Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. This is my update for this past month of April. In this newsletter you can read what we've been up to, and how we are moving forward both in the long term and short term, so that you can know how to pray for us. We need you prayers, it is not easy living here, and it takes a regular returning to the original calling and purpose for being here that keeps us healthy, and moving strong. Put simply, we love others because God first loved us.
It is very hot here in nst now, and that means we are a bit more sickly. Fang is sneezing cause of the air conditioner, and I always have a migraine due to the heat, both problems are very difficult to solve, and they add stress to our house. Calvin is doing quite well, and now loves to yell and turn in circles, especially to his favorite songs, (currently jumpstart3 bible verse videos) We took a small trip to the mountains one weekend, and calvin had a blast playing in the river and tiny waterfalls. Meanwhile he is terrified of the escalator lol.
This month my business is doing well, and fangs bakery is suffering, but it will likely flip when schools open. I currently have one student who is the nephew of one of my first private students in nst, he studies for 2 hours, and always has lots of good questions. I'd like you all to pray for him, because the past few classes have very much turned into discipleship sessions, he is young, but im hoping the truth we talk about will stick with him. I also had a return student who now doesn't speak during the day but only speaks at night. Her grandmother talked with fang while she was in class with me, and told fang she has only been like this for 3 months, and thinks someone cast a spell on her. That again puts me in an awkward position but, like i should, i will lay hands on her and pray for her every class, and if it is by some demonic force that she is mute, then she will speak, and she will give glory to God. Pray for her as well, her mother is a doctor, so it seems strange that they should believe it to be a curse if they haven't exhausted all other possibilities. I finished writing a little phonics booklet explaining common misconceptions and common mispronunciations, and why i believe this is the root cause for a lack of english proficiency in Thailand. At the end of that booklet i leave a bible verse, and invite them to take a look at my other tracts, pointing out the fact that if there is this much misconception and false teaching in the english classroom, and so wide spread throughout the country, then surely there are other more significant misconceptions that need to take priority as well. I believe that missionaries need to make practical contribution in order to help give us some credit with the locals, no matter if this is medical, or scientific, or intellectual, or some more practical contribution. Judson wrote the first English Burmese dictionary for example.
I added a tract shelf in the bakery to display the tracts, now anyone can pick the tract that grabs their attention. I also redid the covers, so now every tract has an additional gospel message to reiterate what they read in the tract itself, and the back of the front cover is for notes. We finally finished and printed the God is real tract, and have it up on the site. I finished both God is good, and God is Love, but have not formated or printed them yet. These 3 tracts go together. We have had several good evangelism outings, and i am plumb out of cards, so ill need to make more. We must have handed out somewhere between 2000- 3000 gospel verse cards now, to all the houses and businesses within a 5 km radius of our house. Reaching the whole city within a few years is actually looking possible. I wish there was some way to see if traffic to bible.com has increased from our city at all in the past few months. (if you know how to find information like that tell me)
Our water pump is shot again, so im going to redo everything like it should be, and add a water tank next to the house, and pump from there (actually this is how you are supposed to do it, i just haven't got around to it since ive been here), and i will add a sprinkler to the roof while im at it, this will allow fang to turn on the roof sprinkler at various times of the day when its sunny, and cool off the roof. We have a friend who does this, and it works rather well. In the future, id like to collect rain water, but im not going to do that now, too much work, but i may do some planning, and minor prep for that as well. I will also be glueing up a workbench countertop for the other side of the house, this will be a woodworking bench, i am making it with scrap wood.
We have been busy, and will be busy, but we take time every week to rest and reflect, and study Gods word, refocus and start again. This is labor, but if we are faithful to what God has called us to, it is not in vain. Thankyou to all who keep us in prayer, and support us.
Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. Our family is enjoying life in the service of our king. This month we have been very busy, its one of those months where you sit back and rest at the end and think "gosh, i got a lot done"
Calvin is having fun learning about the world around him, he is extremely energetic, and i mean he's a little ball of energy. I suppose i should have known this from a few months old, even before he could walk, he would wake up and immediately stand before fully awake. Now he wakes up, stands, and starts pointing around the room as if he wants someone to tell him what that thing is, mind you, he's alone in the room usually when he wakes up from a nap. I have no idea what is normal for kids, but I've been teaching little kids long enough to know that little kids are extremely different at an early age. Calvin loves to listen to worship music any time, in fact its the only thing sure to make him stop crying if he is fussy. Fang and i are doing well as well, it is our 4th anniversary this month, we were married on the 2nd of April, 4 years ago, on a beautiful mountain in new zealand. Now we are building a family together here in Thailand. Love does grow in time, i love her more now than ever.
