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Borders of Faith

Formerly known as Missions & Theology

Updated: 2018-01-15T23:30:31.156+07:00


Beginning of a New Decade


Happy New Year!As the year ended, we could not help but once again remember God’s faithfulness. 2017 is the beginning of a new decade for us here in the mission field. We arrived in Thailand on the 6th of January 2006, with three luggages, meager support and three children, nobody thought (including ourselves) that we could even last for a couple of years.But here we are, with God’s care and provisions and with our friends’ love and sacrifices. We are ready to face another decade of ministry. We will continue serving God and helping people to find their freedom in Christ.In Thailand, they don’t celebrate Christmas or at least they do not know the real reason why Christians celebrate it. Although it is not considered as a holiday, the supermarkets and shopping malls are full of Christmas stuff on sale and Christmas songs filled the air. This is the time of the year when Thai people are open to listen to the true message of Christmas. This Christmas, the Lord had given us several opportunities to be in that situation-share the message.Christmas ActivitiesWe are thankful to God that the Tesaban 1 Municipal school asked us to sing carols and explain the meaning of Christmas at the school during their flag ceremony. We thought it was a great opportunity to involve our church in the activity. Our church’s youth joined us in the singing and our Pastor, Ajan Sunit shared the message.We also had the privilege to join several Christmas activities. First, we organized the New Life Creations Foundation Christmas Party. Second, we had the opportunity to be part of Pantamit Church’s Christmas outreach program in Baan Nana, one of the biggest children shelters in Mae Sai. Lastly, for three years now, we had been invited to be part of the Christmas program for the School for the Blind in Mae Sai. We are praying that our working relationship with the School of the Blind will grow deeper. We pray that we may be able to help through connecting them with people who have called to work with the blind.English Camp at Tesaban 1 Narlin is doing what she does well, organizing English camp at schools. Joey has to excuse himself to take the time to write this newsletter. She had been planning this English Camp (with YWAM-Madison Team) for more than a month when Teacher Jar (the head of the school English department) told us that two other teams from Univeristy in the US would join the activities. So instead of having 7 people from YWAM, we ended up with 18 volunteer teachers from the US.It is a big group, but by God’s grace we are on the last day of the English camp and as far as we can see, it was a success. We are once again, thankful to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to serve the children at the school. We also have helped the teachers and our good relationship with the school has grown stronger. All for the glory of God.Family UpdateWe considered going home to the Philippines to celebrate Christmas with our family. But we thought it would be better if our children, Jared, Jillian and Reuven, would come to here to celebrate with us and also that they would be reconnected with their little brothers and sisters. Nuch came home from Chon Buri to join us. That was the first time in five years that we were reunited.[...]

Vision Realized


As we enter the final quarter of 2016, we see how God put into reality the ministry which three years ago was just a vision.  It was in 2013 when we first met Larry and talked about our common burden to rescue, protect and empower young women and children against the evil of human trafficking.We learned from an NGO called DEPDC that many exploited workers (mostly women) in Bangkok and South Thailand come from Northern Thailand. They are either illegally transport from neighboring countries of Myanmar and Laos or recruited through middlemen from very poor families in the tribal villages.We thank the Lord for this opportunity He has given to us to help these young women and children through New Life Creations Foundation. Our ultimate goal is for these young women and children to have a personal relationship with the Father through Jesus and experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.Thank you Lord! This vision is now a reality.School BreakThe school will be closed for two weeks. The children will be staying in the house and either Narlin or Joey needs to stay at home to look after them.  When the children are in the school, we are shuffling our time to work for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.Thank you for your prayers and support for our ministry with the children.  Your continued prayers and financial support make it possible for us to take care of the children and send them to school. They are also active in the church and may soon be part of the worship team. The Lord is indeed faithful to provide for our needs.Please continue to help us pray for a new house. Our landlady advised us that anytime she calls, it means we have to leave the house within six months. We have been searching all over the town for a house suitable for the children.  We also started dreaming of buying our own property and build a house. Pray for provision for this specific need.New Life Creations/Sak Saum ThailandOur friend and  partner, Larry will be in the US for a couple of months hoping to raise more funds for New Life Creations Foundation and Sak Saum Thailand.  The registration of NLCF with the Thai government took a lot of financial resources. We desire to help younger women by providing them home and skills so that they can support themselves and live in dignity.We are thankful to the Lord for the Canadian team that visited us last month and shared our ministry in their church.  Their church raised and sent the fund for two industrial and one ordinary sewing machines. We are praying for individuals or churches who are willing to sponsor two more girls and for the rent of the girls’ home and sewing training center. Please help us to pray for this ministry to rescue, protect and empower young women against human trafficking.Moreover, we formally signed an MOU with Sak Saum Cambodia. They will allow us to make for them selected “approved” products and will help us to market them in the US. They made order for scarves, wallets and bags and surprisingly, the girls were up to the challenged and were able to fulfill the orders within three weeks. We pray and hope that through this partnership with Sak Saum we can sustain the salary for the girls and the rent for their home and sewing training center.[...]

Sigh... Been Neglecting This Blog


I have been neglecting this blog and I feel bad. I am doing a lot of blogging about our ministry projects and I thought to myself, why should not have my own blog. Then I remember I have one which I have been neglecting. I hope to revive this and write about my theological thinking which I have not been really doing lately except for sermons that I write when I do my regular preaching.

Rainy days


It’s rainy season here in Thailand and aside from the humidity, we are loving it. It turns the mountains, fields and almost everything around us into a lively green. The air that had been heavily polluted is now refreshingly clean. The birds unceasingly singing beautiful notes. This reminds us once again of God’s love and faithfulness. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:8-11) We are sharing with you the highlights of our ministry activities from the last month.NLC Foundation/Saksaum Thailand FacilitiesWhile we were in the Philippines, NLC/Saksaum Thailand leadership team found a suitable place for Saksaum’s training centre and girls’ home. An apartment at the front along the road is used as the Foundation office. The leadership team with Thae and prospective girls worked so hard to clean the place which was abandoned for more then five years. So when we came in the place looked clean and presentable. A team from Colorado came and helped paint the houses. At the moment, we are doing necessary works that are needed to be done. We are thankful to the Lord for this ministry, the leadership team, staff and now the two girls that are already undergoing sewing training. We are thankful for our leader, Larry, and for churches who are helping him with the needed fund.Joey has shingles A week after we arrived in Thailand, Joey was already complaining of pain and numbness on the left side of his body. He ignored the pain and just kept on working until rashes and blisters appeared. The pain became unbearable. Blisters also started appearing on his arms and face. (The doc said it is totally unrelated to shingles.) We wanted to go to Overbook Hospital but out truck broke down again. So we ended up going to a famous dermatologist here in Mae Sai. It entailed waiting for two hours. His patients are just too many. But he is really good. Joey has shingles, he needs some rest and strengthen his immune system. It may last for another week, but the worst is over. We thank the Lord for healing. We thank all those who are praying for us and our health.Thanksgiving Prayers Our last “quick update” was an appeal for help for Narlin’s hospitalisation and for our ministry vehicle. We usually don’t do this, however, we think that the money we have been saving must be used primarily for the children’s needs—food, clothing, education and shelter. So we are thankful for those who provide financial assistance for Narlin’s hospital fees. Thank you so much.We are also thankful for the opportunity of being part of the ministry of great needs here in Mae Sai. Saksaum Thailand already ha stwo girls in training but it will probably open officially open in 30th of July. Please continue to pray for NLC Foundation and Saksaum Thailand.We are thankful for Rocky, our truck. It has served us for five years already and is becoming old. We think it still has many years of usefulness. But this year, it has broken down more often than usual. We are praying for a new ministry vehicle and we believe that a van is more suitable for our present need. A friend sent us the seed money for the new vehicle. We are praying it will grow.We are thankful for the children. They have grown up to be responsible and disciplined. Although they still need constant supervision, they are growing up to be a good model to other children in the church and community. By God’s grace, we are hoping to take care of them until they finish their university.We are thankful that our work permit is already extended for another year. Our visa will expire on the 20th of July and its extension is based on the validity of our work permit. Please pray that the visa rene[...]

