the students during the training; good communication with FCBC college STM (9/15-8/1); God would bind Satan's powers; open the hearts of the principal, teachers, and students so that they can receive salvation; team safety & physical strength

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Countdown!

Wow, this time next month, our time in Thailand would be almost at it's half-way! Time is moving quickly and there's quite a bit to do.

Our team to-do list includes:
- classroom lesson prep (we're expecting classes of 60 students each!)
- day camp prep (one with an English focus at the school, the other more fun to encourage the orphans we stayed with last year)
- evangelistic party prep (pray that this party can even happen!)
- training with various evangelistic tools
- etc.

Some exciting things...
- Kara and Alisa are getting baptized this Sunday!! Praise God!
- Look for our team members sharing in College SS, 11:00 service, ESPM, etc. over the next few weeks.
- Our team is hosting a missions center in Primary VBS next week. Hopefully our kids can learn more about and how they can pray for Thailand!

Throughout all this, continue to pray that God would be glorified in everything that is said and done. Continue to pray for our team members that they would focus not only on the physical preparations, but the spiritual preparations as well. Pray for wisdom for Sonny & Nor as they continue to plan and lead meetings.

MISSIONS MONDAY:
Pray for Calvin Ma and his family: PTL that He uses them not only in their work, but in their role as they help to equip and prepare many other missionaries as they go to the field.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Things have gotten very busy for our team, trying to finalize details, plan lessons / afterschool activities, collect money, etc. It is very exciting to see everything come together, but God continually reminds us how important prayer is. With God at the center of this trip, we need to be seeking His guidance every step of the way.

Missions Monday
Pray for Austin, Benjamin, Bianca, Denise, and other short-term missionaries from our church who are joining mission opportunities of other groups; their prep; to connect with many who will be able to pray and partner with them as they go.

Today's Prayer Focus
God would bring transformation to His church; we would embrace God's work in our hearts; changes in our lives would impact our families, workplaces, neighborhoods, cities, our world.


"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
-Philippians 4:4-9


Pray that God would be glorified in the way our team prepares for this trip. Continue to pray for wisdom for leaders and for the spiritual preparation for each member.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prayer Focus

The tribal peoples, largely marginalized, are responding to the gospel in significant numbers. Many workers are needed to win and disciple tribal peoples. Pray for:
  • The multiplying, but scattered congregations among the northern Hmong, Lahu, Lisu, Akha, and Karen peoples. Nominalism is a problem in most churches. The Buddhist Shan and Taoist/animist Yao are less responsive.
  • The Kui, Khmu, and Khmer peoples in the east are still unreached. They are responsive to the Christian & Missionary Alliance (CMA) working in the area, but their workers are few.
  • The Golden Triangle, the area where Thailand, Burma, and Laos meet. Opium poppies are a lucrative cash crop for most of the northern tribes. Cultivation is a huge temptation for Christians and a formidable barrier to repentance for non-believers. The narcotics trade breeds insecurity and violence. Pray for believer and missionaries in sensitive areas.
  • Training for tribal Christians. The ministry of Chiang Rai Bible Seminary and several other Bible schools have yielded native-planted churches among many ethnic minorities, not just in Thailand but also throughout the region.

We have worked with Akha people in the past, and Peter and Lillian Liang regularly minister to many of these tribal groups. Continue to pray that God moves within these peoples!

More team updates tomorrow! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

God is good ALL THE TIME

With just over a month to go before we leave for Thailand, things are getting busy!! Starting from this Sunday, we will have meetings every Sunday before we leave! A wonderful way to support our team would be to check in on any of our members and ask how they're doing and how you can pray for them. :)

Last week Justin Lee taught our team about classroom management and other useful tips for teaching high schoolers. Classroom teaching partners were also announced, plane tickets were bought, and things are coming together quickly! This week, we will be working on our lesson planning and performance ideas for the trip. Hopefully we will have many creative ideas on how to teach and present the gospel.

Prayer Requests:
-Half of our team have FINAL EXAMS and are ending school this week. They're probably exhausted and running on little sleep, so keep them in prayer.
-Alisa and Kara's upcoming baptisms on June 26-- come out & support :) Find their testimonies on the bulletin board in the courtyard after service.
-Pray for good communication with Lillian & the school administration. It's been a little tough coordinating times to Skype, and the school administration seems hesitant to answer many of our questions. Pray for patience as we work with this new school.