Its been raining a lot, and there have been days when we were just too tired after closing shop, so we haven't been out as often this month, please pray that we do continue the habit of evangelism in the evening. As far as tracts go, i did finally finish the God is real tract, and translated it, and fang checked it, so it will be printed and up on the site shortly. I will follow this one with 2 more, God is good (focusing on the justice of God) and God is love (focusing on the mercy of God) i believe that these 3 tracts will be useful to take someone from thinking Christianity is foolishness, to seriously considering that Christianity is the truth. The first tract was difficult because of the amount of research and extra-biblical sources, but that is what is needed for someone who does not yet believe in the validity of the scriptures. I added a new sign on the window inviting anyone interested to a Bible study on Saturday, no one has mentioned interest yet, but im hoping someday.
Please pray for guidance for me, i believe i should be doing more video related resources, perhaps based on the tracts ive been making, also subtitled videos like ive done before as well. It will take more time, and id have less time to do the tracts, but i want to balance resources so that i can reach more people.
I spent a few mornings slicing apples, and dehydrating them, bagging them to sell, also dried some herbs and made a test batch of jerky. We adjusted our sourdough recipe and its better than ever, now we are keeping it in the fridge. We are also getting ready to add icecream to the menu as some customers come in with a sweat tooth and all we usually have are cookies and brownie crisps which fang makes when she has time. I made some papercrete containers which turned out awesome, so ill be making more with this recipe, and hopefully this will add a bit more stability for us when students stop coming for whatever reason. I added a crashpad around the rock climbing wall for safety. I have been meaning to do this for a while but just got around to it. Hopefully we can add meat curing and canning to the list of things we do before we start getting ready to hire our first employee, we need lots of work that can add instant profit so we can pay their salary when we get around to it. Keep the bakery in mind too when you pray for us.
My class is doing ok, though due to another covid outbreak kids disappeared again, im getting frustrated but learning to work around it. Some have started coming back so hopefully others will too. I have a couple new students i really like including 2 boys who are cousins and study together, one goes to an english program school and the other regular. The boy who goes to the english program school thinks he knows it all and the kid who doesn't know much is very curious and listens to everything i say, remembering always to pronounce his th sound, and final s and ed sounds, which are usually difficult for thai kids, im so impressed i brag on him all the time, i love the story of the uneducated kid who ends up wiser in the end because of humble curiosity. I have a 10 commandments sign in my room and have walked through it with them, he remembers not to take the lords name in vain, and not to worship idols. The law is the foundation we must explain before we point out our sinfulness and Gods sacrifice for us. Pray for my students that even though i may not be able to explain everything in detail, that the seed of the gospel would grow in their heart and one day make them believe.
We strive to live our lives in this place for the glory of God and the good of those around us. Pray that the davis name would be a light in this place for centuries to come, that some of my children would stay here and carry on the work we have started. Pray that others would join us in our mission of service and form a gospel centered, bible believing church led by locals, not just me. Pray that our businesses would grow the way they should, to support our ministry, and church for years to come. Thankyou for those of you who support us in prayer and giving.
We are doing well this month. I think both fang and I agree that married life gets so much easier when you have kids. Calvin is such a smart boy, and is constantly learning, by intentionally setting a good example for him, we are nicer to each other, and things go so smoothly. Also learning to be a good father means asking what would father God do? WWFD? When the bible uses language like father, and calvin is young and reading for himself, i want him to understand that God is his father, and i want that to be a positive thing for him. Later in life he will learn how imperfect i was as a father, but i pray that i can reflect as much as possible.
Finished a tract on child discipline, a tract on gluttony, and a tract on Satan and evil spirits. That last one there i finished it first because we had a weird message from a lady about studing english, when fang looked at her profile picture, found out she was part of a group that asks evil spirits to possess their bodies so they can take on special abilities. You may have seen the parades in phuket where they take spikes and put them through their arms and legs and neck and apparently don't feel pain, well this is that group, so i didn't want to be empty handed when they came, i prepared a tract, and studied up in case i had to do an exersism. They didn't come however, but the tract goes right along with the conversation i had with that christian lady we met while handing out tracts if you remember. Deliverance is an important topic.