Fruitful New Year


Happy New Year! We are thankful to the Lord for his faithfulness for the year that passed and we look forward to another fruitful year to come. We pray that the Lord will give us the resources and opportunities to help young women and more children at risk. Most importantly, we are praying that Jesus will reveal more of himself to these people through these projects.This year, we are taking our New Life Garden (NLG) team verse (Jeremiah 29:11-12) as our family verse too.For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers.We are sending this update from the Philippines. We are grateful for our friend, Leah, who (surprisingly) find ways for us to be home on new year to celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives and in our church too. We are at the moment enjoying the remaining times of our stay here with our children.Thanks again for your continued support, love and prayers. We are sharing to you the ministry that we had last Christmas season.Christmas ActivitiesWhen we came to Thailand ten years ago, we often heard people say that there is no Christmas celebration in the country. But I think that notion has already changed. The Thais are more aware of the commercialisation of Christmas rather than its spiritual meaning.For this reason, we believe that Christmas is a day when many Thais are open to the message of the gospel. Thai churches have their Christmas party that is open to all the people from the community in a effort to impart to the people the real meaning of Christmas.Hence, we, the NLG team carefully planned and held a party at Santhad Village on Christmas day. We gave gifts to those who attended and explained that Jesus is the greatest gift that a person can have in his life. The children also told the story of the birth of Jesus through a dramatic presentation of the nativity. The show was successful in getting the people’s full attention in learning the story of the birth of Jesus.We also participated in our church’s Christmas Party. Our children performed a traditional Thai dance and they did perform the same dance at a Christmas party in the School for the Blind Foundation.Another town event that we participated is the Ten Tribes of Mae Sai Festival. This event was totally a secular activity for businesses and organisations who put up their booth for selling their products and services. We put up a booth promoting the activities of the Network for Women and Children Protection, NLG, Rainbow Homes and other community and social projects that we are doing.2016 Opening ActivitiesThe year 2016 has begun and we believe that it is appropriate that we spend the first few days of the year with our children in the Philippines. We’ll be back in Thailand on the 15th of January.Please include in your prayers our activities this month. Upon arriving we will have a YWAM team from Wisconsin. This partnership has started five years ago and the traditions of the team taking care of the children to give us a weekend break has become a tradition. We are looking forward to it not because of the break but because we know that the children will have a wonderful time with people from across the seas.The team will do English teachings at schools in the village. We are also hoping that the village leader will be able to organise Conversational English teaching for adults. Please help us to pray for this ministry opportunity.In February, we will be joining the other NLG team members in a visit to a community project for young women that we will pattern our ministry with. The project is about training the young women with skills that they can use so that they can earn a decent income to save them from prostitution and other forms of exploitation.Thanksgiving PrayersOnce again, we want to share many wonderful deeds that the Lord has done in[...]

If You Love The Lord


Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.-Psalma 97:10-12This morning, I want to ask you a question. Do you love God? If so, how much? And do you ever say to God, “I love you”? When we love God, he loves us back more. The truth is God loves us first, otherwise, we would not know what love is. The Bible says in I John 4:10 10: This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.Let those who love the Lord hate evil. Why should we love God and hate evil at the same time? Because the two are completely opposed to each other! There is good in the world and there is evil. God is good and even beyond good. He is love. And He hates evil and if He hates evil He also wants us to hate evil.I heard it said a long time ago that if we have no hatred for evil then how can we love that which is good? So it seems reasonable that if we love God who is totally good then we will also hate that which is evil.This morning, we will learn what will happen to us if we love the Lord. What we will enjoy if we truly love God.God Will Guard Our Lives (v. 10)10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.This verse clearly says that God will protect our lives. Because God saves us he will keep us safe. Those who love the Lord will have the assurance that God will protect us from evil and the enemy could not hurt us.He will not only keep us safe but he will save us from the hand of Satan and will keep us by His side until we enjoy his presence when we die or when Jesus comes again.A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him to go out and bring her the broom. The little boy turned to his mother and said, "Mama, I don't want to go out there. It's dark." The mother smiled reassuringly at her son. "You don't have to be afraid of the dark," she explained. "Jesus is out there. He'll look after you and protect you." The little boy looked at his mother real hard and asked, "Are you sure he's out there?" "Yes, I'm sure. He is everywhere, and he is always ready to help you when you need him," she said. The little boy thought about that for a minute and then went to the back door and cracked it a little. Peering out into the darkness, he called, "Jesus? If you're out there, would you please hand me the broom?”Are you or were you ever afraid of the dark? Or something in the dark? Call on Jesus! It’s always smart to call on the Lord no matter what you fear or whatever you need in life. Are you afraid to go to far places to share Jesus? Don’t be afraid because God promise that he will always be with you. Are we afraid to stand up here and proclaim how Jesus saves us? Pray to the Lord and God will be the one who will speak for you.God Will Make Our Light Shine Brighter (v. 11)11 Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.Would you agree that we are living in a very dark world? The Bible makes it clear that the world is full of darkness. Our world is full of corruptions, sin and selfishness. People are thinking only about themselves. Satan knows that if he can give people material things, they will be under his power. WE are living in a very dark world.But Jesus is the light of the world and if we believe in him, we became his light. But if we love the Lord, he makes our lights shine brighter.Have you ever went inside the Tham Luang Cave? Three years ago, we went inside the big cave. If you are inside the cave and you don’t have light, the cave was totally dark. You cannot see anything. So sometimes I wonder if you go deep inside the cave and lost your light. I imagine you can get lost and maybe you may not find your[...]

