Monday, October 04, 2010

Clark Pinnock: Mission and the Holy Spirit

I was kinda get burnout with writing the dissertation last week. My brain abruptly stopped working. I tried to read books but I could not make sense of the words I was seeing on the pages. I started having doubts about what I had written so far.  I am also missing home. Suddenly, I wanted to return to Thailand to my family and our adopted children.

It's Monday today and I am hoping I could start anew.  I went into the library this morning and looked at the book I that might be helpful to make my brain alive again. I found Clark Pinnock's Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit. It seems like a very good book. Opening a few pages I read this fascinating paragraph:
If Christians are to be effective in mission, they must offer a faith that is vibrant and alive. People who want to meet God and will not be satisfied with religion that only preaches and moralizes. Knowing about God is not the same as knowing God. Christianity was born on the day of Pentecost because a question was asked about a transforming experience: "What does thie means?" (Acts 2:12). Speaking about God is meaningful only if there is an encounter with God back of it. Only by attending to the Spirit are we going to be able to move beyond sterile, rationalistic, powerless religion and recover the intimacy with God our generation longs for. 

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I always use Bible Gateway when looking for particular verses on the Internet. I always go on the site then type the references. If I could not remember the reference, I usually type the word/s on the search bar with Bible Gateway. It is a great Bible tools on the internet right now.

However, today I am kinda lazy to go the Bible Gateway site, so I just googled the phrase from a familiar verse and hoping google will look for the reference for me.  But I got better than what I expected. Google brings me to It's a very good Bible Study tools. Check it out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Article on Moltmann

Writing dissertation is difficult at times. At times, your ideas won't come out of your head and flow through your fingers. You have your fingers on your keyboard but they won't press any keys at all. In times like this, I just look around the internet and google some words that are related to what I want to write. Of course, most of the times you find nothing. But there are times I find something I want to keep. I think a blog is a good place to keep the articles that prove to be helpful. I found this article about Moltmann and decided to keep it here.
One of the most influential theologians of his time, Moltmann was Professor of Systematic Theology at Tubingen University (in what was then Western Germany) for more than 25 years. During that time he was strongly influenced by both Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and, in the 1960s and 70s, was involved in the general Christian dialogue of the day with Marxists.

His distinct orientation of theology towards politics moved him later to focus on the European "Peace" and "Green" movements. He also became increasingly open to dialogue with exponents of Roman Catholic, Orthodox and liberation theology.

His theology can be generally classed as dialectical, in that he was concerned with tensions between aspects of Christian doctrine - the Cross and the Resurrection, death and life, an absent God and a present God and so on. All these he related to negative aspects of the world like sin, suffering and death as well as to positive aspects such as what he perceived as God's ongoing act of creation which was to issue in a new order.

Moltmann's extensive theology is, however, blighted by a methodological failing. In his earlier works such as Theology of Hope (1964) he derives his conclusions from the Bible. If in doing so he doesn't give enough credence to what were then well-substantiated  doubts about what biblical material is historical and what kerygmatic, his work is nevertheless relatively sound.

His later works display an increasing lack of awareness of the distinction between what Jesus may have thought, taught and lived out and the early Church's interpretation of what they knew about Jesus. Recent work has shown conclusively that the Jesus of history is a relatively shadowy figure. It also indicates strongly that early interpretations of Jesus were strongly influenced by reference to Old Testament theology (Isaiah for instance). He also appears to have little or no understanding of the analogical nature of theology - that is, the degree to which God-talk (theology) consists of image and metaphor.

As a result, Moltmann's theological castles appear today as elaborations built upon suspect foundations. Critics perceive them as somewhat ill-disciplined speculation tied too loosely to sound historical and critical biblical work. In a sense, Moltmann became unconsciously mythological.

Moltmann thought of God as centrally a "community of divine persons" (the Trinity) who interact in and with the world. Because this interaction is ongoing, theology (and therefore teaching) can never be completed. It is essentially "relational" - any standpoint is relative to others in a developing, organic relationship. But he appears to have had little difficulty with the central idea of revelation in relation to the whole body of human knowledge and understanding.
If God interacts with the world then change is natural. Moltmann's orientation was therefore strongly practical. Theology as a discourse aims to change the world (the opposite of stagnation) in order the better to orientate creation towards the coming kingdom of God.

This eschatological strand is common to all Moltmann's work. It's not an "end of all things in clouds of glory" sort of eschatology. Rather, he thought of it as changing the present in the direction of the "future" towards God's kingdom. The Resurrection of Jesus (however one understands it) is the first step. It sets in motion the new order and spells out the eventual end of evil, suffering and death.

Moltmann's practical streak emerges in his approach to the problem of pain and suffering. Why, if God "loves" us does he allow us to suffer so terribly? Moltmann doesn't offer a theoretical solution. Instead, he points to the way in which Jesus identifies with all sufferers through his death on the cross.

If the world of suffering doesn't correspond to our image of God now, we can recognise that there's a promise of a social reality which does. One can't help wondering how much Moltmann was influenced by post-war optimism in his conclusions. Instead of a personal development theory (people as individuals will develop towards perfection) he offers social improvement ending in a "kingdom of God".

Moltmann thinks that the bridge between the present and this wonderful social future is the Church. Because God loves the world, God affects it and is affected by it. (Moltmann rejects the teaching that God can't suffer or change.)

Therefore the Church can't claim to be absolute. It doesn't have access to final truth, nor can it teach that "salvation" is mediated only by Jesus. He goes further: the Church must be open to radical reform and renewal.

In the same way a practical eschatology reinforces and brings about radical changes in society. Humans don't rule nature, but relate to it as part of a whole community of living beings. Moltmann asserts that monotheism tends to legitimate monarchical domination and subjection. In contrast, the loving inter-relationship of the members of the Trinity demand human relationships of freedom and equality, and a recognition of human rights.

