Monday, June 13, 2005

Our PO Box Address

Hello! **Jo and Naomi this post is for you! Sorry it took so long!**

Here is our temporary PO Box Address:

John and Stephanie Blake
c/o Brian and MaryBeth Stubenrauch
PO Box 32
Kho Hong Post Office
Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand 90112

The reason it is temporary is because we are sharing this mailbox with the team here until we can get a po box of our own. There are currently none available. To answer some questions: it is completely safe to send us packages except for one thing.

When you send a package do NOT indicate a value on the package or put the value as low as possible because they will basically "randsom" our package for how ever much money they think we can afford to give for our package if they think it is valuable. If you were to send something electronic do not indicate it on the box. We had to pay $50 to receive one of our packages (ouch - that hurt!).

And on May 13th's post there is another list of things that we would love to be able to have if you are sending a care package. We have recieved 2 so far and very few things compare to the excitement of getting a care package. Sounds silly I know - but when there might be food inside - for a pregnant woman - that's pretty exciting! :) Read on below to find pictures and our most recent update :)


Just want to let you know that we will have many more pictures of everyday life here in Thailand and the villages - John has been filming a lot of things but I can't put that on the website - so I'm encouraging more pictures. Until then...enjoy the two below and don't forget to scroll down to read the latest news....

Now - in this picture this "make-shift" bathtub looks rather gross but I promise it is clean...and did I mention Josiah loves it?
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The only downfall to this new house is that there are no bathtubs - common in Thai housing. Josiah does not like showers so here he is in his make-shift bathtub...
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Monday, June 06, 2005

Macaroni and Cheese Please - Testimonies - New House

Wow – ok…I have to say that I have never had as much food satisfaction as when my sister-in-law (THANK YOU CHRISTEL!) sent us a care package that consisted of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, 1 heavily wrapped jar of PICKLES!!! and stove top stuffing! Needless to say the moment we got the package we crowded around the box and started rummaging through all our new found treasure. I have missed pickles sooo much it has almost hurt at times – lol…only because I’m pregnant…or at least that’s my excuse. Unfortunately the jar is gone now…but a few boxes of macaroni and cheese still remain. We’re rationing them out.

Things are going very well here – although I have not written in a while. Please forgive me again. Once I get home from work I am exhausted and then after a quick nap it’s off to get food (which can be a chore when you have a pregnant woman to feed). John is doing wonderful and Josiah is keeping us on our toes with all of his talking. Just last night he amazed me yet again – we were going to bed and I forgot to say our prayers together and as we laid there he said “Momma, I wanna pray God”. I was just amazed because he’s never said that before and this time when we prayed he didn’t just follow momma – he said some his self – although some of it – only God could understand.

We've moved - can you believe it? lol...a house came available across the street from MaryBeth, Brian and Asia (josiah's playmate). The landlord stopped me while I was at their house and asked me to come and take a look. I told her I wasn't interested (because John and I had already decided we weren't going to move) but she asked me just to take a look and that she would give us a deal. So I went and looked and this house is so incredible and it's only $50 more a month AND she didn't make us pay the normal 3 month deposit.

Over the end of last week and this weekend we are officially moved in to our new house and I absolutly love it! It's wonderful - and the best part of it is that we are right across the street from MB, Brian and Asia. Josiah loves it and his room came with an air conditioner!!! WAHOO! He's so excited about playing in his room now. That's another one of the pluses is that we were going to have to buy an air con for Josiah's room ($375+) and this house came with an air con in each bedroom and there are 3 bedrooms(room for baby and our overdue visitor - Micheal). Another plus is that it has a nice side area (for Josiah) that has tiles down so there is not a whole bunch of shrubbery and grass that can house dangerous biting bugs that I've never seen in my life.

John has been extremely busy working in the villages. We have many praise reports and I'll tell you some of them. John, Clinton and Brian have been going out to five different villages all throughout the week along with going to the hospital about 2 times a week. In Sadeo (a small village 45 minutes from here) they came into a man's house to pray for his bad back problems and when they did 25 people came into his house to find out what the "farangs" where doing. While sitting there they heard the truth of the gospel and many were prayed for. Many were interested in hearing more.