Thankful for Prayers


It’s been a month since Narlin suffered from deafness and vertigo. She was diagnosed with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL). It has been a rough journey for her. The doctor requested an MRI to make sure that her deafness was not caused by tumor. We are relieved and thankful that the result indicates that everything is normal. However, the chance of her hearing will return is 50 only percent. The best that the doctor can do is to prescribe medicines for the dizziness (so that she can do things normally) and to give nutrients for the auditory nerve. We are overwhelmed by prayers and encouragements from friends. Since we don’t have any health insurance, Narlin’s hospitalisation, MRI, medicines and treatments have been a financial burden for us this month. But we trust that the Lord will provide for this particular need.Growing ChallengeThe children are growing up and taking care of them is getting to be more challenging. We found out that the boys were sneaking out at night to play online game at a nearby computer shop. Jennifer discovered about it when Narlin was hospitalised. A heart to heart talk followed and we emphasised that they need to follow the house rules while they are living with us. We expect more challenges with the girls in the near future. Please help us to pray for all the children. That the Lord will give them wisdom and obedient heart as they grow up. Pray that the Lord will provide love, patient and wisdom in raising up these wonderful kids.Religious CampMost Thai school have religious day camp. This is the day when all the students are asked to join Buddhist rituals. We had been thinking of holding a separate religious camp for Christians.Mae Sai Municipal (Wat Poweehan) is the school close to our heart. The director is our good friend and her assistant (who was just a head English teacher when we first met her) is one of Narlin’s best friends. Last year Teacher Pu, a new English teacher joined the faculty. She is a Christian and she becomes our close friend too. She sometimes stays in our house and goes with us to the church.Teacher Pu insisted that the Christian students would not participate with the Buddhist religious camp. She pushed for a separate camp for Christian students. So we requested the YWAM-Borders to host the camp for Christian students. Twenty-six students (including our children) attended and fifteen of them have made commitment to follow Jesus.We are thankful to the Lord that believers are now being recognised in the school. We are praying that this will be an opportunity to share the gospel to the other teachers and students. We are also considering that our ministry in the school is coming to its conclusion and YWAM-Border will take over. We believe that God is directing us to minister to village schools. We don’t know how it will happen but God promised that he will make a way.New Life GardenIn our nine years of living in Mae Sai, we had been part of the beginning of new ministries. This year, we are blessed to be part the New Life Garden (Ban Suan Chiwit Mai). A new ministry that seeks to help young women and children from human trafficking. God has given us the opportunity to help connect people, introduce it to the community through English camp, to help in creating English Kid's Club, and English tutorials for young people and adults. Eventually, we hope to hold training skills and provide shelters for young women. We also coordinated to make the New Life Garden to be a member of Network for Children and Women Under the Same Sky Association (NCWSA). Please pray for this ministry. We don’t know yet how long we will be working in this ministry but we hope that God will use it for his glory and advancement of his Kingdom. Family UpdateWe are missing our children. Jared finished his studies and is now teaching in a private school. He will take the teacher’s board exam on Sunday (27 September).[...]

In the Name of Jesus


What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? I am pretty sure that you can find a good explanation from the pages of the Bible. I think Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkeegard has given us a good insights of the theme.

To PRAY "in the name of Jesus" may perhaps be explained most simply in this way. A magistrate orders this and the other thing in the name of the King. What does that mean?

In the first place it means I myself am nothing. I have no power, nothing to say for myself—but it is in the name of the King. Thus to pray in the name of Christ means I dare not approach God without a mediator, if my prayer is to be heard, then it will be in the name of Jesus. What gives it strength is that name.

Next, when a magistrate gives a command in the name of the King it naturally follows that what he commands must be the King's will, he cannot command his own will in the King's name. The same thing is true of praying in the name of Jesus, to pray in such a way that it is in conformity with the will of Jesus. I cannot pray in the name of Jesus to have my own will ; the name of Jesus is not a signature of no importance, but the decisive factor ; the fact that the name of Jesus comes at the beginning is not prayer in the name of Jesus ; but it means to pray in such a manner that I dare name Jesus in it, that is to say think of Him, think His holy will together with whatever I am praying for.

Finally, when a magistrate gives an order in the name of the King it means that the King assumes the responsibility. So too with prayer in the name of Jesus, Jesus assumes the responsibility and all the consequences. He steps forward for us, steps into the place of the person praying.

Kierkeegaard, Soren, Journals, trans Alexander Dru (1938), pp 974.

Test Post


This is a test post from MacJournal to

He Will Bring Health and Healing


“Do you have insurance?” The nurse asked us after Narlin signified that she was so dizzy to stand up and may need to stay in the hospital for the night. She was complaining of deafness on her left ear. She had vertigo and suffering from nausea for almost two days.Although she was given medication for anti vertigo, we decided to go to the hospital in Overbrook Chiang Rai for a thorough diagnosis. After several tests, the doctor’s diagnosis was that she is suffering from Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL). We are asked to come back to the hospital on the 5th of September to assess if the medications are working.We don’t have any insurance but God. The cost made us think twice about buying a plan. The children’s needs and education are our priority. Regardless, we believe that God will provide, keep us safe and preserve our health.This reminds me of couple of familiar verses from the Old Testament, Jeremiah 33:3, 6:“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know…. Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”We trust that God will completely heal Narlin’s sickness, he will protect us in every situation and he will provide for all our needs. Thank you so much for praying with us and for being part of God’s answer to our prayers.ThanksgivingWe are thankful for our friends who prayed and encouraged us by sharing their experiences similar to Narlin’s sickness. We are thankful for doctor friends who gave us medical advice. We are thankful for Jennifer whose presence become more indispensable when Narlin was confined in the hospital. She looks after the children when we are away. She will be leaving on the 14th of September. Please pray for traveling mercy and provisions.We are thankful for God’s provisions for Reuven’s schooling. We were able to get his credentials from Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, his certificate/records from Mae Sai Prasitsart School which cost us some money. He is now enrolled in a university in the Philippines.We are thankful that God has given us the opportunity to help more children. Whether it is through teaching English or taking care of them may it be short or long term. Please that we can help a couple more kids this year.We are thankful for the opportunity to work with teams, schools and villages in ministering to the children. We are looking forward for another team to come and help in the near future.We are thankful that our children have the opportunity to participate in drama competition in Bangkok. Although we don’t expect to win anything this time, we just want to give glory to Jesus’s name for all the blessings and experiences they will be enjoying.We are thankful that in spite of the big amount we spent in our children’s schooling this month (August), the Lord has provided us enough amount for Narlin’s hospitalization.Most of all, we are thankful to God every time we remember your partnership with us. We appreciate your love, support and untiring prayers.[...]

The Book of Jesus



The Book of Jesus: A Treasury of the Greatest Stories and Writings About Christ edited by Calvin Miller. Here is a book I wanted to read for a long time. Surprisingly, I found it in our library, one of the books I mindlessly picked up during one of the conferences held in Chiang Mai last year. The book is edited by Calvin Miller. He is a pastor, speaker and professor. He is the bestselling author of more than thirty books including the enormously popular Singer trilogy.

