Monday, November 27, 2006

Doc's Holiday

Last week-end, Grace Int'l. School presented two showings of the play "Doc's Holiday", by Pat Cook. It was a very entertaining Christmas play, eliciting a lot of chuckles and laughter. The cast did a splendid job and when it was all over, most of us left feeling good, having seen a show that blessed and warmed our hearts. Evan, who acted for the first time in his life in a school play did remarkably well. He played 'Charley', the main character 'Doc's' best friend.
Below is his write up on how he felt participating in the play. Except for Jessica Haley, who is in Grade 6, the cast consisted of Grades 9-12 students.

Until now, I, Evan, had not truly realized how much hard work goes into a play. By three weeks before production, we were practicing five days a week, with almost two hours after school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and eight hour dress rehearsals on Saturday. Needless to say, my lines and the lines of all the other characters have been deeply burned into my memory, as well as how to act and what Not to do.

I also learned the joys of dressing as fast as you can between curtain calls, and stage make-up. Make-up is a scary thing when you're a guy and have never even considered touching 'foundation' or 'eyeliner', but apparently it turns out well when you're up there underneath those lights. Which, may I add, are some of the hottest things on this planet, and you literally are both blinded and scorched by them when you're up on that stage.

All in all, acting in a play was a very satisfying and enjoyable experience. Dressing up and taking the stage has given me new talents, as well as to help strengthen others which I have always had. One such ability was the power of projecting my voice, which was very very useful at the Battle of the Bands. I was also able to strengthen friendships with several of the cast members, and had a lot of fun along the way.

Below is a picture of our cast, with myself in white. Clockwise, from myself are: Peter 'Jake'; Hannah, our 'student director'; Renee, The Director; Bradley, 'Jack'; (above him) Justin, or 'Doc, the Star of the play'; Stephanie, or 'Maxine'; Nuk, 'Charlotte'; Jessica, 'Patty'; Sarah, or 'Sally'; Jeanette Hall, The Producer; Sara, or 'Effie', and Matthias, a.k.a. 'Buzz'.

The Mun

The Unreached People Group for this week are the Mun, or Lantien.

The Mun live in Laos, Vietnam, and Guangxi, China. There are about 260,000 of them, and a very sparse 0.01% of them are believers.

Please pray that as they are not being worked with, workers would move into the countries and reach out to them. Also, thank God that despite the fact that there are currently no workers there, there are believers among them. Please let's pray together for the believers to grow in their faith and for more to join them. Thank you.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Iu Mien

This week's people group are the Iu Miens.

The Iu Mien can be found in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Guangxi, in China. As you can tell, the 1.5 million of them are very widely spread. Currently, there are workers there.

Please pray for the Iu Miens that they would believe in Jesus and that the believers there would grow in passion and their love for Him.

A Visit to Singapore

From October 28th to November 9th, my father was in Singapore, and we had to do our best without him. Below is an interview I had with my dad, about his trip. Unforunately, there are no pictures, sorry!

Me- So, what was your purpose in visiting Singapore?

Eng- My purpose in visiting Singapore was to attend a financial meeting.

The first three days of my stay in Singapore I did what you call an annual estimate review. There is a group of five of us, and we look at the budget of each country, the sending country and the receiving country. We analyse that everything is consistent with the financial policy of our company.

And then on the second and the third, we had the International Committee Meeting Proper. We discussed various topics such as pension and retiring programs for our people. We also looked at all the Generation Two IFS (International Financial System). The first one is already ten years old, and we are upgrading our financial system to a better one to better meet the needs of our company.

Then we had a break in between where all of us, the financial committee members, attended a Silent Retreat in a Catholic retreat centre in Singapore. All of us felt refreshed from that, and there was a time to hear from God ourselves. One highlight was on a Saturday morning and Sunday morning, we were able to walk over to a conservation park where the only thing we were unable to do was speak. We were able to see and smell and feel the prescence of God all around us.

The next three days it was back to meetings.

Me- What did you enjoy most about your visit?

I had an opportunity to visit with one particular Singaporean family that we (the family) met just before I left Chiang Mai. We exchanged contact info, and I was invited to their house for dinner. I listened to their stories of how God is working in their lives, and how he may be inviting them into possible full time missions work.

I was also able to minister to a young boy of 12 years old that visited us back in March. I was able to spend some time with him, and encourage him. He had lost quite a bit of weight, and his parents were quite concerned about him. I encouraged him to eat and regain his strength.

