Another month in Thailand, an adventure as usual. This month i have had chest pains all month long, and after a full days wait at the hospital, they informed me it is just muscle pain from awkward work. So i guess i just put up with it. My daughter is starting to show her personality, and she likes to sit with me now, I was worried before, but its nice to know she likes me. I have to remind myself to do the same things with her as i did with Calvin. At the same time, i've been giving extra attention to Calvin, and he has become quite the daddy's boy. He is doing well, and is reading by himself and educating himself when i am busy. That's really ideal because homeschooling won't work if i have to teach 8 hours a day. I have been working on a few newer projects and ill share those with you. Its a bit nerve racking because starting new projects when i have unfinished projects feels like i am increasing my workload, but i have finished several things and i do have the ability to take on new projects, especially to keep things balanced between work and ministry (which are often intertwined, but important to distinguish for the sake of time management)
What are my plans? Simply put, write children's books and create teaching materials available for free, that i will be able to use in class to more easily share the gospel with the kids using their own local holidays.
This month is Halloween, which i have never cared for, and i really prefer to celebrate reformation day instead. But here in the province we live in they have a special holiday that only a few provinces observe, the "tenth month festival" which is basically a day they put a bunch of scary looking mannequins out dressed like ghosts, acting out their sins. It was a bit shocking for me the first time i witnessed it, and i wanted to deem it a filthy immoral display of paganism, which it may be, but its interesting and useful, as well. One display had a giant ghost with his private part all covered in fake blood to represent rape. These displays are open for children to see, so you can imagine why i think they are inappropriate, and why i won't be taking my children to the market or any public place where they might be displayed until they are much older. They are supposed to represent peoples relatives who are in hell, and are on display to warn people not to be like their grandparents, and also people "make merit" which is basically Buddhist indulgences, to try to relieve the dead of their pain in hell. This holiday is useful for a few reasons, first, it demonstrates an understanding that sinners go to hell, and yes, that means grandma too. Secondly it scares little kids, and they come to my class asking me about hell. So this year a girl asked me "what kind of ghost do american people become when they die?" refering to the mannequins on display, there is a specific thai word for those doomed to hell, and its typically used as a cuss word to insult other people here in Thailand, so ive taken the liberty of calling them "the damned" in english, which i thought was most fitting, and useful for explaining the gospel. Anyway, in my response to her, i said "I believe their is only one kind of damned person we become when we die, and it doesn't matter where we come from, all people are sinners, and unless our sins are paid for, we can not go to heaven" and after that the next few lessons, she brought more questions, and i was able to teach in more detail. So I spent a lot of time praying about this local holiday, and others, and how they can be used to share the gospel in a way easily understood.
I've been preaching though my tracts on the sabbath as usual and i'm really trying to get to the point where i can read and preach with some level of fluency, im still a bit slow when i read thai. When i get good enough, i'll video the sermon and put it on the youtube for the rest of thailand to see. I doubt its going to be a blockbuster hit or anything, but i think other believers will listen at least, and thats a big part of where i want my ministry to go here. I want to impress the importance of being biblical, and that its not complicated, or something that only theologians can do (not that i don't value theologians)
Because of the conversation i had with my students, i have been working on childrens books about the 10th month festival and others, as a conversation starter to get the kids thinking about eternity. So i'll let you know how that is coming along in months to come. I will likely use the same format as my christmas books like "the real santa" that explains who st. Nicolas actually was and where our christmas traditions come from. Usually the kids are excited to know santa was real, and again, a useful book to share the gospel. After that book, they will never view a candy cane, stocking, or christmas tree the same ever again, and will be reminded of the gospel, and the true meaning of christmas when they see them. These local holidays are equally useful i believe.
I also have been working on an expansible gospel explanation book for little children, Every page had a single icon-like illustration representing an important concept, and a couple sentences written in rhyme to explain the concept. First page explains God all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at the same time. Second, creation, everything out of nothing. Third, the fall, and mans complete depravity. Forth, God's just punishment of sin. And the concepts can go on for a while, so i'll probably work on it for a while, using it in class as i go. I want to illustrate each page, so this type of textured icon is probably the easiest thing that will still look nice.
I also finished a couple worksheets, and im sure these will be useful for my son, but i actually thing the books i mentioned above may be better for other kids given i have so limited time with them. I will continue to give it thought though, and regardless, ill keep making the worksheets with the verses on the side for my kids.
This month i worked on taking my old plywood, cutting it into strips, and gluing it together to create a unique countertop for a shelf i will house my crates in as drawers. I'll show pictures when im done.
I also took the broken back off an old sofa, took the metal frame and turned it into a foldable sock drying rack in the laundry room for my wife, and then i sewed up the cushion to make a sort of long pillow which will likely be some kind of cushion for the inside of the treehouse. I sewed up the backless sofa, and put the ugly seem to the wall, and after adding sheets, its my sons bed. I finished up his room and while it is small, only about 4 foot by 10 foot, my son really likes it, and has slept my himself on the bed i made for him without a fight every night. I was really surprised he cooperated like that. I also added some metal monkey bars overhead in the hallway between his room and ours because the space it only 2 feet wide, and i thought monkey bars would be cool. They are strong enough to hold my weight, and i made them with leftover metal pipe from my pipe clamps. I added some metal hooks and its like a walk in closet that is also a hallway to my sons very tiny room. I will eventually create a loft overhead that is much bigger, so that Calvin can sleep up there, and abby will get the backless sofa below. In maybe 3 years or so, or 2 if we can pull it off.
