Saturday, November 29, 2008

News from here...

Hi everyone...I'm going to give a real post from me today...instead of these quickies...but for now here is the lastest news about what is going on here in Thailand. Please pray for Thailand, our family and most of all for Renee and her family.

Todd is out of the country on a trip to the underground churches in many surrounding countries and he is unable to fly back into BKK as of right now. He's due to return on Monday...but the airport will be closed until Monday night at least...that is if the governments plans go as planned but so far their police efforts to oust this group from the airport have been smashed.

here's a good article on the whole situation:
Thai Business Leaders Tell Premier to Step Down Amid Protests
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By Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Daniel Ten Kate

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s business leaders said Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat should step down to end a siege at the nation’s main international airport, which has paralyzed travel and threatens a million jobs in the tourism industry.

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport remained shut for a sixth day as negotiations failed to clear thousands of protesters who are demanding Somchai’s resignation. Violence escalated in the past 24 hours, as demonstrators attacked police with steel bars near the airport and a blast at a government compound in the capital wounded 34 people.

“We’ve asked the government to resign or dissolve the parliament because we think this is the best way out,” Pramon Sutivong, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said today.
The call from the Chamber of Commerce increases the pressure on Somchai, who has been holed up in the northern city of Chiang Mai because of concern that growing protests in the capital may lead to a coup. A pro-government group plans to hold a rally in Bangkok today, increasing the likelihood of a bloody clash that may force the army to intervene.

“This situation can’t go on for long” Pramon said. “It will soon lead to violence, forcing the military to come out to stage a coup again. We all want to avoid that.”

An emergency order imposed on Bangkok’s airports and Government House has empowered police to clear the areas, though Somchai has said the government won’t use violence against the protesters. About 750 flights a day can’t get in or out of Suvarnabhumi, Asia’s fourth-busiest airport with as many as 100,000 passengers a day, the airport operator’s data shows.

Police Attacked

Negotiations to clear demonstrators failed yesterday, and violence broke out when 500 protesters armed with steel bars stormed a 150-strong police checkpoint. Police officers jumped into vans and sped away after demonstrators attacked the vehicles and threw firecrackers.
Somchai said yesterday he was willing to negotiate with protesters, if they lifted demands for his resignation and the dissolution of the government. Police efforts last month to clear demonstrators killed one person and injured hundreds.

Early today, an explosion wounded 48 people at the compound, said Winner Dachpian, a spokesman for the protesters. Nine people were sent to hospital, with three in critical condition, he said. A bomb was thrown into the site, the TNN television news network reported. Similar blasts have occurred in recent weeks.

Thai Army Chief Anupong Paojinda last week called for early elections to end six months of deadly protests.

Fresh Elections

The People’s Alliance for Democracy, composed mostly of the Bangkok middle class, royalists and civil servants, accuses Somchai of being the proxy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 coup by Anupong and other generals. The group has rejected calls for fresh elections and said it wouldn’t leave the airport until the government steps down.

“If you can’t manage the country you have to resign,” Phongsak Assakul, vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said by phone during a 14-hour bus ride to Bangkok from Hat Yai in southern Thailand. “Let the elected parliamentarians form a new government. If that government can’t govern, then let’s go have another election.”

An election may return the ruling party to power. Parties linked to Thaksin have won four elections since 2001 on strong rural support for its platform of cheap health care and village loans. The protesters want a new political system that prevents the return of Thaksin’s allies by diluting rural votes.

“One possible way out is to find a neutral person who’s universally acceptable to be the new prime minister,” said Ajva Taulananda, the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s honorary chairman and vice chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group. “This way, we will see a break from the political squabbling,” he said in a phone interview.

Travelers Stranded

Suvarnabhumi’s closure has stranded thousands of travelers in the Thai capital. Repatriating them, and returning the 50,000 Thais stranded overseas, may cost 1 billion baht ($28 million) and take as long as a month, Deputy Prime Minister Olarn Chaiprawat said, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday.

