Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Holiday Season

They say that if you're here long enough, the smell of burning grass evokes the realization that Christmas is around the corner. Not snow. Not lights. Not Mom's peanut brittle. Burning grass. However, they failed to mention that some stores blatently blast Christmas carols and it is during moments like these that Christmas feels real. Can I get three cheers for the white-washing of Thailand?

Being in ministry here means that Christmas is the busy season, not a time of rest. So these past weeks have been fairly intense. Perhaps it is a blessing that we are kept distracted during times when our families can't be around to hype us up for the holidays. I am beginning to understand that these "haa folong ding dongs" (five crazy foreigners) are my family and we definately function as such. I am looking forward to Christmas morning with my brothers and sisters and I believe bacon and pancakes will be involved.

The Number Three

Every Wednesday four of us head out to Chocheongsao Bethel which I wrote about in my previous post. It is a village populated with the poor of the poor and God is working immensely.

We hold a kids club there and afterwards a cell group with the adults. And guess what? Every single time we have gone there for the past seven weeks, three new people come to Christ. Do the math. Can I get an amen?

As some of you may know, there is huge political unrest in Burma right now and there is persecution for certain groups of their own people. Many illegally sneak into Thailand and some factories scoop them up and hire them for cheap. These particular Burmese people are literally trapped in the factories like prison because they are afraid of being turned in to the officials. With that said, the life that they live now is far better than being killed in Burma. Somehow, we got through to some of the Burmese people staying in these said factories. They have been coming out to these cell groups in Bethel and some have already accepted the gift of salvation. They are being given a hope and assurance in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Everyday Life

Here is a picture of a typical day in the life of a TREKker here in Thailand: Wake up sick (every morning because I sleep under the Air Con), maybe go for a run at the beach (just started doing that, we'll see how long that lasts), breakfast at home (cereal or toast--just a piece of familiarity), team meetings where we talk about the day and pray together, a Thai lesson with P'Uh-oh for two hours, lunch across the street at "Bob's", work on ministry stuff for a couple of hours, eat dinner at the market, teach English class, hang out with Thais, maybe breakdance, some Dutch Blitz here and there and then it's sweet dreams. Now when I say a typical day, keep in mind that there is no "typical" and maybe by typical I mean boring.

Alright. Well I love you and miss you all. I will update you all about all the Christmas outreach programs after Christmas is over.

In the grip of His grace,