Friday, April 11, 2014

Thailand Trip 10

As a final post on our time in Thailand, I would like to summarize the trip. We were privileged to visit five different missionaries and six churches. Bangkok was the southernmost and Chiang Rai the northernmost. Tak was as far west as we traveled, with an extended period in Phitsanulok in the central region and Chiang Mai/Lamphun area in the north. We checked out three language schools during our time in Thailand. Our family helped with physical work in two of the areas visited. I was able to give my testimony in a few of the churches and led devotions at the children's home in Lamphun. God has been so good to us! He provided in miraculous ways allowing us to go to the land of Thailand. All of us were very healthy during our trip, even with the wide array of foods and living conditions we encountered and the many times we traveled to different areas. So much could be said as to the friends made, as well as prayers answered, to witnessing to someone that you wanted to be able to personally talk to but couldn't, to seeing missionaries on their home turf, to not wanting to leave a land with such a great need; but to wrap it all up.... all praise be to a great, loving, prayer answering, living God!! Thank you to those of you that prayed.....Andrew, Summer, and family.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thailand Trip 9

     We arrived safely in Phitsanulok train time! That just means on their time schedule and not ours!! No biggie, we then met the missionary here and he transported us to their home where we were welcomed by his wife and children.  We enjoyed fellowship over a home cooked meal and continued to visit on into the night!
     During our time with this family we developed an amazing bond with them! Easy to do when your in the same boat!! We went to Sunday service with them and enjoyed one another's company as they showed us the local area and it's history! One thing I especially enjoyed was the opportunity to work side by side with the missionary's wife in the kitchen and learning the ins and outs of cooking on a foreign field. Even though you may be able to get "Western" style food here, due to lack of spices and ovens in most homes, it does change the way you cook!
     The kids have been doing GREAT!! We have had no illness from food or water and have enjoyed all kinds of dishes from an outdoor kitchen to a pizza place! The kids have made friends and learned to tolerate getting their picture taken by Thai people! Thais like our light skin tones and frequently stop to stare at us as we walk by or snap a photo!
     We are enroute to the airport as we begin our journey back to the States! I am very happy to be returning home to see family and friends, but would have to be honest and say that I look forward to coming back to Thailand someday! In poverty stricken areas to wealth beyond my imagination, these people are enslaved to fear. I would love the opportunity to share with them the freedom and joy that can be found through trusting in Jesus Christ!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thailand Trip 8

     Hello family and friends!! We have had a good week and have enjoyed the tropical temperatures! Been tracking the weather back home and glad to hear it is starting to warm up there too!
     We have been putting our hand to work here at the children's home. We have been able to learn a great deal regarding food and healing sources from the local plants & trees. One thing I admire about these people is their determination and hard work ethic. We have had the privilege to work side by side with these young men & women/ boys & girls to accomplish some improvements at the home and also regular upkeep as they are expecting to have 120 children here this next term. Never a dull moment and always something to do.
     The best part of our time here is the friendships we have made with the people! Each one of us has  grown close to the people here. It has been a tearful morning as we leave the home and head for the last leg of one journey here in Thailand. We are so very thankful for the kindness and the genuine love that has been shown to us! We are thankful for the missionary families that have been so welcoming. We have been able to view everyday life in a foreign land.
     At the present, we are on a train heading to Phitsanulok to be with another missionary and view the work that is going on there. We will then be leaving for the States on the 11th. Hope all is going well! Please pray for us as we travel back next week! Look forward to seeing you all & share with you about our adventures here! Love to all!!      ~Summer

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thailandtrip 7

     Hello again! We returned from our trip to one of the hill tribe churches last night. Our experiences up there were amazing! All the sights and the experiences would take me an extremely long time to try and share, and I do not think I could give the experience justice. Andy had the opportunity to spend some time with the pastor and also  go visiting with some of the men! We were privileged to be able to work side by side with some of the children from the home and some of the people that lived in the hill area where we were working! We worked on a home for the pastor and his family, poured concrete that was mixed by hand, hauled bricks, laughed at each other's attempt to pronounce one another's language and had a blast!!!
     The journey home was an experience in itself! We stopped for lunch and had pizza! We loved the Canadian bacon, bacon & corn pizza! Later we stopped for a piece of ice cream cake! Funny thing, it was called San Fransisco Golden Gate ice cream cake!! You just never know what you will find & where!!This shop had an interesting way to feed fish-will have to let kids tell you about that one! Last stop before coming back to the children's home - the home of the Ballou family where Alisa made an incredible enchilada dish. Best I have ever had!
     Today has been a day of relaxing before we begin to gear up for the next leg of our trip. We caught up on laundry and spent time together as a family! So thankful for that!! So easy to get busy and forget to take time! Everyone has remained healthy and doing well-except we did get a little to much sun the other day! Had sunscreen with us, but forgot to put it on! No serious sunburns-just a little toasty! Better today!
     Hope all is going well back home! Thinking of you all! Today Chris & Asleen are having their baby boy - hope the delivery went well! Looking forward to seeing the little guy!!  and it is my brother's birthday! Happy Birthday Adam! Hope you have a GREAT day! Never thought you would get birthday wishes from Thailand, huh? Looking forward to sharing pics and stories when we get home! Love to all!!!  .....Summer