We'll make it this month, but it would be nice to have another regular supporter or 2 so that i can move a bit quicker with some things. I suppose the lord will provide as we need, and theres no use stressing over our situation. We don't have debt, and we manage to pay the bills, usually on time, not so on time this month however. If the landlord raises our rent, that will put us in a pickle for sure, but who knows, the economy could come booming back, and my beef jerky is selling well, making me an additional 20-50 bucks a month, so if i grow that, along with selling stuff i make, then that could be a good additional income. Please pray for us, that we would be faithful with what God has given us, and that our businesses would grow to provide for us, and others.
God is good, and we are blessed to be here, witnessing what God is doing in thailand, and be a part of it too. This coming month, i hope i manage to get a lot done, and that i have more opportunities to share the gospel with the people around us, customers, students, parents, and everyone else who we encounter when we are out and about. Thankyou for your continued prayers and support.
Hope everyone is doing well, we have had a wonderful month with the birth of our baby girl, she is healthy and all is going well. Its an exciting time for me now that we are a family of 4. Calvin's reaction was quite funny, at first he was taken back, then he cried a bit, and then he was happy and wanted to help with the baby. He actually did quite well, but did demand a lot of attention at the hospital. He normally doesn't get too close to daddy while he is sleeping, but now he wants to be held. I figured it couldn't hurt since he needs the extra attention while he adapts to having a sister. I figure he'll be a good big brother.
Generally speaking, my plan for this month is to focus on the kids. Both my kids, and my students. I'll create educational content for kids, and i'll finish a bedroom for calvin.
So, like i mentioned before, i'll be focusing on the worksheets and other educational materials now that Calvin is to the age where he walks around the house singing, and likes to read books. I don't want to let this time slip away. I usually go into periods of focused work for several months and then switch things up, the tracts was a bit bigger, and im glad i did them, now im preaching through them on our sabbath, and im finding some small typos we missed in triple and quadruple checking, its funny how we can miss things. The tracts are good, and useful for preaching. Anyhow, this time period is going to be focused on educational material, and also the collecting and organizing of it, i want to focus my energy on what is lacking out there, so i need to put in effort to hunt down what already exists first.
I also realized last month that the online tract that i was working on is not quite finished, and i want to make a children's version of that on my school site, and update the school site with recommended YouTube channels and apps, i will include some really good christian channels in there as well.
A couple weeks ago i had a student mention idolatry again, so this time i addressed it a bit different, i expained my usual bit and then i told the child i would rather die that bow to an idol. I saw it click in his eyes, the seriousness of the matter. I think missionaries often get too comfortable, and forget the importance and seriousness of our message. So i will be using more dramatic language and examples from here on out to help my students advance into deeper subjects.
Preaching on the sabbath, I have been preaching through our topical tracts. I'm getting more comfortable doing it, and with a tad bit more speed and fluency, ill be able to do it live on video i think. I am glad i spent the time making those tracts, it feels like I've written a year or 2 years worth of sermons, and i can use these to cover all the basics, and then when we are all the way through, i can start again. Its the beginning of a good system, we'll continue to make newer better updated editions, and eventually we may publish if that is the lords will. I'm not looking into that though, in fact, i kind of like the simplicity of what we have here. I want to encourage others who are capable of teaching to follow my example, and make topical tracts like this, that are 95% scripture with minimal explanation. Short, clear, and concise also reproducible, and distributable.
This week i finished painting the ceiling in fangs room while she had her shop closed. It looks really nice now, and i can start on other things like additional shelving. I have quite a few projects going at the same time, just kind of babying them along until they are to the point i can really go with them. I don't want to spend too much time with these things, so i am focusing more on creating a system where i can efficiently reproduce products, than actually jumping in and doing it. I discovered termites in my paper outside, and i found that not a single termite had made it into a closed plastic container right next to the termite infestation, even though the lid was only loosely fitted. So this is an important step in papercrete product production, shredded paper storage. I now have a plan to get the situation contained, and away from my wood storage. Then ill make some molds that can be easily stored and stacked on each other, for pouring the papercrete to make containers, seats, and even garden bricks, lighting fixtures, and desk organizers. But im not in a hurry, its important for me to take my time, only buy whats on sale, or better yet, free. When i start actually producing products, i will shift and give more attention to speed.
I also plan on using old glass soda bottles to bottle sauce and sell it. You can't buy ranch here in Thailand, but Thais love ranch, so that's one of the things ill be making. I also make a nice Tabasco like hot sauce ill be selling. I want to get into fermenting as well. All of these things in the name of trying to create more streams of revenue that can potentially be passed on to believers who work with us in the future. When we have a church, i really don't want to just do church once a week, i want to work together. That's the sense i get when i read through Paul's letters.
I am going to make a side room that is next to our bedroom into Calvin's room as well this month. I have to take the back off a broken sofa to convert it into a bed, then add some drawers under the bed for storage, and add some racks in the hallway to hang our bags. I think Calvin will like having his own bedroom, and its about time he stops sleeping on our bed.
