Krabi Boats 8

The leaders of ACTS churches in Southern Thailand got together for a retreat and catch up over the weekend. Daniel and I were able to tag along with Jeff before we continued on for our final visa run. Although it was a quick catch up for them it was also a great one as they met together to pray and encourage one another in the efforts of expanding the kingdom of Christ in Southern Thailand. We left early on Friday morning to be in Yala around 9am to meet other church leaders before continuing south to Betong. Upon arrival we ate lunch together at Betong Christian Church. The afternoon's activities saw everyone go to see the Winter Flower Garden, Piyamit Tunnel and the Hot Springs for some fellowship, fun and to snap "a few" photos.

Why missionaries should cook - bbq fish

I'm not the best cook, but from time to time I like to cook a meal. Last time, while cooking, two thoughts came up that I'd like to share.

First: Cooking and Culture.

Food is an important part of every culture. Wherever you go, which ever country you visit: everyone likes to talk about good food. In Thailand people even greet each other with: Have you eaten rice yet?

When my family first moved into our house, we would be asked this question frequently. It perplexed us a bit wondering why they would ask such a question. Back in the U.S., where we were originally from, if you were to move into a new neighborhood it would be considered quite odd for someone to ask you that.

We then realized it was a question asked because they will determine, based on how long you plan to stay, whether it is worth building a relationship with you or not. Relationships are quite important in Thai culture. If you have not grown up with them or lived around them for a long time, it is not automatic that you have their attention or trust.

So the next time we were asked this question, we would answer that our term has us in the area for three years but our hope is that we will be here for our whole life. You would be amazed what doors opened up when they heard this and was delighted to see we were here for the long term.

A few days after moving into my new home a young 13 year old girl who lives nearby came and asked me 'Would you help teach me English?'.  I agreed that she could come twice a week.  In our conversation about when I would be available to teach, I explained that I wasn't just an English teacher but here to work with Christians in Pak Phanang.

At the end of her second visit she said she was interested in learning a bit about Jesus. I had some Christian short story books for children in Thai/English so she picked out two about Jesus for herself and took them home.  A day later, she was back and returned the books saying that her parents had told her she was not allowed to become a Christian. She then asked if I was free for her to visit on Sunday, so I explained that I went to church.  She then asked if she could come along too, just to see, without having to do anything, adding her parents would be ok with that.  Of course she was welcome to come along and see.  So, on Sunday she came to church for the very first time.  I don't know what she thought or made of it, but she has asked if she could come along again.

Please pray for this 13 year old girl, N, that she will experience God's love for her and that she will continue to desire to learn and find out more about Jesus.