I am now wrapping up the tract on "How do we know God is real" which i may rename to God is real, and follow it with 2 more, God is good (or just) and God is love. I have a note on my board i forgot about, and think these three would be like an expanded form of my basic gospel tract for more serious readers. The God is real tract tackles the topic from a scientific point of view, a historical point of view, and an experiencial point of view where i mainly give percentages and statistics regarding numbers of christians accross the globe. Its been difficult to put together, and im waiting on fang to finish checking, but i really feel that this tract is a good starter for the modern skeptic who really doesn't believe there is a God.
We have not been out as often this month because fangs back is hurting, and she can not take medicine due to breastfeeding calvin, so we are thinking about weaning him off. We covered a few more streets, including a friend of fangs, and had a few breif conversations with people who seemed interested and receptive.
I have been running in the mornings, hoping to start running every morning so that I can get my time up and set a good example for my son, and take care of this body God gave me as i get a bit older. Seems that my stomach has been slightly better since running, not sure if it is cooralated however.
I've been teaching more, and my new students are great, pray for me to find a clever way to share the gospel clearly and effectively without scaring anyone off. I need students to pay the bills here. Ive been thinking through some methods that have worked before, and thinking of doing childrens books on the parables of Jesus starting with the gospel more centric ones, and moving on from there.
Finished the pool table completely and my work benches are 90% complete, including a small table saw and a router table. Im hoping that soon i will be able to create a 3rd income source to help offset the risk of loosing students when i share the gospel with them.
All around we have had a good month, and are moving forward. We hope you are all doing well and are thankful for your continued prayers and support.
This month has been a particularly happy month, however quite busy. We are continuing to grow together in this family unit God has put together for us. There is so much to learn about being a good husband and a good father, and i am so weak, and there are so few who do things right, but God is teaching me, and i am thankful that my parents and grandparents laid a wonderful example, when i doubt im inclined to fall back on what my grandfather or father would have done. That makes me nervous too, because someday Calvin is going to be doing the same thing. Imperfect men trying to be a visible reflection of Christ in this world, at least we are trying. My prayer is always that I would lead my family in the right direction and have wisdom to prioritize everything in the most godly manner.
Calvin is growing and developing well. He has started to pretend play by himself, and loves it when we join in. He loves books, and is starting to grow more patient as i read the whole book to him. When he throws a tantrum, he can control his breathing now and stop crying, i really don't know what i am doing but tantrums seem to be the most ungodly thing 1 year olds do, so i don't put up with them. He knows he can always depend on us for love and affection as he needs. I love this boy so much, and i pray he becomes an evangelist and preacher in this country someday.
We have been handing out verse cards a few days a week as we are able, and calvin loves the walk, my hope is that he remembers these walks and evangelism is a natural part of his faith when he grows older. We came across a street that had several believers on it, because one lady came to faith due to her experience with her haunted house. Im pretty sure that was a divine encounter, she was outside picking leaves off some tree, or we would have never met her, God wanted to encourage us in this thing we do. God works through family is a huge part of this, think of Abraham. I am reminded how important it is for us to continue to share with fangs family.
I know i said i was going to try to get more done this month, and once again ive been slow, but the tract im working on has been getting longer and more complicated too. The God is real tract is going to be great, but it is about twice as long as expected now, so i decided im not going to rush it, i don't need the stress, ill take my time, research well, translate carefully, and do a good job, this is one of those tracts most people will choose to take home. Then i got most of a second tract on child discipline done, and i am brainstorming a tract on evil spirits, mainly because i think a lot of folks here have this kind of experience, and they need to know Jesus has authority.
My class is going well, and fangs business is doing better this month, things are starting to look brighter. We might have enough money to put one of those portable airconditioners in our bedroom this month, we've been sleeping in the heat for too long.
I am finally wrapping up the pool table and my work benches, i have the cloth on, and all thats left is glueing up the bumpers, adding the cloth around those, and putting some threaded inserts to fasten them to the sides snugly, and then adding the topper which will be a pingpong table. My hope is that this will be a conversation place, i have some memories of a counselor i saw when i was a boy who would play pool which talking with me, and it works, so hopefully it will create a casual atmosphere where i can engage in evangelism with customers on a one by one basis. Standing and sitting talking, and dropping the "no one is perfect, all people are sinners" line is a bit awkward.
Thankyou for praying and supporting us, and walking with us as we share the good news of hope in this dark place.
