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.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday time spent with family. We are getting ready for my family coming to visit for the first time. My parents and one of my brothers Zach are going to fly in mid January. We will spend some time in Krabi on vacation, and some time here in Nakhon. We have lots planned. I am most excited about Calvin getting to meet his grandparents and uncle though. I also really look forward to showing my parents everything that is Thailand and actually walking them through what we do and what life is like here. Its been a while since we have met in person, but i am thankful for video chat, that helps a lot. I have managed to get by this holiday season and prepare everything for when my folks come, but its pretty close financially. Right now we are still paying half on rent because of covid, and they have not asked us to start paying the full amount yet, but i fear that when they do we will be in a real pickle. If you can consider supporting us monthly, that would help a lot. I would be able to do more ministry and not have to worry so much about making extra money on the side. Right now i have 2 supporters who have faithfully supported me with enough to pay our bills. I hope that they continue to support us, but i just don't know what the future holds. This is the most difficult part of being a missionary, asking for help and trusting God to provide. If you can support us, please go to reformation.thaitracts.org and there is a link to help get you set up. Now on to the newsletter
We have been sick on and off but not too bad for the past couple months. We still have the sniffles but we are doing ok. Calvin is still not talking much but he manages to say a few things using his abcs like when he wants to learn his abcs again, he says "ac's" and when he wants vitamin c he says "c" and when he wants to sing he says "see" without the ng unfortunately. So as you see, communication can be difficult, when he gets frustrated he just grabs me by the neck and try's to strangle me… really, not joking, no doubt he's our kid, he is like the terrifying combination of both of our personalities rolled up into one. But he is very very happy almost all the time. Took Calvin to the local church and he loved singing along. He seemed to like the preaching too. I pray someday the boy plants churches himself. I think he will be more effective than me, if people accept him as Thai… which i honestly don't know about, but i hope they do.
Fang has and aunt who is selling a 4x4 suv for very cheap, and it is in almost perfect condition. We really want to hop on the opportunity but we will need to borrow money from family and pay them back, so please consider supporting us, a vehicle would be a great resource for our business' and our ministry, also a growing family, we don't know when we will have another child, but we can't drive everyone around on motorbikes, thats not safe and not ideal. That being said, we have to do what we have to do, and if God only provides motorcycles, then thats how we have to get around.
This month i finished up the parable card printing, and the printer broke, one repairman tried to charge me an arm and a leg to repair it, but then i remembered it might still be under warranty, so i found the center and they repaired it for free, and i finished printing the cards, had to make changes to the printing layout a dozen times, and none of them were easy. Fortunately i think i got it perfect now, so i can use this template for later batches. I started to update one of my tracts into an online interactive tract, so do check that out. It takes time, but i did hit multiple birds with one stone, the verses are all images that can be downloaded and shared, and this makes for a more useful tract that could be used for a sermon, or in your phone, or sharing verses to your friend. I think we all like the feature in the bible app that does this, so i wanted to take that idea and make those kind of typographic images in thai, it takes a while but i think i can do 10 a day if i get a tad quicker. Then i can turn all the tracts ive done so far into these interactive online versions.
I need to update the islam tract, so ive started working on an addition. I need to explain the christian cults in arabia and their texts that the rest of christianity rejected, that the quran quotes almost word for word sometimes. This is an easy thing to start, but not so easy to make comprehensive. And eventually ill have to make all these available in english, which i can, but just have to format them and upload.
I started to outline a childrens book, about real christmas, explaining the true meaning of christmas, and all the christmas traditions and their likely origins, including the story of st. nick. I think a book like this is needed in english, but even more so in thai, where christmas is not celebrated, but is still enjoyed at schools and so on, i think their is an opportunity to rectify the culture of christmas and take it back from the coca-cola company.
I finished up some log stools and only have to give them their final sanding and finish, this is mainly to clean up the place before my folks come. I filled in a hole with concrete that mice were able to get into the storage room through, but there are more potential spots so ill have to fill the entire length of that wall in between the roof frame and the bricks. Its amazing how these mice can scale a completely flat wall. Fortunately i have a dozen traps waiting for them and they never get very far. We actually haven't had problems for a few months, but here they come again, maybe its cold outside.