From the blurb, it says that The Book of Jesus is an essential volume for every Christian library: an all-embracing collection—in style of the The Book of Virtue—of the best stories, poems, essays, and songs about the life of Jesus Christ.

“No two people know quite the same things about Jesus or see him in quite the same way,” says Calvin Miller in the Introduction to this monumental work. “Some see him as judge, coming to scourge the nations. Others see him primarily as a lover of children. Scholars tend to see him in scholarly ways. Poets see him more poetically. Preachers see him as a preacher, teachers as teacher. Carpenters like remembering he was one of them.” The Jesus of Scripture, Dr. Miller says, “is only finished in the individual hearts of those who believe.” In compiling The Book of Jesus, Dr. Miller’s goal is to bring together some of the most fascinating, original observations on the life of Jesus Christ, and the result is truly wonderful.

The Book of Jesus contains hundreds of selections drawn from every era of history, presenting a spectrum of contributors from Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Dickens, Hemingway, and C.S. Lewis to Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, and Desmond Tutu. This broad, eclectic volume also includes works by contemporary Christian writers such as Max Lucado, Elisabeth Elliot, Charles Colson, and Eugene Peterson, and other poems, songs, and essays, traditional hymns, and verse from the Bible.

The selections in this indispensable book, when taken together, present “the Christ of universal reflection, “for many thousands of people who see to find out exactly who is this most important man.

The Lord is My Shepherd


Three days before we hadn’t the slightest idea that we would be in the Philippines attending the funeral of Gavs. We were all shocked by his “untimely” death caused by brain aneurysm. He was a funny and humble man, a good father and a loyal friend. He was our nephew but more than that he was like a son to us. He never knew his father and her mom got sick when he was little. We took him in our young family then. He spent many years of his life with us. He was 30 years old. Just before his body was put into the ground, the Pastor recited Psalm 23 and uttered a comforting prayer for the bereaved family. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Although this Psalm is considered to be part of the funeral liturgy, we believe that God’s promises in this passage are being fulfilled in our lives on daily basis.  Thank you for being part of God’s fulfilled promises to us and our children. We are thankful to the Lord for using you in our ministry to help children, youth and women in the community. English Camps It is a joy to watch a group of young people sharing the gospel to more than a hundred of students through songs and Bible Story in an English Camps. We thank the Lord for the YWAM team composed of youth members of Faith Family Church (Illinois) who came last week that helped us in a 3-day English camp at Tesaban 1 Wat Proweehan School. These young people shared God’s love to the students. We have another YWAM Team that came last Friday and will help us in another English Camp in Suntard Village School. This is a small village school that the government is planning to close down if the student population will not increase. We want to help the school to have more students next year so that it will continue. Together with our friends who live there, we are praying that the presence of the YWAM Team teaching at the English camps will help the school. We also hope to get volunteers to teach English at the school on regular basis. After helping the school, we are praying that we can start the ministry with young women in the area with our friends. We also hope that we can share the gospel and a community of believers will gather to worship in the village. Please pray that God will use the English camp as a channel of God’s blessings in that village. Visa Extended For Another Year As far as I can remember, this year holds the record for the smoothest visa extension we ever had. We drove to Chiang Mai to visit the immigration office to have our visa extended. We noticed right away that there were fewer people at the immigration office even though we went there on a Monday. We learned later that the place is being used solely for visa extension and the 90-day appearance, re-entry permit and such like transactions are transferred to another location. We are thankful that we don’t nee to come back after a month. The office granted us one-year visa in just one visit. Thank you for including this concern in your prayers and for your contribution to our visa expenses. Little Family Update Although we are mourning, our visit to the Philippines also made us happy. We were able to spend precious time with our own children for 4 whole days. Those days were the happiest days for us in a while. We have many wonderful thing[...]

Love Within the Body of Christ


Romans 12:9-10 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I remember in our church every time we had finished taken the the Lord Supper, we would read the Church Covenant and there is a part there that says: “We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.”These words remind me that wherever we go as family, the first priority for us to look for a local church where we can serve God. So it makes me sad that many people claims to be Christian but do not want to be part of a local church. It just doesn’t make sense. In order for us to have a clear understanding of or passage, we have to read it in its context. In verses 1 and 2, Paul talks about spiritual worship and in verse 3 to eight, he talks about our humble service to the body of Christ by using our spiritual gifts. We need to understand that Paul refers specifically to the local church because every believer should commit to serve God through a local church.Some believers would make excuse that it is not necessary because they are part of the universal invisible church. Warren Weirsbe tells a story of a free-lance missionary that visited a pastor friend asking for financial support. "What group are you associated with?" his friend asked. The man replied, "I belong to the invisible church." His friend then asked, "Well, what church are you a member of?" Again he got the answer, "I belong to the invisible church!" Getting a bit suspicious, his friend asked, "When does this invisible church meet? Who pastors it?" The missionary then became incensed and said, "Well, your church here isn't the true church. I belong to the invisible church!" His friend replied, "Well, here's some invisible money to help you in your invisible church!" God called us to serve Him in a local church through our worship (12:1-2), our service by using our spiritual gifts and then by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. This morning the word of God challenges us to follow Jesus command to love one another. We follow Jesus example when he demonstrates his love when he died on the cross to suffer in our behalf. He did not do that because he wants to do something nice for us but because of his obedience to the Father. By following Christ’s example, we are commanded by the Father to love every person in the body of Christ. Love in the body of Christ must be sincere (12:9a)The English word “sincere” comes from two Latin words meaning “without wax.” In Paul’s time, potters would sometimes take wax and fill in the gaps in broken or cracked pottery. Then they would paint over the wax and sell it. The only problem was that when someone bought this pottery and put something hot in it the wax would melt and it would leak. Good potters distanced themselves from this practice by saying that their pottery was “sine-cere,” meaning it was pure with no wax. Likewise, our love must not have cracks in it, or wax that is simply a cover-up. The Greek word that Paul uses means “without hypocrisy.” The word was used of the masks used by actors on the stage. During Paul’s time, the actors used the mask to show the role that he was playing not his true character. Paul says that our love for one another should be without mask, but rather should be real. We should truly desire God’s best for others. Now, I think the question is how we can love our brothers and sisters in Christ in the church, John puts it very clearly in 1 John 3:16-18, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for [...]

