Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Nungs

First off, I'd like to apologize for the late postings; the internet here has been on the fritz, and our computer has sporadically been connecting and disconnecting all day.

This week we would like to ask you to pray for the Nungs.

The Nungs live in Vietnam, and number only 100,000 less than a million. Of these nine-hundred thousand, 0.01% are believers. They are not currently being worked with at this time.

Please pray that they will learn about the Lord, and learn to worship him. Please pray for workers to go so that the Nungs will hear about the good news. Thank you.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Nanay Two and Tatay

My mother's parents arrived in Chiang Mai last Sunday, very tired from their long journey. Accompanying them was my mother's sister, Tita (aunt in Tagalog) Lib. They entered our house quite exhausted from all their traveling, and swiftly moved into their rooms. There they slept for most of the day, as they are accustomed to doing at their own house in Toronto.

During their visit here, Nanay Two and Tatay have been through a wide range of things to do here in Chiang Mai. They have visited the local malls, ridden elephants, and seen the Ratchaphruek for the third time today. My grandmother loves gardening, and really enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, she suffers from Alzheimer's, and can scarcely remember the day's events come that evening. At picture above is Nanay (mother in Tagalog) and her nanay (83 years old in May).

Alzheimer's disease is a condition which afflicts the unwell with a steady decrease in memory. We as a family have grown used to this, and do our best to live accordingly with her condition. Many times a day are we asked the same question, and we reply with a smile and roughly the same answer. One such example of her state is her asking repeatedly, having been driven back to our house, if this is where her and Tatay were sleeping, and if they'd been here before. (My grandparents visited us here in Chiang Mai in October 2004). Another hilarious incident was when my aunt stated to her that they were currently riding an elephant. My grandmother was apparently surprised and said, "ay nasaan?" (where is it?). At right is my Aunt Lib from Salmon Arm, B.C. with my grandmother on their elephant trek on the river.

They are so far enjoying their stay here, and will, on Sunday, continue onwards with their trip to the Philippines. They will be back in 2 weeks on their return trip to Canada. Please pray for their health and our continued hospitality in opening up our home to them, and that this would be a really relaxing, interesting stay for the both of them.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Khruu Aah

If you have been consistently reading this blog from the beginning, then you may recall a blog posting from March 2005. The entry discussed the twin sisters, Khruu (which means teacher) Aah and Khruu Ohh. They are believers in a Buddhist family, and had been barred from changing their beliefs. When they asked if they could get baptised and partake of communion, their request was refused.

In December of last year, a week or so before Khruu Aah's wedding, the twins decided to ask again, and were given their parents' consent to openly demonstrate their faith. This was great news, especially heralding the marriage between Khruu Aah and her husband. Khruu Aah and Khruu Ohh are now able to freely and regularly go to church. They plan to be baptised sometime soon.

As was mentioned in a post last December entitled "Christmas Blessings", Khruu Aah's husband is not a believer. This being the case, they are 'unequally yoked', according to the Bible, 2 Corinthians 6:14. Please pray that he would be swayed by both Khruu Aah and the Lord to change his ways and accept salvation.

At left is a photo of our family alongside Khruu Aah and her husband, Khun Yoot.

As a side-note, the comment box was opened to those without Blogger accounts, we apologize for not having thought of this sooner, and hope that you would share your thoughts if you are so driven to every now and then. Every word is an encouragement.

The Muong

This week's UPG is the Muong.

The Muong live in Vietnam, and have a large population of 1.2 million. They have a very low number of believers, with only 0.03% of them Christian. Thankfully, they are being worked with, and if God's will is carried out, more will turn to see the truth.

Please join us in praying for the Muong and for their salvation.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Almost everyone is familiar with the tradition of making a change for the New Years. However, very few of us can honestly say that we have held to our promises of last year, or of years before. My family has kept up with our own tradition, to change and grow as a family in love.

Every year my mom digs out the old papers from last year and creates new ones for us to fill out. On each piece of paper is one of our names, and two columns. Under the first column is written good things about the person, things we appreciate. Under the second is written what the person will be for the new year, resolutions for them written by others. We have done this for about five years now, and though it hasn't always been fun, it has helped us along as a family.

