Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas...Roach Motel...Prayer Requests...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Thailand!!!

I can't believe Christmas is over! It was very hard having Christmas for the first time away from home and our family but the team here made it wonderful! We all gathered together over at the Stubenrauchs home and celebrated the birth of Jesus! We had two families come join us - The Hoers from Korat (northern Thailand) and the Pruitts from Ban Nam Khem. The Hoers brought their 4 children and a friend and the Pruitts brought their 4 children!! The house was packed out and the children had a blast!

Josiah especially had a blast playing with Ruthie, Asia and Smith (all 3 year olds). It was kinda hard on him when they went back home. The women of the team got together and made food for the Christmas party - we had gumbo, deviled eggs, potato salad and home made bread! It was delicious! I made my first batch of deviled eggs!

This Christmas John and I had agreed not to buy each other a present until after Christmas due to tight finances but John surprised me on Christmas Eve with a new watch!! (Mine has been lost for 4 months) I was soo surprised and it's a beautiful watch! I'm married to the perfect man for me! He's just wonderful! Anyway, Josiah had a wonderful Christmas - he received great gifts and was is still very thankful!

3 days after Christmas the team went to the beach 30 minutes away in Songkhla to spend some time with the Hoer family before they left and we all got a little burned! We have had non stop rain and cloudy days for well over 2 months but 3 days after Christmas the weather was beautiful. We were talking about how strange it feels to have a sun burn and having just been at the beach 3 days after Christmas!!! Very strange...but that's life in Thailand...

I have a prayer request that is very funny in some ways...but very few... We are officially praying for a new car (not NEW just a different car/van). When we came home from the hospital with baby Jude we had our SECOND small electrical fire in our car on the way home. Our car filled up with chemical smelling smoke and we had to pull over. Something had pushed something together in the back and caused the fire and smoke. It only took a minute of the windows being opened and we were back on the road again on our way home.

Our drivers side door no longer works - you should see the Thai people smile and laugh when they see a farang unable to get into their car without first going into the back door and opening the drivers side door from within! They think it's hilarious - do I...well, most the time. And the number one reason in my mind that I am praying for a different car......WE HAVE TO HAVE A ROACH MOTEL IN OUR CAR!!! AHH!! Yes...I'm for real. As embarrassing as it is to admit we can not keep the roaches out of our car. There is a open hole somewhere that we can not find and they come in our car - I have personally had 3 experiences with these HUGE roaches in the car. The other day I was driving Katherine home and one clung to my leg for dear life as I swerved and cried out to God...trying to pull over. I got it off only to feel it crawling up my leg again within the next 10 seconds!!! These things are huge! Usually much longer than my middle finger!!!

One of the other times a roach decided to terrify Katherine while we were going out to spend time with our friend Phon. Katherine DOES NOT TERRIFIED of these monsterous creatures to say the least. I pulled the car over after hearing screeching from Katherine and we all jumped out looking for the culprit...but we could not find it anywhere! Katherine VERY cautiously crawled back in the car as did Phon...and with the light on and legs pulled up we drove to Phon's home where she so politely told me that she could smell the roach (thai people believe they can smell roaches...Katherine and I were at a loss because we could smell absolutely nothing)...Phon and her fiance Tohn searched the car over and politely gave me a roach motel to put in my car!!!!!! Katherine and I still laugh about it every time as we cautiously enter my car.

There are more practical reasons for wanting a different car...One extremely important one is: once hot season comes my children will be cooked alive in the back of the car because the air does not reach the back of the car. Hot season feels like the sun is only feet away and the windows being rolled down does no good. The car is increasingly harder and harder to start everyday and it is a gas gussler!! And the poor car just doesn't have much life in it! Anyway, I wanted to share my roach motel story with you so that maybe you will remember to keep this request in your prayers too!

Well, we're getting ready to plunge into the new year and we're very excited because there are many ideas that we are working on together to reach out to the villages surrounding Hat Yai and also in the city itself. The church that has been started is doing very good! Almost 20 children were there last Sunday!!! The flood waters have resided and life is getting back to normal in Hat Yai Nai. Please keep us in your prayers for diligence in the language...I personally seem to have hit a hump and I need God's help to get over it. John has to resume his Thai language classes soon and we both could use some help with motivation and diligence. Also - our little Jude is still not circumcised and we will have to go to Bangkok soon to get his American citizenship and when we go we are planning on meeting with a Dr. about the proceedure - we really need this proceedure to be inexpensive and we need an experienced Dr. to do it.

After a small chat with my sister-in-law I was reminded of a scripture in Philippians that I always go back to when I'm having a hard time:

12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

NLT - v. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

I just wanted to share that for someone out there - even when you feel far from God and yet you still desire His purpose for your life...remember that the only reason you even feel that desire is because He put that desire within you - because He loves you that much! When you feel like you've strayed too far and God is no longer with you (but your heart yearns to be right before God) is because He loves you and desires you to be righteous before Him. So if you feel the desire to obey Him and you desire the power to do what pleases Him...repent before God and take hold of the power that he has given you to do what pleases Him. Know that you are loved by the creator of this universe and that at this moment He is at work in your heart if you have that desire...

Psalms 8:3: When I consider your heavens, the work of your
fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in
place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that
you care for him?

Thank you for reading and for praying for us! I will write again soon!

With love,


Anonymous said...

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