Merry Christmas and happy new year! I hope everyone had a wonderful time together with family, in remembrance of the birth of the Messiah. I look forward to a new year, hopefully it will be better than this past year. (I say this cause we are all thinkin it, but at the same time, i am thankful for 2021, it was an interesting year, full of many life lessons and warnings that have been a long time coming.)
We had a wonderful christmas, and were able to exchange gifts, calvin got several books, among other things and he loves so much, he runs with a grin and a giggle every time i say "ya wanna read a book?", fang got a couple machines that she is enjoying now among other things, and my favorite give was a tap and die for larger wooden rods (1 1/3 inch diameter) which works wonders, ill be able to make amazingly interesting table and chair legs as well as adjustable stools, and sell them on the side to support us, and hopefully others in the ministry here. Fangs sister and her son are back in town to celebrate new years, pray for us as we share with her again as well.
We have been going out a few times a week, and it feels increasingly normal and comfortable, which is what I prayed for. Its a habit every missionary should have, both domestic and abroad, but i assume its not very common unless you belong to a cult. God is giving me boldness to strike up longer and longer conversations. Yesterday it started to rain and we got caught up under an awning with an elderly couple and were able to share quite a bit with them, he was even familiar with churches on the far ends of town that are less known or hidden, which supprised me. I hope the tract is a blessing for him and others we were able to share with this month. Its hard work, but thats why Jesus called it labor. Calvin loves it, and to me that is just the icing on the cake, i really want him to grow up with this habit so that there is nothing strange about striking up conversations with strangers to share the gospel and a tract.
I still wish i could get more done, so im trying to work out a method, calvin takes so much of my time, and i love my time with him, but i do need to work too, so pray for wisdom here. Id like to get 4 tracts done per month, about 1 per week. 1 day for drafting and initial english version, day 2 for translation, day 3 for wrap up, graphic design, and formating, day 4 for reordering and printing. 1-3 hours a day is good enough, and this would allow me to get at least 1 per week done. I got 2 and a half done this week. 1 on marriage and 1 on christmas, and half of the God is real track done. Hopefully ill get a couple more tracts done next month too.
I have a few more students, which is good, and fang is doing a little better as well this month. We were able to pay for the installation of a second air conditioner unit in her room in preparation for the hot season, fangs mom gave her that machine, so we are thankful. I am getting ready to make more candles, and do some concrete desk organizers and flower pots for sale as well, and soon will add some woodwork to my brand. After that, ill work on making some displays and then officially brand and make a fb page and so on. Right now i want to test peoples interest, recycled glass candles were a hit, so ill do more of those for sure. Again, my mind in all this work is to not only provide for ourself and support our ministry, but also prepare ourselves to teach others who would join us, and let them use our space and tools to follow in our lead, providing for themselves so they can do ministry as a vocation.
Thankyou again for you continued prayers and support.
Hi everyone, hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!
This thanksgiving i again was brought back to the importance of being thankful. Life here is difficult but it is also a great blessing to be able to spend my life for something eternal in an age where everything is so superficial. Be thankful always, and in all circumstances, how many times is this theme repeated in scripture? When we practice regular thankfulness, we grow in contentment, and happiness, and our ability to serve without growing exhausted is renewed.
I have a lot to be thankful for, my ministry, the work we have finished, my family, an amazing wife who was truly hard to find, but i found her and seemingly knew she was mine the moment i laid eyes on her. My son is a constant joy, and he honors his parents even unknowingly, he bows to greet everyone who walks in the door, and waves bye when they leave, he obeys when i say no, and has already learned to follow my instruction. In spite of this difficult covid season, we remain dept free and able to move forward. Almost surreal, we watch other businesses go under, yet we, who have never done particularly well, are still alive. Its as if God gives us a kind of supernatural stability that is less than wealth but is always enough. I don't want to say this kind of provision will always be the case, but we know this is Gods blessing for us now, and we are constantly aware and thankful for Gods care of us.
We have been handing out cards and tracts as you know, and due to heavy rain we haven't been able to go as often. It is so cool here now which is nice, but some areas are flooding like happens almost every year. When it stops raining we will be back at it in the evening.
I finished the chapters memorizations cards, I decided for a a5 piece of cardstock with the chapters sized to fit on one sheet both sides. This is good to save paper, but also allows me to print the same sheet on a4 for elderly or visually impaired, so they can join in the challenge as well. Not sure when i get to implement it but ill have them in my bag for anytime i can challenge believers to memorize a whole chapter. I have picked out 30 or 31 (i forget) chapters most fitting to be memorized in their entirety.
