Monday, September 25, 2006

The Khams

This week's Unreached People Group is the Kham.

The Kham are very far spread out, and live in China, in the provinces of Sichuan, Tibet, and Qinghai. There are quite a large number of them, their population reaching about 1.8 million. Unfortunately for such a large amount, only 0.03% of them are Christian, though they are being worked with.

Please pray that though the believers are few, that they would reach out to the other Kham, and that it would not be by the workers that the revival comes, but by the people themselves.

Welcome to the RAC Office,

My father, as overworked as he is, was recently informed by one of his staff members, Nong Lim (shown at left), that she was moving to Bangkok, to help with the family business. This was an enormous shock to him, and was very stressed out and already thinking about the mountain of work that awaited him.

He started to pray for a new employee, and we as his family joined him in praying to the Lord. Sure enough, he has not too long ago received a visit from a girl by the name of Nong Phung who was told by her friends that there might be an opening at the RAC office. Now understand, my father had not put up ads or asked around for a new staff member, but she came to the office of her own accord (surely prompted by the Lord?).

Nong Phung (shown below), or her full name, Koontida Srisomped (you can understand why Thai people use their nicknames) will be 24 on October 30th. She graduated from Payap University, a Christian university, and studied English for her major; she minored in Japanese.

She first and foremostly thanks God for her opportunity to work at the RAC office, and refers to Him as Immanuel, which means God is with us. Phung believes that God led her to study English, and to help others through this second language. She said, "What I hope will happen as I work here is to support others as much as I can. I would like to be a part of God's ministry at the RAC office."

Please pray that Nong Phung would be able to fit into office life at the Mekong Center, and that she would soon grow comfortable to working there. Also pray for Nong Lim, as she will have to work with and help with her parents in Bangkok. Lastly, let's praise God for His speedy answer to our prayers, and for His grace and mercy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Inthas

This week's Unreached People Group is the Intha.

The affinity of the Intha is Lolo-Burmese, and they currently live in Myanmar and Thailand. There are 141,000 of them, and of that 141,000, only 0.07% of them are Christian. Not only that, but they have no workers there right now, and have no way of finding the Gospel.

Please pray for the Intha, that workers would be sent, and that hearts would know the truth.

Moving Around

In case you're wondering at home, how we here in Thailand get where we want to go. And, I'm sorry to burst your bubbles, but we don't ride elephants around here. Actually, we use vehicles, just like you do. Though the gas is fortunately a lot cheaper here then it is over there. Lately Eng has become quite keen on the idea of buying an automatic motorcycle. (He isn't comfortable riding Linda's motorcycle which has gears.) He hopes to use the automatic one to get to and from work. Linda is now a long way from when she crashed our helper's motorcycle, bruising her entire leg. Shown left is a photo of Linda on her motorcycle. Behind her, though barely visible, is our car. It is quite old (15 years to be exact), and prone to creaking when going over speedbumps, but it works. People here also bicycle to many places, not simply reserved to their own neighbourhoods, but also to their workplaces and schools. It takes us 10-15 minutes on a bicycle to get to Grace International School where Linda is a Grade 1 Teaching Assistant and where the boys study.

But when those fail, we always have Chiang Mai's public transport system. Usually very inexpensive, it often comes down to a toss-up between taking a songthaew, or taking a tuktuk. A tuktuk (as shown on the left, below) is a motorcycle that has been added on to to allow for passengers. These are usually very fast, smoky, and pleasant if you like the wind in your hair. Songthaews on the other hand, are, if you have been to the Philippines, much like jeepneys, though not as colourful. As you can, hopefully, see from the picture on the bottom right, songthaews are basically pickups, with a roof and seats for passengers in the rear. As I have slowly come to learn from living in Chiang Mai, the red ones are like taxis, and will take you anywhere, while the yellow, white, or blue songthaews follow a route.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Little R & R

For the information of all of you who are reading this, it wasn't all work and no play for us over the summer. Every now and then we were able to take a break from visiting churches and re-meeting people we hadn't seen in years, and kick back for awhile and do things we'd never done before.

One such new and exciting experience was spent while we were visiting the Lewis's, a family that we go WAY back with. Anyway, they just so happened to have two ATVs in their garage, and me and Eric were blessed with the opportunity to ride said vehicles. To those lesser informed (I myself was one of your number 'till last summer), ATV stands for All Terrain Vehicle. And after a quick how-to lesson from Uncle Robert, we were off; zooming around their very expansive front and back lawns. (picture below)

Another thing we did during our stay was spend time with old friends. Eric, Eli and I had enjoyed two fun-filled years at Henderson Public School only a couple of years before, and we were overjoyed in meeting up with old friends and getting to spend time with them again. Below is a picture of Ethan and Eli with one of Eli's best friends, Kane. This was a real blessing in regard to the fact that we had not planned to see Kane, and were able to meet him at a swimming pool in our old neighbourhood.

Some of our most important times were the ones spent with our brothers and our mother. Once while driving along we came upon a playground, and due to the insistence of both Eli and Ethan, we stopped to play. I, in particular, was struck with nostalgia at the thought of once again playing at the park, and really enjoyed myself. Lastly, but not leastly, is a picture of Eric playing on the slide, below.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Ges

This week's Unreached People Group is the Ge.

The Ge can be found in China, in the province of Guizhou. There are currently no workers over there. Thankfully, they are not one of the larger people groups, and only have a population of about 100,000. Still, the Lord loves them and are concerned for them.

Please join us in praying for the Ges, that workers would go to them, and that they would no longer live in darkness.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

The Gha-Mus

Here it is again, the Unreached People Group of the Week.

This week it's the Gha-Mus. They can be found in China, in the provinces of Guizou, Sichuan and Yunnan. There are roughly 108,000 of them, stretched out quite thinly across China. They are not currently engaged right now, though by God's blessing 30% of them are Christians.

Please commit the Gha-Mu in your prayers, as we also ask God to work in the lives of these people.

And So I Lay My Head To Sleep...

Over the course of our summer, we were blessed with many places to lay our heads to rest. Long hours of traveling and the difficulty of finding a place for five people to sleep often led to many very interesting 'beds'.

The majority of our stay was spent at our grandparents' house, where immediately spaces of sleeping were claimed. My mom and Ethan took the couch pull-out bed, Eli took the jacuzzi, (as shown in the picture above), Eric took the living room couch, and I took refuge in the basement with the luggage, which all in all, was not particularly a bad thing. I had privacy when changing, and a cool place to retreat to when the summer heat got to me.

During our stay with the Pulsifers in Salmon Arm, Eric, Chris, Jordan, Eli and I took up in their trailer in their backyard, where we spent six nights talking and enjoying the cool B.C. weather.

Our most interesting and by far most enjoyable night was spent atop the Pulsifers' roof, staring up at the night sky. With our uncle's permission, Jordan, Chris, Chris Pikk (Chris' friend), Eric, Leslie, Murphy and I excitedly got ready for our night up top. Careful not to disturb the gravel, we clambered up the ladder, which was propped up by the van, and arranged our beddings.

Once up and comfortable, we chatted the night away while attempting to keep warm and watching shooting stars (which we saw a lot of by the way).

We awoke the next morning with the sun in our faces and barely a night's-worth of sleep between the seven of us.

As we finally left Salmon Arm to go to Vancouver International Airport, we spent a night in the house of Linda's cousin. That morning, as we were packing up, Ethan continued his rest on some porch pillows, looking as comfortable as can be. (picture below)