So every newyears i take the time to look at the philosophy of work efficiency. I have tried splitting up work on different days, but recently ive given more thought to splitting it up hourly instead of daily. This is mainly because what happens day to day can be very hard to predict, and also because doing something for too long can take the joy out of it. So my split up looks something like 2 hours for family focus time (will include homeschooling, i know this is hopeful but i want calvins homeschooling to be very independent and his work, so that 2 hours is me and his mom helping, but may end up being 2 hours with dad, 2 hours with mom, and some help from grandma), then 2 hours for writing (mostly tracts), then 2 hours for building (im going to try to keep a focus on efficiency and what will yield the highest profit per hour, in addition to work needed around the house, which i should mostly be done with in a year), then 1 full hour lesson prep (preparing repeatable lessons will be useful for homeschooling as well, this time is probably more for creating actual teaching resources i can't buy rather than traditional lesson prep), then 2 hours teaching (on average, some days more, some less), and 2 hours of rest with the family in the evening before bed. This leaves a few hours to spare, which is important, because i never know when im going to get stuck in an hour long conversation with someone. I don't want to avoid these conversations, which i sometimes have the bad habit of doing if i have a lot of work to do. This is just what i think will work for this coming year. These are just averages, i won't be following the clock exactly but just for the sake of due diligence.
When God calls you do do something, do it, and do it with all your heart, even if you don't know exactly how everything will fit together. Trust God, and he will provide, the worker deserves his wages, Gods servants will not starve. (i eat well thanks to my wife, but paying the bills is the hard one) This coming year i am hopeful that we will be fruitful and productive in our work, spreading the good news and blessing those around us, our fellow missionaries, our fellow believers, our customers, our students. Thankyou for your continued prayer and support. Fang says thankyou too and Calvin says "a oo".
Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. This month has been a bit different, but good. Thankyou for reading our newsletter, praying for us, and supporting us, it really means a lot to us.
Calvin and Fang have been very sick for the past week, yesterday we had to go to the hospital and get him some oxygen. He was super energetic after that, up until that point he had been struggling to breath on and off for the whole night. Fang is doing fine though, i had a migraine for 3 days, but whats new? Migraines come and go like that for me once a month or so. Calvin can pronounce most of the sounds of the alphabet, with the exception of his k sound, g sound, and j sound, but he seems to get x, so not sure whats up with that, x is a cluster ks sound, but as soon as i pull the k sound, he moves my hand to the next card like he wont even try lol. He did say knock knock last night and knocked the door, which surprised us, why are tickle and knock knock his first words? Perhaps this is a hint to the kind of words he will be willing to learn first… maybe ill try animal sounds. Oh, and he did say "yai" which is grandmother (on the mothers side) in thai. She was really happy about that.
If you remember, i have been working on the parable cards, and they have been taking a long time to finish. Ive put so much time into it but it still is dragging on. Part of the reason is i decided it was more efficient to create a new method for organizing the cards which would allow me to print 10 per sheet rather than 8. The 8 card method was easy enough but the 10 card method is really squeezed and frustrating to get right, but i think ive finally got it today, so we'll see. There were about 7 parables that i had to paraphrase to fit on the back of the card, the rest are direct quotes which is nice, and i decided to go ahead and do them in thai too, so now that i have a system working, should only take a couple days to finish those up. Also, as frustrating and difficult as this project has been, because i used other peoples artwork for the front, i won't be giving these away on my website, rather, i will use them as a kind of idea template for actually illustrating my own pictures. So there will be a version 2 with pictures i drew myself, but im not setting a deadline for myself there, rather, ill just use some evening free time to try to sketch those, and when they are done, they are done. At that point, i will make them available for download on my website in both languages. I will probably make other card sets available in the future, and link a card punch that i used, so that folks can make their own.