I also finished the 10 commandments tract. My plan for this coming month is to translate a scientific article on the creation of the universe and the implications of a actual beginning to everything being that if everything physical had a beginning, the cause must be nonphysical, and infinite in many different ways. I figure having at least one or 2 articles for people who just won't listen to scripture yet is good. However it is worth noting that it is rare for me to come across someone who will reject scripture, most people don't know enough, and because of the traditions on catholicism being so similar to buddhism, likely because of a long history of imitation, most folks here are under the impression any religion is good, and there is no need to seek further, so under normal circumstances just giving them some scripture to read for themselves is enough to show them the vast difference and hopefully make them ask deeper questions. However there is a group of younger people who have rejected buddhism or at least are not practicing, and would call themselves non-religious. I met a couple customers in this group, and its not the first time, this is a growing group in thailand, and i think the church should be ready to answer them as well. I might do a couple tracts on moral issues like gluttony or lust as well.
Calvin usually likes music, there is nothing new here, but recently he has taken a liking to me singing to him again, so id like to dig up old tunes ive written, and try to write some more as well, and organize them.
I also had the opportunity to finish calvins first 6 months video, cut down, it ended up being 2 and 1/2 hours long, but the next 6 months have more pictures and less video i think so hopefully that will be a much quicker video to make. It will be good to get that out of the way. Also is really nice to look back on how much he has grown.
We are doing well as a family, working together, growing together. I really love my family.
Fangs bakery is holding on, its strange, some days it seems like we do extremely well, and others its almost silent. I have got a few new students thankfully, so im able to help pay the bills, and for christmas gifts for the family. I am thankful for this as well.
I really didn't build much this month, this coming month i will probably try to make some things to sell if i find the time, maybe some more glass bottle candles and some paper-crete desk organizers.
Thankyou for everyone who prays for us, pray that our work will be fruitful, and that someone will come ready to seek Jesus with us. Pray that parents, students, and customers will be good soil when i plant seeds there. Pray that we would have new coworkers, (or that old coworkers would come around more often and plan for the future with us.) Thankyou for those who support us financially, we couldn't do this without you.
Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you and your families have a joyful time this time of the year.
Hi everyone, here for another update. We have had a good month walking in faith where God has called us. Thankyou for your continued prayer and support!
This month we have been going almost everyday. I have mapped out the streets and we are taking them one by one, handing them to people walking, or at businesses, or putting them in peoples mailboxes, leaving a few on peoples front porch tables. We have had only a few conversations, but one that stood out was a man sitting on his front porch alone, when we handed him the verse card, he asked "which denomination are you from", and we had a long conversation from there, and he asked for a bible too, and i handed him a few longer verse tracts on various things, and he looked happy to receive them, then we invited him to join us on Saturday for our bible study, and he promised he would come, so i guess we will see if he comes tomorrow. If we can have a conversation like this every week, then surely His sheep will come, we simply have to go find them. I suppose its no surprise most reject, but even then, its a seed planted and that one verse might play in their head until they can not sleep at night. Last night we handed a card to another restaurant owner who knows fang, and her restaurant is very old and has always been popular in this city, we had the opportunity to invite her as well, and she asked for our address, so who knows. Pray for her as well.
We are taking Calvin with us, and he loves it, he waves at people, and loves the walk. My hope is that evangelism will seem less strange for him, and will be something that Christians naturally do in the evenings or whenever they get a chance.
I got the track on the bondage of the will finished, printed and cut. And the rest of this month I have spent trying to finish 38 chapters of scripture for memorization. It really shouldn't take this long but I wanted to space things differently, not spaced based on verses but based where it makes sense for memorization. On top of these 38 chapters, I started a ten commandments tract. And that will be three parts, the purpose of the law, The ten commandments themselves, and other verses that add to and clarify each of the ten commandments. I really think that the ten commandments is something everybody knows exists but almost nobody really knows what they are, and for Thai people I think it would be very beneficial for them to pick up and read it, a summary of Christian morality, along with the clear statement of our inability and need for God's grace.
Calvin is doing very well, he has finally started saying Dada more often, followed by Papa, then Dada again, so we know he probably knows what it means. And he's also started to say Mae more frequently along with Mama, so again he's getting the correlation. He does reply to questions now with yah yah and a head nod… it's pretty dang cute.