The source of the life-giving process in which we are all so deeply involved is, thinks Moltmann, what is usually called the "Spirit": "… the eternal Spirit is the divine wellspring of life - the source of life created, life preserved and life daily renewed, and finally the source of eternal life of all created being" (The Spirit of Life). This emphasis marked Moltmann's break with Barth, who thought of the Spirit as primarily the source of the revelation of God's truth.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pentecostalization of the traditional churches

I'm writing my dissertation. I think it is good to post portion of it here. This will be posted here as a series.

Church growth specialists claim that it is the works of the Holy Spirit that produce phenomenal church growth all over the world in the past decades. This remarkable growth of Christianity especially in the third world is can be attributed to the Pentecostal missionary movement. Pentecostal churches constitute the largest family of churches in Christendom after Roman Catholicism. Pentecostalism and its adherents within other denominations are now approaching 250 million. This rapid growth and the pentecostalization of the traditional evangelical churches alarmed the western conservative scholars and published literatures that oppose and attack the Pentecostal and charismatic movements to the extent that their practices especially speaking in tongues are attributed to the work of the devil. This however just proves that it draws undue attention not only from its adherents but also to those who are strongly against it. This extraordinary attention to the theology the Holy Spirit began at the close of the nineteenth century and continues until today.

Donald Bloesch rightly observes that during the first part of the twentieth century, the Holy Spirit seemed to be the missing person of the Trinity. However, within the past several decades, abundance of books on the Holy Spirit has been published and numerous conferences on the Holy Spirit and spirituality had taken place. Citing Joachim of Flora, Bloesch agrees with the statement that “it seems that we are passing from the Age of the Son to the Age of the Spirit.”  However, Pentecostal movement is not the only reason for this seemingly excessive fascination with the Holy Spirit. Evidently a more important reason is the undeniable fact that many believers from different denominations claim that they have experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit in their lives in a tangible way.

Erickson sums up the reasons why the study of pneumatology is important for the contemporary church. First, he agrees that the Holy Spirit is the way by which the triune God becomes personal to the individual Christians. Second, churches of today elevate the role of the Holy Spirit more prominently than the other members of the Trinity. Lastly, the current culture emphasizes the experiential and it is through the Holy Spirit’s work that Christians feel God’s presence. Apparently these personal experiences of the works and presence of the Holy Spirit have transformed the structure, programs, ministries and worship practices of several Filipino Southern Baptist churches.

Even though Pentecostal denomination and Charismatic movements have been in existence in the Philippines for decades, it is through the Third Wave Movement of the 80s, embraced and introduced by the younger church leaders into the Southern Baptist congregations that churches begin having Pentecostal-like worship services and activities. “Third Wave” is the term used by Peter Wagner to describe the works of the Holy Spirit in the present century that is preceded by the first and second waves of the Holy Spirit which represent the Pentecostal and the charismatic movements respectively.

Third Wavers are those who strongly believe in the ministry of miraculous healings, deliverance bay casting out demons, and to some extent speaking in tongues. However, their doctrinal position on the baptism of the Holy Spirit as once for all experience paves the way for this movement to be easily accepted in the Southern Baptist circles.  Hence when the Third Wave practices are adopted in the ministries, discipleship, and worship services of the traditional Southern Baptist churches, it creates tension among the members, churches, associations, and up to the Convention level.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's tough to be away

So much things has been happening to us these last couple of months.  And we are thankful for you for helping us through your prayers and support. As I’m writing this, I am sitting down in front of a study table trying very hard to finish writing the dissertation ahead of schedule so that I can go back to Mae Sai sooner and continue on with the ministry there. Narlin is having a tough time working alone.

We need your prayers. Narlin has been struggling financially back home. Our visa expenses and our two trips back to the Philippines have taken its toll with our ministry funds. Yes, people helped us with the airfares and we are immensely grateful for that. However, travel expenses are not only about airplane tickets and bus fares. Narlin emailed me that she suddenly found herself unable to pay the monthly bills and provisions for 15 people in our house. There are only a couple of thousand pesos in our bank.

We completely trust the Lord’s provision for this. We have been in the same situation before and God never failed to provide.  Your prayers give us assurance and comfort that we are not alone in this.

Once again, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your love and prayers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am writing the big D

I am now in Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary campus somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region writing dissertation. After four years of working in the mission field, finding it difficult to think much more to write anything, I was asked to go home and finish it once and for all.  I was blessed to have been granted stipend for my travel and for my house and lodging. 

I thank the people who believed in me that I could do it, even when I stopped believing in myself that I have what it takes to write something as big as this long time ago. Having said that, I am broke and my family who I left somewhere in the Mekong region for three months. We suddenly found ourselves financially limited. I want to finish this so that I can go back home and resume the mission work as soon as possible. Thanks for your prayers.

I hope to resume theology blogging after this.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Quick update

We have been preparing for my trip to the Philippines on September 4 to finish my study. Working out the things we need to do before I leave.  Talking with Pastor Shin Maung about my extended absence (3-5 months), he volunteered to drive the nine children to and from the school. We do not know how it will work out, but we are glad enough that the church will help us all the way.

We had not thought, however, that Narlin would go home earlier than I do. Her father died last August 3. We thought she would not be able to get out of the country to mourn with her family and friends back home because our visa is still being processed at the immigration and will not be finished until August 19. The Foundation advised us that we could not go out of the country until after that date. Narlin was devastated.  We strongly felt that she should be home. We called the Foundation and asked what could be done so that she could go home. We found out that she could go provided she will return before the 19th, the day we need to go to the immigration office. She went to the Philippines last Thursday and will be back on the 17th.

Tatay was brought to his final resting place in Dagupan early today (August 7). He will be best remembered for the good things he had done for the Kingdom. He was a Bible teacher, evangelist and preacher. Many people came to believe in Jesus through his ministry. Incidentally, today is also Nanay Linda’s (Narlin’s mother) birthday. Family and friends have a double celebration, as we know by faith that Tatay is probably now enjoying his face to face moments with Jesus.