“People are losing trust in the Thai people,” the Chamber of Commerce’s Phongsak said. “It really damages the tourist industry, not only hotels and airlines, but also restaurants, guided tours, lots of people.”

Thailand is allowing airlines to use a naval base in the east of the country to repatriate stranded travelers.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. warned of “chaotic” conditions and long lines at the military airfield.
The carrier, Hong Kong’s biggest, is one of about a dozen airlines using U-Tapao Airport, east of Bangkok near Pattaya. Japan Airlines Corp. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. were also using the facility, more than two hours away from Bangkok.

Airport Congestion

“There has been congestion because this airport wasn’t built to serve such a huge number of passengers,” Chaisak Ungsuwan, director general of the Air Transportation Department, said today. The airfield handled more than 100 flights yesterday, he said. Suvarnabhumi handles 600 daily flights.

The international airport in Bangkok will remain closed until Dec. 1, Airports of Thailand Pcl said yesterday.

Finance Minister Suchart Thadathamrongvej said the protests and airport closures may cause damage amounting to about 100 billion baht this quarter.

“The prolonged political gridlock will drag on our economy and create unemployment,” said Pramon, the Chamber of Commerce chairman. “We just hope that we can grow 3 percent next year, even though the hope is quite dim now.”

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Yard Sale time!

Today is our yard sale for the little bit of stuff we have here in Chiang Mai...Josiah is sooo excited because I told him that he could sell his books...(after I have picked through the ones we need to take back for homeschool). He can not wait to have his own section. Things still aren't resolved in BKK...I haven't heard anything more about the protestors downtown here in Chiang Mai.

Come back for some pics and more updates...Sorry so short...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The unrest has hit Chiang Mai

Previous events were elsewhere but they have now reached Chiang Mai. The current Prime Minister landed in Chiang Mai and all of the PAD protesters were here to "demonstrate". They have occupied the airport in Bangkok causing it to shut down and here in Chiang Mai they are "demonatrating" downtown.

Their demonstration included killing a 60 year old man by dragging him out of his car and killing him. He was active in politics...under the guy they are fighting against. This group has tried not to be violent...I'm confused as to why this man was killed. Even at the Bangkok airport...the toursits that are literally stranded in the airport are being helped by the protestors. They are giving the stranded tourists food because the airport shut down all restaurants and currency exchange vendors.

We are not in any danger at this time. We are located away from downtown and won't be going there. Please pray for Thailand. These are such turbulant times for Thailand...We will be taking a train to Hat Yai on Dec. 3rd but we must go through Bangkok and be there for 6 hours before our next train leaves to take us to Hat Yai...

Please be praying that this is cleared up by that time. They seem to want to mess with transportation services because it hurts the country the most because it's such a touristy place. We are planning on returning the week of Dec. 15th.

We pray that things are better by that time...for the sake of Thailand and for our travels.

Here are some links about what's going on:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Congo's crisis worsens - wow...please look...

I was so overwhelmed by these photos. Especially the one of Furah. A woman with her 18 month old baby strapped to her chest while carrying a huge bundle of wood that she travels 16kms to sell...through extremely dangerous areas.

Wow...I don't know hardships...please informed...take action...pray.

Congo's crisis worsens - The Big Picture -

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


This post was copied from John Lamberts blog. John and his family are in training to come to Thailand as missionaries. They will be here in about 3-4 months. I have been following their training in a jealous sort of way...haha...since we had none...and am in awe at the things that they have been learning...and the oh SO TRUE truths that John and Jaqueline both have managed to write out. Please pray for them as they are returning to America from Mexico (their training grounds) to prepare to leave for Thailand in a few's no small feat....while there is's hard in many ways...

Like I said they are able to write out what I could only think...This is not easy to do!! This is an example...I would never have been able to describe it better (there is also this article that is indespensible and describes many times what we've been through and felt over the past 4 years: HOW TO PRAY FOR A MISSIONARY):
Mission Blues: Beware of Re-Entry Stress!

Short Term Missions Re-Entry Stress
This is the process that you may experience upon returning home. Re-entry stress or reverse culture shock, generally is experienced to a greater degree the longer one has been in another country. Disillusionment with America and American Christianity play a part in any re-entry stress that is experienced.

