This past weekend Sharon and I had the honor of doing the “missions moment” at Trinity Church. We had a lot of fun updating everyone about the Phu Thai work. We had five minutes in the service and reached 2,000+ people total in all three services. You can watch it for yourself on Vimeo. The actions starts at 22 minutes.
Posts Tagged ‘Trinity Church’
Sharon and I just returned yesterday from a short trip to the Philippines to visit friends from our home church working there. We were sent as representatives of Trinity Church to encourage David and Vanessa and to get a first-hand perspective of what their lives are like. It was an incredible trip for a number of reasons. The trip gave us a new perspective on Thailand as we visited another place and it gave us a new perspective on our lives and ministry as we observed other missionaries.
We met several Thai people while traveling. It was fun to listen in on Thai conversations then interrupt with a question relevant to what was being discussed. I remember one older lady particularly well. Her jaw dropped and worked around in a circle until she got her wits around her again and sputtered, “You’re smart!” When people are outside their usual environment surrounded by people who don’t speak their language they really enjoy talking to someone who can understand them so this lady unloaded on us… I could have written a book on culture just from our 20 minute conversation. Many things combined to give us a fresh perspective on things that are distinct to Thais and characteristics Thai people share with other Asian people groups. In our line of work, perspective is priceless.
Interacting with other missionaries in the Philippines helped us better understand our own ministry and lives. It turns out missionaries there are slogging through the ups and downs of language learning just like we are here. It was refreshing to share with them the things we’ve been working on and to hear from them what they’re doing and how things have gone for them. Personally, it made me much more excited to get back here to Thailand and get back to work.
Many people on Facebook were able to follow our trip. We’ll continue to get more pictures up so you can experience the trip with us. We’re thankful for God’s protection while traveling and for a new way to look at life and ministry.
Five years ago this weekend we celebrated the beginning of a new life together with our friends and family. Our wedding centerpieces included maps of different parts of the world and bibles illustrating our commitment to missions as well as to each other. We’re holding tightly to both commitments five years later. Each day we look to the Lord for wisdom in balancing our commitment to one another and our commitment to the work He’s given us to do. (more…)
Below you’ll find a picture slideshow of our time at Trinity Church on Sunday. We had six minutes in the service to explain our ministry, show pictures of Thailand and describe our journey into missions. The response was absolutely incredible. After the services nearly 50 new people signed up to receive our updates from Thailand! We talked to hundreds of people interested in learning more or in expressing their support and love.
Thank-you Trinity Church. You guys rock!
Our number arrived! Tomorrow morning at five AM we’ll crawl out to the car dragging an overnight bag. Four hours later we’ll slap a two inch thick pile of paperwork on the desk at the Thai embassy and the waiting game will begin again. At least this step has a pretty predictable outcome: we’ll definitely get the visas. Just pray it will be a short, painless process and that we’ll come back to Lansing safely. If you’ve forgotten what our faces look like already here’s a picture to enjoy:
UPDATE – September 21 4:00 PM
Everything went according to plan this morning. We arrived at the consulate just as the guard opened the doors chased a homeless guy off the steps. We walked out fifteen minutes later with a receipt to pick up our visas in two days. So immediately after arriving we turned around and drove right back out of the city. Pretty boring trip. We’ll have to repeat the entire ordeal later this week. We’ll post about it here.
UPDATE – September 25 2:00 PM
Went to Chicago yesterday and picked up our visas with Sharon’s parents and sister. It was a great trip! Check out our photos in our latest post: Our Visas are Here!
I’ve been filling in as a janitor at New Hope Church, our primary sending church in Lansing. Thought I’d let you into the inner circle of people who’ve seen my janitorial side. Previously I served on the “Facilities Ministry” team at Trinity Church for 4 years. I still like to roll up my sleeves and get kung-fuey on some chewing gum from time to time.
Sharon and I both like to get extra jobs from time to time to supplement our income. The extra money is often spent on the little things that can really add up: newsletter publication, postage, saving for our emergency fund (which is at $330.00 btw), etc.
“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,
|It’s really happening:|
In January we have the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Thailand with our missions pastor and key members of our home church in January. It all came together at the last minute and our heads are still spinning as we think about all we need to do to prepare for this trip. We’re excited about the possibilities the trip has for us. We’re excited to visit a tribal location, meet our future leaders and co-workers, and explore our future home.
You can help! Our church leadership has informed us that the cost of the trip will be $1,500 for each of us or $3,000 total. We can’t cover this amount without your help! For your convenience we have many ways you can give to our ministry. To explore the options visit our give page. All gifts to our ministry are tax deductible and will go toward our ministry expenses.
We need your prayers too! Please pray our trip preparations will go well and that we will communicate and minister effectively while we are in the country. Have a wonderful Christmas Season and thank-you for your participation in our ministry.