This month, i will have to put off paying the electric bill for a month, because we closed shop and class for Abby's birth. It will probably be fine, i did get a new student yesterday who was extremely happy with my class. He told his mom he doesn't want to go back to that other boring teacher lol. So that will help. All together, we'll be fine, we always manage to catch back up. God is good to us, and we have a house filled with joyful laughter most of the time.
God is good, and we are blessed to be able to serve here in Nakhon. Thankyou for your prayers and support.
Hope everyone is doing well, we have had a wonderful month, and are currently waiting for the birth of our daughter Abigail, If our daughter is born today, that will be awesome because today is my sons birthday as well. Fang is sure she will give birth any day now, so please keep us in your prayers.
So with the daughter coming, we have had to plan a lot for her birth. We are sleeping on an air-mattress downstairs so that Fang doesn't have to climb the stairs in the evening or when she is giving birth. Its a bit weird to sleep in my classroom, but it is comfortable enough for now. The biggest thing I am planning other than my daughters birth is my children's homeschool curriculum which i will borrow from in my English class as well. I am reorganizing my shop area which is going well, but turning into more work than expected.
So last month i mentioned the worksheets, and i couldn't find a starting point for this massive project, and for fear or starting int the wrong spot and feeling like i have to go back and redo things, i decided to mind map out an entire curriculum for my sons homeschooling, and highlight areas of that curriculum that i will include and specifically design to be included in class. So this includes much more than worksheets, and includes activities to go along with existing reading material, and short children's books i will need to write for not yet existing concepts, and songs and vocab card sets. I have written several good songs that i would like to expand, and i have several good card sets i can work with. I will work to build onto my existing system. The worksheets will serve to tie everything together, the reading materials, the songs, the vocab cards, etc. But because i don't know where to start, i need to finish the mindmap and then work off of the branch that i think is most important and most useful first.
In my attempt to start making worksheets that aren't terribly boring, i came across a bit of software that will allow me to create coloring sheets from any image, and at the same time crop it into comic book like sections at the same time, so this is a great tool for making books, but also for making good looking worksheets quickly.
I'll start with how calvins lessons are going, Calvin is a very curious boy and he loves words, and books, so I give him 1 potato chip for every 3 pages he reads of a childrens book, and 1 chip for every 10 random words he reads from the random words app. The app is useful because it cycles words we have already learned back into the mix, so this allows calvin to practice words he missed the last time around, while still introducing new words. He loves to play the bible game, his favorite story is "God's amazing promise" which tells the story of abraham. I'm not sure why he finds the story interesting, but i like it because God is calling me to focus of my family as well.
I've been practicing preaching to my wife and son on the sabbath, working through the tracts. At first it was a bit weird, but i really like it now, a lot of scripture reading, and less opinion. I think this kind of simple sermon is key to church planting. The bible already exists, and you don't need a degree to read it. Heretical churches arise when people don't read the bible, but replace it with their fancy opinions and loud words. I think having uneducated readers in the pulpit is a good thing. Like ive said before, i think there should be some kind of standardized theology test, which i believe goes along with what Paul told timothy, but i think it should be simple. The duty of a preacher is to humbly relay a message, not preach a new one. As my reading gets better, and we get some more videos out there, we will work on promoting our group, and try to invite as many people as we can. As of now, its just us, and thats ok for now, as we obviously have a daughter coming soon. The space is big enough to seat 20-30 people though if God wills.
I made calvin nuts and bolts out of wood, and 2 different styles of wrench to go with it for his birthday, and some boards with holes for him to put together and build with. He really likes the wrenches, and i knew he would because he can't keep his hands off of my wrenches. I gathered up all my scrap plywood, which is quite a lot more than i thought, and i started cutting it into strips that i will glue together to be a new countertop for some draws made from plastic drink crates that i got for very cheap and are compatible with some other smaller crates i have. They all stack up quite nicely, and i think it will really make organization much easier. Still haven't done the french cleat yet, but ill get to it someday.
This month i believe we are pretty well provided for, I have enough for my visa now, and also have enough for the bills, and the hospital room. Thankyou for everyone who helped us get to this point, it really means a lot to us.
God has been good to us, and we work to pass that on to others. Please pray for us, that we would be effective, and faithful. Thankyou.
Hi everyone, hope you are all doing well. It is finally starting to rain here every other day or so, so we are doing well. About a month and a half til our daughter is born, we are super excited, and have most of the big stuff ready already.
This month ive given a lot of thought and focus to organization, and efficiency. There are only a few of us, and we have to plan to increase efficiency. There are a few tools i like to improve efficiency, one is to create things that have multiple uses or applications, like the tracts. Another tool would be to create a system so that the item can me replicated quickly, using tools like a duplex printer to save time and paper. Sometimes making a machine can give me the practice i need to make another one in the future, like the shredder. Next machine i will make is an extruder, which will allow us to put in plastic and injection mold it into products that can be sold, with very little cost of materials, if any, and very little time spent in production. This is an attractive system because Paul needed a job he could do quickly and yet yield a high enough profit to fund his journeys. That's why i believe these things are important. I also found a good crate system, and successfully adapted it to crates of a different brand that are half the size, this is a perfect organizational system to help us do a lot of things, but still have quick and orderly access. These crates can be used as drawers, or stacked, though i haven't made the draw housing yet. Also, i found out that jif peanut butter lids fit on mason jars… perfect for rust free lids if you are storing something acidic or wet in the fridge. So, we have made some progress in our systems, and have planned for future organization.