One evening after having supper at his house we gathered around and prayed that God would make him feel stronger. He had been having an irregular heartbeat and problems with a very low blood pressure; seventy over fourty. The night before he left I called him, and the doctor had just given a good report about how his heart rate had normalized. I account this recovery to our prayers and that God healed him. The doctor could find nothing physically wrong with him.

Me- What’s one thing you like about Singapore that you can’t find in Chiang Mai?

The Botanical Gardena, at which I ran many mornings in. It was like God’s garden, and I was able to enjoy his creation. And eating Indian food too. I was brought to Little India for Indian food two times, and enjoyed eating on banana leaves and things like that.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Music Mania.

The student council at Grace International School came to an agreement one day, that they would change the annual "Battle of the Bands" to "Music Mania". In doing so they would guarantee the involvement of other non-band groups, such as lip-syncing acts and dance routines. Over the next few weeks, groups signed up for this night of entertainment and practiced while the day loomed ever closer. Last Saturday came the night of Music Mania, a chance to score money for some, a moment of terror for others.

I myself was in a band, and sang a rock cover of Justin Timberlake's 'Cry Me a River'. We, however, did not win, though we did score a lot of points for crowd participation. More importantly, I had a really fun time singing (screaming at times), and I hope to enter next year and see how our band does. Below are pictures from the night, with (in descending order) a picture of my friend Megan's band, Chaos Theory; our band, radiomarch; and the school's Jazz Band.

The Lao Phuan: Tai Phuan

The Lao Phuan can be found in Laos, and have a South-western Tai affinity. They are currently being worked with, and 0.01% of them are Christian. As there are 115,000 of them, that means there are about 11 believers among them.

Join us in prayer for those eleven or so believers, that they would be strong in their faith, and that the workers that are currently positioned with them would do God's will to the best of their abilities.

Monday, November 6, 2006

The Phu Tai Laos

The Phu Tai Laos are of the Tai affinity, and are Southwestern Animists. Their everyday lives revolve around a very dark spiritual world that controls their every action.

They can be found in Laos, just like all the other Lao. There are about 150,000 of them, and only 15 are believers (.01%). There are however some workers there.

Pray with us that the 15 who already believe will have the courage and boldness to share about Jesus, that the workers there will have wisdom in how to share, and that the Holy Spirit would sweep through this people. Thank you!

Loy Krathong

As indicated, today's blog entry is about the Thai celebration of Loy Krathong.

Over the weekend we were constantly reminded of this holiday by the incessant noise of fireworks and firecrackers being lit, often times in the middle of the day. Now that the festivities are over, we can look back and better understand why the Thai people do what they do.

This morning as my mother was out for a walk, she found some remnants of the krathong that were still in the pond in front of our house. Mostly made of palm or some sort of leaves, they float until they become waterlogged and sink. They were bedecked with flowers, incense, a candle, or a combination of all three on some of them. She was told that nail clippings, locks of hair, or money were also placed on the krathong. Reasons for why this is done varies. Some say it is to cast off the misfortunes or their ‘bad luck’ down the river. She also asked why money was placed on the krathong, and was told that it was some kind of offering to the goddess. It’s a contradiction of sorts on the krathong, but at least on the paper lanterns (lit by wax, some come with fireworks – looking like a star shooting skyward) they agree that it's to cast off their misfortunes.

Later on in the day, she spoke to Phii Chamngan, a Christian that went out last night to lay a krathong on the Ping River. When asked why he felt it was necessary, he said it was to thank the Goddess of the River for the provision of the water that he uses and also for him to pay his respect and to apologise for polluting it.

Loy Krathong in the complete sense of the holiday, is a day when the Thai people can both enjoy themselves and have fun (lots of food!), while experiencing a deep relief in their apparent forgiveness of sins. Either through the lanterns lit, or the krathongs placed on the river (or water source), they are able to pray, make amends, and to let go of what is unpleasant. It seems that the laying of the krathong is a must for them but not the lighting of fireworks or the lanterns. Unfortunately, even Thai people who already believe in Jesus have a hard time turning their backs on lifelong tradition. Please pray for the Thai people to believe in the one true God (not the Goddess of the River) and for Phii Chamngan and believers like him who still cling to their culture, that they would realize God's calling for them, and what they could better be doing with their lives.