-Tyler with some of his cousins and his great-grandmother in May 2007-
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
They had some really neat magnets here... not just your typical-run-of-the-mill junk, but the shop owner wasn't a big fan of bargaining apparently! I did buy two magnets and Bro. Gary bought six:o).
Because we got to the market around 10ish, the crowd was very light and the weather wasn't too bad... by 12:30 it was hot and crowded, so we got out of there! It was worth waking up early on a Saturday morning to go shopping!
I was pretty impressed with the size of this city.... we could see all the way to the horizon with no end in sight!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Our "dining room". I like the way the living room and dining room flow together. You could be sitting on the couch and taking part of what's going on here... lovely!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I have really enjoyed working with the Gaudet family. Living in Thailand and interacting daily with this dear missionary family has taught me more than I could have imagined:
*Pray is not just a four-letter word that should be thrown around churches, conferences, meetings, and "spiritual" discussions. God is still on the throne and prayer changes things. How sweet it is to meet each morning and to share burdens, joys, and prayer requests and then to bring those very requests before the Lord collectively.
*God is not broke. In a way, this goes along with the first point because often I have a genuine need, but I don't think to pray and ask God for the __________ (money, time, resources, etc.). Jeremiah 33:3 is in the Bible for a specific reason!
*God's work is bigger than any one ____________ (person, group, church, missionary, etc). I have met at least 8 other missionaries/pastors while on this trip and I realize that God's Hand is moving in so many ways.
*Like-minded churches are actually producing godly young people. It is so easy to fall into "we're the only ones living for God" rant when it just isn't true. Numerous young people have come to help the Gaudets over the last 10 years and they came from all over the USA and have been used of God.
*Any spiritual growth I'm going to do needs to be cultivated by myself. Without having: "church" to attend 4 times a week... a Bible study... a specific visitation time... I am pretty much on my own. Any lapse in my growth is my fault, not the Lord's, not the missionary's, not the pastor's, not the people back home - MY fault. This also makes watching the Sunday morning service online a very sweet time and one that I will not miss being a part of!
*It's a choice to rejoice even in what seems mundane. Without having the opportunity to jump in my car... go to work whenever I want to... plan what I'm working on... going shopping... hanging out with friends... being spontaneous... taking trips...; it would be pretty easy to get bored with going to the office 5 days a week and coming home and STAYING home each night (for the most part) and spending the weekends around the house (with the exception of going to Future Park and to church). The first couple of weeks might be exciting, but routine is routine - no matter where you are! It's my responsibility to be happy and smile and be thankful that God put me here, which I am!
*Just because one thing was done "a certain way" back home doesn't necessarily mean that it is done the same way somewhere else. Having had the opportunity to work in the church office for four years has taught me a lot of things, but there's always more to learn from someone else, and perhaps it's even something I thought I "knew".
*Communication is vital! There have been some "miscommunications" that have happened around our office, and as a result, work was either done twice, not done soon enough, or a step was missed. I've learned that even if I think I'm doing Bro. Tom a favor by jumping onto a new project, it really is a better idea to double-check with him (or whomever the boss may be!) to make sure there was no new project lined up.
*Even when I'm not talking, I'm communicating something. It's been said body language makes up for 60-70% of all communication and I think it's true! A smirk... a giggle... a raised eyebrow... slouching in the seat... a hand covering the mouth... shoulders shaking... a frown... angrily walking away... an injured expression... the list could go on and on. One example I can think of is when a national pastor asked Bro. Tom, "how long was Pookie in America?" Pookie has never been to America but has picked up on the "American lingo" from the Americans around her. Now that's not a bad thing; it just happens to prove the statistic:o).
*And finally, being on a foreign field for an extended period of time gives a very small glimpse into a missionary's reality:
1- The burdens that can't be effectively shared with those back home other than, "Please pray!"
2 -The numerous daily blessings that never make it into a prayer letter.
3 - The sweet times of fellowship with national believers, even with a language barrier.
4 - The feeling of helplessness as a very hard trial shakes your family and you can't be there.
5 - The times of loneliness after you've been gone for a while and the "novelity" wears off. Sometimes it really is "out of sight out of mind."
6 - The way you soak up any news from back home, even if it is "only two people were in nursery tonight" or "some of the teen boys came and helped put in new cabinets in the lunchroom".
7 - The reality that some final good-byes were said and you kick yourself for not going over to visit "one more time" with ____________.
8 - The fact that some events are going to be missed... whether it be a national holiday, a yearly happening at the church, new babies born, or just something you've "always done". That's the way it is and there's no use moaning or complaining over what is missed.
9 - The opportunities and experiences of a lifetime that God has chosen you to have and as you drive in an international city, you think nothing of motorcycles and scooters weaving in and out of traffic as they try to beat the cars, trucks, taxis, buses, and street vendors.
I truly consider coming to Thailand as one of the best experiences of my life and I thank God for it! For now the Lord is leading me home, but I also am praying about coming back for an extended period of time to work with the Gaudets... and I believe that, in God's time, that will become a reality again! So although I will be packing my bags up in just a few weeks and leaving for Pennsylvania, I know it won't be too long before I pack my bags up again as I follow my dear Saviour's leading! And you know what??? I wouldn't trade it for the world! God has been so good to me:o).