I've had several good engagements this month, one with a lady who is a new believer, she is going to another church we know in the city, if i understand right, her sister married a believer who is is part of a multi generational christian family, and thats how she came to believe. From talking with her for only a bit, she said her sister became a believer because of her husband, and asked fang if that why she became a believer, and 2 interesting things happened here, first my mother in law piped in and said "no fangs been interested in christianity since she was a little girl" which she said with some ounce of pride, which i thought odd, she doesn't seem openminded to listen to me when i share, but maybe thats changing. And second, fang replied "no mom, i became a believer not because i was interested or because of Kaison, but because i believed" which instantly brought a smile to my face and God's too, i love the ring of truth in a room full of confusion. Its the simple truth that this lady needed to hear, and my mother in law, that there is nothing she did but rather it was the moment she believed that happened when God gave her new life. And also teen came by again, its been a while, but we had a good 3 hour discussion to catch up, and it quickly went into deep theological and biblical discussion, and in the end we agreed on the essentials as we usually do, and to my supprise, he remembers with clarity our previous discussion and is now convinced of its truth, so i guess my influence is slow due to lack of frequency, but not void. He is married now and has inherited a house on a small piece of land, which brings me joy because he has worked so hard to give most of his money to pay for his families debts, that he has no ability to do ministry full time anytime soon. Please pray for an opportunity here. I had several other conversations with thais and foreigners alike, but these 2 were the most notable so i thought id share. The pool table is very useful with having conversations with men. I am glad i built it.
I haven't done much in the way of building this month, just some fixing up stuff around the house. I did saw up a couple logs into boards, which was difficult to learn to do, but now i can use them to make the workbench on the side of the house like ive been planning for a long time. I would like this particular workbench to be 3 inches thick, which is the challenge, but i have a plan i think will work with a bunch of those logs i kept from that old mango tree.
Its been a bit different than months before, learning to do something a bit new, but since my tracts shelf is absolutely filled, and i am having trouble thinking of new topics for now, i plan on slowing down with the tracts, and trying to learn other kinds of media like game creation and video making. So in the future, im sure you will see more of these as well. I also want to make some of my tracts more interactive and fancy on my website, so i might do that this coming month. I go through phases and its been a while since ive done a lot of web work, but when i get into it, ill probably stay there for a while. When i get obsessed ill step back and move on to something else. Thankyou for your prayer and continued support, we are thankful for those who stand with us as we reach out to people in southern Thailand with the good news.
Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. This month was a catchup month for me, as I have several things ive got behind on and needed to wrap them up neatly.
Our family is doing well. Calvin can say a few words now, tickle being one of them, and sing. But his newest skill that supprised us was actually sounding out his alphebet… not saying the letters, he doesnt do that, he actually just makes their phonetic sounds, he cant say his k or g yet but i bet when he gets one he'll get the other. He has been learning very fast this month and has been supprising us with various new skills. Im sure he will speak soon.
Fangs bakery is doing ok, teachers coming back from break helps. Shes been making more special orders of sourdough and croissants, which is what she likes to make. She has started making peanutbutter cookies and chewy granola bars as well, which me and calvin like ;)
My class is going good, i have some new highschool students who are very shy but i think they have a bit of a foundation aleady, so it will be fun helping them get over their fear of speaking. I still remember that moment in the kitchen when i finally decided i was going to speak thai from here on out, i enjoy getting to see students break that barier. Really i comes down to accepting that you will be wrong most of the time, but that is a nessesary obsticle to growing. This is truely a great analogy of biblical humility, not a lack of confidence, but a healthy dose of reality, that we don't know as much as we think we do, and the only way to learn to ride is to start peddling and fall a few times.
I finished the tract on business, for some reason i thought i already finished it, but there were some parts i had not translated yet, so i formated that, and translated and uploaded the last 6 tracts i have done, those are business, 40 parables, government, fighting, anger, and the great commission. Then I spent a few days printing and cutting over a hundred tracts to replace the tracts others have taken. It is great to see the tracts people have taken, it helps me know how i should place them on the shelves. Please pray that this ministry would be effective and bear fruit. I was going to make parable cards, but while i finished the pictures, i haven't got around to the text for the back.
