Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God's faithfulness...TESTIMONY!

I have the pleasure of sharing with you yet ANOTHER testimony of God's faithfulness. Yesterday was a rough day...and I can now share with you how things had gotten. Yesterday John and I scrounged around the house for any money we could find because we didn't have enough to make it through the end of the month and as of 2 days ago we were flat broke. We went through jean pockets and checked all of John's drop spots (does anyone else's husband compulsivly drop any and everything in his pocket in various spots of the matter how many "drop" bowls you give them?)...and we came up with 135 baht. Which is $3.90.

John was going to run to 7 and get some essentials. So I told him to get bread, eggs and milk. He then told me that we wouldn't have enough for milk. So he went and when he got back I was sooo thankful when I saw him carrying milk, eggs and bread. He went on to tell me what happened at the store.

He walked in and decided to get what we needed...he said "I didn't think about it alot...the only thing I priced was the bread and that was only because I saw a different brand available and looked at the was 2 baht cheaper so I got that one instead of the normal one. But other than that I didn't even think to look how much the eggs would be or the milk.
But I decided that I was just going to get what we need and some how it would be cheaper...I knew something would happen so we could get what we need...After she rang everything up it was exactly 135 the less and if I hadn't noticed that loaf of bread that was 2 baht cheaper I would have been 2 baht over."

We had the exact amount of money in our home...for exactly what we needed...when we needed it! I can't tell you how awesome this is because I even found one baht on the floor and if I hadn't we would have been one baht less. This is not the first time God has done things like this while we've been serving him on the mission field.
Because of the numbers many organizations/people would tell us that we need to return to the states to do more fundraising...(funderaising just doesn't happen for us...we tried...for some reason we're not marketable)..and that we won't make it...but we've been making it for almost 4 years now by the grace and faithfulness of God that meets our needs and never leaves us wanting food, shelter or water.

Another funny thing was...after John returned home I had to make dinner. But we had no meat...I had used tuna the night before with some noodles and the last can of cream of chicken and made a homemade tuna helper kind of dish. So anyway, I'm staring at my cabinets and thinking "OH God...what am I going to feed my family?" Then it just came together...we had 3 potatos some can of chicken broth and everything I would need to make dumplings. Can we say CARBS!?
So I went at it and we ate the most carbohydrate filled dinner ever! We had chicken and dumplings without the chicken and plus potatos served over rice to help fill tummies. And the awesome thing was that it tasted great!! As I finished up cleaning the kitchen, turned the light out and shut the door...I quietly asked God...what about tomorrow and I remembered the scripture:

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So I left it at that and that night we found out that John's parents had decided to put some money into our ministry account...and a dear friend (THANKS MIKE!)put some money in our account too and our paypal tranfer from another faithful supporter (THANKS JOAN and BILLIE) finally came through...(which we still can't legally get to) and then I got an email from Kenny (who writes our checks each month) and he said he was able to write us a check that very night (his day) instead of us having to wait 2 more days until the first. So this morning when we woke up we were able to get a taxi and go to the grocery no more creative cooking for me for a while... ;)

God is so good! Does anyone else have problems with their kids fighting over who gets to pray before eating??!??!?!?! Gosh, it's driving me nuts! We just recently instated a rule that they take turns every other day...I mean, I suppose that's a good thing but oh how frustrating it is when they fuss over something so simple...and actually it's about the honor of getting to do it...because after Josiah is finished praying Jude will close his eyes and try to get his prayer in too...we tried letting them both pray but they just kept praying after the other one was finished...

Jude's prayers go something like this: "Thank you Dod...dandan here...and tank you Dod for the dandaan here...thank you Dod...AMEN!" Just the other day we heard and ambulance and Josiah said..."OH! And ambulance mommy...can we pray...can I pray?" I was like YES OF COURSE! So off he went praying for who ever was in that ambulance!

Then my hubby said the sweetest thing - I just love how he thinks and can relate things to our kids. He said "You know were kind of like a super hero just know that? You don't have a cape but you could have just saved someone life by praying for them!" Josiah's face lit up so big...I wish I had had a camera...that helped him realize the power of prayer and that you can really impact lives through prayer. I'm posting an old pic of Josiah from when he was about little Super Josiah...

Anyway, not that I don't love having awesome testimonies like how God has provided during this time but...I was sooo glad to buy meat today!! I literally said, out loud, "YES!" when I saw the meat section! hehehe...Even when the numbers don't add long as you entrust your life to have no reason to worry...Here is the full section of the scripture I quoted it...remember and be blessed in Jesus name!

