The Time and Weather is for Hua Hin, Thailand where we currently live

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, June 15, 2013

So Many Children. . .

On Saturday’s we usually get to the Youth Center about an hour and a half or an hour early, but last Saturday we were bringing a lot of things with us so we got there about 45 minutes early.  We were supposed to have Youth Group for Thai children for two hours, followed by a two ‘break’ that allows us to cleanup and setup for the Youth Group for English speaking youth that we have in the afternoon for two hours. 

When we got to the Youth Center there were already 10 kids waiting outside the gate.  One young girl saw us on the main road before we turned into the Soi (small road) where the Youth Center is, she started running toward the car waving her arms and yelling Hello in Thai.  She ran down the Soi as we drove toward the Youth Center.  The other kids jumped up and were waving their arms and cheering.  When Bill unlocked the gate the kids ran in before I could even drive into the driveway.  More kids continued to come to the Youth Center, so instead of starting games at 11:00 we started around 10:30.  We had somewhere between 35 and 40 kids for the Thai Youth Group.  (Bill counted 35 kids at one point, but then more kids came.)  Youth Group was supposed to end at 1:00 but the last of the Thai Youth Group did not leave until 2:20 pm.  In between Youth Group’s we cleaned and set things up for the English Youth Group.  The English Youth Group kids were late, but then they stayed over an hour late, until after 6:00 pm.  We were grateful to get home and sit down a little before 8:00 p.m.  Ahhh!

There was one young girl that was at the Youth Center for Thai Youth Group at 10:15 a.m. that left for a short time before the English Youth Group and then came back and stayed for the entire English Youth Group.  She was the last of the youth to leave the Youth Center that night, and the only reason she left (after 7:00 p.m.) is because were leaving to go home and we needed to lock up the Youth Center.

It is so amazing to see the Lord bring so many children each and every week to the Youth Center.  It is all word of mouth from one child to the next about coming to Youth Group.  Right now most of the Thai children are from what the Thai's call the 'slums'.

Then he (Jesus) said to them, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me.  Whoever is the least among you is the greatest."   Luke 9:48



Monday, May 20, 2013

I Love How God Works in My Life. . .

In Ladies Bible Study we have been studying about David, in particular, his prayer life.  However on Wednesday we were looking at how David lived, for the most part, with an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’.

As the Lord taught through me, I challenged the ladies to live their lives with and ‘Attitude of Gratitude’, and then we talked about what that would look like.

I told them that when they look at the mountain of laundry that is waiting to be washed and dried, instead of moaning (out loud or silently), that they thank the Lord for each of their family members that wear the clothes and thank the Lord that they have more than enough clothes.

When faced with a sink overflowing with dishes and pans, instead of feeling dread at the prospect of washing them, give thanks to the Lord.  Thank Him whole heartedly for the bounty of food that He has provided for their families, and for the many pans and dishes they have to cook and eat from.

If someone breaks a glass and no one gets hurt, I challenged the ladies to be grateful that no one was hurt and to clean up the mess with a thankful heart.

There was some skepticism about whether in the midst of busy family lives; they would be able to live with an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’.  I reminded them that they have lived their lives to this point probably without even thinking of thanking God for laundry, dirty dishes or any of the other myriad of things that call for our attention.  They nodded their heads affirming that this was true.  Even living here in Thailand, with each lady being from a different country, we still all seemed to share the same struggles.

So I suggested that we were going to have to go about this challenge very deliberately.  When situations would come up that would normally have us frustrated or anxious, we would ask God to help us to be thankful.  I told them that we could not do this in our own strength, but that we would need the Lord to help us to change our thought patterns.  Ultimately if we made it a practice of being thankful we would: Feel less stressed; Be more joyful; Feel more grateful, Feel more peaceful, Feel better inside our heart, Be more attractive for others to want to be around. . .the list goes on.

So, that was Wednesday morning. . .

Wednesday night as we prepared to go to bed, I used the bathroom and flushed the toilet.  When I pushed the handle down, nothing happened.  My mind automatically went to “Oh no, not at 11:00 at night!” and then it hit me. . .the lesson from earlier in the day.  I quickly asked God to help me be grateful in the situation, and He changed my heart.  I told Bill about the problem with the toilet and he went to get tools to fix it.  While I waited for Bill to return with tools, I thanked God that we have a toilet.  I thanked Him that I did not have to use a squat pot, like a lot of people in Thailand do.  I thanked Him that I did not have to go outside to dig a hole.  You get the idea!

So, instead of feeling upset I felt joyful, thankful and peaceful!  Even if Bill could not fix it right away, I was still grateful.

My Mr. Wonderful, Bill, did fix the toilet in just a matter of minutes.  Praise God!

So each day I do not know what I am going to wear, but I do know that I will put on an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ each and every day.

