Monday, August 27, 2007

The Tai Lue

The Tai Lue are located in Yunnan, China, as well as in Myanmar and Thailand. There are 1.4 million of them, and they are being worked with.

Please pray for them and the workers, as Myanmar, or Burma, is not the safest place to live in. Pray for their safety and for continued blessings and protection on those who live there.

The First Week

The summer has finally come to an end and it's back to the systematic schedule of the school week and the work day.

We started August 14th, on a Tuesday, and started right where we left off last year. I am now in 12th grade, Eric is in 9th, Eli is in 6th, and Ethan is in 1st. As a Senior (12th grader) I was and am constantly told and reminded that the classes I take this year will affect me for the rest of my life. My guidance counsellor actually said that I had better get straight A's this year, and that he was counting on me. Which is great, because motivation is always a good thing.

Along with obvious changes in courses, there are the other, less expected ones. As usual the school underwent a type of massive renovation in and around the building. This year's surprise was an extension of some of the staff offices and retiling some of the walkway beside the pool. This new cement contrasts brightly with the old tiles, and effectively blinds all who walk on or near it when the sun is out.

There are also many new students. This year Grace International School actually has roughly five hundred students, more than any other previous year. This became evident when I started to have the strange feeling that I was at a new school, one with the same uniform and building, but with completely different people.

(The picture to the left is my mother with her Grade 1 class.)

Speaking of new people we are now driving four families to school everyday. We are still driving the Millers and Samuel Hatton like we used to, but we now have an extra four people riding in our van (bringing the total to 11 plus Papa who drives us). Starting back to the first week of school we started picking up a Pakistani family that just moved here. Suffice to say, our van is now very cramped, but it works out and we have yet another opportunity to bless others through it.

To end off this summary of school life so far, my mother's been having a great time teaching. She wraps it up, saying, "It's a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work." We thank God that she's managed to get into the groove of teaching and is now managing her time a lot more wisely than before. We continue to ask God's help in her teaching at school and for her stress levels.

This being my last school year I also ask for prayers from you, and for the rest of my brothers as we strive to do our best in all that we do. Thank you, and God bless.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Same Friends, Different Country

There is nothing quite like seeing old friends; especially when the reason you haven’t seen each other recently is the price of a plane ticket. About a week ago we bid farewell to the Fullers, a family with whom we share not only an organization, but also two previous neighbourhoods. The last we saw of them before this year was the summer of 2005, at their new house in Singapore.

The Fullers were our co-workers in the Philippines, and among one of the first families we met. We lived roughly two streets away from them in Davao, which is a far cry from the present country (Malaysia) that now separates us. They then left for Canada a year before we did, and were actually responsible for setting us up with the house we lived in for two years. At that time they were living in a complex of townhouses, and they upon hearing about our need for a place to stay, notified us of a townhouse one unit over from where they lived. They moved to Singapore a year after we moved to Thailand.

For their vacation this year they came to Thailand to, among other things, visit us. They arrived in Chiang Mai on the first of August, along with Anna-Claire McMahon, whose family we also knew from the Philippines and whom we were also very happy to see. Unfortunately we were unable to see them for the first six days due to the fact that they were at a conference. So once we knew they were in Thailand we were forced to sit around in our excitement and wait for them to be finished.

One thing I’m sure they will attest to doing is shopping. We first met up with them to drive them over to the night bazaar, a must-visit tourist area in downtown Chiang Mai. Anna-Claire personally made up for about fifty percent of all purchases made that day, with five or six shirts and a purse. It was a new and exciting experience for them to barter the prices as opposed to just paying a fixed price. Unfortunately we were unable to do many things as a full family due to my father’s work at the office and my mother’s in her grade one classroom. We (the kids) were, however, able to join the Fullers on their trip to the elephant farm.

On the night before they left we were able to get together and play family games over at our house. They were able to teach us a few games we didn’t know and we all had a lot of fun. The last thing we did with them was to pray for them and see them off with God’s blessing. They were such a blessing to us and we look forward to seeing them again in the future, though we don’t know how long it’ll be until the next time.

The picture to the right is as follows:

Clockwise- Evan, Emily, Eric, Eli, Bethany, Ethan on Katie's lap, and Anna-Claire on Emily's lap.

Tai Daeng (Red Tai)

It's been awhile since we've done this, but this is this weeks Unreached People Group.

The Tai Daeng, or Red Tai, are located in Laos and Vietnam, and number about 30,000. They currently have no one working with them, and there are no believers.

Please join us and commit these people in your prayers.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All Set

By 8:00 A.M. tomorrow, the 2007-2008 school year at Grace International School ( begins. This time, 500 students will be walking through the front doors, 51 students more than last year. With over 20 nationalities represented, the student body is truly multi-cultural.

It should be fun, challenging, tiring, enriching, delightful, and worthwhile to teach there. All summer I've prepared for tomorrow and beyond. The pencils have been sharpened, the name plates have been set in place, the bulletin boards have been decked out, the week's lesson plan is awaiting delivery, and hundreds of other things have been prepared in the classroom. It's as ready as can be with flowers to add on a vase tomorrow as a finishing touch.

Tonight, Eng and our 4 sons joined me there for a short worship time and to pray together for
the students and for me as I begin to teach Grade One there. I also called my parents in Toronto to receive their blessing and prayer. I am absolutely desperate for the Lord's help and hopelessly dependent on Him. Thankfully, I know He can be relied upon and will not let me be put to shame as I trust Him. I hope you'll remember to pray for me too. It should be an exciting half a year of teaching. Like the school's name, His grace will live out in me. Amen, so be it.