Monday, March 21, 2011

The Glory of the Lord

I have always loved huge crusade evangelism.  It is so exciting and fun to be a part of something like that.  The excitement and anticipation I feel when I see hundreds and even thousands of people gathered together to see God work is overwhelming.  When I was first saved and living in Oxford, MS I would drive past the Ole Miss football stadium and imagine it filled with people who had come to worship Jesus!  I've had visions and dreams of huge stadiums filled with people to seek God in many years past and I still believe it will happen someday.  The stirring in my spirit is still there.
This past weekend our family was able to help with a crusade here in Korat. To my knowledge there has never been a crusade like this in this city.   It was held outdoors, in an open field, next to the King's Stadium.  It was such a blessing and encouragement to be a part of this huge event.  I call it huge, not for numbers alone, but because we saw God working in amazing ways.  People were worshiping together--dancing and praising God.  Hundreds were professing Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the first time.  Blind eyes were seeing, the lame were walking and the deaf were hearing.  My heart was pounding and my eyes filled with tears as I saw these people being changed right before my eyes. 
I know that these types of miracles and salvations are pretty common in Africa and India and such places.  But having been here 7 years, I guess I was really losing hope that it could happen for the Thai people too.  With only .5% of the population of Thailand being Christian (this number includes all cults that profess to be Christian) it is sometimes hard to believe it will happen in your own backyard.  So you can only imagine the thrill we all felt as we watched this happening. 

One of the personal highlights for me was watching Ben on the stage, introducing those the Lord had healed, seeing Margaret used to translate during the healing, watching Benjamin carry the sick into the crusade, and seeing Isaac and Ruth praying for healing for these precious people.  It brings tears to my eyes to think how our little family team was being used in their gifts to see these people come to Jesus. 

This road has not always been an easy one. We have had our struggles as do all missionaries.  There has been times when I wondered why we were even here.  But this past weekend once again brought the Glory Of the Lord before my eyes.  We are nothing with Him and total fulfillment comes in doing His Will.  Thanks be to God for allowing us to be a part of this. As Ben and I are like to say---"We're still in it!"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Life

This is such a beautiful picture of New Life!  Babies are amazing and wonderful, whether they be human or horse.  Just gazing on the simple yet utter complexity of creation gives us reason to pause.
How much more must  our Lord Jesus rejoice in the new life of a son who believes!  We are all known for our fruit and the fruit that we are producing is new believers in Jesus.
This past week our family had the privilege to attend a conference with the Christian Outreach Center in Chiang Mai.  We were challenged and encouraged as we met with other Asian leaders and workers for a time of worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship.
One of the couples we met were a native couple, living and working in Bangladesh.  This humble couple is from the lowest class in their country.  Because of their class they are unable to even get their hair cut in a shop.  But they are diligently working to produce fruit.  In the last few years, they have won over 26,000 new believers to the Lord.  One of their own disciples was beheaded for his faith.  Yet they are not discouraged.  They are on fire and willing to give it all for Jesus.
This precious couple does not have a house of their own to live in.  We would love to be able to give them a simple home.  This will cost about 30,000 USD.  During one meeting of the conference, COC  was able to raise over 3,400 for this couple.   I am asking that you would add to that to see this couple blessed in a way that many of us can't begin to appreciate.  If you would like to donate, please send a check to ISAAC, In, t, 4960 Bentridge Drive, Concord, NC  28027  and make sure to mark "Bangladesh" in the memo line.

There is no reason we shouldn't be able to give these laborers the basic needs within the month.  Thanks so much for believing with me.  New life is what it is all about.  Let's feed His sheep and take care of His lambs.
I love you all...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Double Standards

This week I got to witness first hand some very troubling "double standard" situations.  The first happened while Benjamin, Margaret and I were teaching English to nursing students at a local university.  We were invited to be part of an English camp for these students.  The camp was run by a local church and all the teachers were Christians.  The students were fun and cooperative and we had lots of fun teaching them that day.  That evening we were invited back to their evening program where each group of students were asked to put on a short skit in English.  It was an eye opening experience.  The themes of the skits included cheating on your pregnant wife, revealing you are gay, stealing from your friends, being told fat is ugly, being ashamed of your parents, cheating on your husband with a white man, and getting a massage from a prostitute.  As I sat there and endured this, I realized that these young people think these are "normal" events and are no longer shocked or saddened by them.  In this same society we have been told it is shocking for a woman to touch the hand of Jesus during a drama/skit of the gospel.  What a double standard!
The next day, we had to go on our 3 month visa run.  We always drive to Cambodia and cross the border on foot and walk back into Thailand to renew our visa.  After we crossed back into Thailand yesterday, I saw a little boy, about 1 year old, sitting on the sidewalk in the sun,  with a plastic cup in front of him.  He had obviously been used to beg like this many times, because he did not attempt to get up or move around.  He was about 5 feet from some old woman and other school age girls, but it was not apparent who was in charge of him, if anyone.  His purpose in life was to make money.  There are plenty of police and official people at this border, but no one seemed to mind this was happening.
This is the same country where a few of my friends, lovely Christian people, have had to jump through hoops for years to adopt children that no one else wanted.  One has recently been denied a visa to America for the 2 boys she loves and raises because the government is afraid she will not bring them back to Thailand if she takes them to visit in America.  Are you seeing the double standard?