I am almost done with the Church and Truth tracts, which i will wrap up this week i hope. I have decided to take a break from tracts for a while (until i think of a needed one) and focus on making worksheets. It occurred to me last week while teaching that most of my lessons are almost rehearsed, and so it would be very easy to make them into a worksheet. So my worksheets will each meet the following requirements:
1. They must have a hidden evangelistic easter egg, that will aid me in sharing the gospel in a small way during each lesson
2. They must each double as a coloring sheet
3. There must be 2 sides, easy and hard, so that students are forced to push themselves
4. They must have a phonics easter egg
5. A grammatical easter egg
6. An additional related fact easter egg
7. They must me intertwined neatly into one lesson.
I don't typically use worksheets, but i think its time i start, it would be nice for the parents to have something to take home, and having a visual picture to review and build upon throughout the lesson and in the weeks to come will be handy.
I've found that there is almost always a way to share the gospel, no matter what you are teaching. Lets say, i am teaching the little ones about the days of the week. The phonics sound we will focus on is the th sound, which is a sound thai doesn't have, so its a great place to start. I might explain the history of thursday being thors day, ask the kids if they know who thor was, and teach them how to pronounce the th, then i can explain that thor was a false god of the violent vikings, before they became christians, and that even those english in england were influenced into worshiping an idol. This is actually a really helpful lesson, because it doesn't put my people on a pedestal but rather brings us down to the level of idol worshiper too. Then it may click that they can be saved from their dark religion. Just an example, this kind of rabbit trail is useful when teaching language, because language is all about connections between ideas and things, ultimately anything that can help us remember a word or in this case, even a sound like th, can be helpful. I might even add in interesting historical facts like the modern day Scandinavian countries have lost their th sound, but Icelandic still has it. This helps to warn them that if we don't pronounce a language right, the language may forever change.
Calvin surprised me this week while i was teaching, i was just starting a book with a shy little girl who has trouble speaking up, and Calvin came in, and read the whole sentence by himself. It really surprised me, because, while i knew he could sound out words, i didn't expect him to read sentences. He is almost 3, so he is still very young. It is reinforcing my method of teaching by pronunciation rather than sight words.
I've been trying to preach through my tracts on the sabbath, just us for now, but i need to make good habit of it. It really needs to be a part of Calvin's memory i think, and it is good for us as well. It can be easy to put up a sermon on youtube, but fail to understand the significance of a pastor preaching a sermon that is relevant to the members of his church.
Soon enough i will feel comfortable preaching these sermons, and can make good videos of them. That's not for now though.
A guy came in last month wanting to sit and chat, which is odd, but its becoming a more and more common thing. He seemed to be more interested in having a chat with me than eating his sandwich. We talked about everything from Thailand to Theology, and i was able to successfully share the gospel in a clear manner with him. Please pray for him, his name is Sam from Maine. I really wish that i could have these kinds of conversations with Thais, but it is more difficult. We have a few repeat customers who we are able to really share with openly, but i wish there were more. That's the idea behind the worksheets, trying another way of starting up important conversations. I suppose ill just keep trying until i find my knack, and stick to that.
I made a birthday present for my wife, which is a tray for displaying bread and desserts. I also began working on toy nuts and bolts made from wood for Calvin's birthday. I said i would do them the year before but never got around to it. I was very overwhelmed last year and the year before.
I also made a bunch of branch coat hooks, which helped reduce the amount of disorganized mango tree logs and branches i had stored on the side of the house. I am not quite finished with them, but i'll get around to some basic sanding and shaping sometime this month. I will be selling them along with some glasses i cut from bottles, and some old jars i will do a small chalkboard paint job to and sell. Trying to make things in large quantities to increase efficiency and ultimately profit.
Refinishing the piano did not go well, the shellac is sticky, and its taking a very long time to dry. I have to keep it here until it dries enough that i can do a final sanding and a final coat, then probably another month of drying. I will never use shellac in Thailand again, i don't know what it is, it may be the humidity and the temperature. Please pray that he doesn't get too frustrated with me.
I believe that we've raised enough support to extend the visa now. Its going to be tight until Abby is born, but after we extend the visa, i can use some of that money for things we need for the baby. Thankyou for everyone who helped us with this. Thankyou for your constant prayers as well.
I Thank God that i get to live here and serve like this. Jack of all trades and master of none, but i don't want to be master, because that title doesn't belong to me. I'll continue to build, teach, write, preach until these walls are filled with people praising Jesus. Thankyou for standing with us.