A friend donated his old climbing wall wood, and i finally got it finished and climbable, it is a good advanced bouldering wall, and he even gave me a mattress to put underneith. Im liking it, and i hope that our rock climbing outings and my climbing walls turn into a nice side ministry of their own. There is growing interest in climbing but its still a bit scary for the locals. I also finished one of 5 slab tables i am going to make, this one we will keep, it is a short coffee table sized table, it will be calvins table for the time being. I have the parts for the router sled now, and am ready to flatten the others, just have to put it together and do it. Then i can finish tables and sell them. I also made a shelf with a smaller slad like peice that was odd shaped but ended up being the perfect shape for a shelf. I took an hour yesterday to work on a wood carved bowl as well that will be for fang.
My ministry is the several opportunities each day that i get to share the truth with others in various ways. Sometimes they grab a tract while drinking coffee and ask questions, other times a parent will ask how we will celebrate haloween, and other times students will come with a whole host of questions. We even get opportunities to talk to folks in the market when we are buying vegitables, or when we are handing out verse cards in the evening, or at the park when we go to run. If I ever end up back home i hope i can take what ive learned here and apply it there. Everyday life should be filled with worship. I hope my children understand this very well as they grow. Thankyou for praying for us and supporting us.
Hello everyone, this months update will be a bit shorter, I was very busy, but nothing too exciting. So here it goes.
Fang is doing well, we are redoing the sandwich menu for her shop, just came to the realization that dividing sandwiches into hot and cold would be wise. Calvin is still not talking, but understands almost everything. He makes sounds when we play the phonics game now, so he litterally sounds out words he is reading before he can speak. At least he understands the concept of sounding out words, and makes a few sounds now. So we are good.
I spent a huge amount of time organizing the 40 parables of Jesus into a tract, then the second half of the month i spent creating graphic art for each parable, which i will put on cards and use in class and homeschooling, and other applications. I want to shift into creating things like this more often, because i think pretty pictures are more helpful than i am willing to admit.
Spent a couple days talking with the same lady that i mentioned before, she comes in and talks my ear off, mostly telling me how smart i am, which is really annoying and i never know how to react, finally saying with a raised voice "I'm not smart, this stuff is really basic" which i dont know if that was the right thing to say. I set up the bible app on her phone, and taught her how to use the audio feature. I really hope she uses it, and i think she will. She already had the kids bible installed which i thought was funny, she said she really likes the pictures, which really proves my point. Actually had a Jonah moment. Thats what i call my darker moments when i intentionally dont share the gospel even though i have an opportunity to, because i am really angry with these people. A woman brought her nephew in to the bakery, and started talking about calvin, and one thing led to another, my wife asked her if she had kids or wanted kids, she said she doesnt want kids because they will bring sin and bad karma on her for countless reincarnations, then she preceded to tell us homeschooling was a bad idea and that kids are no good after 5 years old. I walked out acting like i had something else to do and prayed "God i really want this one to burn in hell, don't ask me to share with her" which of course is a terrible attitude, every now and then i have moments like this and im praying God deals with my heart. I think that maybe the anger is just, and that it might even aid me in my proclaimation of the gospel in a moment like that. Well, opportunity is gone now.
Moved the wood out of the storage room and debarked a good bunch of it. I made a couple bench seats with a log i had previously split in half. I planed them down yesterday. Now the storage room is back to its normal function and we can eventually, in the future, use that space for an additional fidge and meat curing fridge for making our own sausages like salami and pepperoni. I am ready to build some slab tables and sell them. I decided to build one for my inlaws as well. They don't have a coffee table in front of their sofa, so i thought id make them a live edge slab coffee table. This particular peice is a weird one that i like, but it may be a bit too odd to sell, it has a giant branch that comes off the side, which will serve as one leg, i will put 2 more legs on the other side for a total of 3 legs, which is an idea ive always likes, because a 3 legged table will always sit flat and never rock in the slightest even on a tile floor with some variation.
God is good, and we have a lot to be thankful for. I got a lot of work done, and things are moving in the right direction. Thankyou for your prayers and support.
August 31st, 2022
Plenty to be thankful for this month, lots of work done, disciples made, seeds planted, tracts composed, life celebrated and most importantly God glorified.