The guys have also been going to a Wednesday night cock fight that is all the rage among the Thai men in these villages. John described it as a very intimidating place (because many men there are doing illegal things) but a very important ministry area. There are about 300 men who show up to view and participate in these cock fights - so John, Clinton and Brian pass out tracks and build relationships with these men.

Another testimony that is different from your average testimony but still a testimony is that when Curry was here - John and him prayed for a lady who had cancer. She recently went to the hospital for problems breathing and she DIED! OK - yes this is a testimony - hold on. She was dead for 10 minutes laying on the table and she woke straight up and told the doctor "You need to FEAR GOD!" She had had a vision of God and heaven and she talked about smells and colors that can't be described and that God told her that she must return and clean her house. He was not talking about her physical house! She is COMPLETELY healed of all CANCER! John and the guys now go out to this village with 3 other people who have been saved and disciple this small group of believers.

We have also seen AIDS bow to the our God recently! John taught a series about healing at the bible school here and one night a friend of ours sat in on the meeting. We call her Candy - she is a doctor. That night John spoke of testimonies when people have been healed of AIDS. The following day she went and prayed for a lady that has had AIDS for 7 years. Dr. Candy then went on to tell her that the next day she wanted her to go to a different Dr. and have a test for AIDS done and she did and the test came back totally negative. There is no AIDS virus present in her body!

We have been having a woman come to our home 3 times a week to watch Josiah while I'm at work and John is at the villages. Her name is Pii Saow - the other day John came home to a crying Pii Saow. She had been reading the tracks that we have all over our house and she wanted to know we have been giving her books and MaryBeth has been speaking to her about God's love! We're praying Pii Saow will come to know God - as of now she is Muslim. She does not practice Muslim traditions and as far as I can tell she is just claiming that religion because that is what she has been told she is.

Our family has been asked to join the team of missionaries that are here. There are 2 families in Hat Yai and one family that has moved to Ban Nam Khem. We already work with them as a team but it would mean that we would be included in more things and also there would be accountablility setup. We also now attend team meetings where we get together and pray for one another and for the people of Thailand. John and I are very honored to have been asked to join the team. These families have been here for going on 4 years and we have much to learn from them.

It seems like God had been priming us the whole year prior to coming here for exactly what we're experiencing and what this team is going through and working toward. It's very exciting! I will no longer be working after this week. I will be going to full time Thai language classes, going with John to the villages, working on dramas and homeschooling Josiah. I would have had to leave in 2 more months because I would not have been able to make it up the stairs because of my knee - once I gain the necessary first 10 pounds of pregnancy my knee will not do those stairs. I left early because of my students - they need to have a teacher in there that is not going to be leaving in 2-3 months. Last year they had 3 teachers and I really felt it important to go ahead and let someone else get trained up and start building the relationships with these kids.

I have many great relationships with my students and I will still be continually spending time with them hopefully here at the house. Another thing I'm praying about is starting free english classes at the FIRE house - and many many of the teachers at Pholwitya are very interested. It is an incredible ministry opportunity. Another reason I have quit early is because in the past 2 weeks I have been having a little bit of what we think might be high blood pressure. The doctor has told me to rest and take it that's what I'm going to do until this clears up. Everything is going wonderful with the pregnancy besides these annoying cravings that I can not fulfill :( my pregnant belly misses cheese dip and Not together though... :)

So - all in all things are going great and God is moving! I will definately be writting more since I will have a little bit more free time. I have some pictures to put up but not many. Oh - Braden is doing wonderful for those of you who have been praying - this little one has gone from 1 pound 7 ounces to 6 pounds 11 ounces and breathing competely on his own!!!! He's homeward bound very soon! Continue to keep him in your prayers though :)

A matter of prayer - my mother had surgery on her neck (through her throat) to remove a disc because it was causing her to loose feeling in both of her hands. It was successful but now she has to spend 3 months in a hard neck cast! My mom (this breaks my heart) doesn't have many people to help her although there are some. She will definately need your prayers in the coming months. After being in the hard cast for 3 months she will then be put in a soft cast for another month! She is a strong woman and I know she can make it through this.

Well, I'm going to end this long post and leave you with some pictures. Once again, I'm so sorry it has been so long. I'll write again soon.