International Ministries

October 2009

November 1, 2009 Journal
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October  2009

Dear Friends and Family,

A faithful friend of mine  who comes to visit us in Thailand about once each year challenged me to begin memorizing Bible verses with him and a small group of men working around the world.  This week I was reviewing some of the verses and came across Micah 7:8,  “Do not gloat over me my enemy.  I may have fallen,  but I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” This passage always struck me as referring to God’s faithfulness when we have sinned and how He will forgive us,  bring us back to His path and allow us to keep serving Him.  But this week as I lay on my back with a herniated lower disc, this verse takes on a whole new meaning for me.  It has actually been quite an encouragement to me as I find myself physically unable to stand or walk or even sit without constant pain.  All I can do is lie down.  After almost three days of lying down last week, I went to the office confident that I was on the mend only to find myself,  seven hours later coming back home in more pain than I can remember.

It’s funny how one can go from feeling strong and young one day to becoming totally dependent on loved ones to look after one’s every need the next.  In late September,  my middle son, Silas and I participated in mini-triathlon.  We swam 750 meters, biked 20 kilometers, and ran(well, sort of) 5 kilometers.  I didn’t lead the pack,  but I did well and felt very much in shape.    Afterwards,   I wasn’t even sore!.  Then two weeks later,  while bending over to pick up a badminton birdie,  I felt something rip in my lower back.  Immediately,  I knew that I’d done it again.  I popped that same old weak disc and it would be days - maybe weeks - before I’d  be able to function properly again.   So here I am, forced to rest when I don’t feel sick or tired-  just in pain. 

God uses these things in our lives for a reason.   He has something to teach me,  I am sure.  And I am reassured by the passage in Micah that He will be my light and let me get up again.

In other events, I was pleased this week when a group of 30 from our school,  the Family Learning Center,  went to the Hmong village where Tan and I visited last month and helped a poor widow and her children build a new house.  She had been staying in a vacant house,  but the owner had returned suddenly since our last visit, so she and the other five family members were sleeping in temporary arrangements.   A number of people pitched in funds for some basic materials and while some of the high school students entertained village children,  the rest helped the villagers to build this lady’s  house.  Three other widows in the village are expecting new houses now too.  Oops.  The needs never end. One young woman, about  twenty years old with three small children,  came up to my daughter and said  “Tell your father that I’ll be calling to ask for a house too”.   This young lady is so disparate,  she is asking us to  find an orphanage for her children. She’s willing to give them up  so they can have a better life.  We’re working on that one.  Hopefully, we can find a place that will take both mom  and her three little ones.

Blessings to you all.  Thanks again for your prayers and support,


Scott and Tan