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thailand trip 6

         We are enjoying the northern part of Thailand and have been attending  services at Nongloam Baptist Church. We have been here for a few days, taking part in all that goes on at this busy place. What a blessing to sing God glorifying hymns with like minded Christians. It doesn't matter what language they are sung in, they are still wonderful. The people in Thailand are a beautiful people that are very kind and just generally nice to be around. I understand that some of this is their culture and such. The other night we had the opportunity to go to the market in town with the young people. I noticed that when I handed someone a tract, they kindly receved it and read it on the spot. We make sure there is an address on the tract so they can contact someone as we were not able to communicate with them. (And oh, how we desire to learn the language and be able to talk to them rather than just through an interpreter!) I know the tracts are just a seed planted as one missionary stated that usually there is an incredible amount of time involved in explaining the gospel before they understand and turn to Jesus Christ and trust Him as their savior. But it is worth it! We have been with three different missionaries now, and they have all been extremely helpful in multiple ways. Right now we are with the Ballou family and they have went way above and beyond what we expected! I have definatley come to appreciate missionaries much more. Today I was able to give my testimony and preach in the afternoon service. Tomorrow we will be heading out early to a hill tribe church if the weather holds; (we have been getting some rains and the roads on the mountains are not exactly solid when it rains!) Everyone is doing well and liking Thailand. We have been praying for you all and the work going on at home. Thank you for praying; please continue.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thailand Trip 5

     Hello family and friends!! We have experienced many things since leaving Bangkok, sometimes it is hard to remember what day of the week it is or time of day! Sorry if I don't post much, I have been waking around 4 and after a busy day-fall asleep waiting for my turn in the shower!!!  We have been enjoying visiting with  some missionaries that have been here working in different ministries while they are working through language school. Language school would be a must for anyone wanting to reach the Thai people. There are no common words and in order to talk to them in any capacity, you would have to learn their language. We have picked up a few words and enjoy trying to use them and in right context!
     Chiang Mai is very different than Bangkok. City yes  but not near as chaotic! We have seen some sights and enjoyed some amazing food! Thais like their food hot & I have tasted a few bites of some pretty warm stuff! Andy & Haley are loving the hot, Chase likes it somewhat warm and Wyatt & I are on the lower end of the heat thermometer!!
     We are now enjoying getting to see another work in the northern part of Thailand.  The boys played soccer with some of the boys here and had a great time! Even though they could not speak the same language, they were able to enjoy a common bond - sports!! Tonight we went to an indoor
night market and saw a huge variety of goods! The children here learn English and so Haley was chatting away with a few of the girls in the van! Had a nice thunderstorm! Good to see & feel rain(that was not freezing)!!!   Have to be honest and say, I love this weather!! Love to all!! ....... Summer

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thailand trip 4

Heading from Bangkok to Chiang Mai....taking a bus (yeah I know...really? your taking a bus!) yes, taking a nice air conditioned, smooth riding, quiet comfortable motor coach bus for the roughly 10 hour trip to the north. After being in Bangkok for the past four days trying to soak in and process so many things... It is nice to sit back and ride and take a rest. As I ride along watching out the window I am hit by an overwhelming compassion for these people. It is hard to explain, but I have seen complete poverty beyond what I have ever viewed before (people in one room structures with almost nothing other than a broken couch and tv, to people with a sheet on the ground, their clothes hanging on a few tree limbs, and a few water bottles placed where water runoff would fill them, to lepers with no legs begging on the street) to wealth far beyond anything I've ever seen (luxury homes, Armani suites, Bentleys, Rolls Royce's, Porches, Lamborghinis) all mixed together...but what moves me wih compassion is 90 plus % of ALL these people, rich and poor alike, have never heard a clear presentation off the gospel; with many never hearing the name of Jesus Christ. We are so excited for the opportunity to be here, God is so amazing in his provision allowing us to come. We are very thankful for those that are praying for us, please continue. As one missionary that had been to other countries put it; Thailand has a unique spiritual darkness like no other place. I would have to definitely agree with that. Please pray for us to draw nearer to God in our relationship with Him, safety, health, ready hearts to receive the Truth, and so many other things... God is so good, He is so faithful. Psalm 36:5-10 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgements are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O GOD! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy         righteousness to the upright in heart.