Business is still pretty slow for fang but she's getting by, and I've actually got a few new students, so that's really nice as well. They have absolutely no foundation, so it's good for me to practice teaching from scratch as well. It keeps me humble, because I was the same way in Spanish class I guess.
I think I'll finally be able to finish my workbenches and the pool table this month. My Hope is that the pool table will be in conversation helper. They work benches will help in increase the speed of my work there, and the amount that I can do. I also need a new table for my wife's customers for the front room. Can't wait till there's really not that much to do… it's actually starting to seem like that will be the case soon.
Thanks again for everyone who prays for us and supports us, it really does help us to move forward and take steps needed to be able to effectively plant churches now and in the future.
This month has been a good month for us. I am very thankful for my wife, as she has helped me pull through some of my shortcomings, and has herself managed to save her own business and mine during this hard season at the same time. I'll talk a bit about that in this letter.
Calvin is growing and beginning to really show his personality, he seems to be a people person, greeting everyone, and waving them goodbye when they leave, playing with other students, and playing pica boo with every stranger he sees. Calvin is highly energetic, loves to climb into the treehouse, but also has attention enough to let me read to him, or sing songs together, and i am very thankful that his energy is not a distraction. Calvin walks and runs at the park now, and entertains everyone. Fang and I are doing well, obviously in love with our little guy.
So i finally admitted im not brave enough to go hand out tracts on my own regularly, so i asked my wife to go with me, and supprisingly she said yes, even when i suggested we go everyday. So i mapped out the streets, and we are going to cover them all. Most of the time we leave bible verse cards in peoples doors and mail boxes, but sometimes we get to hand them to people directly. Yesterday i handed them to a guy i didn't recognize but fang told me as we walked away that that guy delivers for her, he read the verse very loudly for all to hear… i smiled cause that exactly how we came to believe isn't it? I assured fang that the word of God is powerful, and we should never underestimate what God has called us to do here.
We did finish the bondage of the will, and fang finished checking it, but i need to triple check it to make sure we didn't mischeck anything, and then i'll need to format and mass print, upload to website too. Also prepared some selected chapters of scripture for memorization, spaced out for memory not based on verse, i am considering adding italics, and other things to help with emphasis, but im not sure yet (its a lot of work)
There are a bunch others on my list, some partly done, but i am not sure which ones i will do this month. We have had several people come in and read the tracts, and i am wondering if it is due to our evening outreach. One lesbian couple read a tract at the table they were sitting at over a plate of spaghetti and fang told them the usual, "you can take them home if you want, they are free" and one of them responded "thats fine, it is a very amusing read" … not sure what to make of that… its not a comic book lol. I just pray the seed of God's truth has been planted and maybe they will come back later with a more serious tone when they have slept on it.
I have a few new students, so that good, im able to breath a little now. I don't think we will be late for rent this month. Also fang is selling strangely well some days and the normal not so good other days… not sure why, patterns are hard to figure out sometimes. It could be the pizza.
I am going to be making candles, got the materials ready, will pour the wax in old glass bottles i have cut… i think they will be interesting gifts, and for smell, some will be lavender, and others cedar… i always liked the idea of dude candles.. so why not give it a shot.
Recycling is going really good, surprisingly i have about 20x more paper than anything else to recycle, so im also considering doing papercrete products like boxes, or lighting fixtures, or bowls… The plastic takes up way less space after it has been shredded, so im thinking i need to save it up for a good long time before using it. All the cardboard, and paper products fill up pretty quickly.
For food, we will be doing dehydrated food and canned food and selling that eventually, but not yet.
I am almost done with my workbenches, and i made a large swivel tool organizer, thats it for this month.
However a thief tried to break in and the neighbors scared him off, so we hurried and added a couple extra security cameras, and a motion sensor light and new locks for the gates.... Fang will be getting her concealed to carry permit for here in thailand eventually, we will just take that one step at a time.
Something we read about in scripture which is a common theme throughout is thankfulness, and about a year or 2 ago, i don't remember exactly, i fell extremely convicted that i was complaining all the time and not being thankful ever. In my usual fashion i asked God why my criticism was so bad and the only answer i received was be thankful all the time. I actually think that some of the greatest heros of the faith were hyper critical people, but this must be balanced with thankfulness. Its not only a biblical truth, but a proven scientific fact that gratitude makes us happy. So I am thankful, and everyday i am given more to be thankful for, and we are living for God in a very difficult place, but there is so much to be thankful for. Thankyou as well for your continued support, and prayers.
Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well. This is a short update on this past month and our plans for this coming month.
So, at the beginning of this month, i decided i wasn't getting enough time in translating, so i decided to rethink my schedule, as calvin is getting older, it is getting more and more important to spend time intentionally doing developmental and educational activities, so while he can play by himself, i feel i shouldn't be anxious to get away from him, so instead, i am waking up 2 hours earlier, i get the house to myself in peace and quiet, and i actually get a lot done. Then when he sleeps, i do some more. So hopefully this system will be a bit better for me, and i have heard good things about waking early.
This month i will finish up the bondage of the will, and move on to one of the others on my list of todo tracts, and maybe even a second. However i need fang to help check the botw, so i am not sure if we can get it completely checked within a month, working in her free time. Im getting better about correcting my mistakes as i go, and i know what to look for, so hopefully there is not much to correct.
Outreach is complicated now, but ill still hand out gospel verse cards at the very least, and hopefully some wont mind having a conversation a step back. Pray for me, that i would have boldness in this area, i should go everyday, but i don't. Thats kind of the purpose of the cards, to acomadate for my weakness, they are easy to make, and cheap, and quick to hand out. I still am frustrated because i seem to have so little success. But i know God has some sheep here, or i wouldn't be here, so i guess ill just keep trekin
Calvins birthday was on the 31st, Fang made him a birthday pizza because he likes pizza so much. He likes anything that is bread in fact, good for him, he was born in the right place i guess. Calvin understands no extremely well by now, Fang and i both can now say no firmly, and he pulls his hand back. I actually got a wonderful video of it yesterday, in the park calvin walked right up to an electric outlet, wanted to touch it, i said no, and he pulled himself back, plopped down, and stared at it like "but i really want to touch it". I am feeling much more confident now that Calvin will turn out fine. He also brings things to us when asked, and comes when called.
So business is slow, and has died down quite a bit, Fang makes about 20% what she used to, and I only have 4 students, however it looks like they will continue to study, and we have dozens of interested parents who send messages. So I decided to try my luck at another business on the side, using what i have. I like to recycle old glass bottles, and i have a bunch of glass cups i have made in various sizes, and not all of them can be used as drinking glasses, so i will make scented candles, and sell them. I figure, it might be a good business choise if i want to sell random crafts and suvineers to tourists who come through, not only candles. So hopefully this will create a little bit more income for us.
Fang is adding to the menu, the best fried chicken sandwich ive ever had, so that hopefully will boost sales. We will also be adding a 3rd menu style, a simpler menu to add to the full menu, or custom sandwich menu, we will have a very short menu of food that is quick to make. Likely we will have an adult price and kids price on this menu.
Recycling is going well, have boxes of shredded plastic now, organized by type, mostly PET and HDPE, but also a good amount of PP as well, and i realized that while i don't have much, i do need to organize PS as well, though i will likely recycle Styrofoam and the rest of the ps separately as it is a bit more complicated to recycle. While reorganizing i found 2 waterpump motors, and a washing machine motor, these will be useful for fabricating my own plastic grinder and drum sander machine… and if i can find a used cutterhead, a thickness planer as well, perhaps all in the same machine (by making the shafts exchangeable) This is all just long term planning, but having a shop to make anything i need to, is actually an important part of how i serve this place. If i can make money by recycling plastic long term, then there is a really interesting link into ministry to nst's poor, that is, buy the plastic they collect at a hirer price than they usually sell it for, and then use this as an opportunity to witness, and develop relationships with them. (Not sure if this is really possible, but it might be, so its worth mentioning)
The goal here is simple, preach the gospel, teach the bible, make disciples, and love people by serving them, no matter if it is with a good sandwich at an affordable price, or teaching their kids english in a fun and not dreadfully boring manner… And if we are faithful with these things right now, a healthy local bible believing nst church will result. Then we will reexamine, and probably focus most of our energy on church activities, and move forward as a larger body rather than a small family, which will be different, but not worse im sure. And hopefully the church will multiply and plant more churches. Hopefully our family and church will from the very beginning be hardworking and diligent, always making something new, for the benefit of others, especially our brothers and sisters in the faith. (And there is plenty to make, i have a hundred long lists…)
Thankyou for all your support, both in prayer and financial support.
