Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Long Journey

February 1st will be our 1st official opening of the drop-in centre with my 2 staff. Please pray for this & that we would be able to stay opened for a long time.

This past 6 months has been an incredible journey of stress, patience, crying out to God "why", frustration, piece, humility (asking forgiveness of people), days praying for the community, fear (almost being kicked out of our building), working with new people, immeasurable joy (being mobbed by the kids happy to see me & the adults in the community helping me with some repairs of the centre), conflict between Teresa & I, Jesus challenging me to follow His lead & so much more.

I am still in need of 2 female staff & one male. I would like at
at least one female staff to be Thai. But we will see.

"...my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." 
Acts 20:24

Thursday, 2 November 2017

We are Peace Givers

This evening I had to give a document to our landlady who lives next door. As I came close to the door I said hello in Thai & our landlady’s husband came to the door with a huge smile & asked me to come in. He happily introduced me to his mother-in-law. Then our landlady came into the room & was so excited to see me. They then invited me to come in & eat a traditional Thai dinner with them as a family. I politely refused because I had just finished supper at home. We continued to talk for a few minutes in English then I left for them eat their dinner.

I smile even more than ever before these days when I see them.  You see our landlady’s husband hated us when we first met him. Our landlady was friendly & polite, but her husband really did not like us. After years of praying to Jesus for him, some community traumas & even though the traumas were fearful for everyone in our community we did not move. I think all of these things together has caused him to have a heart change toward us. 

One year our landlady & her husband came over to sign a new lease. When they came in the front door & sat at our kitchen table said this to us. “When we came into your house & we feel this peace that I have not felt before. This is so nice”  

“I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

For some Thai people I have experienced they need a reason to come & talk with you. To just come over could or world be very awkward so they just don’t come over. But, now our landlady’s husband looks for opportunities to say hello or come over to our house to talk. Deep down I think he likes it when I tell him there is something that he needs to look at or possibly repair because he can come over to maybe have a chance to talk. 

Years ago I was questioned who I was & what I was doing here by a government official who was/is Thai. When I told her who I was & what I was doing here she became very serious & said, “Please give my people peace. We act like we have it on the outside, but we do not have it at all. Please give us peace.” 

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:1-2 & 9

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Language Change

As I have been typing my paper for Arrow Leadership I stop from time to time to read what I have already typed. My first thought is that I sound like English was not my 1st or 2nd language. I guess I have adapted to always trying to say things in the most simplest way possible. The only reason I can come up with is having lived overseas for so long (many don't know English), having 3 languages constantly being said in my head & having good friends where English is their 2nd to 5th language has changed me.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Back in the Game

In the past couple of weeks God has done some amazing changes in me on a heart level. I believe these changes are to prepare me for my new role as the new drop in centre director. 

I have already talked with many new people interested to volunteer, including 3 personal interviews &  looking forward to another early next week. I am still praying for wisdom as to who of these people will be the right people to serve on our team & will be good for the people in the community surrounding the centre.

This Wednesday 2 of the old staff & I will close the centre once the evening activities have completed. I will bless the 2 staff as they move on to other ministries that they feel God has directed them to volunteer. The drop in centre will be closed for a while as I pray, find & develop a team of volunteers that have a heart (strong desire) for poor children, believe in the vision I believe God has for the centre & will work well together. 

I truly believe that the drop in centre closing for a period is a great thing. I believe it will bring closure to everyone that attended/served before & prepare them for the new drop in centre. Though we will use the same building most things will change. Closure is needed for change to take place & an anticipation for the future.

Last week Teresa's arm nerve pain returned with no apparent reason. Two days ago the pain was so strong that she could not move her arm & it was difficult for her not be be focused on the pain. Yesterday she was able to move her arm to do things, but it was painful. Also this week my sleep has started being messed up again. For over 5 months my sleep has been wonderful, but this week things have changed. Right now as I am typing this message it is 4:05am. It is not from stress. I have had Spiritual breakthroughs since returning back home (Thailand) where I trust God with all things that are not in my control. Not like before. I am in a constant place of peace now not stressed at all. Even with my lack of sleep thus far stress does not rise up in me like 6 months to a year ago.

This week for the first time in years (5 or more) I had the most vivid nightmare of me being physically tortured my people. When I woke up, my day started at 11:40pm & finally fell back asleep for an hour before being woken by my alarm at 6:30am. This was the night before I went into the drop in centre to pray for the community. As soon as I open the door of the centre, in the middle of the room I saw a venomous snake dead with it's head gone. I saw the dead snake as a sign & walked by it as I prayed in all the rooms of the drop in centre. 

Our children are doing well now that school has started. I know that things will come there way that will be a challenge for them & they will need more prayer. 

Please pray for any or all of the things I have mentioned above. We are so thankful for people that pray for us as we live & serve people here in Thailand.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Right People

Oh, Thailand how I missed sweating non stop. I missed being thirsty, taking a drink & feeling/can watch the beads of sweat grow until they fall to the ground. That feeling of wet all the time. It is still rainy season & the temperatures are cool (26-31 Celsius), but the sweating never stops.

We are back & over jetlag. The kids are back to school & doing well so far. We still have yet to adjust to the weather, but we know from experience it will take some time.

I would please ask for prayer as I am still praying that God would lead the right people for our team of volunteers. I met an older man that wants to be part of our community centre team. Also this week I will be meeting with a young woman (a senior in high school) that also expressed interest in helping us out. Please continue to pray for a minimum of one more male & another female volunteer to join us. I am also praying for some Thai Christian brothers & sisters to be able to come to help us an evening a week.

I am praying that we will be able to have a grand reopening in September.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Policeman

Tonight at the drop-in centre we had 25 kids & some new boys come that was exciting.

On a funny note when our current director was explaining to all the kids the guidelines for love & respect they were really attentive. When asked what happens when you do not respect the other children or the leaders this is what they said. They all replied in Thai together "our drop-in centre police officer, Matt comes to talk with us or sends us home when we do not respect each other."

We (the leaders) all laughed in shock, never hearing this before. But, seriously it is really amazing to know that they feel I am the one who has taught them respect. Jesus is so amazing because over 3 years & more times than I can count I felt like giving up because I was talking to the kids about respect or sending them home so often.