Initial ReactionsIf this is your first trip outside your home country you will be exposed to things you have never experienced first hand before, such as the plight and poverty of many in developing countries. It is not uncommon upon returning home to become disturbed and even bitter toward America’s opulence and waste.When you return you will be excited to eat the “Big Mac and large fries” you have been craving. Your family and friends will be proud and excited to see you an you will experience a “high”.

You have just conquered the unknown, been used greatly by God and you will be the center of attention. Soon, however, this “high” drops and re-entry shock may begin.Following are a few examples of possible reactions you may experience. Be prepared to deal with life back home inlight of your new experience. All short-term ministry/missions workers will experience some degree of re-entry stress.

1. Self-concept – Any life-changing experience can cause you to re-evaluate who you are in light of the experience. Questions about the meaning of life and its direction may be a part of the re-entry process. You may decide never to go outside the United States again or you may discover that there is a call on your life to ministry outside the United States. Questioning life can be good, but the uncertainty of the answers may cause some stress.

2. Value Change and Choice – Clashes between you and those to whom you return may occur in several different area, such as material possessions, family life, racial prejudice, national priorities in ecology and politics, and Christian community conflicts. Some workers develop a “holier than Thou” attitude towards those who did not go.

This can lead to you becoming disillusioned with Christians at home and cause you to consider them more tolerant of sin and not as committed as the Christians you met while outside the United States.One missionary worker returning home, from the Far East, shared:

“Everybody looks rich. We stayed with good friends in a Western state who complained about the high cost of living. Yet, they are overweight and live like royalty. Many of them were talking about inflation and how they were having to cut corners…but most were wasteful and kept on buying. Why is air-conditioning kept so low? We freeze everywhere we go.”

You may face the problem of integrating what you have just seen with what you see around you at home. Your eyes may be opened to the shallowness of Western Materialism and you may want to react by telling others they are wrong to own so many “things”, eat so much food and waste so much.

3. Expectations – You will have had many expectations for your trip about the culture and language differences, the new and exotic country and God’s purpose for you making the trip. However, you may not have expected the reactions you may encounter when you return home. You may find that you feel like a stranger now in your own country.

You may have expected your family and friends to be as excited as you are about your experience and become hurt if they show little or no real interest about something that has made a tremendous impact on your life. Realize that many will just not be able to understand what you have been through. This seemingly lack of interest can reinforce in you an opinion that American Christians are just not interested in the rest of the world and are simply lovers and pleasers of self. You must guard yourself from becoming resentful toward family, friends and American Christians.

4. Sense of Loss – You may experience a sense of loss over newfound friends and places or from being disconnected from the rest of the team. Your recent experience is not the nitty-gritty reality of everyday life. Being in a strange country, away from all familiar cues and the security of familiar faces and places can facilitate a tendency to become extremely close to fellow team members an when you return home you may experience a sense of void. It may take sometime to readjust to your life as it was before your trip.

You may also feel a loss of purpose and self-importance. God has just used you greatly to minister to the needs of others in a different country and when you return this purpose may seem somewhat lessened.


1. Initial Euphoria -- You are pleased to be home and everyone is glad to see you.

2. Irritability and Hostility – After the initial euphoria you may become irritated and hostile towards others for any number of reasons.

3. Gradual Adjustment – It may take time for you to readjust to the way your life was before your trip.

4. Adaptation – You have been changed. Life went on when you were gone and it may take time for you to catch up.


To minimize the effects of re-entry stress find methods of “closure”. One example is to stay in touch with other team members after returning home. Be sure you should share things about the present with them and not just the memories of your trip. See your experience realistically and allow God to show you how to use this use it. Have a right perspective of God’s total plan.


1. Be aware that you may experience some depression, loneliness, fatigue and illness as re-entry symptoms of stress. You can be stressed by either happy or sad events. You may go through a grief process.