Once again, we thank everyone who readily helped. Our church (Mae Sai Grace Church) extended their comfort and assistance. We also thank our fellow Filipino missionaries in Mae Sai and Chiang Rai for being there physically praying for us. We want also to thank our friends back home and on the Internet, thank you for words of comfort and encouragement.

When Narlin return in a week we will go to Chiang Mai for our visa to the Consular Service extended to Chiang Mai by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok. We will be spending a lot of  time preparing for my departure. We need to check and pack our children’s PACEs among other things. My ministries will resume when I return from the Philippines but Narlin’s works will continue and it will be doubly difficult for her in my absence. Pray for her.

Please continue to pray for us. We are assured of God’s provisions but He uses people like you to make it happen. And we can testify how God do this all the time. Everything that we have here is an answered to prayers. Every work that we do happens because of prayers. Thank you for being a channel of God’s blessings to us and consequently to the people we are ministering.

Pray for Nanay Linda (Narlin’s mother), Narlin and her siblings that they could feel God’s comfort and presence as they mourn Tatay’s death.

Continue to pray for our visa extension. It is not over until it’s over (on August 19). =) Praise the Lord for those who obey God’s urging to give for this particular need.  Without the visa, we can’t even be here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

On Women's Role in the Church

I found this excellent essay about the role of the women in the church here.  I posted it here because it is a very insightful article and hopefully should help us interpret the Bible in the right direction.
One of the most often used proof-texts is Paul’s statement (apparently) that women should keep silent in the church (I Cor 14:34). [I added the word “apparently” because I think there is reason to suggest that Paul is quoting these words from the Corinthian church’s letter to him (See 1 Cor 7:1) and refuting it in 14:36 with the words, “Has the word of God come to you (men) only?”] The word translated “only” is a masculine plural pronoun in the Greek text.
Whatever their source, these words from 1 Cor 14 settle the issue concerning women’s roles in the church for those of a fundamentalist mentality. It is to be a silent one. For those of this mind set, it is unnecessary to look at other texts to see if a different idea is expressed. In this case, we do not have far to look. All we have to do is go back to 1 Cor 11 to see Paul giving instructions as to how women should dress when they prayed or prophesied. To pray and prophesy and keep silent all at the same time is a pretty good trick. Further, I have often wondered if those who take this position ever consider how many Sunday schools would have to close down if the female teachers were removed! In order to maintain the position that women should keep silent in the church, they would have to make a distinction between Sunday school and church—a highly questionable distinction in my judgment.
I have observed through the years that those who use the proof-texting approach and take the texts literally are highly selective in what they take. A seminary classmate of mine related a story to me that vividly reflects this point. A female preacher was invited to preach at his church on a certain Sunday. After the service an elderly male approached her and very condescendingly said, “Sister Jones (not her real name), how do you handle the Scripture that says women should keep silent in the church?” Without batting an eye she replied, “The same way I handle the one that says ‘Greet the brethren with a holy kiss!’” End of conversation! And, just for the record, Paul wrote the command to greet one another with a holy kiss four times (Rom 16:16, 1 Cor 16:19, 2 Cor 13:12 and 1 Thess 5:26.), whereas the command for women to keep silent (whatever the source of those words) appears only once. The usual response is that the kiss of greeting was just a cultural matter in the first century. Precisely—and so was the command for women to keep silent in the church.
Another favorite passage used to subordinate women is the creation story and the argument that the male was created first, and only the male was made in the image of God. This depends upon which creation story one reads. It will hold up to some degree for the second creation account (Gen 2:4-23) but crumbles under the first (Gen 1:1-2:3). Genesis 1:27 reads “In the image of God he created him, male and female he created them” (emphasis mine).
I will mention just one other passage that is often cited as mandating the submission of women to their husbands, and hence a secondary role in both the home and the church. Ephesians 5:21-23, and particularly the words “Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord,” is often cited as a proof-text that wives are to be under the authority of their husbands. However, the preceding verse gives a very different picture. Verse 21 reads, “Be submissive to one another out of reverence to Christ.” (emphasis mine) Verse 22 is a part of the same sentence. For every Christian to be subject authoritatively to every other Christian would lead to chaos. The submission in this passage is submissiveness to the needs of every other Christian, and submission of wives to husbands is just a sub-category of the submission of all Christians to one another.
Based upon the same passage, the idea of male headship gets a lot of press in fundamentalist circles. However, Bilezikian1 and others have demonstrated that the word arche (“head”) has the basic meaning of “beginning” or “source” and probably does not have the connotation of authority in any of the passages in the New Testament in which it is used. Furthermore, in this passage Christ’s headship of the church is presented in terms of his giving himself for it, not his ruling over it with an iron hand.

A second way in which fundamentalists distort Scripture in regard to women is to ignore or twist to suit their ends evidence from church history as well as Scripture. With regard to the former, Ute Eisen has conclusively demonstrated that in the first three centuries of the Common Era women held every title in the church that men held.2 Her evidence comes primarily from inscriptions on tombstones, city walls, etc. (which, by the way, are notoriously difficult to change!) Then there is the tired old argument that Jesus chose twelve males as his disciples, and thus showed that he wanted to continue the patriarchal system. A Roman Catholic nun of my acquaintance was heard to say, “Jesus chose twelve men to be his disciples, and God Almighty does not make mistakes.” I agree to the truth of both propositions. However, let us press the argument a bit further. Jesus chose twelve Jewish males to be his disciples. If maleness be a qualification, then how does one escape the logic that being Jewish would be one as well? Furthermore, let us not be too hasty in concluding that Jesus had no female disciples. I realize fully that when we examine the biblical text we read more about the twelve male disciples than any others. However, there is one text which calls into question whether the twelve male disciples were the only ones Jesus had. In Luke 8:1-3, we find these words: “And it came about soon afterwards, that he began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others (emphasis mine) who were contributing to their support out of their private means” (NASB). A careful analysis of this passage clearly shows that Jesus had a number of female disciples who both went around with him and were financially supporting his ministry. Why is it that we hear so little about these disciples? The reason, simply put, is that the society out of which the scriptures came was thoroughly patriarchal. All the biblical writers were male, as far as we can tell. The fact that we get even one brief glimpse into the female disciples of Jesus makes a strong case for divine inspiration, in my judgment. This statement creates the necessity for me to deal in some measure with the issue of divine inspiration, which I take up below.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Are Soldiers

Text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

In the movie ‘We Were Soldiers’ Mel Gibson is the tough battle hardened US Army Captain. He has a mission to complete! However, before his men leave for Viet Nam he promises them and their families that he will be the first one to step on to enemy territory, and the last to step off it. He cannot promise that they will all return alive, but he promises that all 395 men will return, dead or alive. He has a mission, but most importantly he has man to look after with.

