Mrs. Pat nicknamed her new baby boy “First”, although he was her fourth and last child. When she initially discovered that she was pregnant with First, she was not ready to have another child, because of the economic strain on the family.
However, a Christian neighbor encouraged her to continue the pregnancy. This neighbor showed practical support by paying the kindergarten expenses for Mrs. Pat’s 6-year-old child. Mrs. Pat decided to continue the pregnancy. T
The opportunity came out of the blue... Our local community was going to celebrate the "Khaochi- Festival". For that reason they invited us to join in and produce a Swiss style Khaochi. Khaochi is made with sticky rice, which is the basic food for the Isaan people. The sticky rice is put around a stick, coated with egg and then grilled over charcoal. It's very popular and young and old alike, just love it!
In Gods perfect timing,
Nothing is left to coincidence in Thailand. Today while reading a book I learned that even a house plan in Isaan has a deeper thought behind it. It has to do with auspiciousness. The four wind directions have different meanings in Buddhism.
‘’East is auspicious, represents life, is sacred (the Buddha shelf of the house is always placed in the easterly direction), and is in the direction of the rising sun. East is also, when one faces north, the direction of the right hand and represents the male sex. West is inauspicious, represents death, impurity, and the setting sun. It also represents the female sex. North is auspicious and is associated with the elephant, an auspicious animal because of its size, natural strength and associations with royalty and Buddhist mythology. South is of neutral value.’’ (S.J. Tambiah, Buddhism and the Spirit Cults in North-east Thailand)
For reasons that are evident it would therefore be hard to find a traditional Thai house with a main bedroom that is placed in the west.
Last year, we had an outing to the nearby mountains with some of our Thai friends. As we walked along through the forest, they continued to point to the many species of plants and flora that were edible. It seemed to me as if nearly everything around us could have been eaten. This is not the only time that we have seen our Thai friends’ knowledge of nature and the edible. We have often been able to enjoy (Well, mostly enjoy) many amazing dishes with plants freshly picked from around us.
Often, we find that people are wondering how they can be involved in mission. Probably one of the most important ways is in prayer. In addition to prayer, coming on a short-term trip is a good experience. By being involved in a short-term team, people find that they can taste a little bit of what mission is like and they can take their stories back home in order to mobilize other people to pray or go into mission. During this past Christmas, we had a team come from Hong Kong. Having a team is always a great encouragement, not only for us, but also for the brothers and sisters in the small church. The brothers and sisters in the small church feel blessed when people are coming from overseas to serve the Lord together.
Mother Khong saw another turtle along the road. She wanted to pick it up, but she hesitated. She did not have to return the turtle back to the turtle temple.
A few months ago, she would have brought back lost turtles to the temple. At this particular temple, a turtle is honored who is said to have a god inside of it. People would bring food and worship the turtle. Returning a turtle back to the temple would be thought to be counted as a good deed to the person bringing it. It would bring prosperity in this life and next life.
But this time, Mother Khong realized that she does not have to bring the turtle back to the temple anymore. The Lord Jesus is now her God. ‘Well,’ Mother Khong thought to herself; ‘I will bring the turtle home for my son to return to the temple.’
In February, we bought our banana tree. “When will it have bananas?” I asked the shop owner. “After about a year and a half;” she answered. At that point, I was noticing that it only had three leaves; with one of them turning brown already. Ewoud planted the tree in our garden and at first nothing appeared to be happening. However, after a week the first new leaf came and soon many leaves started growing. It wasn’t before long we noticed the tree had already started growing shoots as well! We separated some of the shoots from the tree and gave them away to our neighbors. We also decided to grow another tree for ourselves. We’re so impressed by the growth of this tree!
When we think of this banana tree, we also think of the church that is growing in Na Dun. Do we want all the Christians in this district to gather in one building? Or do we aim to grow house-groups, spread out over the whole district?
Some Sundays ago, I realized that single mother, Mrs J and her daughter S had not come to church for a few weeks. I asked others in the church about her. Some hadn’t noticed that Mrs J had stayed away and no one knew where or how she was. She is one of our faithful Nampu prayer partners and I wanted to give her our latest prayer letter. I called her. “Oh”, Mrs J said “ I don’t live in Khonkaen anymore. My estranged husband went to see my mother and apologized for his unfaithful behavior towards me. He asked her to allow him to get me back.
Moey listens eagerly as I share about God’s creation and the worth that God has put into our lives. She interacts with ease and surprizes me with the answers to my questions. Moey attends our weekly meeting at Sunshine House (Drug Rehab Hospital) together with 15-20 other ladies. “Life Values” events have become a regular feature at Sunshine House that we from Nampu-Fountain Ministry offer. The women feel sorry that they have been caught doing unlawful things. Most of them find it hard to go through a four months rehabilitation program especially at the beginning. So they welcome any change in their daily routine.
After the session Moey stays back to chat with us. She is a woman in her twenties and comes from a neighbouring province.
“Do you know about Jesus?” I ask her.