Network for Children and Women Under the Same Sky (NCWSS)


(image) During our early years in Mae Sai, God clearly impressed upon us that we will be working with children and women. So it is only logical that we are now working together with NCWSS. We are hoping to do more projects through NCWSS. Below is the document describing the organization's activities and projects. NCWSS is an orgnization who woks to help the child and women in the provinces of Northern Thailand like Mae Sai, Mae Fa Luang, Chiang Kong, Chiang Saen, Mong, Lampang and other places. Many children and women became victims of abuse, exploitation and human trafficking. These problems are real but the community seems oblivious to the increasing realities of these evil deeds being committed against children and women. Therefore, different organisations and individuals who are genuinely concern to fight against these problems work together to protect the right and welfare of women and children. NCWSS goals are as follows:
  1. To provide accommodation and education for the homeless children.
  2. To assist in the care of the orphans.
  3. To help the children who are the victims of sexual abuse.
  4. To assist in protecting the children from human trafficking.
  5. To help women from abusive husbands.
  6. To assist women and children from labor and sex trafficking.
  7. To help women workers from exploitative employers.
  8. To increase knowledge of the communities to enable them to have a greater concern for being part of the solving problems.
When there are several groups and organisations which have the same mission and vision, they can work together to achieve their goals. NCWSS has been established for the purpose of:
  1. Unite together to help and protect children and women’s right.
  2. Share information, problems and experiences for better solve the problems.
  3. Coordinate with the government, community organisations and individuals to achieve the goals.
  4. Educate and encourage community and individual to work together on solving these problems.
The organization is registered with Ministry of Social Development and Human Security as Network for Children and Women Under the Same Sky as a public welfare organization by Legal Principle Section 82 of the Civil and Commercial LA. In September 15, 2008 and was awarded a certificate from The Association Registrar of the Chiang Rai Province. Main activities of the association:
  1. Annual meeting to update and revise policy for the members’ guidance.
  2. Organised seminars to educate and train the members how to extend assistance to the victims and to be more informed about the law and regulations.
  3. Help and assist the children and women who are in danger of becoming victims.
  4. Educate community, individual citizens and schools about the problems confronting the children and women in the society and how to acquire help to solve the problem.
  5. Encourage the citizen to have an active part in solving these social problems.
  6. Help the poor children by donating food, clothes, medicine, school supplies, finances for school fees, etc.

Through the years


Happy New Year! It’s a bit late greeting but we missed the opportunity to do it because we skipped sending you our January Newsletter.  We thanked the Lord for your continued partnership through out the years. Nine years to be exact.We came to Mae Sai in January 2006 hence we are now on our ninth year here. This year, we were together in celebrating God’s faithfulness in our lives and ministries. We are grateful that Jared and Jillian were able to come to celebrate Christmas, New Year and the anniversary of our coming here in Thailand.Team VisitsThey came with a purpose to help the children at risk and we happen to have ten of those. Seven wonderful young ladies from YWAM DTS-Madison came to help us with the children and also with teaching English at the Municipal school. They stayed in our house for almost a week. We also took some time out to show them to few interesting places in Mae Sai. They came at the right time because we needed to go to the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok that weekend because Reuven had to take the Alternative Learning System Accreditation Equivalency (ALSAE) Test. We had people who looked after the children while we were away.We also met with a 32-people team from South Korea through our Pastor friend. They were doing mission exposure in Southeast Asian countries. We were grateful to them for taking the time to visit our place and for encouraging us. We were able to help them in our own small way to look for an overnight accommodation.We will also be working with YWAM Team from South Africa this month. Please pray for the school activities where these young people who will minister among the students of the municipal school.Children UpdateWe thank the Lord for his provision for all the children’s school expenses. They are all doing good in the school. Being with them and seeing them 24/7 make us oblivious to the physical changes happening to them. We just noticed that their clothes are getting too small for them.  So we are again buying them new set of clothes and school uniforms.Our own children are doing well in their studies. But Narlin and I think they need somebody to be with them to help them keep the house tidy and prepare food for them. Jared will be graduating in May and Jillian will be in her third year. The fact that they are in the Philippines in college is a miracle of God’s provision.Reuven took this year ALSAE Test. If he passed, he will go straight to college in the Philippines. The test is specially difficult for him because the test is 90% in Tagalog. For someone who who live in Thailand for most of his life, written Tagalog is not easy to understand. Please pray that Reuven will pass the test this time.HT Related ProjectsPlease continue to pray for us as we help our friend to start his ministry projects in Mae Sai that seeks to prevent young women from becoming victim of human trafficking (HT). We hope to find a place to rent to be used as vocational trainings centre (initially sewing for crafts like dresses and bags and maybe more courses later) and another place for shelter. Pray for our friend's health and pray for wisdom and provision.During our last meeting with the Network for Women and Children, someone brought out a pressing problem. We are told that the Thai Immigration Office deported several young women who are working illegally in Thailand. Although these girls are from Burma, they practically grew up here. They couldn’t speak Burmese and they don’t have any idea where their family are located. Allegedly, they ended up homeless and raped by the police.We are hoping to help provide solution to this problem by having people in the immigration office to look for the depor[...]

Thanksgiving Message


Philippians 4:4-7We non-Americans will never fully understand why the Americans celebrate thanksgiving. Sure we can know its history and how it is being celebrated, but for us it is totally an American holiday just like Loi Khratong is a Thai festival. We may know about it and participate in it but we it would not be meaningful if we are not a Thai.Charles Dickens once said that they are somewhat mixed up in America. He told an audience that “instead of having one Thanksgiving Day each year we should have 364 “days of thanksgiving.” Use that one day just for complaining and griping,” he said. “Use the other 364 days to thank God for the many blessings He has showered upon you.”As Dickens suggested, we should not wait for a special holiday to express our gratitude to God. Instead, thanksgiving should be a part of our daily lives. In fact the bible is very clear that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most vital characteristics of any child of God. And there’s good reason for that.As a Christian, God expects us to have a thankful spirit. We should be the example of what it means to be a thankful person.Let us look at Philippians 4:4-7 to know how we show to people that we have a thankful spirit.A thankful spirit is a joyful spirit (v. 4)Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice.A thankful person is always rejoicing in the Lord. As you may already know, when Paul was writing this letter he was not in a comfortable position. He was actually in prison. The reason we have a joyful spirit is because we know God through our personal relationship with Jesus.The joy we have inside our hearts should not be affected by the bad circumstances that are happening around us. Paul shows this truth to us. He is full of joy because he knows that no matter what happened to him, he has Jesus Christ in his life. We can be joyful because we know for sure that God will provide for us and takes care of us.And God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Whether we like it or not, we are commanded to  do so not because we could not do it but because it is something that a true Christian should be doing. It is our testimony of how faithful God is to us.We rejoice because he makes us happy. We rejoice because he gives us exceeding joy. In this passage Paul are trying to resolve some problems in the church, but in spite of that Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always!To rejoice means to be exceedingly glad The ability to rejoice or to have a joyful spirit is built on our relationship with God, not with what is happening around us.A thankful spirit is a gentle spirit (v. 5)Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Joy is not always evident but the way we relate to other people is. A thankful person will treat people as Jesus would treat them.The word “gentle” is very difficult word to translate in English. One word is not sufficient to get the full meaning of it. Different translations translate it as gentle, moderate, kind, reasonable, considerate.The word refers to a spirit that is reasonable, fair-minded, and charitable. It describes someone willing to yield his or her own right to show consideration and gentleness to others. We may find it easy to be gentle with some people but it is hard to be gentle to the people who makes our life difficult.Paul is saying that “gentleness”  towards all people should characterise the people of God. He is calling the Christians in Philippi and us for that matter to have the gentle forbearance and meekness of Jesus. It should be one of the most promine[...]