In  2 Timothy, Paul told Timothy that Christians are soldiers of Christ and that we should "endure hardship'  us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus." Paul himself lived his life like a soldier. And we should follow his example.

A Dedicated Soldier

There was a time when Paul hated Christ and the Cross. He fought against Christianity with zeal. But one day on the Damascus road, Christ saved him and changed his life, and from that day on he became the greatest and most effective soldier Jesus ever had.

When Paul became a Christian, he gave his all to the Savior. He believed that he was dead to the old life and he was living only for Christ. He said that a solder should not entangle himself in the affairs of the world. For if a soldier tied himself to the world he could not his best as a soldier and he could not please his master.

We need to learn this truth this morning. Many of us are entrapped by the things of the world. And for that reason we become powerless and we could not do anything for God. For many of us, when the Pastor ask us to do something for the Lord and be faithful to the church, we made excuses and tell him that we are very busy. We should not be too busy to do things for God. When we are too busy to do something for God, then we are busier that God wants us to be.

Paul also said that a soldier of the Cross must learn to endure hardness. He was certainly a worthy example of this great truth. Have we ever suffered anything for Christ? Have we ever made a sacrifice for Him? Paul did this and calls on us to do the same thing (Romans 12:1).

A Victorious Soldier

“I have fought a good fight,” Paul says. He looks upon life as a battle to be fought, a victory to be won. He said on one occasion that he was not fighting flesh and blood, but the evil hosts of Satan.
Paul had to fight urge of his sinful nature. Writing to the Romans, Paul had said in effect, “I have been saved, but the old sinful nature is still present. I want to be absolutely free of sin, but I am having a desperate fight. There are two natures in me. The flesh and the spirit are both there, and they are always fighting, the one against the other.”

We are just like that. We are fighting a battle against sins and temptations. Temptations surround us. We are surrounded by the enemies. They are on the right of us, the left of us, in front of us, and behind us. We often give in and let the Devil defeat us.

Paul also had to fight the enemies of the Gospel. They knew how faithful he was to Christ, so they tried in every way to hinder him and to block his testimony for the Lord. These enemies are still alive today.

When we Christians set out to make our lives count for Christ, these enemies get busy and try to ruin our testimony (don’t give so much time to the Church; it won’t hurt you to miss prayer meeting; there’s no harm in this, etc.). Let me ask you a question: Have you ever seen anyone who has great influence for God who did not put Christ and His church first, always? No, and you never will!

Paul goes on to say, “I have finished the race.” He looks upon life as a race track: “This is the course that God has picked out for me, and now I have finished my course.” God has a course for you to run, also, and you ought to say, “Lord, what do You want me to do, I’ll go where you want me to go, if You will only go with me.” We do not always choose our course. I did not choose the ministry; God chose me.

An Awarded Soldier

One day they led Paul out to the place of death. He saw the block where his head would lie. He saw the executioner waiting to do his duty. He saw the axe shining in the sun.

But he looked beyond all of this and he saw Jesus waiting for him with something in His hand. What was it? Listen; “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness..”

Forgotten now are all the hardships endured for Christ. Forgotten are the stripes, forgotten are the days and nights in prison, forgotten are the shipwrecks, forgotten are the abuses, forgotten are all the tears that he shed and all the blood that he poured out. This makes up for it all. Christ is waiting to welcome him. The crown is waiting for him. Heaven is waiting for the old soldier.

Are you having a hard time, my friend. Is your body afflicted? Have your friends forsaken you? Do you face many difficulties? Do you have financial worries? Then just keep on. Trust the Lord; do the best you can. He will see you through and bring you home at last.


The Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labour on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, but one afternoon something happened. A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else.When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot. It was obvious the officer meant what he had said.

Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point. The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others!

We are soldiers. Are you willing to sacrifice for Christ and for his church?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A little update

We echo once again the prayer of Paul for the Philippians expressing our gratitude for your untiring partnership.
In all our prayers for all of you, we always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
As of the moment, our mini-orphanage ministry is being sustained because of your prayers.

One morning, as we watched happy children happy and excited preparing for the first day of school, we could not help but thank God for his faithfulness in looking after His children and for connecting us to you as our ministry partner.

Who would have thought that two months ago we almost gave up in getting them to school? One reason is that the Thai schools are giving priority to Thais but because our children are from the Myanmar, they were initially rejected.  Another reason is that our support for their education is very limited nonetheless; we experienced how God provided.

God is answering you prayers for us and we can feel it every moment. Thank you very much.

Children’s Camp in Kok Noi

When we were invited to organize a Children’s camp in Kok Noi, we gladly accepted the challenge. Anyway, we already organized two camps in Mae Sai and Tachilek. This one would be easy thinking that the lessons and the materials were already prepared.

However, we were in for a big surprise. We did not know that Kok Noi although located in Chiang Rai is in the middle of the jungle 45 kilometers from the city with no electricity (although solar panels have been provided by the government) and can only be reached by foot or by a four-wheel drive truck.

God provided a way for us to get there. A Good Samaritan we met along the way gave us a ride on our way to the village. And then a 4-wheel drive truck owned by Compassion International brought us back to the city.