Missions Monday!
PTL for the successful ministry opportunity among the Navajo people over Memorial Day weekend. Pray for the ongoing follow-up ministry of the Twin Mesa Bible Church and the surrounding community.

Check out their blog to see pictures of their weekend: fcbcnavajoministry.blogspot.com

Operation World

Sorry for the blog hiatus... here are the country prayer requests from our last few meetings:

1. Particularly Needy People Groups:
  • Children in crisis—1+ million child laborers, including 40,000+ sold into sex trafficking as a minor. Tens of thousands of homeless street children. Many are from foreign background. Children are subject to all kinds of abuse and ill treatment.
  • HIV/AIDS sufferers—highest infection rate in Asia, with at least 700,000 affected. Much in part to the combination of the bustling sex trade and drugs.
  • Students—many are responsive to the gospel, but backsliding is a huge challenge. Pray for the 1.3 million students who remain unevangelized.
  • Buddhist monks—number 300,000+ and highly honored in Thailand. High-profile scandals and being targeted by Islamic insurgents in the south have troubled the monastic institution. Pray for Christian outreach to them—many are true seekers and open to the gospel.
  • Refugees—Thailand has long been a haven for those fleeing neighboring countries. Notably, the 1.2 million from Myanmar, where many are from persecuted minorities. Most refugees are illegal and face harsh exploitation, from dangerous manual labor, to sex slavery.
2. The historic lack of Thai leadership in churches is part of the slow growth, the failures of rural churches and the lack of vision, but this is rapidly changing. 1,500 attended evangelism training in 2010, and there are 20 Bible schools and seminaries and 17 seminaries and 17 TEE (Theological Education by Extension) centers, in addition to many informal training programs. Pray for the shaping of Christian leaders who demonstrate vision, integrity, and wisdom and who assist in the flowering of a truly Thai Church.

3. Chinese-Thai Christians are a significant minority in the Church, especially at the leadership level. The charisma and financial clout of this community could be very beneficial for evangelism if fully activated. But many are deeply embedded in sin-- prostitution, gambling, drugs. The Chinese-Thai community as in the last few generations increasingly assimilated into Thai culture. Pray for more Chinese-Thai Christians to be called into serving in and supporting full-time ministry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

And So Summer Begins...

Team Update & Prayer Requests
- Yesterday our team met and it was nice to have everyone together again to pray and plan. We shared our testimonies and gave each other feedback on how to improve. It was a good time of practice and sharing! Next week we're focusing on classroom management and teaching strategies.
- Thai summer break is over, so planning can continue with the school/Lillian & Peter-- hooray! Keep the school in prayer... because it is our first time teaching there, pray that the administration would be open to our programs
- Much of our team is still busy with finishing school/finals and figuring out their summer plans (working, serving in camp, etc.)


Operation World Prayer Topic: The Extensive Sex Trade, focused in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and HatYai
a. The girls involved (typically from poor, rural families, from the NE, from ethnic minorities, from Myanmar)—trapped in the business, at high risk for mistreatment and disease
b. Those who are profiting (corrupt police/officials, traffickers, mafia, relatives)—pray for moral conviction and an end to this trade
c. The users (“sex tourists” typically from the West and East Asia, Thai men)
d. The government—officially oppose the sex trade, but little is done to discourage it.
e. Agencies seeking to minister to those in the trade—very difficult work to save individual girls and close individual brothels, but much bigger change is needed


Missions Monday
Navajo Ministry Ministry Trip (Memorial Day weekend): the team would be effective in the three major ministry projects planned which include building projects, medical/health education clinics, and discipleship for teens. Also pray for travel safety.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Slow Week

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”-Matthew 11:28-30

The last few weeks have been busy for much of our team (Easter, Mother's Day, midterms, Big Sunday, etc.) and many seem tired and even burnt out. For our collegians, final exams and the end of the school year are coming up too. Pray that our team will find rest, assurance, and rejuvenation in their quiet times with God.

Also, please pray for the leaders as they begin talking to the Thai school administrators again. Thai schools are coming back from their summer vacation this month, so we can continue working out the logistics of the trip.

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Missions Monday
Pray for the people of Japan: God's mercy & grace to abound as they continue to recover; many would turn to Him in this time of great difficulty.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Sunday Special

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Hopefully everyone had a relaxed day with their families.