Matthew 6

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will
eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field
grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in
all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Northern Tribe

John is a fan of the National Geographic on myspace so he ran across this video of a tribe from up north on the border of Burma - a displaced people group. It was very interesting...and it was funny because we could understand everything she was saying...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rich woman!

Today I write to you...the richest woman I know. I can't believe how much God has been speaking to me and moving on me and I am ever so thankful that he sees fit to give me so much attention despite my inadequacies. We haven't had the internet for a few days and boy it was rough not being connected with the your world. I really had to realize what a comfort the internet is to me...knowing that if I need to I can email anyone or call anyone using Skype. Without the internet I felt a little bit cut off from the world!

I couldn't look up a recipe...I couldn't check the news...I couldn't talk to any of you...couldn't update my blog and worst of all - I couldn't check my emails! It's one of the highlights of my day to have a few minutes to check my emails and hopefully get a real email from people back home. Recognizing this made me so thankful that God has called us to a place where we can have internet...although, I feel as though I need the internet I would never let that stop us from going where God leads us.

Anyway, I want to share one of the many things God this week that just blessed my socks off! I still just sit and grin about it. It seems small but it's so big to me. Jossalyn has been sick for the past week and on Tuesday night she was running a fever and I wanted to give her some Tylenol. I had one more dose in my daiper bag and I gave it to her. The next day I had planned on going to a "pharmacy" to buy some more infant tylenol to ease her discomfort.

Let me bunny trail a sec to tell you soemthing that might shock you...or not. Here in Thailand you can buy almost any medicine you need...including antibiotics. You don't have to go to the dr. you just go to a store that sells medicine and buy what you need. The "pharmacist" will help you know what you need to purchase.

I use quotes because well, they are not a pharmacy like what we're used to and the pharmacist is sometimes only trained by someone who was trained by someone else who just figured it all out themselves so they could have a business. So needless to say you have to double check everything and make sure that they know what they are talking about - another thing I use the internet for.

Picture of a typical Thai pharmacy...

So back to the story...we had prayed for Joss but her fever was not breaking that next day so I was going to buy some tylenol and we have...well, lets just say...we're running on fumes and so I was really not wanting to go use the last bit of money we had...but I figured...God has never failed us before so he will provide for us if I purchase this for Joss. So I went to language and I had asked my teacher for an extra 10 minutes to study because I wasn't able to find anytime to study at home because Joss was sick. So I went into the room by myself and turned on the fan...I was drenched in sweat from riding on the motorcycle here. It seems like I caught ever red light on the way to school and baked in the sun...waiting for the green light.

So...I stood infront of the fan and then turned around to cool off my back and as I was standing front of the fan with my head down I looked over to the right in this little cubby hole...and low and behold there was "equate" brand triple antibiotic ointment. I thought..."how strange is that! That's walmart brand! What is THAT doing in Thailand?" I picked it up and behind it was a box of equate brand infants tylenol...sealed. I picked it up and was going to ask my teacher where she got that...because if you really buy that here for some crazy reason...I'd like to get equate brand.

It's so much nicer going with a brand you know here in Thailand. So when she came into the room I asked her and she said that one of her other students brought that medicine to her and she had been looking for someone to give it to for a while but didn't know who to give it to because she didn't have any need for it. She then asked me if I wanted it...
I just sat there in awe. No trip to the pharmacy for me and Joss gets American brand tylenol. I have so many more stories I could tell you but I don't want to carry on and on but needless to say...Our God is an awesome God. And he cares for us so tenderly. From tylenol to a pair of hair clippers given to John (that he's been wanting for a long time so he could shave his head himself) money to cover us through to the 1st coming from a dear Thai friend because God told her to give it to me (her knowing nothing). Oh and also math manipulatives that I needed for Josiah's homeschool just given to us among other wonderful things from our dearly missed friends Trent and Amy.

But beyond all of the material gifts and things he provides for us...above all those he tends for our hearts and contantly is calling us on and forward. In one of my recent Thai lessons we were reading the story of the rich man who came to ask Jesus how he could get to heaven and Jesus told him to sell all that he has and follow him. This was more than the man wanted to do and he walked away from the chance of a life know and walk with Jesus.

In that lesson Khruu Ruchada asked me if I was a rich or a poor person. I told her that sometimes I feel like I am poor...and I feel sorry for myself and wish that we could be like some of the other missionaries that we know and have extra money for things that arise or I'm frustrated that we don't have a car...but my goal is to be like Paul...finding happiness no matter what his circumstances were. And the truth is that there are millions of people that are worse off that we are...We must be like Paul...finding happiness no matter what our circumstances are...