I've been thinking and praying through evangelistic stradegy. I depend heavily on scripture cards and tracts on various topics. I am a direct person, so being too direct is actually my danger in evangelism, so ive learned to ease into it over the years. Don't get me wrong, being direct is important, but learning to hold off for a good punch line like a comedian would with a good joke is an art that takes time to learn. Slowly drawing attention to a spesific area of human depravity while in the middle of a conversation about politics or culture then dropping the bomb "we are doomed if we trust in ourselves, only God can save us" then letting that pull the conversation in deep quick, but usually not for long, and leaving them with a tract in hand. The multiple topics help with the application of this method. But being intentional is important as well, and knowing when to start up a conversation is key too. If its their first time, ill keep the conversation short, but if they keep coming back, ill invest a lot more time and breath. Videos and other activities are important to be more vocal and not depend so heavily on written content. I knew a resteraunt in india that was always full, and played christian media on big screens and projectors all day long. It seemed to work for him, and he was always engaged in conversation as he was flipping roti or naan. We may move this direction as well. If so, i figure half english content with thai subs, and the other half thai content with english subs, so no one is completely left out, and both parties can use it as an opportunity for cassual english or thai practice (one of the best methods). So thats what im thinking in the lines of future direction, i think i will keep this a part of the newsletter so that you can pray for the future, and also be thankful with me when certain things i have mentioned come to fruition
I formatted and printed the passover tract which ended up being some 60 pages long which supprised me but it should be a good utility to both understand the depth of our christian traditions of passach and communion, as well as a guide for churches to actually lead a christian passover sedar in thai.
I finished the homosexual tract, it needs formatted and printed. I also finished most of a tract on church, which needs translated, then it will be done. I plan on doing a tract on postmodernism, as it is an issue everywhere in our generation. "Your truth" or "my truth" is funny, but also sad, and it does need addressed.
Calvin is reading, so im trying to get him to read more than one word at a time, if he really does start to read before speaking fluently, i believe homeschooling will be much easier.
My classes are going well, and i have a couple new students, some who are studying with me one on one, which is good for me, its more enjoyable, and it pays better usually.
The neighbor has decided i am his official handyman, so he is having me restore him piano that has a gator skin cracked finish, so it needs redone. I don't know what God has in store here, i teach his son too, and they are friends with my wifes older sister. I get opportunities now and again to talk with him, but usually hes quite busy. I pray for opportunities to engage him in gospel discussion. Makes me wonder how many times the apostle paul engaged with his customers who purchased tents from him. Its a unique kind of relationship, and conversation is important, not only for evangelism, but for business too, that much my grandfather made clear to me, he made custom knives for a living.
I also fixed the plastic shredder by taking it out of its housing, giving it a new motor, and putting it in an old oil drum, at least i have more space for a bigger bucket. I also filled in a large gap in the attick above the storage room with concrete, where a rat had been coming in and nesting in the attick. That dirty little rat had taken the flour sacks i was saving for building an earth home dome, and pulled it inside an old speaker box, and even found some random toys to play with, well, he has been evicted as he has never once paid me rent.
I got the baby stuff down out of the attick, and have started repairing some things calvin had roughed up as a baby, so that Abigail can enjoy them too. Fortunately the rat didn't get into the plastic boxes i put up there. Only a few months to go before Abby is born. We are very excited, and I do believe we will be ready. We kind of know what we are doing now, so im less nervous about that stuff.
I have about 3 months to go before i have to have the 400,000 (12,000 usd) in my account in full ready to sit 2 months before a visa extention. I will have saved almost the entire amount needed but i might be about 400 dollars short, or about 15,000 baht short, so if anyone has been waiting for an opportunity to give, this could be it. The next best thing would be a temporary lone (about 3 months) afterwhich i could return the amount. The thing that put us back this year was mainly the car, and it is a nice car in my opinion, so im very glad we got that before they sold it to someone else, but now the visa is a situation again. I guess i will likely always be leaning on the providence of God (really, a good place to be). I can always dream that the economy will boom, and the bread and english will suddenly become popular just like fresh coffee did a decade ago, but who knows.
We've had a fruitful month with many good discussions, a few finished projects, and lots of good work. We are growing and learning as we go. Thankyou for your continued prayers and support.
Calvin is doing well, and is educating himself, apparently the boy can read. Now i have been teaching him phonics, but he supprised me when playing with a random word generator, he actually stops at words he feels confident to pronounce, including longer words like toothbrush for example. So i will take advantage of this new skill and teach him to read, and take note that introducing phonics early on is useful. We potty trained him already but now he poops in the potty too, which is just a combination of possitive and negative reinforcement. Fang is doing well, but we are tired and hot, and ready for the weather to get better.
Finally finished the passach tract, but it does need formatted and printed, and uploaded. Also finished the homosexuality tract, but it still needs translated, but that will only take a couple days now that its written. I also outlined a tract on the church, which is an important topic that i seem to have missed. There are a few more ive thought of, but im trying to keep these tracts limited to major topics so that they can be used as guides for topical preaching, to be combined with exegetical preaching. So these are key to my church planting strategy, and will likely be tweeked as needed in the future.
I really want to shift from tracts mode to video mode, which is something i have briefly dabled in but i hesitated from jumping in because i lacked the God given faith to do so, but i believe it is time soon. Pray for clarity in this area for me. Also id like to do childrens books. I want some of my videos to be interview style and intendid to ask hard questions, and share real answers to help thais think about eternity.
A guy contacted me about rock climbing a particular root here in nst, and i guess im the only dude around who knows this root who is currently here, so i will be taking him out there tomorrow. Its a great opportunity to share the gospel and talk about important things, because its kind of a dangerous sport, it can make you think about eternity. I like the idea of organizing rock climbing activities as ministry in the future, so pray for clarity for me in this as well.