It was a wonderful camp with the children learned English and listened to Bible Stories. Some children from the neighboring village walked for couple of hours and joined the camp.
During our ministry there, God gave us a vision of planting churches in the nearby animist villages. We also see the need to provide home for the children from Myanmar who were given shelter by the villagers to study in the village school.

Seminary Education by Extension (SEE) at Grace Home Kindergarten Center

After Jimi taught music through SEE, the students could not wait for another class. When the Lacquian Family left for home, the burden of continuous theological/biblical education for church leaders falls on my battered shoulders.

When the school opened two weeks ago, we did not anticipate how busy it would be for us bringing and picking up the children from and to the school.  As parents, we need to attend school meetings, talk to the teachers and bury materials and uniform the children need. Hence, we really don’t have the time to offer another SEE class.

Fortunately, another team from Asia Vision Short-Term Missions came and helped us out. My sister Dadai, came back with two short-term missionaries. Longtree Limtag taught “The Panoramic View of the Bible” and Enjae helped in teaching the children Grace Home Kindergarten Center  (GHKC). Incidentally, GHKC hosted SEE for five days. We are thankful to Aye Phet for being a gracious host.
GHKC will host SEE classes in the future.

Narlin Volunteers in Municipal School

Since Aye Phet has been doing a great job at GHKC, Narlin does not need to be around in the center all the time. She now has free time to do other ministries.

Narlin is teaching English at Rong Rian Tesaban 1 every Tuesday and Thursday for two hours each day. This is the same school that our 7 children are studying.

We thank the Lord for this opportunity to be a witness and a blessing to the community.

Prayer Requests

Our visa extension is now being processed at the Rainbow Covenant Foundation. We will receive a phone call anytime now to come to the immigration office. Up to this time, we don’t have specific entity that helps us with our visa expenses. However, God’s provision is always on time.

God has given us the ministry of discipleship and mentoring. We will leave Mae Sai with peace knowing that we were able to train and disciple people to continue the work of the gospel ministry.
Pray for the SEE students. We are making seminary training available to church leaders and workers while they are doing their respective ministries. Please continue to help us to pray for SEE office and training center near the border.

Pray for Narlin as she volunteers to teach in a Thai school. We are expecting to organize more English camps before this year will end.

Pray Jared, Jillian and Reuven’s home schooling. We thank the Lord for School of Tomorrow for making our life easy with our children’s education. But we still have a lot of struggles.

In the last couple of months, God has brought us to different places namely Ban Klang, Mae Salong and a village 14 km from the City of Chiang Rai. God is challenging us to expand our vision.  He is summoning us to get involved in children ministries, church planting and discipleship to the hard reached villages. We will train and mentor locals in starting and sustaining these ministries. This can be done on a regular basis at least twice a month.

Help us to pray for resources. Teaching materials, equipment and a vehicle. Pray also for knowledge, wisdom and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Diversity in the Church

I am having similar thoughts lately.
Philip Yancey put it this way in an article in Christianity Today just this last November. He writes, "As I read accounts of the New Testament church, no characteristic stands out more sharply than [diversity]. Beginning with Pentecost, the Christian church dismantled the barriers of gender, race, and social class that had marked Jewish congregations. Paul, who as a rabbi had given thanks daily that he was not born a woman, slave, or Gentile, marveled over the radical change: ’There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’

"One modern Indian pastor told me, ’Most of what happens in Christian churches, including even miracles, can be duplicated in Hindu and Muslim congregations. But in my area only Christians strive, however ineptly, to mix men and women of different castes, races, and social groups. That’s the real miracle.
Yancey continues, "Diversity complicates rather than simplifies life. Perhaps for this reason we tend to surround ourselves with people of similar age, economic class, and opinion. Church offers a place where infants and grandparents, unemployed and executives, immigrants and blue bloods can come together. Just yesterday," Yancey wrote, "I sat sandwiched between an elderly man hooked up to a tank puffing oxygen and a breastfeeding baby who grunted loudly and contentedly throughout the sermon. Where else can we find that mixture?
"When I walk into a new church," Yancey says, "the more its members resemble each other—-and resemble me-—the more uncomfortable I feel."
Source: Philip Yancey, "Denominational Diagnostics," Christianity Today, November 2008, p. 119.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Complete Commitment

Text: 1 Timothy 4:1-11

A college man walked into a photography studio with a framed picture of his girlfriend. He wanted the picture duplicated. This involved removing it from the frame. In doing this, the studio owner noticed the inscription on the back of the photograph: “My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart. I love you more and more each day. I will love you forever and ever. I am yours for all eternity.” It was signed "Helen,” and it contained a P.S.: “If we ever break up, I want this picture back.”

It means that Helen is obviously not completely committed to the relationship.

In this letter to Timothy, Paul mentions about the different teachings that would bring confusions among the believers. In the midst of the confusion created by this spread of false teachings, we must not forget that Christ calls us to a life of commitment. Commitment is to be the mark of our lives. But committed to what? That is the question Paul answered in our text.


First, we are to be committed to Jesus Christ. Paul warned Timothy of a time of falling away from the faith and of discouragement for the church. When that happens, this is what Paul suggested in verse 6. Our commitment must go first, not to a certain church or to a certain program or to a certain style of music or to a certain preacher, but our commitment is first of all to Christ. He is to be Lord over our lives.

There's an old story about St Augustine. Early on in his Christian life, he was intensely absorbed in the writings of Cicero. And around this time, he had a dream that he had died. And now he was standing at the pearly gates. And the keeper of the gate said, "Who are you?" And he said, "I'm Augustine." Then the keeper said, "What are you?" Augustine said, "I'm a Christian." The gatekeeper said, "No, you're not a Christian. You're a Ciceronian!" Augustine said, "What are you talking about? I'm a Christian!" And the gatekeeper said this: "All souls on earth are judged by what dominated their interests. In you, Augustine, it was not the Christ of the gospel. It was the Cicero of Roman literature. You are not a Christian. You cannot enter here!"

