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.
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.