Said to be Paul's prison....

Whether that be jail...having a little or having a lot. When the Kingdom of God is your primary concern and your eyes are set on him (Matt. 6:33) then you will see that you are indeed rich because of the vastness of the love of God and because he will clothe you and prepare a way for you even in the darkest of circumstances. He is our hope and our only true happiness. Nothing else is of consequence. I am truely rich.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Change...thoughts...'s been over 10 days since I've shared with you! Where has time gone? I never imagined that we could be so busy but well, 3 children is a lot more work than I ever imagined and then adding Thai into the mix just blows free time out of the water - that is...unless I want to loose some God time or sleep time!

Anyway, things are going good now...we had a fly ball hit us out of left field (did I say that right?)...our dear...cherished friends Trent and Amy Pruett are not going down south with us when we move in December. God has different plans for them whether I like it or not.

After serving here in Thailand for two years they are going to be returning to America to Sioux Falls, SD to help with a church plant there as children's pastors. We were so shocked when we received the news that I literally cried for almost a whole day but we know that man makes his plans but it is God who directs his steps. We trust God and know that he knows what is best for His glory and so we are rejoicing with Amy and Trent as they begin another chapter in their service to our God. They are going back to America with a missionary mindset and I know God will use them greatly. The Pruetts are leaving this Monday and we're cherishing the time we have left with them. They are dear friends of ours and for me it is very hard to see them go. I do want God's will for their lives but as of yet it still hurts just the same.

In other news, Thai is going wonderful, John has the incredible opportunity to begin guitar lessons in Thai (learning so he can play worship music down south) from our teachers son, Josiah is flying through 1st grade and really showing how smart he is...Jude is almost 3 and you can tell it in everything he does...every day seems to be a lesson for him.

Jude is so adorable and it's wonderful to see him growing and learning during this time. Jossalyn is as beautiful as ever...she smiles so much I wonder if her cheeks hurt at times. She's mommy's little princess and a lot of times can be found on my back in a pack "helping" me cook dinner.

Smart Cookie...I love this shirt!

Ok, I put Joss in blue finally and isn't she beautiful? This is a special dress because our friend Lisa gave it to us for her before we left. So maybe blue is ok...sometimes...

While at the Co-op last Monday someone was giving away 2 free bunnies and guess who took them home...uh huh....that'd be me. This is Jude holding his bunnie: Snowball....
This is Josiah holding his bunnie: Brownie/Thumper...his name kind of changes with the days.

I had a break through today in Thai. My teacher really encouraged me and said that I am almost fluent...and that I have gotten so much better since when I first began. Her encouraging words came in perfect timing since I was feeling quite beaten up by the Thai language. I still have a long way to go but I have definitly crossed over some walls that have been staring me in the face for way too long.

I don't know if you can understand if you haven't learned a second language to this level...but even when you can speak pretty only means you can understand how much you don't know and how much you don't sound like Thai's and so it wears on you sometimes. John is doing wonderful also.

Daddy and Joss

This is a pic from the co-op we attend every Monday. This is a music class taught by this mom named Kim. It is a lot of fun...and just look at all those missionary kids!

This is a bible memorization class taught at the co-op.

A pic of beautiful Jossalyn playing dress up with Mommy in a dress grandmaw gave us.

I would like to share with you some thoughts I had about us and where we are. I was reading over my blog in the past month and something saddened me. The lack of mention of ministry and Thai people...I thought about it and I was like...this seems really bad. I sat there for a bit and felt condemnation come all over me and almost as soon as it tried to sit down on me the Holy Spirit came and reminded me of the truth with this question "Are you here for my will or yours?"

Do I speak to Thai people often? Yes. Do we do any major ministry here besides live our lives before the Thai people we meet? No. I sat there as I asked myself this question and that No seemed to be amplified in my mind as if by an amplifier. NO! No ministry - you are a missionary...what are you doing? You don't deserve to be're not doing anything of any worth...

But as I said before the Holy Spirit reminded me why he has us here in Chiang Mai for 6 be sanctified, prepared and engulfed in Thai because where we are going there will be no church to attend until we start one...there won't be time to build our team and family like there is here...the spiritual climate in Naratiwat and the changes we will experience will require that we are leaning on Him alone and that we are focused on His voice and His will so that we won't be swayn.