We're back


We made our trip to the Philippines and back. Our son, Jared passed through a personal crisis. Relatives and friends thought we need to come home to help and support him. We agreed and besides we already missed our children and it's about time we should have time together. Thankfully, Jared was able to settle the issue by himself while we were still on our way. Regardless, we thought that it is about time to have bonding time with Jared and Jillian. We enjoyed spending time with them helping them with their house chores as they were very busy with their studies. We also had the opportunity to be with Joey’s mother when she celebrated her 71st birthday. The first time in eight years. Reconnecting with old friends was also another blessings we enjoyed during that time. We have many things to be thankful for with regards to that visit home. First we are thankful for God’s provisions for the airfare, housing, food and other travel expenses. Thankful for friends who are always ready to extend help may it be encouragement, prayers, cash and in kind. Thanks for Sayarma Beauty and Joanne for looking after the children while we were away. They did a great job. Thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.Thankful for the opportunity to share our ministry and message at PBTS chapel and other three churches. Thankful for friends who picked us and brought us back again to the airport. We thank the Lord for everything. We took the opportunity to have family portrait while we were in the Philippines.  Christian Hospitality Network GetAwayWe praise the Lord for the opportunity to rest and be refreshed. We were recommended by a missionary friend to avail of the R&R being offered by Christian Hospitality Network in Horizon Village & Resort in Chiang Mai. It was God’s timely provision because he knew we needed a rest after airplane ride from the Philippines, sleeping on the airports, waiting on the bus terminals and thirteen hours bus ride from Bangkok. We are thankful for the wonderful time of rest, for the encouraging and inspiring messages and for meeting wonderful godly people. We are also thankful to its Founding Director Paul Cowell and the staff for working so hard to make this ministry possible. You are all a huge blessing to many missionaries serving around the world. We are hoping and praying that they will welcome us again in their ministry in the future.  We’re definitely backWe’re back to reality. After being away for almost a month, we were expecting that many things will be out of order in the house. The children did a great job in our backyard garden but there are jobs that only adults can do. We fixed those that can be fixed and replaced those we could not. We also trimmed the trees and revived the dying ornamental plants. Sad to say, the fish on our small ponds are all dead. We made a couple of trips to the dumping area to get rid of the garbage that was piled up when were away.  As soon as we are back, Narlin resumes teaching English to the young people in the neighborhood. The younger students may start coming next week. Joey will also have English and discipleship classes starting next week. He will resume his preaching ministry at Pantamit Church. Please pray that the Word of God could be preached clearly to the Thai people. Next week, we will have meeting again with the Network for Children and Women to plan for more activities. We also praying that we can help a friend to start a ministry for the young women in Mae Sai. It will be difficult because it will take a lot of planning and funding.Please pray for that this proj[...]

Our Part in a Miracle


John 6:1-13 What is your favourite miracles of Jesus? For me it is the feeding of the 5,000. Many people think and agree that if you assume that each man may have brought their wives and at least two children with them, the number of people may have been like 15,000. The people witnessed how Jesus performed miracles and people are excited to follow him everywhere he goes. Jesus wanted to get away from the crowd cross the river by boat with his disciples hoping that the people would stop following him and he would have time alone with the disciples. But the people would not give up, seeing that Jesus and his disciples rode the boat, the people started running along the shore through a rough woods and headed where the boat was going.So when Jesus saw arrived some of the people were already there and had looked for a place to settle down. Instead of getting angry with the crowd, the Lord Jesus had compassion to the people and do something to take care of their needs. In this story, we will learn how the Lord Jesus did a miracle and we will learn what did the people do to experience that miracle in their lives. Jesus wants our participation (5-6)5.When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6. He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. These verses clearly say that Jesus did not have to ask this question because “he already know what he was going to do.” He asked the question to test the faith of Philip and in effect the other disciples too. The Lord Jesus Christ does need anybody to tell him what to do. The only reason he asked this question is to know what the disciples are thinking and he wants them to share their thoughts and ideas. Jesus want his disciples to participate in helping to resolve the problem at the moment.  Apparently, Philip is very smart because after looking at the crowd he knows right away how much money they need to feed all the people. He comes up with 200 denarii. In present times it is roughly equivalent to 4,000 US dollars or roughly 124,000 baht. And would not be enough to buy a bread enough that each person to get a little piece. Andrew, on the other hand, share his idea by getting Jesus’ attention that there is a little boy who is willing to share his food—five small loaf of bread and two small fish. He thinks it is impossible to feed all the people with this amount of food. I believe the important truth here is not only Jesus tests the disciples but also he wanted them to share ideas, do something to help with the problem. Jesus wants everyone to participate.How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. We all know the saying, but we often fail to apply this lesson in our lives. If you view the elephant as one big goal that your whole life depends on, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Why not enjoy the bites along the way? If you ask somebody what goal they’re working on, what kind of answer do you think you’ll get? Assuming they even have goals, they’ll probably say they’re working on something really big, maybe even something that will make them feel like they’ve achieved their life purpose.1 Our church have big vision and big goal. We want to share Jesus Christ to many people as possible. We envision that our church will grow big and have many people come to worship our God. This goal is big. It is like an elephant. We can not eat it. It seems impossible. But if everyone of us will cooperate and will take a little bite one at a time. We will eventually[...]

