Sunday, September 28, 2008

What am I doing?

I've been challenged by 2 things lately. I've been hearing these questions running through my head over and over as I try to avoid having to answer to the prompting in my spirit.

1. Am I doing ALL that I can to further the Kingdom where I am RIGHT NOW by serving and loving?

At the end of the day I think, what excuses did I come up with today to escape from having to do a difficult job?
I can't speak the language. God's speaks their language and has the power to use me even though I can't communicate in the natural; that's a bad excuse.
It's too hot and it makes me tired. Well, too bad. 65 million other people have lived their whole lives in this heat and they are hard workers. Not a good excuse of being lazy when other people are dying without hearing about Jesus.
I miss home and would rather be there. I'll be home soon enough...that means only a little time left to make a difference RIGHT HERE.

Everyday there are opportunities if my eyes are open to see the needs. Sometimes I need to go seek out somewhere to give and not just wait for an opportunity to come to me. Every day that we walk with illegitimate excuses is another day of walking in selfishness, looking out for our own needs instead of people who are way more desperate than we are. Jesus gave up His whole life for this.

"even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

2. Am I loving people well WHEREVER I go? Is the love of Christ being shown through my life by the way that love people?

There are people that are hard to love. No matter where I go, there are those people. I can't escape it. But Jesus didn't choose to love certain people. Those people that hard to love are probably people who really need it. If I'm claiming to follow the life of Christ, trying to be more like Him, loving people like He did is such a huge part. It's not something that we can avoid in running after Christ.

"If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. "

Kop koon pra yesu pua siri. (?)

Thank you Jesus for grace.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Little Differences

It's been about 3 months since my first day in Thailand and it's been quite the learning experience trying to figure out this new culture of new things and ways. It was just yesterday that I realized that i'm finally learning to function more Thai style when I said something that I couldn't remember if we use in America or not. So I was hit by also by the fact when I return home in less than 3 months, I'm going to have to undo my new way of thinking and learn how to function American again. I thought I'd share a few of these things over the next couple weeks. Here are just a few of the many differences between Thai culture and American culture.

Eachday when seeing someone for the first time (especially anyone older than you), it's your responsibility to WAI them. It's taken this long, but I think I'm finally remembering to do this along with the greeting
"Sawatdee Kha".
American's probably wouldn't appreciate this so much if I did this to them.

Toilets and Toilet Paper
I'm sorry if this is somewhat gross but it's just reality. Aside from the fact that we don't use the term "bathroom" or "restroom" here, only "toilet", there are a few more tricks to learn. Because of poor functioning sewer systems, all used toilet paper is to be thrown in "the bin" (trash can), not the toilet. In addition, most places you bring your own toilet paper because it's not supplied. Some toilets you also flush manually by pooring water into it.

I will have not driven in over 6 months by the time I return. That alone will be a weird feeling. In Thailand the driving system is opposite so I'm now used to driving on the left side of the road and the driver being on the right side of the car. In my mind, it's actually hard to remember which side American's drive on because i'm mixed between the two.
Also, I'm used to having a taxi at my side with the wave of a hand, anytime, anyday.

Next time: movie theaters, shoes, straws and McDonald's delivery!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beautiful People

These adorable kids deserve a blog of their own...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm sorry!

I'm sorry for the long delay of writing!! It's been a busy month but a good one. Here is a short recap of some things that have been happening:

Ramkhamhaeng University weekly outreach. We hang and get to know the students in the common areas.

School Outreach. We got to teach English in a Muslim school to continue to build relationship with them.

Spontaneous teaching at Mae Sot church.
Cute Thai ladies!
The Wai

Cool buildings

Crazy adventures

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Well I've been in the sweaty country for 3 days now! Up to this point I've just been settling, adjusting and observing. Tomorrow classes start, craziness beings and relationship building begins!! I've learned here that not being able to speak Thai does limit you quite a bit since English isn't so present. BUT, thankfully God transcends the nations and that He is the same God here in this place as little Bend, Oregon.

Now is the intensity of Bangkok - we take taxis mostly for transportation. I just feel I need to share my 2nd taxi experience. Let me warn you: problems come when the driver doesn't understand where you are wanting to go. So we were on our way back to "The Center" which is my new home/school/church on Ramkahmhaeng Soi 30. No matter how many times told this wonderful man in Thai where we wanted to go, he just did not understand because of our accent. But you see..he did not tell us he didn't know. Instead he decides that he needs to grace us with singing. This dear man obviously didn't enjoy the radio. No. So let me tell you about this singing...picture humming/moaning/speaking/singing all in one, in Thai. I felt like I was living a very mbad American Idol audition in real life but he was taking this serviously. It wasn't consistent came in bursts. I cannot tell you the effort it took to keep myself composed. But really it was useless. When my friend Cindi turned around to look at me, I lost it completely. I was laughing so hard I was crying. Poor, poor taxi man. I feel really bad but I honestly couldn't control myself. Now after the singing subsided, we find ourselves WAY far from home. Not at all where we were supposed to be. The amazing singing might have just been a distraction to take us away from where we actually wanted to go or he may really not have understood us. I will never know. We eventually got home but it took a bit longer than it should have.

So in addition to my taxi experience the adventures have begun. But in sitting backing and watching life here the past 3 days this is my first and very strong observation: this country of beautiful, smiley people need Jesus desperately. In this city of around 12 million people (and that is just big number to people until you are actually in the midst of the 12 million and it becomes incomprehendable), the Christian population is so little. I've heard different statistics but it's approx. 98% Buddhist and the rest is other. In the US where I'm so used to to going to a big city to find a big population of Christians, that's not the case here. Followers of Jesus are rare. It's not necessarily because they aren't being reached but it's the hardness of the hearts.

What's does it take to reach these people? Faithful, long term relationship building and more laborers.

I keep on being reminded of this verse today- "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers in to his harvest." Luke 10:2

So pray with me for the church of Thailand for increase in faithful followers and disciples of Jesus to be able to reach out the HUGE population of a hard people to reach.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

..Last Moments..

I sit here in the Seoul airport trying to figure what to do with myself before I get on to my last flight taking me to my new home, Bangkok, and thinking about all my last moments at home. I didn't really get many pictures, but the last few weeks have been saying lots of goodbyes to friends and family.
In about 20 mintues I will be off to a new place with new friends to meet and a new bed to sleep in. Scary but so exciting. Goodbye US (and Seoul)!
When I have more time, I will post about my fun vacation in Hawaii the past 2 weeks!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

..San Jose..

Family adventures are the best. Last week I got to visit family, some that I haven't seen in at least 4 years or so. Here's a glimpse of the craziness of basically 2 days...

My new favorite little cousins daughter with her mom Naialie
Ava and great grandma
Grandma and IGrandpa and 2 of his 6 kids - my dad and aunt
Beautiful sister Rachel and aunt Gail
3 of the 6 Estopare kids
The crazy gang
Gorgeous cousin Morgan- congrats!!