Hello from sweltering Thailand!
This is the hottest time of year…next week temperatures are forecast to reach 105-107 degrees every day.
It makes sense that this is the time for Thailand’s “Songkran” water-splashing holiday. For several days each April, tourists swarm, work stops, and folks cool off by throwing cold water on each other. Part of the tradition is to wear brightly colored shirts. It is also a time to honor elders and family.
Ten years ago, during Songkran in 2006, Shirley & I were blessed by our original two hill tribe families. Each child bowed down to thank us and placed fragrant flowers on our necks –Such a sweet tradition!
“You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth.” (Col 3:1-2)
This year, we’re celebrating with a 3-day “Staff retreat.” It’s a time for singing, teaching, games, good food, and fun & friendly competition among teams of house-parents.
Here, on the first morning, Shirley taught the whole group about our “Salt & Light” scripture theme for the event. In the background, you can see lyrics of the salt-&-light “theme song” that we sang every day. Gawley (L) played the guitar, and Joy (R) helped with translation.
“”You are the salt of the earth…You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden…you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:13-16 paraphrase)
Each day was filled with breakout training sessions, plus games & fun in-between. Here Matt & Gawley were teaching how to use Excel® for tracking household budgets and manage projects.
“ [Jesus said] Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt 11:29)
One breakout session was a “Bible challenge” where each team of four house parents tried to answer increasingly difficult questions about scripture & Bible characters. Each team also had to arrange all the books of the Bible into proper order while racing against a stopwatch.
“Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word. I am but a pilgrim here on earth: how I need a map–and your commands are my chart and guide.” (Psalm 119:18-19)
Here you see a group of us gathered for a photo wearing our bright Songkran shirts. It was 104 degrees, but still a cool photo!
“You should be like one big happy family…” (1 Peter 3:8)
Shirley & I need to humbly ask for your help:
Does anyone have a car or truck that we can borrow/use while we’re in the US this summer (mid-May, through late August)?
We have plans to visit a couple churches (but we will fly to those locations). We need a vehicle to drive in South Carolina.
We’ve checked with mission support organizations, but they’ve not been able to provide anything. Can you help us locate a vehicle to borrow or rent?
“God loves a person who gives cheerfully…Then you will always have all you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Cor 9:7-8)
Please pray for us as we get folks here organized, assigned, and prepared to cover for us this summer while we travel & seek support for this “orphan-rescue” mission.
Grace, Peace, and Joy to you in Christ,