Augustine was so startled that when he woke up, he resolved then and there to be fully committed to Jesus Christ for the rest of his life and to live for Him.

When we become a Christian, we are no longer our own. We belong body and soul to Jesus Christ. We are completely committed to Christ.


This commitment to the person of Christ will lead then to a commitment to a consecrated living. Paul urged Timothy in verse 7. A Christian is committed not only to Christ but also to the way of living Christ laid out for us. That way is one of holiness, purity, and godliness.

The world in which we live in is committed to pleasure and self. Consequently, the life-style of the world is that of immorality and selfishness. That way of living is totally opposite to the life-style commanded by Jesus. On one hand is the world's way. On the other is the way of Jesus Christ. A Christian is committed to the way of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Wilbur Chapman once gave this rule of thumb for determining our way of living. He said: “Anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian work more difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it.”

So must every true Christian. We cannot call ourselves by Christian and still be free to do our own thing. When we call ourselves by his name, we are committing ourselves to do his thing.


We are also to be committed to the church of Jesus Christ (vv. 6, 13). Translated into today's terms, Paul said that a Christian is one who spends time with other believers in the study of God's Word in the church.

One of the first and foremost acts of obedience that you and I should perform as Christ-followers is to become a part of a local church body.
As believers, we need to pray together, learn together, serve together, give together, grow together, cry together, repent together, worship together, and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ together!

Man was never intended to hold onto God alone! The church is to be the believer's life-support system, from which strength comes for the living of these days.


A Christian is also to be committed to the great commission. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Verses 10-11 express the same idea in other words and different context. As Christians we should be committed to preaching the gospel, making disciples and teaching Christ's command to the people who will come under our sphere of influence. We should maintain this commitment throughout our life.

Those who drive a car or a motorcycle know the importance of maintenance. As long as we faithfully maintain our vehicle with regular change oil and check up it will last longer if not forever. It is the same with our house, maintaining our house properly involves painting, cleaning, repair of plumbing and electrical, replacing the leaking roof. If we do not do these things then our house will soon broke down and it will not be a good place to live in.

As Christians, we are commanded by Christ to maintain our commitment as his disciple and to maintain our discipleship ministry. Discipleship follows after we accept Christ and this is not a one-time event of being saved. We need to maintain our Spiritual vigor so that we can go on sharing the gospel, making disciple and teaching the Word of Christ. We should have a total commitment to the great commission.

That is a portrait of a Christian. We commit ourselves to Christ. Then, we commit ourselves to a consecrated way of living.

And then we should commit ourselves to the local church in this world to extend his kingdom.

Finally, we commit ourselves to the commission he himself established for making disciples of all nations.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Quarter Highlights

It has been a very busy month for us. I really have not been updating this blog as I should. Summer camp is going on now on the other side and we will be preparing for another camp in the mountains of Chiang Rai next week.

The first quarter of 2010 is over. Just like the previous years we are not certain how the year will end but God has shown us how it will look like. He constantly made us aware of His presence, power, protection and provision in our life and ministry. Your constant prayers make all these things possible.
We are sharing to you the  first quarter highlights.
  •  A breakthrough happened this year when we were permitted to hold an English Camp in Pamuad School. More than one hundred seventy students heard the Word. Moreover, we have started a good relationship with the School's officers, teachers and staff.
  •  Eight young people are ready to be discipled because of the camp. They are Noot's classmates who helped us to interpret for us. The young people became very close to us and consider us a family.
  • Grace Home Kindergarten held its closing and recognition program last February 26. As usual the event was well-attended by the parents. Many of the parents are now Christian.
  • Fourteen Wa Pastors and church leaders came to Mae Sai for a three-day retreat and we were humbled to be invited as one of the resource speakers.
  •  As you are reading this, a PBTS Seminary Education by Extension is going on. Jimi and Nori have come to help us in this ministry. We envision to continuously provide quality training to qualified potential pastors and church leaders both from Myanmar and Northern Thailand.
  •  Mae Sai Grace Church celebrates its sixth anniversary  on the 28th of March.  We were with them when they were just a young struggling congregation and we are proud to be with them as they are becoming a vibrant and growing community of believers in Mae Sai. It's ministry has expanded to include nursery, migrant primary school, children's home and micro finance for its members. We were flattered when Pastor Maung introduced us to his friends and visitors as the "Best Missionary Friends" of the church. Having said that, Pastor Maung requested Narlin to resume teaching and training the teachers of the primary school. A ministry that we gladly accepted.
  •  This summer many Thai students are flocking to different tutorial centers in the town to study Chinese and English. This strengthen our resolve to start the training center in our house which we have been praying for since the first day we arrived in Mae Sai. However, this is a ministry that we can not do on our own. We need help. We are praying for people to come and commit their lives to this kind of ministry.
  • Last February,  we were surprised to receive an email message from SEND International-Philippines. A team of eight people came to help with the English camp. The director told us that they have been considering North Thailand as one of their target areas and they will send missionaries in the near future. We hope we can be of any assistance to them.
  •  God has given us opportunities to become "receiver" for short term missionaries from different Philippine based missions organizations.  We are expecting two teams from the Philippines next month including Asia Vision.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Desperate for rain

Today I started coughing badly as my lungs are trying to get rid of the smoke that accumulated in there. All of the people in the house were coughing weeks before I did. I think, physically I am stronger but the smoke has been getting heavier each day and even the stronger ones are starting to succumbed to the pollution. We have not seen the sun and the blue sky for two weeks now. And because the sun could not penetrate the thick smog, it is still abnormally cold for supposed to be a hot summer.

The smog came from the farmers in Myanmar and Northern. They are burning the fields on the mountain in preparation for the next planting season. The people in Mae Sai are used to it. This kind of farming is traditionally being practiced for centuries.