2. Be alert to your own expectations and the expectations of others. Value conflicts may occur.

3. Allow for rest, reflection and rejoicing in what you have seen God do. Go over your experiences and ask the Lord to show you the various aspects of your trip and grow from them Evaluate what you have been through.

4. Take your time to readjust. Be patient with others who do not understand what you have experienced. Adapted from:

Last, but not least, don't make any life altering decisions when you are going through this normal re-entry process.This is a great time to keep your devotional life with God strong and pray for wisdom on how to process your experiences the right way.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Thanks Angie Miller! Love your blog!

Kate and John Mark...

Kate has done it yet again...check out her blog: I highly recommend her blog...I love it!

You know when you find a new cd you tend to leave your most favorites a side for a bit...well, that's what I did when I found JJ Hellers music...but Kate's post made me miss my everyday favorite that has been not so everyday for a while now.

But John Mark McMillan is back in my playlist and I am just loving it. He sings with such passion and his lyrics are so deep and real. He reminds me of a modern day Keith Green in some ways...not all...but some. So if you don't know who John Mark McMillan is then check him out here: The John Mark

Or on MySpace: John Mark McMillan

Or you can sit here a bit and listen to my favorite song Ashes and Flames.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

White Christmas?

Well, I have some wonderful news! We have a place to lay our head thanks to an awesome ministry in Whitesboro, Texas of a wonderful church First Baptist Church Whitesboro. The missions house that we stayed in when we were in America to have Joss had a cancellation and the house is now available for us to use until we move to Denver, Colorado in February! Wow!

I have such a fond feeling for this house and it will be such a pleasure to be able to stay there again...I would never have expected this but God knows all and is once again taking care of our needs. I am excited about being Whitesboro again....even though it is a small town it really has some great qualities. It's very homey and best of all it is home to one of my best friends and another awesome church called Pathway.

Our plans as of now is that we will be packed up and on a train by next week. We will be taking two over night trains...One from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and another one from Bangkok to HatYai. We will leave at about 4:30pm and be on the train until about 6am...then be in Bangkok until 3:10pm...when we will then get on another train until 7 or so the next morning. I'm going into it with three kids and 9 pieces of luggage thinking...THIS WILL BE AN ADVENTURE! I'm kicking all negative thoughts about this trip out of my head or I might run away screaming! hehehe...

Once in Hat Yai we will hopefully stay in the church there and begin going through and selling everything. This is going to be rough because it will be close to the same as when we left America the first time. Not the same though. Getting rid of everything you've worked on and had for most of your life is a lot different from getting rid of everything that you've had for the past 4 years. Except for what will fit into 9 suitcases that is...

But I look forward to it and it looks like we'll be HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! :)

Yesterday my Thai teacher came over to teach me 3 more Thai dishes and we had so much fun together. My teacher, Pii Khamm and I sat at the table and as we were eating our magnificantly made food I just about cried. I am going to miss them so much...I'm going to miss the way Thai people love to sit down...on the floor or at a table and share their food together.

I love how fun loving they are and I love how my teacher and Pii Khaam love Jesus. I'll miss the way it feels to "open up my house" in the morning and hear all the Thai men in the neighborhood clearing their throat in the morning...or the sound of someone using their pestle and morter to make their breakfast...and OH the smells of Thai breakfast...

LOL...I will miss all the insane looking bugs we find and going to the market...I love the market. Although...I won't miss the butcher handing me my money with nasty meaty hands. How nice it will be to not to have to worry about cross contamination and if my meat might be spoiled because it's been sitting out with flies all over it for a few hours....

You wanna know something kind of crazy? Yesterday we discovered that a lanturn is lodged in our electricity pole...gosh what is that called in English? You know where all the wires come together. Anyway, it's crazy dangerous...going to call someone about it today. The Thai guy who first noticed it said "just grab a really dry stick and get it down...". John and I just looked at each other and snickered at the thought. There is NO WAY we are getting anything and sticking it up in these horribly unstable electricity posts (oh someone help me out here...what are they called?). Usually when it rains we have a power outage because of the shear instability of the electrical design here.