Be still and know


For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)We are blessed to live in a place where the weather is friendly most of the time of the year. Just enough heat on summer, right amount of rain during the rainy season and comfortably cold during the winter. However, this blessing has been taken for granted by the people of Mae Sai. Waking up with a heavy downpour is normal but if it had lasted for three hours or more, we have a feeling that something unusual was about to happen. We seldom experience this kind of rain. We thought if the rain would continue for another thirty minutes, flooding was a sure thing. Thankfully the rain stopped but the flooding still happened. The water came with tons of mud in it.We were not directly affected but those who live beside the mountains had a difficult times. For the last three years, construction business is booming here in Mae Sai. Rice fields are being converted into subdivisions and these construction projects need tons of filling materials. Contractors are cutting the mountains like crazy to meet these needs. This is a disaster waiting to happen that may be triggered off by even hours of heavy downpour. We are praying that would be last heavy downpour this year and that the government will do something with the cut mountains. Once again, we thank you for your partnership in the gospel.We sincerely thank you for your untiring prayers which we feel every second of our life. His protection surrounds us his provision is constant.  NCWSS against human traffickingThe Network for Women and Children Under the Same Sky (NCWSS) is determined to be more proactive in fighting human trafficking. Many NGOs have data to prove that Thailand is on the top tier of human trafficking activity. Mae Sai is considered as gateway for transporting people from poor country like Burma, Laos and Cambodia to the target market. Our last three meetings were very fruitful in laying out plans of actions we need to do as Christian leaders so that children and young women might be protected and prevented in becoming victims. Most of the network members are already involved in providing shelter for children, we thought of having projects that will give empowerment to children and young women to fight against the evil of human trafficking. Please pray for NCWSS members to be more supportive and pray for financial provisions to support some of the programs and activities we hope to implement in the future.  United Christians in Mae SaiIt is safe to say that Joey and Narlin have a small part in the early years of the United Christian in Mae Sai. When the organization decided to go bigger to include all the churches in Mae Sai and neighbouring towns to become The United Christian Protestant in Mae Sai, we thought our participation was no longer needed. However, this month, the President invited us to attend the meeting for the election of new officers, I learned that we are considered as representative for Filipino workers in Mae Sai. We are thankful to the Lord for this opportunity of being a part of God’s bigger work here. More Prayer RequestsWe are praying to go home next month. We did not have plan to go home this year. Bu[...]

We Are Never Alone


Ephesians 2:19-2:22 We live in an entertainment culture. People want to be entertained all the time. We want to watch movies, play games, do social media, listen to the music. We do want to feel good all the time and we easily get bored. Sometimes we think that people who comes to the church need to be entertained. So we want our worship service to be more appealing to the people so that they will come back again and again. However, we should keep in mind that attend worship not to be entertained or not to get something out of the service. If we come here for that reason then this is a selfish motive. We are here not to feel good or get something out of the church service but to give our worship to God. In Ephesians Chapter 2, the Apostle Paul reminds us that when we go to the church let us forget about ourself but think about God and the church. So let’s read our passage together: Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. - Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV) Many people think that being a Christian is all about their needs. They think it is all about me. Or it is about me and God. Being a Christian is about God, me and other Christians. As Christian we should think we are not alone because… God has made us part of the new kingdom …you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people…(verse 19). Paul is mainly writing to the Gentile believers. In verse 12, he described how these Gentiles were excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise. But the point he is making here is that it doesn’t really matter because they are now citizens of a new kingdom that is higher than the kingdom of Israel. For us who lives near the border, we know how important is citizenship. For those who are not citizens, we watch closely the changes to the immigration laws. As citizens, you have benefits that you enjoy. You have the right to travel wherever you want and to choose wherever you want to live and work. Your rights are also protected by your laws. You have benefits that we non-citizen will not enjoy. But you also have responsibilities to pay taxes (although some do not). You have the responsibility to follow the laws and obey your leaders. When we choose to be followers of Jesus Christ, we also become citizens of His kingdom. And that citizenship also comes with privileges and responsibilities. We get the privilege of being part of a body where we can be encouraged and where we can grow in our faith. We get the protection of our King – the Lord Jesus Christ. At the same time, we also have a responsibility to participate in the life of the body and submit to its leadership. We have a responsibility to give financially so that the church can do the ministry. We have the responsibility to minister to those who are in need. We have the responsibility to live a good Christian life. We have the responsibility to obey our leaders. God has made us part of a new family …members of God’s household… (verse 19) Again, Paul has already made reference to this aspect of our life in the church earlier in His letter. You’ll remember that at the beginning of chapter 1 Paul wrote that whe[...]

The Father Cares for Us


The sweet songs of what seem like a hundred birds awaken us from our sleep every day. In fact, they sing the whole day, come rain or shine. A reminder to us that God’s faithfulness is new every morning. Jesus asks us to look at the carefree lifestyle of the birds to teach us not to worry about life’s necessities. God uses these little feathered creatures to tell us that we have a caring heavenly Father who looks after our needs. “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” - Matthew 6:25-26 But to be honest, in our moments of weakness, we could not help but feel anxious. We worry about our own children who live away from us. Are they safe? Are they in the company of good people? Do we have the financial capability to see them through college? We worry about our children here. What would happen if for some reasons our visa is not renewed? Who will take care of them? Do we have enough funds to provide for their needs? But then we heard the birds sing, remember God's constant care and our friends whom he uses. All our worries are gone as soon as they came. Thanks again for your love and prayers. Our appreciation could be expressed in words. Nobody Saw It ComingThe Mae Sai municipal school English drama team composed of five of our children that represent Mae Sai a drama competition won the third place. It was an English drama competition among municipal schools in Northern Thailand. Nobody in the school thought they had a chance but the children outdid themselves and and to everybody’s amazement was able to snatched the third prize. By virtue of their win, they will represent three teams that will represent Northern Thailand in a nation wide competition in Bangkok on first of August. The municipal and school officials, recognising that the team has the potential to win the first prize, are exerting extra effort to make the drama better. They allocate more funding to replace the hand drawn backdrop with the printed tarpaulin and the recycled plastic costumes with the real dresses. Narlin has been spending sleepless nights sewing dresses. She will also accompany the children to Bangkok. Please pray for their safe travel. The children are praying for another opportunity to win. Please help them in prayer. This is another to give glory to God through the lives of our children. We Can Call This Place Our HomeThank you for helping us in praying for the extension of our visa. We went to Chiang Mai immigration office on the 18th of July. The process was a bit different from last year. This time, we had an interview with the immigration officer and our photo was taken while they are receiving our payment for the visa fees. It makes you wonder why they are doing that. We were given the usual provisional period of one month and by 19th of August we expect that our visa will be extended to full one year. Thank you so much for praying for us about our visa and also for helping us financially. God has allowed us to stay in Thailand for another year and now we can really now call this place our home. When We Pray God WorksAt the moment, the cost of education of our children adopted and natural, here and in the Philippines is really overwhelming. But we are grateful to the Lord that we still have e[...]

Higher Calling


"I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, told a story about a goose who was wounded and landed in a barnyard with some chickens. He played with the chickens and ate with the chickens. After a while, that goose thought he was a chicken.

One day a gaggle of geese flew overhead, migrating home. They gave a honk up in the sky, and the barnyard goose heard it.

Kierkegaard said, "Something stirred within the breast of this goose. Something called him to the skies. He began to flap the wings he hadn't used, and he rose a few feet into the air. Then he stopped, and he settled back again into the mud of the barnyard. He heard the upward call, but he settled for less."

Is there a chance that this story is about you? Are you settling for being less than you know in your heart God has called you and created you to be? It's not just for your sake that you must respond to God's call on your life — it's also for all the other meaningful people in your life. The longer you wait before answering, the more annoying your life becomes to those around you. There are few things as disruptive to the peace and well-being of other people than a person who is running from God. How many lives are being distressed because you won't answer the call? And besides, are you really that happy clucking with chickens?