Saturday, July 21, 2007
The Grand Palace shows in the most visual way the emptyness... the facade... the hopelessness... the plight... of what Thailand is in. While I enjoyed experiencing more of Bangkok, what we saw today is the exact opposite of what Christ has done and it's enough to make you weep over the souls that are lost and heading to a Christless eternity. As you experience a little of the Grand Palace below, would you take a moment and pray?
Some of the scenery we saw while we took a taxi-boat to the Grand Palace.
On the boat! It was a little windy:o).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Now this next picture would probably shock many of you! I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a coffee drinker ~ at all. I tried it when I was younger and just wasn't impressed with it! It really is a shame too, because most of my friends are die-hard coffee fans... but alas, I haven't "acquired" a taste for coffee. Well Miss Krinny and I were not about to stand for 4 hours while we waited for the guys to get what they came to town for, so we found a Starbucks and I actually tried a cappuccino ~ shocking, I know!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
What a balm that verse was to my soul! It brought instant peace and comfort to me as I realized what I was worrying about wasn't allowing me to seek first the kingdom of God.
The next verse he brought out was Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Oh what a thought! What a promise! "He shall..."
While the preacher continued on, my eyes dropped down into Matthew 7. Now I don't know about you, but I tend to underline verses in my Bible or put musical notes next to the verses that can go to a song. I noticed one verse in particular had two music notes by it, so I began to read it. Matthew 7:7 ~ "Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
My eyes continued to move down the chapter and I saw verses 11-12 ~ "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
The final verse I read was most precious - Matthew 6:34 ~ "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
The problem isn't resolved, but God isn't broke, forgetful, and suddenly out of miracles! I'm looking forward to what my rich, remembering, miracle-working God is going to do!!!! My prayer was answered this morning...what a blessing to be able to meet with God!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Susie hanging out at her favorite lunchtime supplier ~ the soup man! He lost some business with Susie leaving:o)
April finishing up her last day at the office:o)
Friday, July 6, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Before I came over here a month ago (can you believe it's a month already?), I stopped at the grocery store a week before my trip and picked up the banner to the left. When I got here, I stuck it in a drawer with the expectation of hanging it up on the first day of July. Well, when April and I came home for lunch today, I noticed that the bathroom soap was empty so I went to get a new one and saw the banner in the drawer:o). I kinda forgot about it but at least it made it onto the wall on the 4th! Plus it added some more color to our rather color-less walls:o).
Being here in a foreign country has definitely made me appreciate America and the principles on which she was founded. Although America is headed in a direction away from God, I am thankful for America. As you enjoy your bar-b-ques, fireworks, games, and parades, I'll be tucked away in my bed, but still thankful to be an American ~ even if I am halfway around the world!!! Happy 4th of July!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
"The truth is that none of us knows the will of God for his life. I say for his life - for the promise is "as thou goest step by step I will open up the way before thee." He gives us enough light for today, enough strength for one day at a time, enough manna, our "daily" bread. And the life of faith is a journey from Point A to Point B, from Point B to Point C, as the people of Israel "set out and encamped in Oboth. And they set out from Oboth and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness... From there they set out and encamped on the other side of the Arnon... and from there they continued to Beer... and from the wilderness they went on to Mattannah, and from Mattanah to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, and from Bamoth to the valley lying in the region of Moab."
So far as we know, nothing happened happened in these places. Oboth, Iyeabraim, Arnon, Beer, Mattanah, Nahaliel, Bamoth mean nothing to us. That immense crowd just kept moving. They traveled and they stopped and they made camp and packed up again and traveled some more and made another camp. They complained. There were so many complaints that even Moses, who was a very meek man, could hardly stand the sight of these whom God had called him to lead. But all the time God was with them, leading them, protecting them, hearing their cries, goading and guiding them, knowing where they were going and what His purposes were for them and He never left them.
It is not difficult when you read the whole story of God's deliverance of Israel to see how each separate incident fits into a pattern for good. We have perspective that those miserable wanderers didn't have. But it should help us to trust their God. The stages of their journey, dull and eventless as most of them were, were each a necessary part of the movement toward the fulfillment of the promise. Single life may be only a stage of a life's journey, but even a stage is a gift. God may replace it with another gift, but the receiver accepts His gifts with thanksgiving. This gift for this day. The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived - not always looked forward to as though the "real" living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."
Just some thoughts from my quiet corner of Thailand...
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Anyway, enjoy the laughs! Courtesy of this website:o).
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.
A day without sunshine is like, well, night.
On the other hand you have different fingers.
Change is inevitable except from a vending machine.
I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
Those who live by the sword... get shot by those who don't.
I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
He's not dead... he's electroencephalographically challenged.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.
I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
Honk if you love peace and quiet.
Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so popular?
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool. (This is so true!)
It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.
The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.
It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.
You can't have everything....where would you put it?
Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world's population.
The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.
I wished the buck stopped here as I could use a few.
I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.