Calvins birthday was yesterday, the first birthday he is old enough to actually understand to some extent. He is 2 years old now and is finally starting to speak, we think he is starting to say the following phrases, though not clearly: please, sing songs, hi, bye, in english, and in thai he says "bi nai" in thai which is where are you going… and "shai" yes, and "mai shai" which is no. We celebrated with gifts which my parents sent a couple months ago. I bought him some books as well, and made him a walking bicycle out of wood only that converts into a scooter. It was a challenging project but good, i learned a lot, and will hopefully use some of the methods i used in furnature production in the future.
I finished up the 2 tracts from last month, and they are printed but not uploaded yet. I also started and finished 1 of 2 more tracts, one on anger which covers the righteous wrath of God, the unrighteous anger of man, and a couple verses about the rare righteous anger of man. It was good for me to work through this as well, when i am making these tracts, i am not trying to stand above and talk down to the pagens who honestly have some seriously twisted sense of morality, but i am preaching first to myself, because i am just an punk who God chose simply because my imperfection and rough edges paint a good picture of how Gods grace actually works. An old friend of my mother inlaw called fang one day, and after she hung up the phone, fang and i laughed at how crazy she is… and my mother in law piped in too, affirming shes nuts. Im sure God was laughing at us fools too, because the next day she came in, picked out a giant stack of tracts and sat down and had a serious conversation about theology and the nature of God and salvation. The jws keep trying to convert her, and i had written a tract on the topic so now finally this hard work is paying off maybe. I assured her that salvation is a gift from God, when God calls us, and gives us new life, and faith follows immediately. She affirmed she has faith, and had stopped bowing to idols completely. Now you know me, i don't like to rush to conclutions, but i think the crazy lady might have had a conversion experience already, and if so the Spirit of God has prevented her from going with the cult. I pray that i would be humble enough to admit im nuts too, and perhaps i shall be the apostle to the lunatics so to speak. I suppose we are all fools in the worlds eyes anyway. Please pray that she does come around, she did affirm that she wanted to do a bible study with us, so this would be a great opportunity to get it started again, and start inviting others.
Im going to talk about different projects ive been working on in general here. In the morning for devotions ive been trying to memorize chapters of scripture again, i have the memory cards that i made before, and have up on my site. I just grab the card and start memorizing and memorize a few verses more each day, almost done memorizing romans 8 in thai. I think this is stratigic because my speed at reading is not great, and though i practice reading with my wife in the evenings, i still am too slow to preach. Reading in english isn't great either, so theres that, but i figure if i am familiar enough because ive memorized the most important chunks of scripture, those chucks that come out in most sermons, then i should be more prepared to preach. I pity the thai listener who has to listen to me fumble about, so i really want to get my fluency down. I also have been skinning logs in between other jobs, and sanding them down. They actually look very nice when sanded down. The draw knife i got from the states makes quick work of debarking. I also added a ball catcher to the pool table, it drops the balls into baskets on the inside of the legs which are also storage. It was a challenging build, trying to figure out how to work around the doors which are already on the corner, and avoid sticking out too far, so on. I did it for pretty cheap, and now its ready for paint. I also blisted my fingers dehydrating 2 kg of garlic to make garlic powder for my wife, and did the same thing with dill that my mother inlaws friend planted, that should last us a year or so. I did a bit more outlining teaching materials for both english education and evangelism, its tricky and id love your prayers, right now i think the safest path is focusing on vocab and letting conversation naturally come, and also the parables of Jesus. I have ideas for a wordless picture bible that goes far beyond stories. Please pray for that too. The more i finish up, the more i can do, so i know it looks like a lot, but almost everything is one time in nature, so i always am getting new time to do the next tract, card set, or project. Please pray that i balance everything correctly, and don't spend too much time on ministry and overlook my family, or too much time on other projects and overlook my ministry, the ballance is a challenge but i hope that if i am aware, then God will give me wisdom.
Thankyou for your continued prayers and support, don't forget to check out the pictures too.
We got covid, but symptoms are not serious, i had a soar throat this morning but its feeling much better now. Fang got a bit of a fever, and while Calvin's test showed negative, we think he had it a few days before us, but symptoms were mild. Can't say im surprised, but its not over yet, still got a few more days before we can open shop again.
