Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Hubby has written on his blog again, and has even made it official by putting his blog onto a new site: Williams Witness. Not to be outdone by him (who's supposed to be the blogger around here anyway?), I'm scraping together a poor excuse of a post. :)

Ever trying to live up to the vows we made last July 10th, Nat and I have shared a cold. *achoo* NyQuil, tissues, cough syrup, and lots of water have been my faithful friends between yesterday and today. Cough drops made their appearance too, although they have failed in bringing about the soothing relief the package boldly proclaimed they would. Rather than take up my grievances with the cough drop company, I chose to fight this sickness from the coziness of the recliner. My husband came home for lunch and was sweet enough to go to the bakery to pick up some chicken pastina soup for me. I must be sick if I'm willing to eat soup!

I was feeling decent enough to make dinner and even had some energy after dinner to go do the laundry. Now I'm debating between taking NyQuil or not, since it knocked me out for twelve solid hours last night! I have things to do tomorrow, but I'm weighing that out with the option of getting better. :)

Since I did spend most of my day sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing, I decided to do some research. I figured I needed to be useful in some way! We have a very exciting trip coming up in May that involves my dear husband graduating (yay!) and so we're turning it into a min-vacation since we'll be in the great state of South Dakota. My research included searching hotel prices, but then I was drawn to national park websites - namely the Badlands and Mount Rushmore. I've been to both of these places before, but I am a lover of history and so I spent some time absorbing as much information as I possibly could. :)


Here's some random news: the weatherman said we were supposed to get snow, but now the weather channel is saying, "no significant snow accumulation" which is a happy thought indeed. I for one would like to think spring is here. :)


In other random news, have I mentioned my growing affection for a place called Swagbucks? I recently had enough swag bucks to redeem them for (2) five dollar gift cards to Amazon.com. Using the gift cards, I only paid shipping for a book I've been wanting to give as a gift to a friend. I'm just about ready to redeem my swag bucks for (3) five dollar gift cards to Amazon.com and I already have my eye on what I want to get. :)


By the way, I've decided against the NyQuil. Maybe tomorrow night. :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Timely messages.

In light of the last post on prayer, I thought I would share the points from a three-week series my pastor just finished preaching (tonight!) on praying for our missionaries. You know that "God bless all the missionaries" prayer? We actually do pray like that, but I've been so encouraged and challenged by these prayer points:
  • Pray for contacts
    (Colossians 4:2-3 ~ "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:")

  • Pray for clarity
    (Colossians 4:4 ~ "That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.")

  • Pray for free course
    (2 Thessalonians 3:1 ~ "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course,")

  • Pray for conversion
    (2 Thessalonians 3:1 ~ "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified,")

  • Pray for care
    (2 Thessalonians 3:2 ~ "And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.")

  • Pray for courage
    (Ephesians 6:19 ~ "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make know the mystery of the gospel,")

  • Pray for Christ-like character
    (Philippians 1:20 ~"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.")
This list was specifically put together to better pray for our missionaries around the world, but the truth is this list can be used in praying for dear brothers and sisters in Christ too!

The Ministry Of...

... Prayer. I believe prayer is the most effective tool I have as a believer to be an encouragement to another believer. Can you imagine if every person who ever said those words, "I'll pray for you" actually did? Convicting thought.

I've uttered those words countless times before, but within the last 1.5 years, Nat and I have earnestly tried to pray for someone or something when we've said we'll pray. We've failed, I'll admit. But it's an encouragement to me at the end of each day when my husband says, "do you have any prayer requests from today?" That reminds me of the people and situations I said I would pray about during the day, and then we do so at night before we go to bed.

I heard a missionary years ago who said one of the biggest encouragements he received on the field was when people would respond to an e-mail he sent saying something like, "praying for you, brother" or "prayed." It takes all of 15-30 seconds to write a quick note back and to hit the send button. What a good habit to get into!

Another tool I have found helpful is to pray as soon as I receive an e-mail asking for prayer. The prayer request is fresh in my mind and again only takes a couple of minutes. Of course then I send a quick reply: "prayed for you!"

Last week I sent an e-mail to my church's e-mail list asking for prayer for my uncle ~ the one who has cancer. What a pleasant surprise it was to open my e-mail the next morning and have ten responses! Most of them were a simple "prayed!" while some told me exactly what they were praying for. All of the responses were a huge blessing to me, because these dear friends expressed (1) they read the e-mail :D (2) they took enough time out of their day to stop and pray.

Just this morning I saw a prayer request on facebook. I don't know the situation (other than what was posted on facebook) but I jotted out a quick note in response and prayed for God's will to be done in the situation, for peace to prevail within the family, and for souls to be brought to Christ as a result of this situation.

Oh believers, we can't afford to drop this weapon of prayer! Let's make it a priority to pray today... and to let people know we're praying for them. Too much is at stake to think we'll have time to pray later. Sometimes later doesn't come.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Update #3.

I'm waiting to hear the ding dong of my doorbell signaling that my nephew and niece are here to play with Auntie Anne, but for now I'm going to take these couple of moments to squeeze in a third update:).

One of the first questions we are usually asked when talking about Thailand is what's the next step? That's a logical question! I think I have a sensible answer:).

The very next step on our agenda is graduation. Nat is going through the same Bible Institute I went through and graduated from in 2007 and he is soooo close to being done! He plans on graduating in June of this year from Lehigh Valley Baptist Bible Institute and also plans on graduating from the same Bible college in South Dakota that I graduate from - and that's supposed to happen in May!