I finally finished most of the work bench and added a big end vise onto it. This workbench is made from a single slab top, with logs for legs, and all of it came from the same tree. Its been a huge learning opportunity for me, but more importantly, it gives me a perfectly flat place to plane down boards, and clamp them up to work them. This is part of preparation for what i call the 3rd business, a business that we can teach other believers to do, in order to free them up for ministry. This is also part of our long term church planting strategy and things are moving right along.
This month has been a productive month of writing, building, evangelizing, and preparing for the future. Thankyou to everyone who has stood with us, and who prays for us.
Hope everyone is doing well. It is very very hot here in nakhon right now, and that is more challenging than it sounds. Our electric bill is too high, and the air conditioner in our bedroom struggles to keep it cool, which is why i have a migraine this morning. I can't imagine having no air-conditioning at all, just leaving mine off for a few hours to save electricity is really miserable. So keep nakhon in your prayers with regard to the heat, people are struggling, and the electric company is increasing the electric price at the same time. People are hoping that after the election, very soon, this issue will be first to be resolved. Please pray for the election as well, there is a lot of political tension now, and if someone trys to rig the system, there will be riots, and its going to be much worse than the so-called jan 6th riots. Here in thailand, and in much of the world, election rigging is the reality. So please keep thailand in your prayers this month. That being said, here are some updates, and ways you can pray for us.
We really would like to get a church going, and we've tried just about everything, but its more difficult than ever since covid, when regular church goers started staying home, now its even more of a challenge, and we don't know where to start. One local church has gone completely off the woke diving board, and have openly homosexuals leading the church, now this is a terrible thing, and it breaks my heart, but God is still in control. There are probably lots of bible-believing christians who need a bible-believing church, so its all a matter of making sure people know where to go. Creating a youtube presence is a great idea, and it would be beneficial to take each tract, preach through it, and put it on the channel. I don't want to do a bad job, so ill invest in a good audio interface before i start into this project. I have a few things i need to wrap up, but this is the direction we will be going as we move forward. This channel will also have translated sermons, sermon jams, evangelistic interviews and childrens songs ive written. Although, since calvins starting to sing, i may wait until he can sing clearly and have him do the singing. I've noticed, calvin is interested in childrens songs sung by children.
I know im behind here, i have 2 tracts on the wrap up, the passach-easter tract, and the homosexuality tract. The first is now nearly complete, and has mostly been translated into thai, so soon ill have my wife check, then formating, artwork, printing, uploading. The second is difficult because of the research, i wanted to provide a host of statistics that show why the homosexual community is indanger, and why it is actually unloving to encourage the behavior, because the further they go down that road, the higher rates of suiside, crime, and disease. I have found a bunch of useful information, and while im not completely done with the research, im getting there. The research is about homosexuals, trans, and a section on those raised in fatherless homes. Then the scripture section which is easy enough, and i may add a few high profile testimonies to the end. This one may take me another month, not sure. I've been teaching a lot more since the kids are on school break, so that makes it difficult as well.
I got an exhaust pipe with a powerful fan in it put over the stove, its really great, and it truely shows how you can spend 10% the money to get a more effective and more interesting and attractive tool. Not completely done with it, still have to poke the hole to outside, but im close, only took me an hour to set it up. I refinished a slab table in the classroom, and it looks great, sanded it to 2000 grit and finished it with teak oil, its super weird looking, but very smooth to the touch, and my son and students seem to love it. I will now try to flatten another slab so i can make a workbench out of it, and that leaves 3 more i can make tables and sell. Im a bit hesitant, but im sure once i get the router sled going, it won't be too hard. Makes me wonder the methods Jesus would have used to flatten a slab in Josephs shop. That would have been a pain without any power tools.
Calvin has supprised me this month, he now can sing the vegitables song and fruit song, which are basically singing through a large stack of flashcards of vegitables and fruit. He can sing along to the bones of the body song too, which covers all major bones of the body, i wrote it based on lessons my 5th grade teacher gave that is still remember, "pelvis like elvis" and "scapula like dracula". I have written several songs, but need to keep it up, most of them are 5 years old now, and i haven't kept it up.
So i am on the verge of fixing my stomach, basically any fruit that causes constipation is great, mainly guava, and i eat it every meal, and feel much healthier. Fang is doing well, she is pregnant with a little girl, her name will be Abigail. I am excited to have a little girl, but also a bit nervous, i grew up with only brothers. I've given it a lot of thought, and i have begun designing the perfect dollhouse, i have so much scrap wood, ill be able to build it for almost free. Should be something i can do with calvin as well. So, anyway, fang is healthy and other than being very hot and exhausted, we are doing ok.
I am on the way to saving the amount i took out for the car. Should be good, but with this electric bill this month, im nervous. I really don't want to get behind, and my wife is struggling to cover her half as well, and id like to help her out so we don't get behind. If anyone is able, and can help us out with a hundred bucks or so, that would really help us right now. I think the temperature is supposed to start getting cooler soon, lets hope.
