“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
Life here has had many ups, downs, and everything in between lately. Hot season came into full swing in April, which included Thai New Year, school summer break and a general slowdown in activities in Thailand. For us, we were able to sneak in a trip to the beach and enjoy a little time to relax. Unfortunately, and unrelated, this was followed with multiple trips to the hospital and Tiff being admitted for about 2 weeks. She had to deal with a serious infection in her digestive tract that caused various pains, vomiting, and other complications. Thankfully, she was eventually treated correctly and is nearly fully recovered now. I want to give a special “Thank you” to all who have been praying for us and encouraging us through this difficult time.
Outside of the health issues, which admittedly have seemed to be plaguing us a lot this past year, we have had several opportunities to continue to minister and serve with the local churches. We also currently have our good friend Ana from Georgia who has been doing a wonderful job joining us at Grace House this week.
Pa-Oh & Shan Ministry
When we were able, we continued to hold our regular bible studies with the Pa-Oh & Shan groups around Chiang Mai. Some of the highlights included celebrating Easter and teaching on the importance of Christ’s death and life, the Resurrection, and the believer’s response to this victory. At one of the fellowship gatherings, we were able to meet up with Pong who had moved south of Chiang Mai. He had recently returned from a visit to his family and friends in Burma. During his visit, he mentioned he was able to share about Jesus to his friends. One friend kept asking him question after question and before they realized it, it was already morning. A few other friends seemed to take offense that Pong would switch to Christianity and tried to belittle his faith. Despite the rejection, Pong told us he continues to be a Christian because he knows that Jesus is real and the gospel is true.
Bible Studies and Fellowship in Chiang Mai
We also helped hold a Pa-Oh & Shan Blessing party to say thank you to the elders within the ministry team that includes the Pan Rak foundation and our local church. This is done to show respect to those who have been a great blessing to the group and towards Tiff and me too. It also provides a great opportunity to encourage one another through songs, teachings, fellowship and more. We had two of the newest members – 2 boys born in the past few months – experience their first Blessing party as well.
Blessing Night and Sunday School
Grace House & Mae Hong Son
Since the school term finished up in March, many of the Grace House kids traveled back into the surrounding villages and their home villages inside Burma to visit relatives. Some were only gone for a few days while others never left. So taking advantage of this free time with them, we took them into town to the Sakuet River for a day of swimming, fishing, and fun. The kids never cease to amaze me when it comes to their hunting/fishing skills. They must have gathered 100 large snails, some fish and an eel. All of which they ate the next day. We also held a drawing competition, games, worship and teachings.
This month we had our friend Ana come join us. She has a remarkable gift of connecting with the kids and they really took to her. In addition to daily crafts, songs, and games, she also shared her experiences as a Christian teenager. This is a time many struggle with as they want to be included and accepted by others. Please be praying for them to overcome.
Activities with the Kids before School Starts
With it still being plenty hot, the kids of course twisted our arm to take them swimming again at the waterfall. They are so funny as they again caught a bottle full of eels and fish.
Please be praying for them as they start school next week and fully engage the next season of learning and drawing closer to God.
“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:14
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