I cut my finger really bad and fixed it with super glue, it healed ok, but now it seems to be difficult to fold my finger, i suspect i might have cut the cartilage under the skin as well and it hasn't healed well yet.
We celebrated fangs birthday on the 25th, which is the same as my moms. That was fun, calvin is not scared of the escalator at the mall anymore.
A student of mine who has been coming for a few weeks now comes from a family who claim to be new believers. We tried to talk to them about it, and his mom is excited about saying she is, but the boy told me he thinks they are not really christian, no surprise, sinners prayer decisionistic conversion is way too common here. Regardless, i have his mothers go ahead to use scripture in my english lessons. Its always nice when i get paid to disciple someone. I can be as direct as i need to be, and go as deep as i need to. We read through by sons abcs the biggest story book last time and i plan on breaking that down page by page as the weeks go on. This is the kind of evangelism that works, teaching God's word, and letting faith come from hearing, not a false decision of the will. Pray for this young man, he wants to pass an interview to get into an expensive christian private school in bangkok, and he failed the interview once already. He told his mom he wants more time to prepare with me, so he will study with me 1 more year before he tries again.
This month i finished up the tract on government, and then i started 2 more tracts, one on the great commission and the other a biblical view of fighting covering scriptures on the ethics of war, self defence, revenge, and recreational fighting for entertainment. I think the tract on the great commission will be good for unbelievers to read and see why Christians share the gospel, and also learn what the gospel is. For Christians it will be good to look into unbiblical methods of evangelism, and why we need to stick to how the bible says to share our faith. As for the fighting tract, it will cover the issue of passivism lightly and why we should be prepared to defend our families, but not involved in a bloodthirsty culture where we enjoy watching others fight. In Thailand this is often the case, men tend to be unwilling to stand up when it matters, yet many enjoy watching bloody fights. Perhaps this is because there is a time and a place, and when we don't understand the God given purpose for our fists, then everything is thrown out of balance. My home in the states is far from perfect but in the bible belt usa, old ladies and children will generally be defended by strangers if must be, this is not the case here. There is a serious lack of masculinity in Thailand because it is discouraged on a foundational level, i want young christian men to know that God designed them a particular way, and if their masculine senses start tingling, don't ignore it, you might need to do something. This tract may get reworked and expanded someday into "biblical masculinity"
I organized the shelves i build last month, and added cleaned out the space underneath, with it all clean i was able to move the majority of the wood piled inside outside so that inside is more presentable and my benches are accessible. I will have to debark the wood soon, so maybe next month. I have already debarked what was loose. There were some leaks on the side of the house, so i fixed that, and now it is pretty much leak proof, though it overflows from the side when it pours, so ill need to fix that with some expanding foam i think. (its the gap between the gutter and the house that seems to be a problem now. I am also getting ready to finish a wooden bike that converts into a scooter, it uses only wooden bolts so Calvin will learn to convert the bike by himself. I will also include a set of wooden bolts and boards to go with it so calvin can build whatever he wants. The toy should actually hold his weight if he builds upwards, so there is potential to this toy, and as i design it, i have to consider the future and making it expandable.
We have been busy, and God has been faithful. If we are faithful to God's calling we will be fruitful. Thankyou for standing with us.
Hi everyone, this month has been an exciting month, and a scary month, but how boring would life be without the scares? So im thankful.
Calvin is getting into everything, and just yesterday he snuck into the kitchen area and turned the oven on... Fang had put some pans in the oven for storage, dont ask me why, and the handles melted and smoke filled the room… So the kitchen area is now completely off limits. He put something in his mouth this morning and wouldnt spit it out… i had to stick my finger in his mouth and pull it out, it was a snack from yesterday he hid under the chair, saving it for later i guess. Please pray for us that we stay safe, and nobody gets hurt.
Last month i overworked myself with the tree, and at the beginning of the month i woke up one morning, sat down and put my contacts in at my desk, and then looking down, i noticed a dent in my shin bone. It was an indention into my shin, and it didn't hurt so i googled it, and the results said all kinds of scary things, and i started to panic. I managed to calm myself down, but that was not a good idea, sudden loss of blood preasure caused me to completely black out, and my wife walked into the room and saw my head drooped backwards in the chair, and she managed to wake me up but i could hear nothing. I eventually gained hearing again. I need to try to relax and stay stress free. Fear of that bone problem which turned out to be nothing, almost hurt me. Please pray that i would grow in trust, and learn not to doubt or fear.
