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)