Tuesday, April 25, 2006

RAC Retreat

Some time ago, our family and Eng’s co-workers at the Regional Accounting Centre (in between Evan and Eli are Bee, married to Tii, Kung, and Cheng) were able to enjoy a pleasant relaxing weekend up at Rim Doi, one of the local resorts. It was a very fun way to get to know the people who Eng spends time with everyday, and, though I’m somewhat speaking for them, I think they enjoyed it almost as much as we did. There weren’t many things to do up there, and the resort food was expensive, but we didn’t let that get us down. We threw in a whole ton of food into the back of our car with Evan, packed all our family games, and brought our enthusiasm with us! By the end of the week-end, we’ve played a badminton tournament and enjoyed numerous meals and games together.

It was funny too as when we arrived there, we hauled our ‘luggage’ all the way to our cabins, then we found out we could have driven up near the cabins and saved ourselves a whole lot of trouble. But that aside, we were able to settle in and relax, and most of all, get closer to one another.

We were even able to show off our ‘Yeong Improvisation’ skills, by putting up a badminton net using bamboo, rocks, and a trashcan. I’m sure they were VERY impressed.

Mulao Dongs

The Mulao Dongs are from Guangxi, China. There are 160,000 of them with .78% believers. No one works with them. The Dongs are mostly farmers and animistic Buddhism is their main religion. The Bible has not been translated into Dong.

Who will translate the Bible for them so that they can read about our Lord? Let's pray for workers to the Dongs.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Marcus Elliot

Lord, please don’t give them any peace so that they’ll leave the place” was Eng’s prayer when he found out that our neighbours and their friends went to a temple to spend two weeks meditating. Our family collectively agreed with that prayer even though Linda thought it was a strange request. What a big surprise it was for us when our neighbour's friend Marcus, showed up at the gate days later asking for the key to our neighbour’s house so he could get his things. He said he just didn’t have any peace at the temple and decided to leave it early. He further added that the whole experience convicted him that he needed to go back and be right with Jesus.

Marcus was here as a tourist so we invited him to live with us for the time being, and he accepted. The first night he was here was coincidentally(?) Bible study night for both Eng and Evan. Eng brought Marcus with him to his Bible study, and the Lord worked on him some more. We later heard that Marcus had been weeping and repenting openly, truly aware of how his life had been up to then. Eng then took this opportunity to ask Marcus to go with him to the annual Men’s Retreat, which was the following week. Marcus attended that too, and had a wonderful time. Marcus is at center with Eng and another worker.

During his stay with us, we were greatly encouraged to see how the Lord moved in his life. Not only that, the Lord used him to bless us enormously. When we went away for our anniversary get-away, Marcus stayed with our sons and cooked for them. He also filled our pantry with bought groceries and he gave us the ‘Heavenly Plan Massage’ as described in Heaven’s Gifts (March 27 post).

We pray that Marcus will continue to walk with the Lord, and that he will never forget how the Lord ministered to him while he was here.

6:00 AM

This is the time Eng has to be at work to be part of a Conference Call that all together total 8 countries (Australia, Canada, England, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the US). Once a month, financial decisions affecting all national offices require this call which often lasts for two straight hours. If Eng has too much work to catch up on the night before the Conference Call, he will sleep at the guest home just beside the office so he can work late and be up early to take part in the call. Once the Conference Call is over, plus several cups of consumed coffee, his regular work day begins...

Southern Dongs

The Southern Dongs are from the Guangxi, Guizhou, and Hunan provinces of China. There are 1.9 million of them with just 950 believers (that's just .05%!). No one works with this group. How will the unbelieving Southern Dongs hear unless someone works with them?

Who will go?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Song Kran

Wouldn’t you like to participate in a 3 day city-wide water splashing event? The whole city practically comes alive when Song Kran (the Thai New Year) comes around and people indulge in this unusual activity. Days leading to it, some people are already beginning to douse the unsuspecting as they walk or travel around town. No one is safe as you can get soaked by a pitcher full of ice cold water even while eating at a restaurant (true story)! Thai people see themselves blessing the people they wet, since it is very hot. Who wouldn’t want to be wet and be relieved of the heat? I have yet to see a Thai person angry for getting wet. They may hate to be wet but they grin, bear it, and laugh along with the person who wet them. Most folks just get even assuming the ‘if-you-can’t-beat-them-just-join-them’ attitude.

Thai people like to have something new as they welcome the New Year. Last week, the whole walkway leading to Central Kad Suan Kaew (a local mall) was packed with shoppers and vendors of all sorts. Since people want to buy, vendors are everywhere including the sidewalks. They sit right on the pavement and use candles to show off their wares. Clothes, footwear, wood carvings, jewellery, accessories, knick knacks, and a whole lot more are sold.

Unfortunately, although a lot of fun, the festivities do have its ugly side. The minor results are eye and ear infections as dirty water (coming from the river or the moat surrounding the old city) is often used. The worse that happens is that alcohol is ingested and together with driving, a lot of fatal accidents occur during this time. Some folks get carried away too as they wet surprised motorcyclists who react tragically. 68 people have already died as pre-celebrations started. The actual Song Kran days are April 13-16. Please commit the country in prayer at this time. Someday, if Easter and Song Kran coincide again, we hope the Thais would be more excited and more responsive about what Jesus did, than on wetting others and getting wet.

We’re not too sure how to post an actual Song Kran picture here as we don’t want our camera wet! Maybe if you imagine a lot of wet people holding an assortment of water guns, pails, hoses, or whatever-would-wet device while wearing silly-grins on their faces, you would come close. Let’s pray for the rest of the Song Kran celebrations to be safe.

Our Newest Teenager

Eric turned 13 last month, on the 20th. We wanted to celebrate his birthday ‘Bar Mitzvah’ style, but he prefers to wait till we get to Canada where most of his relatives live. God willing, we will do this sometime in July when we return.

Some of you may remember Eric wearing a finger thin hair tail when he was younger. Nowadays, Eric prefers to wear his hair long, and just recently, a black ‘Es’ hat everywhere he goes. Eric loves to listen to music, draw, read, play computer games, and believe it or not, jump rope.

Both Eric and Evan wrote poems that placed in their school’s contest. We’ll post those in the future if they’ll let us.

Northern Dongs

There are 1,100,000 Northern Dongs in the Guizhou and Guangxi provinces of China. Of those, 550 (.05%) believe in the Lord. Let’s pray for their faith to be strengthened and for the rest of the Northern Dongs to believe.

Currently, there are Christian workers working with this people group. Let’s pray that they would be effective in reaching out to the non believers.