On a positive note, ive been rock climbing weekly with a missionary friend here from australia, I really enjoy climbing, the challenge, and the thrill. Its important for me to stay in shape, so morning jogs and rock climbing are my main exercise. King David boasted he could scale any wall, well, if we had a time machine, id put him in a harness and put that to the test. I met another young thai believer who is new to rock climbing, and when climbing together we met a local villager who said he used to repell, so we offered to let him climb. We will probably try to contact him again when we are in the area again, and hopefully have an opportunity the share the gospel with him them. He went off on a tangent about bowing to the spirit keeper of the land before we go to repell into a big cave that he is not sure how deep is. I was going to make a comment that we don't need to bow to any spirit because our God made the cave, in hopes that we would get an opportunity to expand on that thought, but i just didnt get a chance to say anything after that. Pray for this old man and his family too. I do like it when we get the chance to witness with the head of a house, he could have dozens of grandchildren.
This month i started and finished a tract on the canons of dort, or commonly refered to as tulip, the acronymn representing the 5 responses to the false doctrines of jacobus arminius that the dutch reformed church gave. I believe they provide a clear explaination of the gospel, and do so in a useful way that also casts down common false doctines of our day such as decisional regeneration, or any kind of works based salvation, or even univeralism or neouniversalism that is so common today. So in the tract, i had to come up with a new acronymn for thai, and i managed to find one, though acronymns are difficult in thai because of the nature of the language, to get a good looking acronymn you can only use unwritten vowels or อ so i came up with สลดพอ which means sad enough, and works out great to represent each point. So the slogan goes something like "the condition of man is sad enough, so lets hear the good news, the gospel". My wife says this word is used in the news, so im hoping it sounds good in conjunction with the word good news in thai. I don't have this formated or printed yet, but i have the tract with its history, scripture, and explainations all translated. I hope it is a slightly more in depth gospel tract from my shorter tract i translated from heartcry explaining the gospel, and i hope it is useful for believers to start to think about what they actually believe about the nature of salvation. I also nearly finished the tract on government, so i should wrap both of these up and maybe one more tract next month. I have a few ideas, but not sure which i will go with.
My class is going good, i have had several good opportunities to share the gospel with students, both for the first time, and for the 10th time, so I am thankful for my business and my wifes business as very good ways to interact with new people. Today i think i really broke through with a student, i am praying that the Holy Spirit draws him in as he did with me. I taught the child how to pray, he understands the basic nature of God, why idolatry is bad, and why we need a savior to save us from hell. Most of these concepts i have to review on a regular basis. Also please pray that i have more opportunity to share with his parents about the kinds of conversations weve been having, so they don't feel uncomfortable.
This past month and this coming month i have the daunting task of creating lots of additional storage on the side of our house. I really need to organize. I designed a system, bought the metal and installed the first part, and it worked out great, i can put way more material up there than i thought. So i will finish the last 2 parts of that system this month, and store the rest of my scrap metal and boards on those, and then i should have a nice walkway. The end of the walkway will have additional shelving which i will make simply out of old air conditioner compressor holders, and an old washing machine metal case will house recycled plastic, and on top of that i will have my shredded recycled paper storage. Then the wooden windows will be fitted with french cleats for additional shelving of meterials and inexpensive tools. I will also build a wood working workbench there as well. This should be the most economical and space saving way to use this area possible, without intruding on the neighbors half, which they just use for their air conditioner compressors, but id still rather have my half cleaned up and walkable.
We are moving forward and being productive, but i need to relax and put my trust in God. God called me here, and from the day i stepped out of the airport, God has been with me every step. Really, i still remember telling the taxi driver to take me to ywam, not realizing that in a city of 10 million people, there is no way he would know, and a lady walked by, overheard, told the taxi, and off i went. God will not let me fail here in my mission to glorify Him in this nation. Thankyou for your continued prayer and support.