We are desperate for rain. A whole day of heavy rain will clear the sky and clean up the air. It rained last night but it was a drizzle which is not enough. However, it is a good sign that rain is coming soon, we are praying that it would be sooner.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Encouragements to Keep Going On (Acts 18:1:11)

It had been told that Satan's most powerful weapon against Christians is "discouragement". He can use it to work his way into the hearts which otherwise is not accessible. When a person is discouraged, Satan is open to plant anything there that he desire.

Christian workers are always subject to discouragement. There is no shortage of discouragements to hinder the work of God. The Bible is full of stories of men of God who at times became discouraged. You and I get discouraged from time to time.

Looking at Paul's life and ministry in the Bible, we can surmise reasons for his discouragement in the ministry.

Firstly, he had to work very hard. Corinth is one of the most wicked city in Greece. It was the center of the idol worship of the goddess of love. Those who practice sexual immorality went there. There was a lot of work to be done and the largeness of work is sometimes very discouraging.

Secondly, he had to experience failures. Now we can say that it is required of us to be faithful and the success is up to God and that is true, but we all like to see growth and success in the work of the Lord. Paul had been successful in some places, however, he experienced failures and rejection in other places. That was discouraging.

Then finally, he had to work alone. Although there were times when one or two worked along his side, Paul would be more happy and excited to work with more people. Most of the time when we work for the Lord, we find ourselves working alone. It is discouraging.

But we should grateful that while our enemy is active in discouraging us. God is equally if not more active to encourage us. While the devil is trying to drag us down, God is working to lift us up. While the devil aims at getting us to quit, God is working to encourage us to keep up the good fight.

And here we are given “Three Encouragements to Keep Going.”

The Partnership Of Friends (verses 1-5a)

If you want to be encouraged, think of your friends. Friends are one of the greatest God given encouragements. It is always harder if you have to do things alone. But things are a lot easier if we have friends helping us.

Remember Silas and Timothy are still in Macedonia. So God knew that Paul needed someone to help him shoulder the burdens of the work. So what does God do? God sent Priscilla and Aquila out from Rome. It seems that Aquila and Priscilla had a tent making business that they set up in Corinth. Paul just so happened to be a tentmaker and so he began to work with Aquila and Priscilla in their business. This gave him the funds for his support so that he could go into the synagogue every Sabbath and reason with the Jews and Greeks for Jesus Christ. What a blessing Aquila and Priscilla were to Paul. They became his best and closest friends.

Then God sent Silas and Timothy from Macedonia to Corinth to reunite with Paul. So God has not only blessed Paul with two new friends but brought back to him two familiar friends. And their return must have greatly encouraged Paul for the scriptures say that Paul was pressed in his spirit to testify to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.

I think you ought to stand for what is right even if you have to stand-alone. But I want to add, it is a whole lot easier to stand for what is right against the pressure of opposition if there are those who will support, strengthen and stand with you. Thank God for friends who God puts in your path and in your life who will encourage you in the work of the Lord.

As fellow laborers with Christ, we are friends. We are here to be encouraged.

The Positive Results (verses 5b-8)

When Silas and TImothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was greatly encouraged. Not only that, he was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching. He tried his best to persuade the Jews that God had sent Jesus as their Saviour.

However, the Jews rejected Paul and his message. In in effect they actually had rejected Jesus as their messiah. The Message says that "all they did argue contentiously and contradict him in every turn. They insulted him.

Paul totally exasperated finally gave up and shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the other people groups.”

As God's worker, I believe there is no worst situation to be discouraged. Paul was in that situation but he chose not to dwell on it. Instead he went to the Gentiles and shared the gospel to them. The result was that many Gentiles in Corinth became believers and were baptized.

Paul had made a choice not to dwell on his failures and he knew that there must be a positive results in every bad situation.

The choice is ours. We can either dwell on the negative and be discouraged or we can encourage ourselves on the positive results. Look and see even though many don't believe, many don’t grow an inch, some have grown. Many lost people still remain lost, but some trusted in Jesus as their Savior. The church may remain basically the same but then again it may take off like wildfire. Don’t look at what God has not done but dwell on all that God has done.

The Promises Of God (verses 9-11)

While it is true that friends encourage us and positive results encourage us the greatest encouragement of all is the Lord himself. One night in a dream the Lord Jesus spoke to Paul. Jesus said, “Keep it up, and don’t let anyone intimidate or silence you. No matter what happens, I’m with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you. You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city.”

Here God gives us the the promise of His presence. It is all the encouragement that we need, to know that God is on our side.

Another promise is made, "no matter what happens... no one is going to be able to hurt you. It is not encouraging to know that we have God's protection. Not only will God be present but also he will be there to protect. And they tried. In verses 12-17 they try to come against Paul. But it all came to naught as the matter was dismissed.

There is a third promise here. Not just a promise of presence, and protection, but a promise of power. God says, “for I have much people in this city.” What did that mean? It meant simply that there were those who were lost who under the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of Paul would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. There were those who were to be saved by the power of God.

Friends are great encouragers and results are encouraging but when God comes to you and promises his presence, protection, and power, you have every reason to keep on going forward.

*Based on the outline by Michael Belcher

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A truly biblical church

I will going to speak this coming March in a Pastor's retreat from Myanmar about missions. I'm looking for materials I can use. Browsing some books in my shelf, I found this one.

Patrick Johnstone says this about what it means to be a truly biblical church.

Scripture, theology, the Church, and even Christians would not exist without mission. Therefore, a theology without mission is not a biblical theology, a Church without mission is not longer truly the Church and a Christian without mission is no true disciple. For Christians, mission is not an optional extra for the fanatical few or for the specially anointed, it is a fundamental definitive of who we are in Christ and why we are in Christ.
And Johnstone quotes David Bosch in his book Transforming Mission
Mission... is seen as a movement from God to the world; the Church is viewed as an instrument for that mission. There is a church because there is mission, not vice versa.
Johnstone then challenges the Christians for not understanding this concept and not seeing this vision. He says that it is a failure...