This month has been a productive month that i am excited to share about with you. It has also been difficult due to restrictions. We have been able to keep on going steady due to the loving support of our brothers and sisters like you. Thankyou.
Other than tracts, i ussually have a few really good conversations with fangs customers. This month a man read one of my tracts and had a tone of questions, and we talked for a while, and he ended up taking my tract for buddhists. Fang is also growing in boldness and talking with customers about what our mission is in this city. I truely believe that this is the best captive audience setting, and one that will eventually result in a church founded on a love for Gods word.
I also am working on putting together a bilangual hymnal and that got sideshelved because i lost some pages, good news is i found them while recycling paper, so im back in business with this project, hopefully ill have a good part of it done next month too. I believe bilangual church is inevitable, and probably benefitial in some ways even if it slows the message and understanding. So though i have shyed back from it before based on bad experiences, im warming up to the idea that it can be done right if an english teacher does it.
I finished half of the bondage of the will tract i am working on. Turns out it is actually just the 1st chapter of his work, however it seems to be the longest and most concise of the chapters he wrote in response to erasmus. Concepts like free will are far too distructive, and i believe luthers work is the best at addressing how unbiblical and damaging this false idea is. I also think this stikes at the heart of the gospel… not by works, so that no man can boast, not a decision of man, but born of God. This chapter from luther is a good reply to anyone who claims the ability to will anything good, or that their works can save them. (both buddhist and christian backgrounds) The fact it was written 500 years ago by the leader of the protestant reformation, and it is still modern sounding and fun to read only makes it more interesting for the reader i believe. Should be done with it next month, and then ill go back and do a few more scripture tracts, and likely try to find another short historical work to translate after that to keep up with the pattern.
Fangs shop is now to the point of struggling… so we are advirtising more often, i have encouraged her to put in 300 baht in ads per day, so that at least we get back 1000 in business per day. It pains her to spend 30% on ads, especially when we have to pay rent and stock the fridges too. My only hope is that we can get through this, and the customers who we had to gain to stay afloat will be long term customers and will help grow us later. My class has lost a couple students due to another spike in cases. I'll be ok probably, but i am very frustrated with this virus.
I have decided to start recycling plastics in addition to the paper and glass i have already started to recycle. I am interested in how trash can easily turn into cash, and I think its easy enough to do that ill give it a go, and see how much i can shred now. After i get a significant amount shredded and collected over the next year or so, i will build a plastic extruder using threaded metal pipe, a long wood auger spinning with an old motor i have in storage, with some attached heating elements it should melt plastic and i can attach molds and cases to repurpose trash. I think it could be a way for a christian who wants to go into full time ministry and quit their job, still be able to make money, and in a way that can be deemed taking care of God's green earth.
So Calvin can walk now, he has taken his first steps, and today i got him to take almost 10 steps without any help, so im guessing he might just start walking everywhere by himself real soon. Won't be long before he is running. Calvin loves class and is very supprisingly well behaved and attentive. Often when he gets bored he turn around to look at me and pull my mask on and off to play pickaboo however. He is a good kid and i am thankful for this huge blessing. He still isn't saying much but he is able to identify objects and he likes to point, so thats good for now.
So fang has relative who have land which they are not going to sell now, but in the future the value of that land will increase. We have gotten permission to use the land for the next few years, and to build something temporary or even lay a permanant foundation on that property for our future. I'm thinking it would make a good workshop place since its in the country. But other possibilities are a house with play space for calvin when he gets a bit older. If that area is a more developed area later on we might even open a second location for the bakery. We could hold bible studies there as well, serving as a second ministry spot. So we are praying now about what we could do with very limited spending money, but trying to be wise, investing in a way that will help us grow and bless other people as well. No one is using that land now, so there is no hurry.
So please pray for us that we would have wisdom about how to use what God has given us here in thailand. Pray that locals would come to Christ. Pray that our business would grow and we could hire other believers to work beside us. Pray that the tracts i am working on would be well recieved by everyone who reads them. Thankyou again for your prayer and support, we love you all!
My name is Kaison, my wife is Kritti, and my newborn son is Calvin, we are a missionary family living in Nakhon si thammarat Thailand for the longhaul. I want to start blogging regularly but pretty sure the posts will be pretty random about things i think are not being covered at all, or family related updates. So follow along and leave a comment, i love comments, thankyou.