For the last two years, we have voted as a family for the one who has changed the most. This can be perceived by reading the present year's 'things to be changed', and the 'things to be changed' for next year. If they are both very very similar, then it can be assumed that the person did not change very much. My mom decided to add a bit of a twist to this year's resolutions, and declared that the 'winner' would be given 50B by each family member. And so, the turning of the year came about, as did our tradition. Papers were written, and votes cast. It turns out that I had changed the most, with four votes in my favour. My dad won last year, and we can only await this year's winner.

God's blessings to those of you who made resolutions this year, and may His grace and strength help you to complete them.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Christmas Blessings

Referring back to my last blog posting, "Our Christmas ", I bring to you great tidings of this year's Christmas Blessings.

I compell you to reread my descriptions of the past two years' Christmases, as you will better appreciate God's blessings to us after doing so. As you may recall, the first year we were here, we were given the delight of having carollers come to our house and sing to us. We hosted a Christmas party at our house this year, for my dad's staff and their partners, on the 22nd. That night Pii Gung invited her church friends to come and carol to us, and they did, in Thai! This was the first time for most of us to really hear Thais sing Christmas songs in their own language, and it was a really cool experience; masking the same thing that happened to us two years ago!

Christmas Eve we were invited by a family to go over to their place and just, talk. It was interesting, as they had another family already there. We all sat down in their living room, and just related and told stories of past Christmases to each other. It was particularly fascinating listening to one person talk about how they had been able to sing in a choir in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. I think this really helped all of us to remember that Christmas is a very special time for all of us, and that it's nice to just spend some time talking, and remembering Christmases past.

Christmas Day finally came around, with us waking up in the living room, as we had slept as a family under the Christmas tree the night before. We spent the morning eating breakfast and opening gifts, and used the remainder of the day to rest and relax. We went that evening over to the Shorts' house, a family that is with our mission. Already there and celebrating were the Crawfords, who are also with our mission. Both families had children who we knew, and we were able to hang out and play, while leaving the adults to talk amongst themselves. It was a pretty good night, with excellent food, and even a fire outside.

The following day, for all of you non-Canadians, was Boxing Day. That afternoon we all dressed up in nice clothes and attended the wedding of Khruu Aah (who you can read about in an earlier posting from way back in March 2006). It was a very unique experience, and I realized that Thai weddings are not at all like Western weddings in the least. It was a happy occasion, and we were able to see how God has blessed this couple. Please pray, as Khruu Aah's husband is not a believer, while she is.

In conclusion, this Christmas Break has been an enormous blessing to all of us. We were all able to experience new things, and just enjoy God. We thank those of you who were praying for us at this time. May God bless you in return.


Though it is unknown to many, Burma is officially recognized and named the Union of Myanmar, a name that was given the country by its currently ruling military government. We have chosen to replace this week's UPG with this country as there is much about this country that needs praying for.

For a little history, Burma has thrived through over 30 years of political upheaval, civil war, and totalitarian government. In 1989 the leader of the National League of Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, was placed under house arrest for six years. One year later, the military dictatorship finally gave in to public protests and held a democratic election. The NLD party won over 80% of the votes, though the government did little to acknowledge this and jailed many. While she was under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her stalwart refusal to leave the country, and her belief in non-violence to bring about change.

As a country, the Burmese Army continues to oppress its people, killing, raping, and forcing them into labour and military service. There also remains their ongoing battle to eradicate ethnic minorities within the country, as well as the pro-democracy groups. Remember that whenever there is an UPG that lives in Burma, they are most likely being hunted down and killed. Most of the world's heroin comes out of Burma, and 50% of the national budget is spent on arms. The Burmese people slide deeper into poverty, living in what was once one of the richest countries in Asia.

What we are praying for is not only for the country and its people, but also for the church in Burma. Some estimate the percentage of believers to be over 7%, though persecution is widespread. The government has done all it can to set up discriminations and division among its people. Through all of this, the church has continued to grow and spread.

Please join us in prayer for this country and its oppressed people. Pray that the killing would end, and that love and understanding would connect all the people, regardless of race or faith. Pray that we would be able to do what we can to help them, and ensure that God's message of love reaches the Burmese.