We are confident that God is using us to do something of lasting significance in this province. We will be consistent and work hard, running the race of endurance that has been marked out before us. This is by no means a sprint, we would have lost heart a long time ago if thats what we thought. Where God calls us, God is faithful. Thankyou again to those of you who stand with us.
Hello everyone, i hope you all had a wonderful month. Our month was super busy, and very hot. First of all, the kids on school break, so i have been teaching a couple hours during the day as well. There has been a bit of an exodus of native speakers to there home countries because of rediculous additional requirements from the thai government, you would think being about to speak the language accurately would be the main requirement, but now the schools are forced to hire teachers from non-native speaking countries. The up side is that i am getting quite a few new students.
So i am almost done with the easter-passover tract. It breaks down what the holiday means, and what the bible says about it. It also includes a messianic passover sedar and instructions, including meal prep, so that churches here can organize a meal if they want to learn about the prophetic significance of each element of the feast. This tract is not finished but im close, so it should be done in time. The tract on homosexuality is taking second priority now, as i found out that the church that owns our house not has openly gay ministers joining them. In the tract i am trying to cover statisics that are relavent as well, in hope that readers will see that even if someone has to struggle with this sin their entire life, the benefits to denying the flesh are clear, and in Christ we can do all things.
Engaging people for the purpose of sharing the gospel with them is difficult. But when you start to get into it, it gets easier as the conversation progresses. This happens either because they start to ask questions, or their answers to my questions deeply disturb me. Converstions happen when we hand out cards, or talking to a customer in the bakery, or a student or parent of a student. But id like to expand this much further by doing videos. Please pray for me, that i would be able to expand my reach.
I've decided that i have to get my stomach figured out. So ive been back and forth to a doctor this month trying to get my stomach reajusted. Hopefully ill have more energy and my productivity will improve when my food stays in my stomach for a while before leaving.
Fang is doing well, her pregancy sickness has died down quite a bit, which is nice for everyone. She is starting to show just a little bit, and this coming tuesday we will finally know if the baby is a boy or a girl. Calvin is starting to repeat everything i say and use his new words. This is fun to watch, because he switches between languages very smoothly. He can count to 100 in both languages, however not super clear, and occationally skipping a number. He does like his numbers. He now points at the bible and sings the bible song when he wants me to read to him. So i am excited, and starting to really prepare for homeschooling, because soon enough he will be ready.
Fangs shop is doing better than last month, but it could be better. She is convinced that after the election things will probably get much better. I hope she is right. My class is going well, and i have recently added a good reward system that seems to really make the kids compete for the prize. I am sure i will use this in parenting as well, so its not all negative reinforcement.
Pioneering is planting a church where there is no viable church. Here in nst there is no viable church, and so Christians who believe the bible have nowhere to fellowship. Fang and I want this place to be home for Christians in this city who believe the bible and obey. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
If you would like to help support us, we need to raise 600 dollars more to replace the rest of the money we used to buy the car, so if you would like to support us, you can go to http://reformation.thaitracts.org/ and follow the instructions on the right side of the page. Thank you so much.
Calvin really has started to speak a lot more this month. He is copying a lot of what we say in both languages, and it is getting a lot more clear too. He can count to 30 or so, but not clearly, the boy likes numbers, and cars, and tools. He walks around and identifies things by their color as well. So thank you for your prayers. I've done a lot of reading on this, and i think that additional information/ education given at a younger age, even while being a great benefit and giving him a head start, causes slower speech.
I don't know if i let everyone know yet or not, but Fang is pregnant with another baby, and this is her 3rd month, so soon we will know if it is a boy or a girl. She is doing great but is feeling much more moody and sickly than she did with Calvin, which, from what i read, might actually mean its a girl, it will be fun to see if this is true.
I've spent quite a bit of time this month on a roll, preparing resources to start homeschooling Calvin. I am going at it in a way that i can hopefully provide guidelines and materials for other parents who want to homeschool their kids in Thailand. This will be a bilingual homeschool curriculum with guidelines for how to apply for homeschooling the easy way at a local school.
This month i got into a very long multi day discussion on monerism vs. synergism. This discussion kind of wrapped up in a weird way, but in the process, i started to research what the church fathers said on the matter, and i think the information i found is interesting, and worthy of a tract, or being added to a tract. So i will continue this work into this next month
On top of that, because of some discussions with muslims, i have discovered verses in the quran which are direct quotations of the gospel of the infancy of Jesus book, which was not accepted as canonical by the early church. Looking deeper, there are lots of verses like this. I need to make a long and detailed list of all the verses in the quran like this, and make a second tract explaining that it is not the christian bible that was corrupted after the quran was written (after the false prophet muhammad said the bible was good and true) because our canon has remained unchanged since at least 200 years before him, but rather the quran and arabs at the time who were influenced by unreliable cultic christian texts, effectively making islam an extension of those christian cults who denied the deity of Christ in the Arab world at that time. This is good because this above all things is able to show muslims the fallibility of their book, and point them to the God of the Bible, Elohim, which is where the arabic name Allah derives from.
I have done a little bit of work on that online tract, but will have to continue it next month. I really wanted to get that wrapped up, but i have been so busy.
Fangs business and mine are doing ok, ive gotten a few more students recently, which is good, and while fangs business could be better, it has remained somewhat steady, so we are thankful.