Now how would a lantern get way up there...well the Thais just recently celebrated Loy Krathong. While it fills the sky with beautiful lanterns and creates a moving starry sky like many will never see in their is horrible at it's roots. They also send off floating lanterns in the river.

Apart from venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle lantern is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Many Thai believe that floating a krathong will create good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha. (taken from Wikipedia)

Here's the one stuck in our post: tell me...would you grab a stick and try to fish that thing off of there?

My first Thom Yum...and boy was it YUM! looks like ramen noodles because it is! It's Thai ramen noodles mixed with all sorts of yummy stuff. This is such a delicious dish...some of the stuff in it is ground pork, tomatoes, carrots, onions, phak chi, spring onions a bit of a veggie called phak chi farang (no clue what it is). This dish is called Yaam Maamaa

This is Yaam's made with glass noodles, carrots, tomatoes, onions and lots of different veggies, lime juice a tad bit of fish's made very similar to the previous dish. The best part about these two dishes is that the only thing that is cooked is the noodles and the pork. The rest of it is completely raw and loaded with all the good stuff.

Monday, November 17, 2008

On a lighter note...LOVE THIS!

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NOTE: This was posted by Stephanie Blake...and you can trust this link. Thanks Dawn!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My heart...

Now that the cat is officially out of the bag I feel as though I can breathe again. Whether I should or not, I want to once again share my heart with you in complete transparency...I feel as though I can open my heart and blog again. For the past few weeks things have been so confusing at times and it felt like my heart would suffer a wound that would not be recovered from easily.

I went from complete trust to sorrow...then on to wonder and then to hope...and back to sorrow again but that time with despair lingering near. So much to think about and so little time...isn't that just terrible? Not the time part...but the "so much to think about" part.

It's a great thing to be able to think about stuff and try to figure it out in your brain...don't get me wrong but oh how we females love to plan and figure things out and OH how we let go of the guiding hand of our father when we prefer to think things out on our own rather than lock onto His eyes and trust that He will lead us safely down the path.

The TRUTH is that it is in Him that I place my trust. Not in the responses of others or the plans of man but in my faithful God. I have gotten so many loving emails from you and I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. I am still taking it all in breath by beautiful breath...but I am really excited about seeing you again and being able to have a more active part in your life.

Even though I know we will return someday...I feel as though I am grieving at times. Some precious awesome people that God brought our way while we were on furlough this last time said something that really stuck with John and I and I think it helps describe what I'm going through to a T.

They talked about how Abraham finally had been given his son...which was a promise that he had been waiting on...and waiting on...and he finally was able to grasp his promise in his hands and his promise was reaching maturity...and then what did God ask him to do with it? Sacrifice it...lay it down on the alter to God....

Did Abraham say "BUT GOD! This is MY PROMISE! I waited so long and here it is and you want me to give it up?" I feel the same way sometimes about leaving Thailand at this time. I feel like we've been working so hard and there have been many wonderful things that have happened and God has done some awesome things but we were and are ready to see even greater things. Because of our break throughs in language and excitement about Thailand we felt as if we were really more equipped vessels to be able to see revival fires sweep across Thailand...
It seemed as if we were stepping into our promise and now we are to give it up until God sees fit to send us back. What I've struggled my lameness...has been...will I trust God's perspective. I know it's the ultimate perspective...he sees the big picture...while I'm zoomed in on Thailand...he's zoomed in on the world. Will I allow my dreams and my wants and my hopes to be subject to His plans and wishes? For they are far better than my own.

The answer is yes...of course it is yes! I love Thailand...I really a friend that I've come to know and love for her weaknesses and beauty...but as great as this friend is and as deep as the love for her is in my heart...I fully trust His plans.

Above all else, I'm excited because this is what God has planned. I pray that we will stay focused and in Him enough to be dead to ourselves so that he can use us to the maximum in whatever he sees fit. There are so many unknowns and I'm glad about it. I'm glad that I can't make plans right now. I'm glad that I don't know where we will stay or how we will make it...I'm ever so glad that I don't know what Denver holds...I don't want to underestimate what God is going to do by my assumptions or plans.