Thailand Team did not meet today, but continue to keep us in prayer.
1. We are still looking for plane tickets. We found some good prices this past week and are hoping to finalize ASAP!
2. Last week our team was challenged to rethink the way we think about evangelism (the language, context, and attitude we approach it with). Pray that we would learn how to be sensitive and effective, against cultural and language barriers.
3. Many of our team members are participating in Big Sunday on May 15. Pray that this service will be a warm-up for our trip!

Missions Monday
Pray for various summer short-term missions: preparation would enable them to be ready both in the knowledge and skills they will need but also that God would enable them to have a life-changing experience.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

bonus prayer requests~

Here is the Operation World prayer requests from the last meeting:

Pray for the development of a truly indigenous expression of Christianity

Christianity is still seen as Western, a huge problem in Thai Buddhist culture and its deeply divergent world views. Pray for development of: Thai music, hymns, art forms, worship patterns, architecture, and styles of leadership. Pray that Bible study and witnessing will be more encouraged and developed, making the church more relevant to non-Christians, and giving believers new spiritual insight and grounding.

Monday, May 2, 2011

WE are Thailand Team

Hello to our lovely support team! As Uncle Chris reminded us in service yesterday, the whole body of FCBC is Thailand Team. What an incredible encouragement for our team, and already we feel and appreciate everyone's support. Thank you again!

Missions Monday:
Pray for those participating in short-term mission trips both as a part of FCBC-sponsored teams and other organizations. Pray that others would be willing to financially support and pray for those who go out from among us.

Team Update:
During the past two meetings, our team has been learning about Thai culture. Our hope is that a deeper understanding of cultural barriers would make it easier when engaging students, or any others we meet, in conversation. We challenged our team to participate in Big Sunday or simply engage their friends in spiritual conversation. It is a challenge to be deliberate and concise, but pray for boldness!

Also, continue to pray for our team to find airline tickets quickly so we can continue planning.

Lastly, prayer letters should be going out soon. If you would like one, leave your info in the comments, or ask anyone on the team to send you their's! :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Showers

Hello and Happy Easter!

Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.'
John 11:25-26

The powerful gospel of Christ is the reason our team is going to Thailand. To share about the sacrifice and unending love of a Savior who conquered death. He is Risen!


Missions Monday
Pray for a number of people in our church who are contemplating a "Next Step" as they seek to serve God on the mission field; God's confirmation in their hearts & opening the doors for them to serve.

Team Prayer Requests
-- We are still searching for plane tickets with the best prices and most direct routes
-- Many of our team members have midterms coming up and are busy with schoolwork
-- This Sunday our team will have evangelism training. Pray for wisdom for leaders, and for team members to start sharing the gospel even before we leave for Thailand.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Evening Post

Sawadee (hello) and khor thot (sorry) this post is coming out a little bit late.

Here were our two prayer topics from yesterday's meeting:
1. Spiritual Freedom
Thailand means “Land of the Free” because they were never colonized. However, the land is held captive in a complex web of Buddhism, traditional culture, spirit appeasement (even occult practices), and strong social cohesiveness, making it hard for people. For many Thai, their nationality and religious identity are inextricablty linked. Pray for spiritual breakthrough so that, in the Lord Jesus, the Thai may be free indeed.

2. Church Growth
After 400 yrs of Catholic work and 200 yrs of Protestant work, Thailand is still only ~1% Christian. Despite many missionaries and programs, there has been little growth.
a) The Church of Christ in Thailand, the largest Protestant network; pray for renewal
b) The Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand, hub of mission organizations and churches; pray for unity, effective collaboration, and accelerating growth
c) High standards in church life. Thai culture is very tolerant and relaxed, going against holiness in the church. Pastors need to lead by example, and deal with syncretism and high rates of backsliding.
d) Church growth and evangelism. Praise God for lots of vision for the country. Pray for leadership, recent projects (Vision 2010, Love Thailand, TEC), formation of a national prayer network, leadership development, etc.
e) The less-reached areas. Most churches are small and concentrated in Bangkok and the NW. 6,000+ of 7,415 subdistricts have no church.

One of the reasons our team has incorporated these prayer times is so we could have a better understanding of the issues Thai people and (future) Christians face. Our hope is that the more we can learn, the fewer barriers to the gospel there will be and it will be easier it will be to form relationships with people. Keep us in prayer! It's not easy learning Thai!

Also, please pray that we would be able to book our plane tickets soon.

Thanks!
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Missions Monday
Pray for the ongoing relief efforts in Japan; coordinated & cooperative effort would reach the most needed areas and peoples; open doors for the Church in general and the many Christian mission/relief.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thank You!