This month has been exhausting, but i do believe victory is near.
Calvin is doing well, and so is Fang. Theres not much to say here other than, i am enjoying the fatherhood aspect of my life the most. Its always a blessing to come inside after hard work in the sun and be greeted by my wife and son. Calvins still not talking, but we are not worried, just saying so yall know.
So the neighbors cut down the huge mango tree that shaded our house, it was humongous, and they lopped the whole thing down. So naturally i went to ask them what they were doing with the wood, and they said the city is coming to throw the tree away. So when the city came, i asked them to leave the big peices and i would cut them up and use them to make furnature. I just couldn't pass that up, this is solid mango wood, a tropical hardwood that is quite pretty when finished. So i quickly ordered a chainsaw that was big enough to get through it. I managed to get several huge logs, over a hundred smaller logs, 6 giant slabs cut off the bottom trunk, i split a very log thick log in half to make benches, and i did slab a short thick log into square shaped slabs too totaling 4 short square slabs. The reason why i took the time to do this is because i believe it is our duty to take care of what God gives us, it is not right to just cut it down and let it rot anymore than it would be wrong to shoot a deer and leave him to rot. I can use this wood to make furnature after it dries, and the work to do that is fairly simple and straight forward using an electric hand planer and a carving disk on an angle grinder followed by sanding. I have glued the ends to slow drying to prevent cracks. I have installed sprinklers on the roof now to keep this building cool now that we down have that tree for shade anymore. This project has taken the better part of this week, and i am exhausted. Now with most of the wood sealed and stored, i just have to let it sit and dry for several months to a year before i can start making things. I believe this project, because of the size of the tree, factors into my recycle everything business plan, so this is part of my long term tent making strategy, something i can pass onto others.
I have only a few ideas for tracts now, so i asked Fang which one i should do next, and she said government, so i am doing a tract on how the scripture covers government, both good and bad, and how christians should live while under both. This one is probably the topic i have struggled the most with, I believe strongly in the freedoms we americans have grown up with, and have moved to a country where defamation, as defined as anything that offends someone else in public, regardless of whether it is true or opinion, or whatever the case may be, has a higher penalty than selling drugs or theft. Technically speaking a preacher could go to jail for calling out someones sin publically as is occationally nessesary according to scripture. So i find it difficult to submit to these ungodly idolatrous people, i find it even harder to accept that they have been given authority by God. Pray for me that i would have wisdom to share what the scriptures say in a helpful way, that would help me work through some of this for myself as well. The other tracts that i mentioned last month are all printed up and available for everyone.
I will say that this has been the most interesting part of my ministry this month. I have very long and in depth conversations with the student i told you of last month, he is very curious and asks questions, which is good for me if the students are the ones initiating the conversations about these subjects. Its one concept at a time with this kid, but i am able to build on previous lessons. The 1 God who is everywhere at the same time concept seems to be understood now. Pray for this kid. I have a class of 12 year olds too, and they come with their questions as well, questions about God, the 10 commandments, ghosts, and more. I am slowly putting together some additional flashcard sets to make talking about religious concepts easier with my students.
At the same time that we work to survive this pandemic, we are preparing for the future as well, preparing for a time in the future of higher productivity. I am working on and practicing evangelism and gospel sharing techniques, including creating spesific educational resources to help me explain these concepts with students, including their own religious practices, which all too often, even fluent thai english speakers are not able to talk about in english. Last night, Fang and I were talking about mid life crisis and why neither of us have had one, and we agree that because we don't do things like the world or chase the same things that the world chases, a house, a car, other things that rack up debt, we have been able to get through this pandemic without serious loss, and have even been able to build (though at a slower pace than wanted), and our focus has been on the end goal, God recieving glory from Thais in nst, not on things that do not last. There are all kinds of things we do to gain opportunity with people, so we can share God's truth with them, no matter if its baking bread every morning, or making furnature with the neighbors tree, but our focus is never on these material things we deal with, which is why we can be content whereever God puts us. Stress is way too common in our house, but no matter what happens, we have a lasting joy that sustains us. Thankyou to everyone who prays for us and supports us, thankyou for walking with us.
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.