I've been thinking a lot about what we've done in Thailand over the past four years and I'm amazed at what we've accomplished and been a part of...but even more than that I am amazed at the work that God has done in our lives. While we were on a mission for God...he was also on a mission masterfully working on us.

I realize now that we were in the prime position for God to move and mold our lives in order to change our stubborn flesh and etch himself upon our hearts. I yearn to maintain that position upon returning to the states. I yearn to continue to allow Him to be the reason I wake in the morning and that my day is about furthering the kingdom...

Don't get me wrong...a lot of my days are "off days" but because we set our hearts on being missionaries for Him and giving our lives for Him...we gave him liberties that at times when we are living our lives in America we just don't give. Upon returning to America...I will continue to put my trust, my hopes, my desires, my children, my life in His hands to do with as he pleases. I want to encourage you today in your you are walking with Him.

What is it that you need to surrender to Him? Are you trying to figure everything out in your own strength? My husband said something tonight on the phone with a dear friend that I heard in passing..."It's not about you and how good you are and how well you live...if you've done's about Jesus and His grace. It's about the power that lives in you that enables you to do great things beyond yourself."

Trust God with your won't be disappointed.
And now for a few pics from the past week or so....

Yeah...I made this! Wahoo! Well, if my memory serves me correctly then many of you will be like...that looks like NASTYNESS...WHY would you be proud of that!?! It's DELICIOUS that's why! It's called Laap Moo...and maybe if you invite me to your house I'll make you some!

This is Josiah on our field trip to a silk factory...

Me and my big boy...

I believe his exact words were: "Oh yeah, I made this..."

This is hilarious to me. We decided to look up some games to play as a family in the evening times and we found this one called "Doggie Doggie where's your bone". So someone sits in a chair with a "bone" under their seat (can be any object that you can hide on your persons fairly easily) and that person is facing away from everyone else.

Everyone sits quietly...well, I barked for fun when I was it...but that's besides the point. Someone comes up and steals the bone...and once someone has it you say "doggie, doggie, where's your bone...some one took it from your home. Who could it be...maybe me..."

Then the "doggie" turns around and tries to figure out who has the "bone"(a tennis ball in this cae). In the picture above I caught a moment that I will cherish for many years to come...this is Josiah saying...I don't know who has it mommy...all the while thinking the ball is well hidden on his head! LOL!

We later played "honey, if you love'll smile". By the way, don't play me in this will LOSE! muahhahahaha...(just thought of you Barb...your family practicing your sinister laughs together...ha! Oh and I have not forgotten that I am tagged... :)

Beautiful Jossalyn...her nose is a little banged up...she tried to follow her brothers out the back door in her walker...
She looks sooo chubby in this pic! She's sitting up all by herself now!

This is Josiah totally FREAKING OUT about the bandaids that were sent from America in a box from our family at Liberty Lighthouse...I had NO CLUE this would be as huge of a deal as it was. Now every time I turn around someone "needs" a bandaid...even Jude goes around saying "owie...mommy...bandaid please"
Another huge hit...ring pops!

The Pruetts volunteered to take the kids to the Night Safari tonight...they had a blast...I'm so glad because I don't know how well I'd do with all 9 of those kids....

Me and my baby girl...oh she's sooo precious!

Jude staring down the lepord...he's so brave...

Little Jude is 3 years old TOMORROW! Happy Birthday my little brick! We love you sooo much and I'm in awe as I watch you grow into the unique and strong little boy that you are! MUAH!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Man makes his plans but God directs his steps...

Dear blogging friends,

I've got butterflies as I publish this post tonight. We have some shocking news for you today…maybe not so shocking to the ones who have been asking God for clear direction for us. God has answered our prayers about what we are to do very clearly and very directly. We have been given an answer and there is no doubt about what we are supposed to be doing. I pray that as you read the next few paragraphs you hear our heart and most of all recognize that God has the full perspective.