First of all, thank you to everyone who helped prep on Saturday, clean, cook, eat, pray, or encourage us on Sunday! Our fundraiser was a huge success because of all YOU. We saw our team members working really hard together (the first time we've all been gathered together) and it was very encouraging having friends, family, and the rest of the church showing their support for our team. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes about the body of Christ and how "there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." As our team goes to Thailand this summer, the body of Christ comes with us as all the volunteer efforts and prayers of those at home support us. We are all doing equal work for the purpose of glorifying God!

So once again, deepest thanks from Thailand team. :)
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Missions Monday
Pray for our missionary Joyce Jow in Japan: although she was not directly affected by the disaster, pray for her and others as they minister to the many that were affected.

It has been one-month today since the earthquake hit. Let's remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Japan!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Busy Monday!

There has been a lot happening with our team the last few weeks, most importantly, commitment decisions! Below is the 2011 team... please keep them in your prayers!

Alex Chan
Alisa Wong
Caleb Choi
Doris Jew
Greg Lue
Joshua Yuan
Kara Lue
Lorraine Lau
Noreen Lue
Sonny Cheung
Stephanie Tomokiyo
Taylor Lin

At our last team meeting, we began praying through Operation World's country guide for Thailand. Those prayer requests will also be posted on our blog so you can pray along with us! Beyond the students we will be working with in Chiang Rai, we want to develop a heart of prayer for all the people in Thailand.

[from their website] Thailand has been an island of stability and freedom in a troubled region, but “The Land of Smiles” is also awash with difficulties. Pray for these pressing issues and for the wise leadership and reform needed to address them:

a) The political upheaval of 2006-2008 revealed deep fault lines among various political parties, the military and the royalty. Protests brought the country to a standstill.

b) The violent insurgency in the southern areas near Malaysia has claimed thousands of lives. It is a result of some discrimination against the predominantly Malay Muslim minority and the radicalization of the same.

c) Tensions with other neighbours, including disputes with Cambodia and more notably Myanmar, from which over a million have fled disaster and persecution into Thailand.


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Today's Mission's Monday prayer topic:
"Pray for the people of Japan: especially those being affected by the disasters; God would have mercy on the people of Japan and as a result of this tragedy that many would turn to Him."
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Lastly, please remember to come out to our fundraiser this Sunday! There will be oodles of noodles! You will have mein fun! We would really appreciate your support! Thank you already for keeping our team in prayer as we're still in our planning stage. :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OODLES of NOODLES!

Thailand Team's 2011 Lunch Fundraiser will be Oodles of Noodles! After last year's popularity, we are doing a similar menu: noodles, noodles, more noodles, fruit, salad, and Fosselman's ice cream!

Sunday, April 10
12:45-2:00 in the MPB

For pre-orders or questions, look for our table between worship services on Sunday, or email us: 2011ThailandTeam@gmail.com

Please come out and support our team! It would mean a lot to us :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Blogday

Good morning! Praise God that about 10 people have committed to serve in Thailand this year. We are all very excited to see how God will put us to work this year :) Thank you so much to those who were interested, but weren't able to join the team-- many of you offered to pray and support the team and it means a lot! Not going doesn't mean you can't be a missionary!

"Missions is not peripheral in God's mind and heart. It is not the thing that his children do once they have done other more essential things. To those with obedient open hearts it is no longer a mystery. He is a missionary who shares Christ's passion, who prays for the lost of this world and who will not rest until from every lost tribe, tongue and nation there are some who call Him Lord." --Dr. Ralph Winter


Team Requests
Please keep our team in prayer as we plan for our upcoming fundraiser. The fundraiser will be April 10, from 12:30-2:00 in the MPB. Please come out and support! :)


Missions Monday:
Missionaries' families: Missionaries' children on the field or parents & family back home facing physical, emotional, or spiritual difficulty; God's healing & protection; His comfort to families of missionaries.

An answered prayer from Lillian and Peter's requests: They will be visiting Lillian's mother in Taiwan during the upcoming summer break!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break Prayer Requests

Happy Monday! Hopefully everyone is staying dry and our collegians are having a good spring break!