As for the Ladies Bible Study group, we will get together this Wednesday and share how our week went with our new attitude.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Care to join us? . . . J  I think you will find it worth the effort!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

Joy in the Presence. . .

There is a beautiful young Thai girl that comes to Youth Group each Saturday.  One Saturday a couple of weeks ago she did not come to Youth Group, but when Bill and I went back to the Youth Center early that evening we saw her with two other girls.  The three girls were playing in the small dead end street where the Youth Center is located.  I pulled the car over and Bill ran into the Youth Center to take care of some things.

The girls ran to the car, so I put down my window and we started talking.  I asked the young girl why she had not been at Youth Group, and she told me that she had forgotten because of the new time.  I told her that we had missed her at Youth Group.  Her mouth fell open and she looked at me with complete disbelief. . .she really could not imagine someone missing her.  My eyes welled up with tears at the look of total surprise on this young girls face.

You see her mother is dead, she does not know who her father is, and her sister is in a not-so-good business, so her grandmother takes care of her.  No matter the day or the time we go to the Youth Center, if this little girl is not at school – she is playing in the road.

The moment she sees our car she drops everything, literally, and runs toward the car waving, smiling and yelling “Hello” in her limited English.  The joy that emanates from her is beautiful to see.

Before I even turn into the Youth Center, she begs me to put the car window down so that I can give her a kiss.  So of course I do.    She grins from ear to ear as I pull into the Youth Center driveway.  As soon as I get out of the car her little arms encircle me in a big hug and she turns her face up to me for another kiss.  She then skips along beside me, offering to carry anything and everything I have in my hands.

If I am there to clean up the Youth Center, she grabs a broom or a cloth to dust.  If I go out to clean the bathrooms, she follows me and looks for some way that she can help.  If her two little friends are with her, they find something to play with and beg her to join them, but she will not leave my side.

My heart is filled to overflowing every time I am greeted by this thin little girl, who is just thrilled to spend time with us. 

Writing this has reminded me of my incredible joy in the presence of the Lord as described in Psalm 16:11 -
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”



Friday, April 26, 2013

An Unexpected Hug. . .

On Sunday evening, Bill and I were at the Youth Center and we decided to go for a walk along the beach.  A lot had been going on over the past week, so the thought of a walk along the beach with the wind blowing through my hair was enticing.

We started walking the 2 blocks to the beach, but when we arrived. . .there was no beach.  The water was all the way up to the wall that separates the sand from the homes and the street.  There was no sand visible so, we decided to meander through some small winding roads and cut back after a while to see if there was a beach.  As we turned the corner along the narrow street, suddenly we heard children yelling and saw them waving at us.  A young boy came darting across the road and threw himself into my arms.  It was sooo sweet!  He is one of the children that comes to Youth Group, and he was so excited to see us in his neighborhood he could not contain his joy.  He grinned from ear to ear.

My heart swelled, and I felt that this special moment was a gift from the Lord.  As we said goodbye to the children and continued on our walk, I could not stop smiling as I remembered the spontaneous hug from the young boy.

Bill and I had a wonderful time walking and talking along the beach, and I felt refreshed and filled with joy when we returned.

Sometimes the Lord’s gifts are wrapped in tiny packages. . .and I am so grateful for them.  The Lord knew just what I need!  And when I needed it!  Praise God!



Monday, February 11, 2013

Dancing for Jesus. . .

Dancing for Jesus

Some of the girls that April teaches Ballet and Praise Dance, danced (in their new ballet shoes) at a Christmas Caroling Service and at a Sunday church service.  

The girls danced to a song called “Grace” by Laura Story.  After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? 
God sending His only Son, Jesus, to give His life for us, so that we receive what we do not deserve ‘Grace’; and do not get what we deserve.

England for a Day. . .

Here are some pictures from our one-day layover in London, England on our way back to Thailand in October 2012.

The Eye, Big Ben, and the underground subway the “Tube” were a few of things we got to see.

This was our first time in London!  

A Bit of a Bumpy Road. . .

April was hospitalized for two days in November after she suffered a severe nose bleed and a bout of hypertension.  But she was still able to keep smiling!  She was treated at the new Bangkok Hospital that just opened here in Hua Hin in 2011.  Most of the doctors and nurses speak at least some English and many of the doctors were trained and practiced in the USA.  Fortunately, health care costs are about 1/5 to 1/10 what they are in the USA and Bangkok Hospital is state of the art and clean as can be. 

April’s room had an LCD TV, refrigerator, microwave, kitchen sink, dishes, a couch, recliner, a kitchen table with two chairs, and a great big private bathroom. 

In January, April battled a severe case of bronchitis and tonsillitis with a terrible cough and Bill struggled with a sinus infection.  So, we have started the new year off slowly canceling Youth Group activities, Ladies Bible study, and Children’s Church until we are back to good health.  Thank you for your prayers!