All I can say is Thailand really needs your prayers.  If this is what is happening in public, it is hard to imagine the private life of many of these people.  We know that Jesus came to bind up the broken hearted  and to set the captives free.  We need a move of God in Thailand!  Please remember us when you can.  The only hope for Thailand is Jesus!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home school Conference--One of Life's Amazing Surprises

Ruth, Isaac and I were blessed to be able to attend a week in Chiang Mai at a home school conference.  Those of you who know me well know my passion for home schooling.  I always loved being a part of co-ops, participating in field trips and doing group activities.  But since we have been in Thailand, these things have been pretty much unavailable.
But last week, we had the opportunity to travel with Sandy Lovorn and her 4 kids by overnight bus (12 wonderful hours) to be a part of a conference.  The kids had a week of testing mixed with fun VBS activities while the parents enjoyed worship, testimonies and teaching.

Besides meeting some wonderful new missionaries and making new friends, we were so encouraged.  I have been to conferences that teach how to better educate your children in just about every known subject.  But this was different.  Although it did include some of that, it was really a time of spiritual and emotional growth.  We learned about conflict resolution, meeting needs and understanding your children's emotions and beliefs, the process of healthy transition into a new culture and how to take the temperature in your home.  We opened our hearts and lives and found that our hearts were broken for the pain of our fellow workers, and our hearts were healed knowing we were not in this alone.  It was an time to be vulnerable because we were in a safe and loving environment----something we don't often find out here on the field.
I can hardly express how God met us and brought many things into perspective.  Sometimes we don't even know what we need, but God always knows.  And He surprised me when He showed up in this forum to minister life and healing to me that I have desired for a long time.  What an amazing God we serve.
My heart is so full of gratitude to God and the people who sacrificially gave of themselves so we could be a part of this.  It is rare to find people who will come all the way to Thailand--taking time from work, family and finances--just to help the kids and moms who are here supporting their husbands.  It definately is not very glorious--no salvations to report, no miracles, no healings---just playing and singing and laughing with some kids and giving their parents a chance to refuel.  Only God knows what a difference it has made in my life.  I have only one regret, that I didn't bring Ben with me.  Next year I will try to make sure he is able to be a part too.
So, if God happens to tell you to do something that seems rather insignificant, please don't ignore it or judge it according to your measure.  It could be that He is trying to meet a need that no one could understand except Him.  Go ahead and reach out and do it.  Who knows what heart could be touched.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome Friends!


I finally decided to take the plunge and try making a blog for our family.  So, bear with me folks.  I am sure in time I will figure this all out, but for now it might be plain and boring.  Please fell free to leave me lots of comments and suggestions about what you want to see and hear from us, so I can try to please.
I don't really have a good plan for this yet.  I just wanted to give you a little taste of what our life is like and keep you posted on some of our thoughts.  We'll see how that works out.

We welcomed our newest grandson, Judah Benjamin, in January.  He is wonderful and we are so proud of him.  He is a good baby and Missy is adjusting to the new pressures of having 4 little ones.  Liberty turned 7 on February 2nd and is Missy's right hand helper.

Isaac, Ruth and I will travel next week to Chiang Mai for a home schooling conference.  We will take the overnight bus and stay the week.  They will be tested and also enjoy a vacation bible school.  During the same week, Margaret will travel to Davao City, Philippines with Pat Blount.  She will have the opportunity to visit the works going on there.  Benjamin and Ben will be holding down the fort alone.  Please keep us all in your prayers are we are apart and traveling.

We recently took advantage of our rapidly retreating spring-like weather to enjoy a camp out with the Lovorns at our horse farm.  We had a wonderful time riding and roasting hot dogs and hanging out.  The children really enjoyed riding.  We have not had much opportunity to ride, but most everyone got in on the fun.  It was such a delight to watch everyone ride.  As you can see, the sunsets are spectacular and the star gazing that night was wonderful too.

Well, hopefully I will be able to work out this blogging with fear and trembling and we will all know each other a little better as time goes on.  Let me know what you think!