So while, during this time, I would love to fill this blog up about all the ministry taking place and the Thai people coming to know God...all I have to report is that we are living our lives for our God, trusting Him and recognizing that our ultimate goal is not to be good missionaries and meet the status quo but that our ultimate goal is to be like Jesus and in doing so have fruit that pleases our Father.

Thank you for loving us, praying for us and supporting us.

I also would like to let you know that John and I want to be able to allow Josiah to study Thai while here with this wonderful teacher but as of yet we can not afford the lessons. We also wish to purchase a keyboard to allow me to continue to teach Josiah the little piano that I know and then hopefully find a piano teacher here and then in Naratiwat.

Josiah loves music and I want him to have this opportunity...if you feel lead in your heart to give toward his Thai lessons/piano please feel free to do so through the donation button on our blog or by clicking on the contact us link on the right and make sure you indicate that you wish your donation to go to this need.

Thank you again....

Monday, September 08, 2008

Co-op blessing and videos

Today was a full but wonderful day. I had the opportunity to take Josiah to the co-op today and it was so great as usual. I was especially blessed by what was shared today before the day began. The lady was simply speaking about being a friend of God and of others. She began by speaking about what it means to give your life for a friend.

She told a story of a brave soldier who was fighting in the war and he threw himself on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers. She then went on to talk about the natural born willingness in men to give their lives for their family and about how no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another.

She then began to tell a story of a man who's wife came down with altimers disease and some other complications. This man had a huge ministry and many counseled him to put her in a home so he could continue on with his life.

At his resignation he gave this speech:

"I haven't in my life experienced easy decision making on major decisions. But one of the simplest and clearest decisions I've had to make is this one, because circumstances dictated it. Muriel now in the last couple of months seems to be almost happy when with me, and almost never happy when not with me.

In fact she seems to feel trapped, becomes very fearful, sometimes almost in terror, and when she can't get to me there can be anger, she's in distress. But when I am with her she's happy and contented. And so I must be with her at all times.

And you see, it's not only that I promised in sickness and in health, till death do us part, and I am a man of my word, but as I have said, I don't know with this group, but I have said publicly, it's the only fair thing. She sacrificed for me for forty years, to make my life possible.

So if I cared for her for forty years, I would still be in debt. However, there is much more. It's not that I have to, it's that I GET to. I love her very dearly, and you can tell it's not easy to talk about. She is a delight. It's a great honor to care for such a wonderful person."

After hearing that story she then stated: "Sometimes it's an easier thought to die for someone than it is to truly live for someone..." I started thinking about that and really letting it sink in and I thought of what it means to truly give your life for someone...and I started thinking about my husband and my children. What God had me take away from listening this morning was nothing truly deep but it was really transforming for me.

Each moment of my day is a moment to give my life for my husband and not getting frustrated when it seems I have every life is ultimately given up to my savior...that's a given. But in my every I give my life for those I love with all my heart?

I just wanted to share that with you guys and pray that you ask yourselves if you are loving those around you like Jesus would have you love them? Smile a little bigger...give someone else the big someone just to bless them...give a gift that says I the dishes for your wife...just love them like Jesus...

I'm encouraged so much by this opportunity to be reminded to give it my all...for the glory of our God. With that thought...I'll leave you with a few videos from church this last Sunday. Please forgive the bad filming...I was trying to be
inconspicuous as not to distract anyone.

Worship at my teachers church...

This is a video from the other night...John and I were looking up an oldie but a goodie and daddy started lipsynching for Joss and this was her response...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

501(c)3 N Pics

I am please to let you know that from now on...if you donate to Dead2Sin Ministries to support what God is doing here in Thailand you can now claim the donation on your taxes! We are officially affiliated with Kingsway Ministries, Inc./Kingsway Fellowship International which allows us to be a subordinate member of their status with the IRS. Kingsway is a wonderful ministry that has been around since 1968 and are a fellowship...NOT a denomination or sending organization.

We are very glad to be affiliated with them and be able to give you a tax break on your donations. If you would like to know more about is their website:

Yayee!! So for now I'm going to leave you with a few pictures:

She found her thumb!!! AHH!

The other day I had to take John's motorcycle to was scary but I did it!

The skies here are BEAUTIFUL!

Here is me and the boys a couple weeks ago...we ONLY do this in our neighborhood! And I go very slow so don't worry...the first time I attempted this was when John was gone down south...otherwise I would never have dared it...but we were desperate to get out of the house and we made do with what we had.