Today's prayer requests:
1. Thailand team members-- this Sunday is the commitment meeting for our team. Praise God for those who have already signed up, but continue to pray for members as they are making decisions. We have faith that God is going to bring together everyone He needs to fulfill His purpose in Thailand.
2. Fundraiser-- our fundraiser will be on April 10 (mark your calendars!) and pray for our team as we plan and prepare
3. Plane tickets-- higher costs of fuel = more expensive plane tickets. Pray that we can find a reasonable deal!

Missions Monday:
Pray for Dr. Tom Eliff, International Missions Board's new president; that the Lord would help his transition into this role.

Also remember Amore team in Mexico (until Tuesday) and CSM downtown missions that is going out this coming weekend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prayer for Peter & Lillian



Happy Missions Monday to everyone! Today the prayer request is for our very own Peter and Lillian Liang who have been our missionary liaisons the past few years and will be again this year!

"Praise God for the work of missionaries Peter & Lillian Liang. Praise also for smooth transition to being under GO International; Lord would continue to provide support they need."


Below are more prayer requests from their February newsletter...

[PETER]
1. Pray that God would grant Peter Permanent Residency Status somewhere whether it is in France, Thailand, Taiwan, or Myanmar (Burma). He currently has a Refugee Travel Document (passport) issued in France by the UN. He does not have citizenship in any country, making it inconvenient to reside or travel in any country.
2. Peter has diabetes mellitus and hypertension that makes him a little nervous about his health.
3. Pray that God would prepare a way for Peter to continue his seminary studies.
4. May God open a way soon for Peter to go legally into Myanmar (Burma) to serve Him.
5. Pray for Peter's unsaved family.

[LILLIAN]
1. Pray for both Peter and Lillian to continue to grow spiritually.
2. Lillian's blood pressure is on the rise. Peter has diabetes and high blood pressure. Pray that the Lord would grant both of them good health.
3. Pray that in our lives we will always be joyful especially as we face difficulty and trials.
4. Lillian's mother in Taiwan is 88 years old. Praise the Lord she is a Christian. Pray for her good health. Pray that the Lord would give Lillian an opportunity to visit her mom in Taiwan this April.



________________


UPDATES/REMINDERS:
- As mentioned in today's meeting, the cost is now $1750 after adjusting for rising costs of gas/plane tickets
- Baptism is also REQUIRED, and applications are due April 24
- The next meeting is March 27 and is also the commitment deadline. Same time and place, H/Truth 208 from 1-3pm.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Missions Monday!

GOOD MORNING! Hopefully you are having a good Monday, and not worrying about the work week ahead or final exams. Today's church-wide prayer request:

"Short-term teams preparing to go out over the next few months; meetings will make them ready for the work the Lord has for them; cohesiveness & unity among team members."

These teams include India, Thailand, HSMT (to the Navajo reservation), Amor (to Mexico), and CSM (to downtown LA). Pray for yourself to see if God is leading you to participate with one of these teams!

________________

REMINDER:

The next meeting is this Sunday, March 13 from 1-3pm in the upstairs Hall of Truth in Room 208. Come find out more about our team if you missed the first meeting, ask any questions, or turn in commitment forms!

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OPPORTUNITY:

For anyone available and in the area, Biola will be hosting a 3-day Missions Conference from Wednesday, March 16 to Friday, March 18 and it's free. Various speakers and organizations will be on hand to help expand your view of missions! Get more information here: http://smu.biola.edu/conference/

Monday, February 28, 2011

Info Meeting!

Hello friends!

In case you weren't able to come to the info meeting, or if you weren't able to grab a handout, here are some of the meeting highlights:

1. To register, click here (tinyurl.com/Thailand2011-Registration). Have your passport handy and please enter everything accurately! We will later use this information when purchasing plane tickets. Note: dates are in DAY/month/year format.
2. The dates are tentatively Thurs, July 14 to Sunday, July 31. We will be teaching conversational English to high school students in Mae Sai, Thailand. The city is in northern Thailand on the border near Laos and Burma. Costs are roughly $1750, but fundraising and other support is available.
3. Baptism is necessary. The next baptism will be in June, but applications are due April 24.

The next meeting is March 13. Please let us know if you are interested in Thailand, but serving in Amor. The final date to commit to Thailand team is March 27.

If you have any questions, or would like copies of forms/handouts, contact Sonny Cheung, Noreen Lue, or John Chow.

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Today was also Missions Monday! Every Monday on the church prayer calendar is dedicated to missions-related topics...

"Monthly missions prayer meetings would help our congregation connect with our missionaries; missionaries would be encouraged in prayer; more people would participate & pray for them"