International Ministries

Teens and Floods

November 4, 2011 Journal
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Prayer and Praise for October, 2011

 

I am back in Chiang Mai, home after 3 months in the US visiting churches and friends in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.  When I did the final count of speaking engagements, I figured I had shared a total of 43 times.  The days were full—but it was so good to have the chance to reconnect with friends and churches, and to develop new relationships, too.  A highlight for me was being accompanied by Khun Nok (Rachel), the IMEMF coordinator.  This was Nok’s first visit ever to the US, and she had a wonderful time sharing and building relationships, improving her English, and experiencing a very different part of the world.  Thank you for praying for our time in the US—we had safe travels for the entire time.

 

I value your prayer for us each month—and I like having new items to bring.  But I would like to ask a special prayer request from now until the new year.  Most of the residents at the House of Love are no longer children.  They are teenagers and young adults. Traditional Thai culture would treat all of the residents as though they were children; but the young people are living in a changing and, therefore, a confusing culture.  They need skills that will allow them to make wise choices for their future as they transition from childhood, through their teen years, into adulthood. They will need the support of adults and of a program at the House of Love that will allow them to grow spiritually, to practice their independence, to learn from their mistakes, and to grow in their self-esteem.  Would you pray for me and the others at HOL as we work out how to train these young people to be Christians in this Thai world?

 

Praise and Prayer Points:

·         I thank God for the 26 years I have been friends and colleagues with Khun Amnuayporn.   We started off as nurses together in the Baptist Maesariang Hospital, and we are finishing as co-directors for the IMEMF.  It is time now for Amnuayporn to retire, and we will be having a worship service and special meal together to mark the event.  Please pray as we go through this transition.

·         The House of Love (HOL) students have just finished their semester exams and are looking forward to 3 weeks of October school break.  It will be a busy time for our staff, as Thai laws have recently changed, and now each child 7 years and older has to apply for an identity card (it used to be age 15.)  For our kids who are already citizens, this is fortunately a straightforward process—but when you do it multiple times—it involves quite a bit of time!

·         October break means many of our House of Love (HOL) kids will try to visit relatives and enjoy a change of pace.  Please be praying for safety as they travel, and for our HOL staff to plan some good times with the kids who remain here in Chiang Mai for the break.

·         I was hoping this would be a praise item this month, —but Ketsarin is still working on the process to be able to have an ID card that will enable her to live and work here in Thailand.  Please keep praying—we are not sure why the delay.

·         You are probably aware that the House of Blessing (HOB) families live life on the edge of poverty, and to experience flooding like we have had in Chiang Mai is devastating.  Please be in prayer for these families and their communities.

·         The students at the CDPD will be enjoying their October school break this month as well.  Please continue to be in prayer that the building will be completed on time.

·         Thank you for praying for new jobs for the Health Project (HPTP) staff who finished their terms with IMEMF.  I am happy to report one is now a full-time pastor, another one is working for Compassion, International, and the third one is working with the district government.

·         I wanted to share a personal praise item.  I saw significant growth in the way Nok relates to the other staff at the HOL during our skype calls while we were in the US.  She demonstrated healthy conversations, and gave mature advice.  She was able to identify in herself areas of unforgiveness, and has grown in her Christian walk—it is lovely to see, and I am excited to see how God will be using her in the future.

·         One more praise—Nok and I were even able to enjoy a whirlwind tour of Washington D.C. right at the end of our time, and despite the rain, had a marvelous time!  I am so thankful for my good friends from Ohio who made this trip possible.

 

I returned to Chiang Mai in the midst of a flood!  My own home was flooded and I had to go from the airport to the House of Love because the roads in town were closed.  (thankfully my housekeeper was able to move most items up before the water came in).  But it turns out that our HOL property also was flooded—not by the river, but because water was released from the dam into the canal that flows along the back of our property—and the water came in.  Our rice fields were decimated, and we will need to restock our fish ponds.  But we are so thankful that no water came into the home—which happened at the old place in 2005.