It is nine months since we started learning the Thai language in Lopburi and attending a local church. At first it was nice to be back with people we knew, as we had visited this church some seven years ago. But soon it got more difficult. After several weeks you discover how little you actually understand of...
Thai Tempo January- March 2018
Just for you
This past September, a few days before we left Thailand, we arranged to meet our friends at a nice coffee shop. Bekah’s friend J. says she believes there is a God, but she continues a staunch Buddhist, making merit whenever she can. As a farewell gift, Bekah had purchased an attractive Thai Bible and written a message to her friend on the inside cover. The Bible rested on the arm of the couch where we were sitting.
When J. and her family walked in, after we had greeted each other, her eyes almost immediately went to the Bible. “Oh, I just love that!” she exclaimed. Bekah was a little surprised, wondering if J. knew what it was. “Well, good, because it is for you!” she replied.
Now it was J’s turn to be surprised. “Really? No, no,” she said.
“Yes, see here – the message I already wrote to you!” Bekah said as she handed her the Bible. She took it carefully, and was obviously moved as she read Bekah’s message to her.
We spent some time discussing where might be a good place for J. to begin reading, and then moved on to other matters.
Since our return to the U.S., Bekah and her friend continue to be in contact. A few weeks ago, she told Bekah that she has read the Bible “a little bit.”
Bekah & Brian Farber, Ayuthayaa
Pray for :
- J. and her family to get to know this God that she believes to exist.
- J. to read the Bible and for God’s word to work in her heart.
- Thai people who got Christian literature or a Bible to make time to read it and for God to work in their hearts – and send Christians along their way to explain the Gospel.
Setting a “faith-flag”
After a full day’s work, I needed to do some shopping and went to one of the big shopping centers in town. I was tired and hoped to get things done quickly and go home to rest.
Feeling hungry I decided to eat in the food court of that shopping center. As I was getting some free water at the water cooler a young Thai lady started to talk to me. She asked what I was doing here and began to tell me about her family. As she did this, I heard a sentence that alerted me. “If God is merciful, he will let me find the boy’s father.” Later, when there was a pause in her talking, I asked her who this merciful God was. She explained that she had started to believe in Jesus Christ about five months ago and was attending a local church. All of a sudden we had a lot of common ground to talk about and were both encouraged.
My heart rejoiced as I drove home. I pondered upon the “faith flag” that this lady had set out for me, the little indicator about her faith. It was up to me to follow up on it or to leave it. She reminded me to be intentional about setting “faith flags” in my casual conversations with people during this new year.
Christina Sutter, KhonKaen
- This young lady to grow closer to God.
- Missionaries to pick up the “flags” that people set to talk about God.
Missionaries to “set flags” intentionally so that opportunities to talk about the Lord might be picked up by others.
Plants, humans and a great Creator
The Garden is a great way to relax. Listening to the birds, seeing things grow, enjoying the creativity of the Creator God. But over the past six month the things I saw in the in garden mirrowed what I experienced inside:
When coming back from home assignment we had moved to Bangkok (including some of our plants) but for schooling reasons of our kids we needed to move up to ChiangMai a year later. Seeing some of our orchids losing their leaves made me wonder whether they will make it through these changes. After a while I noticed that the roots started to grow and a little later new leaves. Just as we hit the 6 month milestone (supposedly that’s when you are settled again in the new invironment) I noticed buds on some of the plants.
Inside me there seemed to be a similar development happening: Questions filled my heart: “Will we ever feel at home here? Will each family member make it?” We needed to “grow roots” first – finding comfort in God’s word and seeing some of the things He was doing in our lives through these circumstances. Then living in the new place got “more normal” – I am still waiting for “blossoms” to come – but am encouraged by my garden (or better by the creator using my garden J) that they will come… sometime.
Renate & Ulrich Kohler, ChiangMai and Bangkok
Pray for :
Missionaries in transition (going on home assignment or coming back, joining the field, people retiring or leaving the field for other reasons)
- Good closure at the old places, emotional strength for the good byes.
- Feeling/knowing God’s presence in the midst of this unsettling process.
- People (colleagues on the field/home side supporters) who can come alongside at this time.
- Open communication between husbands and wives and children or for singles with trusted friends.
- The children: for new friends, understanding teachers.
- Emotional strength to get into new routines, new relationships and patience and grace with oneself when this process seems bumpier than one thought or slower than it takes for others.
- That the Lord uses these times to grow us more into His likeness.