Rylisms: Daily Devotion, by Pastor James Ryle
The photo is taken from Google images. 

Father to the fatherless


How could such a little boy possess so much charisma? We have been doing a lot of thinking lately about Fluke. Fluke was a street children used to beg for food and money at the Mae Sai border market. Apparently, her mother abandoned him with his alcoholic father. He was brought to us because nobody wanted to adopt him. The day he came to live with us, he was dirty and the years of living on the streets made him rebellious.He is staying with us for almost a year now. With a lot of work giving him love and discipline, he transformed into a happy and handsome boy. Now we are having problem stopping people to like him. People talked to us about adopting him. In fact, a lady in the church started “borrowing” him for a day. We thought it is good but it is now causing us a problem. She is spoiling Fluke and it causes us headache and heartache too. We are seeking God’s guidance regarding this incident maybe we can consider finding a family for some of our children. But at the moment, the Lord has impressed to us to keep all the children.Church and SchoolWhen Ajan Sunnit invited me (Joey) to preach at his church, I thought that would be the first and the last. It is because I’m not really a good speaker. Second, my command of Thai language is terrible and even if it is good, I don’t think I can speak Thai words with the proper tone. A slight mistake in tone totally change the meaning of the word. Nonetheless, we are grateful that the Lord has given us opportunity to share the Word to the people regularly.Our community English teaching continues with Narlin bearing most of the teaching load. Her presence in the school is not required but she still works closely with the director and principal. In fact, she is at the moment, is in charge of the school’s drama presentation in a inter school competition. We consider this school and church involvement as God’s way to extend His love to the people in some schools here in Mae Sai.Land and Building ProjectsPlease continue to pray for our need to build a dorm for the boys. We could not yet find the time to sit and draw the plan and estimate the cost. Our handyman-friend is busy and the kids’ school activities are keeping us tied down. Nevertheless, we believe that in God’s time our little dream will become a reality. In relation to this, we are going to Chiang Saen to see the land that we are planning to buy. We already forgot about it because the subject was not discussed again during our meetings with the Network. However, we learned in our last meeting that some portions of the land are still available. We are envisioning that this land will be the home of our future ministries like children’s home, leadership training and a church building. We will give you an update as soon as we are able to see the land and the owner. Please help us to pray for God’s provision about this future project.Visa and Work PermitOur visa will expire on the 20th of July, so this yearly requirement (although it seems more like monthly) will occupy most of our time these coming weeks. We already made several trips and we are anticipating to see more of Chiang Mai. We are hoping that the current political situation may not affect the visa processing which is already complicated as it is. Thank you for praying and extending financial help to pay both for our visa and work permit expenses. God is good!More Prayer RequestsPray for the children as they present a drama in a regional competition. Not just[...]

Upgraded Commandment


John 13:34-35 People get excited when something new comes out. I can tell that it is true with iPhones. When the first generation iPhone came out, everybody wanted to have one. Now it iPhone 5c had been out for over a year and Apple is already announced the coming of iPhone 6. Many people still insanely excited about having the latest iPhone. In John 13:34-35, Jesus in his darkest hours, anticipating his suffering and a violent death on the cross told about his love and his coming death on the cross. I bet the disciples were expecting something else from Jesus than giving them a new commandment. “I give you a new commandment - to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples - if you have love for one another.” It is time for the disciples to get excited because Jesus was giving them a new commandment. We are supposed to get excited with this new love commandment from the Lord. What makes this commandment new? Isn’t the command to love is as old as the Old Testament? Here we will look at the reasons what make this commandment new and different from other love commandment. From loving our neighbours to loving one another A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. The command to love is not new. Jesus had already taught that the whole Law of Moses was summed up in two great commandments in Mark 12:29-31 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, ’Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” In John 13 the focus is upon the community of believers that Jesus will establish before he leaves. He knows that in order for the community to be strong and successful it should have a guiding principle. In order for Christianity to grow big they should follow the new commandment to love one another. It is true with the church. During the early years of Christianity, the Christians have always had tremendous impact on the people around them. They said that Christians love each other even before they know each other.” Is not just about loving our neighbors as yourself but we should love one another. It means loving other Christians and our church mates more than we love our neighbors and ourselves. We should not only love one another but we also should love like Jesus loved. From like loving ourselves to loving like Jesus A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as I have loved you; you also are to love one another. (ESV) The love that Jesus is calling for is not about not hating one another. It is not just about being patient with one another. This command is about being an active, self-sacrificial love just like Jesus loved the people. Jesus exemplified this love when he declared to the disciples that greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. This is the kind of love that He wanted us to demonstrate for our brothers and sisters in our church. [...]

The Power of Small Things


(image) The first thing I did when I woke up this morning is to fire up my computer and checked what was the devotional reading. I was amazed on how the Lord has encouraged us today. These words are totally related to what we are doing for the kingdom. So I am sharing it here. May you be encouraged too. 

"Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed nothing shall be impossible unto you."-- Mat_17:20.

THE GRAIN of mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, but Jesus says that it is a fitting emblem of the Kingdom of God, and the unostentatious beginnings of the Christian era. The number and social position of the disciples was insignificant in the extreme. And the first germ of truth sown in the heart of man, woman, or child, is sometimes equally insignificant. It may be just a sentence, a text, a passing remark which results in a mighty harvest (Mar_4:30-32).

What is it that enables this tiny seed to make such a prodigious increase? It lies in its receptive power, as it receives into its nature the mighty forces which slumber in the soil, the effect of sunbeams, moisture, and air. So long as a little aperture is kept open, there is no limit to the fertility and usefulness of the plant. You may be but a child, and your life seem weak and ineffective, but if you will open your heart to God by faith, He will pour in His mighty fullness, and the tiny seed become a great tree of strength and usefulness, grace and beauty.

Let us not despise the day of small things. Faith may be as a grain of mustard seed, but as it is used it will grow. Your effort to do good may seem so insignificant that it would be hardly missed, if it were discontinued, and yet out of it may emanate some mighty work which will bring help and comfort to thousands. How many orphanages, schools, and philanthropic efforts have owed their origin to the most infinitesimal beginnings. One destitute child cared and ministered to for Christ's sake has led to another, until finally thousands of little ones have received a good start in life. What could be more insignificant than the beginnings of the Gospel message in many a heathen country.

Do not be discouraged. Like Gideon, you may be only a cake of barley bread, but by faith you may overturn the tents of Midian. Like the little lad, you may only be able to place five tiny loaves and two small fish in the hands of Jesus, but He will bless them and make them sufficient to feed the multitude. A stone may bring Goliath to the dust; an arrow may pierce through the armour of the mailed warrior. Have faith in God; Reckon on God's faithfulness to you!

PRAYER Lord, increase our faith. Give us a child-like faith to receive what Thou dost offer, and from this moment may a new sense of the presence and power of God, through the Holy Spirit, come to us. AMEN.

 From F.B. Meyer, Daily Walk