We sent out a newsletter about 2 weeks ago regarding our current financial situation and to this moment the situation has not changed. There wasn’t much of a response to our newsletter and I was really surprised. No real communications regarding the situation was received nor were any donations made. We began to really seek God even more so.

A dear friend of ours, Micheal, was on the phone with John and it went like this:

Micheal: “So John…if you had the money what would you do?”
John: “Go down south as planned…”
Micheal: “So you wouldn’t do anything else?”
John: “No…the plan is to go down south to Narathiwat”
Micheal: “Ok…so is it possible that God could be not providing the money
because he knows that you are set on doing that and only that?”
John: “Hmmm…yeah, that’s possible…”

The following day John was riding home from Thai class and was praying about what to do and what action to take. His Thai teacher had encouraged him to remember and utilize all contacts that he has made in the past and he remembered that there was a guy from a church that we knew of that said if we ever needed anything big to contact him and he’d do what he could. We don’t have a direct way to contact him so John thought to himself…as soon as I get home I’ll message his daughter so I can get in touch with him.

As John was thinking about what he would say to the man about seeing if he could help us get moved and get a car, John thought “but if he gives us money…when we go back to America then we won’t be buying a car so we’d need to send the money back…” He was shocked that he even thought that. Going back to America has not been an option or a thought in the 4 years that we’ve been missionaries in Thailand. And yet this thought came to him as if it were natural and normal.

So he started really praying and putting everything before God… John said to God that he knew that he could choose to go anywhere and God would use him there…we could stay and work in Chiang Mai, or we could go work with in villages up north or we could go to a different country and God would use us there…my husband then prayed "but I don’t want that…I want what you want for me right now"

We want God’s will above our own and while our hearts are here in Thailand…our hearts are ultimately with God. God then reminded John of many things and then, as clear as day God directly told him that he was supposed to return to America and that it was time to work with his father…Curry Blake.

So yes, we are returning to America. We are not returning to America because we don’t have enough money. If we were supposed to move to Narathiwat or remain here in Chiang Mai then the finances would allow us to do so…but as of now we don’t even have enough financial support to sustain us month to month. Over the past 4 years we have seen God provide in miraculous ways and this time is no different that any other…God is completely able to provide but he closed that door. Man makes his plans but God directs his steps.

I know some of you have heard us talk before we returned to Thailand this time about our heart for Thai Muslims and that we knew we were supposed to return to Thailand and I believe we were. Our hearts are still the same toward the Thai Muslims and Thailand but ultimately our hearts are for God.

While some might not quite understand…we were supposed to return. These past 4 months have been like boot camp spiritually. It has been as if we have been in the blue flame of God’s refining fire. We know we have been being prepared for what is coming. We have had time to learn and glean off of our teammates…go through some really rough times…teaching us some lessons that can only be learned through the experiences we have had. We have also had significant breakthroughs in Thai language.

You ask…why is a breakthrough in Thai language significant if you are returning to America? It is significant because we believe and hope that one day we will return to Thailand. We have had major breakthroughs in our Thai language abilities and many breakthroughs in relating to Thai people and understanding culture that we didn’t even know we needed.

We believe we have had these experiences so that we are not leaving Thailand feeling like we aren’t able to make it here successfully but instead that God would send us off with feelings of victory so that our hearts would be prepared to return again someday…maybe in a few years…but that is up to God.

We have shared what God has shown us with our team and some other senior missionaries that we just happened to be able to spend time with when this happened and they prayed with us and agreed that this is indeed God…whether any of us like the idea of us leaving Thailand or not…it is what we are to do.

He knows we are willing vessels and even at this moment if He were to say stay…we would. But He has spoken clearly and we are confident and joyful about what God has planned and how he plans on using us. John is very excited about being able to work with his father.

About a month ago John and I were sitting down talking about the future as we do sometimes…thinking about 5-10 years ahead…where God could have us…ect. We were talking about if God sent us back to America and I asked John “What would you do in America John? There are no villages in America…” I said challengingly. He answered me quickly and confidently “I’d work with Native American Indians.”