I have successfully molded recycled plastic, so i will be looking for ways to create profitable products to sell and generate additional revenue. In the end we want to grow this business to support additional members of our team, and even our children if they are interested. We will grow it slowly as a low risk side business for now, and see how it does.
We did go ahead and buy the vehicle, and extend the tags and paperwork. The vehicle is looking very good in my opinion. I have been driving this little suv around the city for a week now, and i like it. Perfect little vehicle for us. I added a car seat, and have been cleaning it up and doing a little repair work here and there, and will fix a little pealed paint, the paint code was on a sticker under the hood, just small stuff. Its a good car, but now that i used the visa money that i need to extend my visa, to buy a car, i have 7 months to put that money back in the bank. It was 60,000, and 30,000 has already been given in support, so if you want to help me, just let me know and i will let you know how you can give. Now is a good time to support me here because the thai baht is dropping, and the exchange rate is great, the legal amount i need hasn't changed, but the value of the dollar compared to he baht has increased, so any money you give now is slightly more valuable. Last time i took advantage of the exchange rate, i made a profit of 300 dollars if i remember correctly. I can imagine a system where churches in different countries raise support for each other by sending money at ideal times, back and forth as the exchange rates change.
Thankyou for everyones prayers and support, we are excited at what God is doing in our lives, our family, and in this city. Thankyou for standing with us.
When Calvin was going to be born, we planned on my parents flying in to Thailand to see the baby, but then Covid hit and that had to be postponed. Now Calvin is 2 and a half years old, and finally, Grandma and Grandpa, and Uncle Zach too got the opportunity to come vacation in Thailand for a couple weeks. I'm sure you have seen plenty of pictures already, but if not, check out my profile, and the gallery down below. We spent a week in Krabi visiting islands, and seeing all God's beautiful creation in Thailand. Calvin enjoyed his time with grandparents. Its been a long time since i have seen my folks and my brother, and maybe its just me, or maybe its men in general, but i have trouble expressing how i feel, but now, even after everyone has flown home, i am left with a warmness that is family. Distance is difficult, but i love my family, and i know they love me and support me and my work here. The conscience decision of staying here in Thailand to continue in labor for Thailand really manifests when I had to watch them fly off without me, but, i just have to look down at my beautiful son and at my lovely wife and remember that even though my visa says "nonimmigrant", this is where i belong. My prayer is that God's Kingdom come, his will be done in Thailand as it is in heaven, and i ask that my Thai family, and American family will work together to this end, for God's name's sake.
So about 9 years ago i asked for support to buy a motorcycle that would be suitable for ministry in both city and country. There were 2 supporters who gave me some money to buy the motorcycle when i really didn't have anything. That little motorcycle has kept kicking all these years and is better than new now. I don't think i could bring myself to sell it actually, mainly because motorbikes are so necessary in this city, and even though fang has her own, if something happens, we will need a backup, but also because its great for handling the steep country back roads and fruit picking trails in the mountains that fangs bike just can't take. But both of our vehicles are very small motorbikes. We plan on having more children, and we will need a bigger vehicle. Currently Calvin stands in front holding onto the mirrors. Its not the most ideal situation, though quite normal here. Its certainly not safe but we often don't have a choice. A vehicle would allow us to go pick up things that we need for ministry, work, home, and would save a huge amount on delivery because delivery fees are going way up post-covid. I really wish we had a picture of how many groceries we can fit on a motorbike, which is what we used to have to do before covid. For ministry, mainly a vehicle would allow us to go pick people up and bring them to our meeting if they mentioned transportation as an issue.
So an aunt of fangs has decided to sell her fathers suv which is a Malaysian import. Its a nice 4x4 mini suv that is really in quite good condition. The vehicle has not been driven too often, and has very low milage, and has never been wrecked. They as selling it for 65,000 baht which is about 2000 dollars, which is a very very good deal, normally vehicles in Thailand sell for 2 or 3 times the amount they do in the states, but this appears to be a good deal. Coming from family, we can trust the previous owner. The horn is broken, and the aircon doesn't work anymore, but these can be repaired. My grandmother has donated a 1000 dollars towards this vehicle, and i am left with a 1000 dollars to pay. If you one of those who likes to support for a specific cause, this is the opportunity. The vehicle is called a Perodua Kembara 4x4 if you are curious. This would allow us to move forward swiftly in our ministry, and businesses, as well as supporting our family's needs. I do plan on putting gospel stickers all over the vehicle, as well as our business logos, and will probably buy a roof rack and bumper gaurds in the future if we are able to. Feel free to send me a message or talk to my parents as well, they were able to see it and see it in action. Thanks again.
I want to do a couple tracts, i think i might do one called 3 hills to die on, and another called the 3rd gender and homosexuality, as i have not done a tract about this yet, it is a very common issue in Thailand. I will include some statistics and additional information as well as to leave someone without excuse. I plan on focusing more on organization if i can this month. I will also work on the website tracts that i started on the past couple months. I'll do what is can do as efficiently as i can. I feel refreshed after vacation and ready to get back to work. Thankyou for everyone who continually prays for us and our effort here. Thankyou to those of you who have supported us, and continue to support us.
My name is Kaison, my wife is Kritti, our children are Calvin and Abigail, 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.