His day pretty much goes like this: 8:30-4:30 (work), 4:30-5:30 (rest and dinner), 5:30-? (Bible Institute). He has been very diligent in getting his courses done and I'm am extremely thrilled (can I say proud in a good way?!?) over how much he is getting accomplished! On top of all of this, he has been experiencing severe neck pain and yet has endured through all the pain. Long story short, a van door was closed on his head while we were in Thailand and it did some hefty damage to his neck, so on top of everything else, he is trying to get his neck adjusted and back to normal. If you think of him, please pray for the pain to be relieved!

So when people ask what's the next step?, we say graduation - rock #1!

There are two more "rocks" that need to be moved into place. Rock #2 is Botswana and rock #3 is being sent as missionaries from our home church - Lehigh Valley Baptist Church.

Let me explain in a little more detail.

Botswana is a country in Africa where my church recently sent our latest missionary family to begin a work there. My good friend Rachel blogs often about her experiences and adventures while living in Botswana:).

Both our current pastor and our missionary to Botswana would like Nat and I to take a trip sometime to Botswana to get some more hands-on experience working with people. We're not sure when the timing of this all is going to work out, but we are "planning" for August or September. As I mentioned above, my husband has been doing a Bible Institute marathon (full-speed!) for the past few months and will continue on that course until he graduates, so I think we're going to need to catch our breath for a little bit before plunging into this new project:). Plus my uncle has severe cancer and we're not sure how long he has, so we really, really want to take some time to visit with him in North Carolina (after Bible Institute is done!). So that's rock #2!

Rock #3 is our church members voting on sending us out as missionaries. From the beginning, we have always wanted to be under our church/pastor's authority and wouldn't even think of putting a baby toe out from under that authority! So we wait for the right timing of that to take place. Our church members and pastor have done a wonderful job communicating to us that that will take place, it's just a matter of when:).

These three rocks will take us through to the end of this year, and that's fine with us:). For now, my husband continues working on staff as an assistant to our pastor and I'm still working at the bakery as well as volunteering at church/school wherever help is needed!

There is plenty keeping us busy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

8 Months!

Eight wonderful months that have been filled with tons of laughs:).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update #2.

I've been doing some research on a website called everyculture.com and have been learning tons of information about various ethnic groups around the world. I read a couple of interesting paragraphs tonight that I thought I would share with you since it give a good summary of what Buddhism teaches. 93% of Thai people are Buddhists, so it's a good to know a little about what Thai people believe!

Buddhism is divided into two schools of thought. The "Northern School," known as Mahayana Buddhism, is found most often in China, Japan, Tibet, Korea, and Vietnam. The "Southern School," called Theravada (or Hinayana) Buddhism, predominates in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Theravada Buddhists stress the importance of becoming a monk and achieving Nirvana, a state in which there is no self or rebirth, through one's own efforts. Mahayana Buddhists lay more emphasis on help from Bodhisattvas, enlightened beings who have delayed achieving Nirvana in order to help others become enlightened.

Fundamental to the Buddhist doctrine are the Four Noble Truths: (1) Existence inevitably leads to unhappiness which follows from the impermanence and disintegration of all living elements; (2) Unhappiness is caused by desire inherent in human nature; desire causes man to become attached to the impermanent; (3) Unhappiness can be avoided by the crushing of desire; and (4) Desire can be crushed by strict adherence to a prescribed moral path. In Buddhism all worldly things are considered changing and impermanent. Those who are not aware of the impermanent nature of the world become attached to worldly things, and this leads to suffering. The suffering will continue as the soul goes through a cycle of rebirths, continually drawn back to worldly desires. Meditation and a moral, disciplined life can enable a believer to overcome desires. The soul that successfully overcomes all desires may reach Nirvana.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update #1.

Here are some quick facts about our trip to Thailand or just about Thailand as a country:).

  • We were gone for three weeks (including travel time)
  • Thailand is 12 hours ahead of EST
  • We flew from Philadelphia ---> Chicago ---> Seoul, South Korea ---> Bangkok, Thailand = 28.5 hours from doorstep to doorstep
  • Spent one night in Bangkok at a really nice hotel (Asian standards here!) and then flew 1.5 hours to Chiang Mai, Thailand the next day
  • Bangkok is in the middle of Thailand while Chiang Mai is in the northwest part of Thailand
  • Largest city in Thailand: Bangkok
  • Second largest city: Chiang Mai
  • Temperature in January/February in Thailand: during the day - high 80s at night - mid 60s (Fahrenheit)
  • Currency: Thai baht (1 baht = .03 cents; $1.00 = 30.48 baht)
  • My favorite currency exchange website: XE (threw that in for fun!)
  • Language spoken: Thai, although many people can speak English in the big cities
  • Hello in Thai: Sa-wat-dee-ka (female speaker); Sa-wat-dee-kraup (male speaker)
More to come later!


Hubby is diligently working on Bible Institute right now (3.3 classes and a thesis to go!) so it's my turn to be diligent and pay some attention to my blog!

There are so many updates swirling through my head but I suppose they don't really come out (coherently anyway!) if I just do a brain dump:). So my goal over the next few posts is to give a little update to our Thailand trip as well as where we're headed in the future!

Nat was able to give a report at our church on Wednesday night and only wished he had a lot more time to clearly communicate things.... like:

  • all the stories from our trip (there are plenty!)
  • the history of Burma
  • explain why we want to work with people groups that live in Thailand but aren't originally from Thailand
  • share the many answers to prayer (there were many!)
  • express how deeply grateful we are to have so many people pray for us and let us know they're praying
  • key connections that were made
  • specific prayer points for the future
Our Pastor was very gracious in asking Nat to give an update, but we both could tell ya (and anyone who has ever taken a missions trip could tell ya!) that time is always just a little bit too short when reporting:).

We do have other tools that we can use though, such as one-on-one conversations, phone calls, e-mail, and BLOGS:). So I'm hoping to help fill in some gaps and maybe answer some questions that just might be mentally asked but never verbalized;).