I was shocked by his answer and said “What!?!”. He has never mentioned Native American Indians before. The next day while on Skype with John’s mother she told us about Curry’s most recent trip and about a prophecy that was spoken over him and in that prophecy it was said that Curry is going to do a great work among the Native American Indians amongst many other awesome words! My jaw hit the floor...I pointed my finger at John…like…did you already know that and he threw up his hands saying he had no clue! We both kept our mouths closed and gave it to God and assumed it was for the far in the future.

Over the past week we have been calling people to tell them this news the best we can with the time differences and we got an awesome confirmation after telling John’s sister about the news. She works for Curry also…she sends out all of his partner letters and she had just put the most recent partner letter in the mail the day before. She went on to tell us that toward the end of the letter Curry stated that he knew from the Lord that it was time for his son to come and travel with him and he asked his partners to pray with him that John would hear directly from the Lord regarding the matter.

John G. Lake Ministries is going to be moving to Denver, Colorado in February 2009 and we will also be moving there. We will be staying in Thailand until the end of December 2008. At the first of December we will move down to Hat Yai with the Pruetts to help in any way we can with their transition and stay in the church there…tying up any loose ends…until we leave at the end of December.

I know this hit some of you over the head like a huge brick…and we pray that you will love us through this time and continue to pray for us. We will not be returning back to Texas permanently as I always thought we would if we ever returned at all…and this will be a tough transition for us. Especially me, Stephanie.

My heart still hurts at the thought of leaving Thailand and not knowing when I will return. I will miss sooo many things I can’ t even begin…but just as there was pain in leaving family and friends behind on that first plane ride…there will be pain in my heart leaving this place that I have called home for the past four years…we will also be starting all over.

We will not have a bed on which to lay our head when we return. We will be trusting God to take care of us with the same amount of faith that we have had to trust him here with. While all of this seems a bit overwhelming…we want you to know that we are excited and confident in this new direction. John will be working with His father all over the US and in many other countries as well as working with His father in reaching out to the Native American Indians.

We ask that you lift us up in prayer whenever you think on us and that those who support us…we ask that you to continue to support us through this transition and then as God leads. We still have need of support in returning to America.

We believe we will return to Thailand someday and our lives are still in His hands. We will go where he leads as missionaries to wherever He sends us…even if it is nonconventional…we will go as missionaries to America and then onto wherever it is that He sends us. We still feel like missionaries but we’re just changing location. We will live our lives as missionaries in America...continuing to speak Thai to our children and raise them up to be mission minded.

Upon our return we understand that many Americans don’t understand or support the concept of missionaries to America but in truth that is what we will be…giving our lives to reaching the lost and equipping the body of Christ.

Thank you for loving us, supporting us and praying for us. Please do not stop praying for Thailand or for us. I would personally love to hear from you after reading this post. I will continue to post as things unfold and keep you informed...

With much love,
The Blakes
John, Stephanie, Josiah, Jude and Jossalyn

Friday, November 07, 2008

UMO visitation...that's short for HUGE ELEPHANT

We saw a UMO (Unidentified MASSIVE Object) heading our way out the second glance I saw that it was an ELEPHANT in our neighborhood. This is a first. So I get to report that this morning we were visited by an elephant! The thing would have come into my house if it were possible. It was sooo beautiful...and 6 months pregnant.
Here are some photos and I'll put up a video later.

The elephant at our gate.
We hadn't decided to open the gate yet...we were concerned about the temperment of the elephant. I was once almost seriously injured by a young spunky one downtown one time.
We opened the gate and in he came...he would have kept coming if that guy would have let him. Good thing he didn't go too much farther...would have knocked that guy right off.

This lady was so sweet and was practicing her english with us. She's holding sugar cane that you can purchase for 20 baht (about .58 cents) to feed the elephant.

As the elephant went on to wow some other people the guy stood up on his back. Josiah and Jude thought that was the coolest...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request...

Our family has an urgent prayer request for you and we ask that you click on this link to see our November Newsletter.

November Newsletter 2008

***Renee is fully recovered from Typhoid Fever and
is doing wonderful! Thanks for your prayers!***