Last night I went to LAX to pick up my parents-in-law. Trying to exit the parking lot was a traffic disaster. There was a long line-up of cars that didn’t move for 20 minutes. That meant cars wanting to back out of their parking spots were stuck for a long time trying to reverse. Not thinking too much about it, I let a car back out and get in front of me. After the driver shifted her car out of reverse and straightened out, the passenger came out and wanted to talk to me. I rolled down my window and the lady said, “my mom wants to thank you for letting her out when 3 other people didn’t” — and handed me $10. Wow. I was shocked by her kindness.
In the end, it took me close to an hour to get out of the parking lot… but at least I got to park for free thanks to this generous lady. Hoping God will give me an opportunity to pay this forward.
At dinner tonight Izzy asked us, “How do babies get out?”
Details aside, there was a lot of giggling.
Thank you for praying us through our last few days here in Chiang Mai and praying for the ministry that continues here:
1. Pray for Nick’s full time Thai partners, Gko and Taan as they follow up with the many contacts made over the summer and disciple the ones that are still committed/still interested. Puok is definitely one of these people (Epicentre’s Poiema team met her). Puok became a Christian and got baptized after the Poiema team left. She had several miraculous encounters with Jesus and is now a regular member in their little community. Puok is very hungry for God and hungry for His word and is passionate about sharing Jesus with others. She shared her testimony with our friend Sunan! Puok is definitely a person of peace as Louise & team had discerned.
2. Pray for Taan’s back. It started hurting her again over the summer while she was on outreach with the teams. She needs to rest her back. Pray also for God to provide the resources for physio appointments and potential back surgery.
3. Pray for Charmain and Izzy to have better sleep at night. Charmain has been having trouble sleeping for a while now and Izzy tends to wake her up every night feeling afraid. Pray for continued protection over the girls. Izzy has been acting out of character and crying a lot lately. The situation has already improved over the last few days, but we would love your continued covering over our family.
4. Praise God! Nick’s team has found a place to meet for Sunday gatherings that is central and easily accessible. We will begin meeting there starting tomorrow! Pray that those who have stopped coming due to the inconsistent location can now rejoin the group on Sundays.
5. After visiting Pawn again (the 73-year old man), he told us that he still goes through his Buddhist rituals while acknowledging Jesus. However, he said he thinks about Jesus every day. Josh and our translator did a short Bible study with Pawn. Pray that Pawn would continue to encounter Jesus and that there would be good follow up with him after we leave.
6. Gko, Josh and Jonah visited C, the former security guard who put his trust in Jesus while the Poiema team was here. He now works on the outskirts of Chiang Mai for a food supplier and has been just as busy, making it difficult for him to attend church. During this visit, we learned that his mother was in the hospital and given only a short time to live. Please pray for God to heal C’s mom and to strengthen C’s relationship with God.
7. Our family also got to visit Juu several times. On our last visit, she introduced us to her husband and 2 children and we got to talk to them and pray for them and their kids. Juu is coming to church with us this Sunday! Please pray that she would get connected with the Christian community and encounter Christ’s love.
8. We had a lovely time with Sunan last night. She said she wants to be just like Taan and Puok (in terms of their faith) and that after hearing Puok’s testimony, she went home and prayed sincerely that God would show her a sign if Jesus is the true way. She wants to meet up with Taan and Puok after we leave Thailand and wants to visit their church. We also challenged her to read the bible. Please pray for a breakthrough for Sunan. She continues to teach music at the temple every weekend.
Thanks again for all your love and support!
We thank you for your continued prayer support. Since our last update, Josh met up with Thai believers at Payap University to see how we could encourage them to reach out to their campus. We were also able to visit some of the people we had previously met. We prayed for Poi who had a high fever. We chatted with Pap, the construction worker. He is open but has not been able to join the Christians on Sunday yet. Please pray that God would clearly provide Nick’s community with a gathering place to meet on Sundays, especially since rainy season has begun. Thais don’t like to go out when it rains. Over the last few weeks, only a handful of Thais have come out to the Sunday gatherings (although the Thai team continues to follow up with all their contacts).
We also got to visit Pawn, the 73-year old gentlemen who became a Christian. He was happy that we visited and Gko will continue to follow up with him.
We had lunch with our friend Sunan, the 53-years old woman with polio. She attended church for 2 years while she was a college student but has since gone back to her Buddhist roots. She owns her own accounting firm and teaches music to children at a Buddhist temple. She married a Buddhist man but has been divorced for 2 years. At lunch, Charmain got to share her testimony with her and we prayed for her. Tawni, from the All Peoples team, had a picture of a house with many open windows and dark brown wooden floors and the wind blowing through it. Tawni told Sunan that God was blowing everything open in her life. She shared this with Sunan, who graciously invited us to her home. She lives in a large house all alone. When we arrived at her home, it was exactly as Tawni had seen it while praying for Sunan! Sunan opened her windows and the wind blew through the entire house as we prayed for her home. We felt that God would bring laughter and community and life into her home, as though her home would be a gathering place for believers. Maddie also shared that she saw a picture of a church with wind blowing through it and everyone inside was safe.
Nick’s community is partnering with Sangla, the leader of Hannah house, a Christian home for college students that graduated from Abba House. Nick’s community attends a small group meeting at Hannah House on Wednesday nights. We invited Sunan to that meeting last night to introduce her to the Thai believers. Pii Puok who recently became a believer, passionately shared her testimony with Sunan. All the Thais prayed over her. Please pray for Sunan as she wants to experience God for herself but is still conflicted as to which way is the right way: Buddha or Christ.
We’ve been encouraged by the amazing testimonies of the Thai believers here in Nick’s community. We are encouraged by their passion and zeal in sharing Jesus with others. The Shores and Nguyens (teammates) are now back in the US for an AMI conference. Please pray for the Thai believers as they disciple the new Christians.
On the family front, the girls are getting more adjusted — thanks for praying. Though they miss home a lot, they’ve been troopers, going out with us on some outreaches, praying for people.
Please pray for our remaining time here. Our family will have the opportunity to go out with a new translator and we hope to somehow be an encouragement to the Thai believers before we leave.
“Mommy, Daddy, can I go to Skippy World (which is like a Chuck-E-Cheese in Chiang Mai) today? It’s July 4th — and I’m American.”