The biggest joy and privilege that we have is to interact with our Thai church and to encourage our Thai friends. It’s a great honor to be just 27 years old and be able to share God’s Word with our church! This Sunday I shared James 1:1-5, in particular about where to find wisdom and what God promises He will do if we ask for it. Afterward I asked several people for their feedback and got some helpful responses and I hope to improve for next time. The important thing is that in getting outside my comfort zone I’ve opened doors for people to speak into my life and that it’s another opportunity to learn more about myself.
Posts Tagged ‘friends’
We’re back home in sunny Chiang Mai enjoying time with our friends, unpacking, fixing things that broke and getting settled in. Thank-you for your thoughts and prayers for safety as we traveled and as we continue to adjust back to the time, food and pace of life. We will spend next week just getting re-acquainted with things here: retraining our tongues how to speak, our minds how to think and our bodies how to act in this culture. Being back this time has reminded us what an adjustment it was the first time we came over and how far we’ve come. God bless you richly today. Thanks for keeping up with us right here. -Ric and Sharon
Sharon and her friends jumped into Mork-Fa Falls just the way they came: blue jeans, makeup, necklaces, cell phones and all. Yes, poor Kay forgot to leave her cell phone on the bank before taking the plunge. Here’s a picture of her face before she realized her awful mistake:
Sharon and I are reaching unreached tribes with the gospel!
Actually we’ve learned that ministry is all about is relationships. We’ve been humbled by the welcome our Thai friends have given us. The time we spend with our friends here in the culture has continued to increase as our language ability increases and our level of comfort grows. Please continue to pray these relationships would continue to grow and blossom. They are not only crucial for an understanding of language and culture they will be the foundation of our work for years to come.
Most weekends we go out with our friends from church. Primary activities include: visiting sick people in the hospital, going to weddings, spending six hours praying, boiling eggs at hot springs, going to a revival or riding a hot bus for hours and hours. Not exactly the way we would have spent our weekends back home.
Here’s what we’re learning though: it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. The most important thing is that you’re doing it together with friends. That’s certainly a strong value we’ve observed playing itself out over and over again in the six months since we’ve been here. Embedded on our website are some pictures from this weekend illustrating my point: (more…)
It’s not often you get to see everyday life while living as a guest in another country so we feel privileged to share these pictures which were taken by our friends (on one of our cameras). They’ve generously agreed to allow us to post them here so please enjoy them and if you’d like to see more pop over to our Picasa Web Albums to see them all (you can also zoom in on these ones).
Check out all our pictures at Picasa.
“He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 27:18
If you had asked Trinity Church’s Global Outreach team last spring about Trinity’s Southeast Asia missions focus, they would have told you that Southeast Asia was to be considered in the near-distant future. As it turns out, the Lord had a different plan and a different timetable!
On January 20th Matthew Philip, Ric and Sharon Bruce (New Tribes Mission), and Barb and I boarded a plane for Thailand and emerged in Bangkok some 20 hours later. The next morning we flew north to Chiang Mai where we were met by Trinity missionaries Kenneth and Maxene. They had arranged meetings with leadership from NTM, Pioneers, and others engaged in missions-related work, and graciously transported us and kept us on schedule. As part of our visit, we also flew to northeast Thailand to visit Trinity missionaries Mike and Sandy who immersed us in rural village culture.
It is evident to us that our Trinity missionaries are having a significant impact on the lives of the people with which the Lord has connected them. They have been intentional in their relationship-building and we were warmly received by their Thai friends and acquaintances. Our missionaries provide an excellent testimony of faith and service in their communities.
Traveling the streets of Chiang Mai with Kenneth and Maxine as our guides we caught a glimpse of the Thai lifestyle and culture: busy city streets with many small motorcycles and street vendors, archways and paintings honoring the King of Thailand, breathtaking flowers and gardens reflecting the country’s love of beauty and color, and numerous spirit houses, temples and statues that attest to a unwavering faith in unseen gods. Kenneth and Maxene work at Grace International School (GIS), a school designed for missionary children so that their parents can continue their work. We also met several other GIS staff and faculty, including Mark and Joanne from Trinity.
In northeast Thailand Mike and Sandy led us on an extraordinary walk. We strolled along the narrow streets and in keeping with local customs Mike and Sandy spoke with everyone we encountered and engaged in leisurely conversation.
We learned first-hand that “time” has a very different meaning here, and is not as linear as we see it in the U.S. As Mike translated, we learned about basket making and weaving from the local women and visited a store owner selling homemade food. What a privilege to see the warm and trusting relationships shared by Mike and Sandy and the villagers.
The respectful, kind, and generous nature of the Thai people made our interactions easy and comfortable. Smiling, laughing and gesturing with our hands allowed us to effectively communicate even though we couldn’t speak the Thai language. Most Thais in larger cities such as Chiang Mai and Bangkok speak some English.
What is the state of the Thai Christian church? Is it vibrant? Can we partner with them? How can we best come along-side our own missionaries in Thailand? These were some of our questions and though we don’t have complete answers, we are very excited about what we have learned and the potential for Trinity’s growing involvement in this part of the world.
We ask for your prayers as we seek to discern God’s plan for Thailand and SE Asia and the role that Trinity Church will play. The Lord is already moving ahead: shortly after our return, Ric and Sharon were formally invited to join NTM Thailand. We’re excitedly looking forward!
On behalf of the Southeast Asia Leadership Team at Trinity Church,
We’re tired, so for the next few days we’ll be relaxing and seeing some of the sights in Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. After all the work Sharon put into her Cherokee analysis and the days of traveling we need to take a few days to slow down, catch up on our mail, and prepare for our next meetings.
We had a great time with in Tennessee today. This Sunday we will be in Missouri at Prosperine Baptist Church. Monday we fly to Arizona to spend time with family for the holidays.
Last night we went to the beach to celebrate Sharon finishing her Cherokee analysis. It was great to walk along the boardwalk, splash in the waves, and feel free at last. Here are some pictures:
This weekend we spent Saturday celebrating the marriage of Micah and Susan in Jersey Shore, PA. I’ve known Micah since I was his roommate for two years at New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson, MI and was honored to be one of his groomsmen. See the pictures here.
Normally during the summer I would be updating from somewhere exotic: Alaska, Cambodia, the Appalachian Trail. This summer is a bit more normal, but certainly not mundane! We’ve been all over the midwest to share our ministry and to connect with friends.
Our Summer Events:
Fourth of July
We spent the fourth with family, supporting my aunt and uncle’s local business in Grand Ledge, and lighting fireworks. Check out more pictures here.
Tenth of July
We spent a day up north on the Leelanau Peninsula and Traverse City with good friends and partners in ministry. The place was stunning! Incredibly beautiful. We were there on the last day of the National Cherry Festival. Delicious! Pictures.
Seventeenth of July
We traveled to Ohio for a good friend’s wedding this past weekend. It was a lot of fun to re-connect with old friends and make new ones. Pictures.
Well, those are our major events. During the week, our internship with Trinity Church continues and we are re-connecting with old friends and close family here in Michigan. Please pray for us as we raise financial and prayer support for our ministry in Cambodia.