.. they miss God's purpose, God's intimacy and God's blessing. Living for the fulfillment of this vision of the Father is the most noble, most enriching, most meaningful purpose can have in life.

How can any child of God claim to be following Jesus if they have no concern for the lostness and need of the peoples in this world? HOw can they expect the promise of his abiding presence with them, 'I will be with you always,' if they have not been willing to obey the command '...go and make disciples of all peoples...'
Then he goes on to say that any church should not claim to be biblical and a Christian cannot be a true Christian if they do not place at the heart of their ministry agenda--God's heart for a lost world.

The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is defined by mission--for it is composed of those who were won to salvation by mission, and how have the awesome responsibility to win others as their mission. If it is not missionary in its theology, daily life, and commitment, it no longer has the right to claim to be the Church. The viability and health of the the Church and of ourselves, as children of God, cannot be separated from the task of world evangelization.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Holistic pneumatology

What is holistic pneumatology? As far as the scholarly community in academic theology is concern, Moltmann has earned the honor of introducing the concept of or at least the terminology. Holistic pneumatology has been described as the right kind of pneumatology on the right way. Here, holistic does not mean neither that the soul is separate from body nor individual from society nor human beings from cosmic world. Pneumatology is not limited to individual spiritual salvation. The Holy Spirit is indeed is not limited to the salvation of individuals but he is the one working in the establishing of the kingdom of God.

The Holy Spirit's goal is about the universal fulfillment of cosmic salvation. This salvific activity includes establishing justice and peace on the earth and giving life to the whole creation. Justification and sanctification are indeed important to the ministry of the Holy Spirit but we should start believing that the Holy Spirit is working everywhere and anywhere. Inside the church and outside of it, within Christianity and with other religions. The Holy Spirit's power just like the Father and the Son, is limitless.

Prayer update

Maybe you are wondering what we have been up lately, I'm posting our latest prayer update in this blog. Our sincere gratitude to all who are praying for us.

We thank the Lord for the opportunity he had given us to go home and enjoy our Christmas at home last year. People are asking us if we could return next year. Nothing is certain and we know that it will take some years before we can come back to the Philippines.

The year 2009 is past and gone but the memories remain in our hearts forever. It was the year that we celebrated Christmas and New Year with our families. It may not happen again for a few years. These were very meaningful to us especially to our children who had not seen their cousins and childhood friends for four years.

We thank all our friends who accommodated and helped during our stay in the Philippines us that made it enjoyable and memorable. We cannot thank you enough.

Recent Events

End of Partnership. As the saying goes: “Some good things never last forever.” This is even true with ministry partnership. Cherry, our Australian friend informed us that she will no longer help us after March 2010. It makes us sad but glad at the same time. The relationship had been strained for some time and the break up gave us freedom to do what God has directed us to do.
This means that Narlin and I will no longer teach and help in Jubilee Bible School although we had committed ourselves to it for about two years. It was a decision we had to make. However, we thank her for all the help she extended to us and for the development she facilitated in developing the children’s home.

Support for Children. Last year in November, an Asian Christian organization came to see our children’s home. They were quite impressed with how we are running the ministry. They departed with a promise to find regular support for the children.

However, after a meeting with the Thai Field Director, they informed us that they would only support the children on the condition that they should go back to Tachilek, Myanmar. They cite the following reasons:
- The children are on stateless status thus they would have problem to study tertiary education.
- Mae Sai is not a refugee location in Thailand thus it is impossible for them to have Thai citizenship.

Yes, there are difficulties but we believe and we know by experience that Myanmar children are allowed to study here and Thai citizenship are awarded to those who finish their university here. In my opinion, the Thai Field Director has reservations in helping children from Myanmar. We really cannot blame him for that decision.
We do not want the children to go but we are placed in a position that only Angela (our local partner) can decide. The organization can provide substantial and long-term support for the children that we can never ever do. Our support is neither substantial nor regular. Nonetheless, we will care for the children as long as we can until they moved them to Myanmar.

GHKC Found a New Home. After dedicating the new place last January (while we were still in the Philippines) Grace Home (the staff and the children) moved last Monday (February 1). It looks like we will be working with Korean volunteers (two elderly couple and a young lady) for a year or so.

It is good working with our brothers and sisters from Korea but their presence creates a little complications in the administration because of the language gap.
Since last year, our Korean friends have been more involved in supporting the day care financially. They were paying the rent and providing for the salary of the staff. This year, they bought the place and allowed GHKC to use it for free.

We praise the Lord for his goodness and provisions. This is a testimony that even though people speak different language, have different culture, we are one in Christ and we can work together for the sake of His Kingdom.

Training and Learning Center

With our shared experience in theological education and children ministry, we believe it is about time to put up a Training and Learning Center for church leaders, youth and children. God spoke to us one day and gave us the vision that our garage will become a place of learning, training and can be use as a resource center for Christians. It is small, bare and perhaps primitive but it definitely will serve the purpose.

The center will be a place for language learning (English, Thai and Burmese), skills development (i.e. computer, playing musical instruments) for children and young people on weekdays and Seminary Education by Extension (SEE) center for discipleship and leadership training on weekends.
Help us in prayer as we start this ministry. We are planning to install a retractable tarpaulin to protect the students from the weather and we are figuring out how many chairs and tables we need. We will acquire the other equipment later. With your prayers, we know that the vision will become a reality.

Rainbows of Hope

Reverend Weerapon and his Foundation has been good to us in providing visa and ready to help us with any problem we had in our four years of stay here in Thailand. If you were living in a foreign country this is very important.

Recently, he gave us the vote of confidence to start a branch of the Foundation in Chiang Rai and Mae Sai. In one of the meetings of the Foundation in Chiang Mai, Rev. Weerapon introduced Rainbows of Hope as one of its five branches. Though we still need to pay the balance and submit documents.

Pray For Us

Please pray for our urgent prayer request. Remember us in your individual prayer time and in your church’s prayer meetings.

Thanksgiving for God’s faithful provisions. He has sustained us for four year and we believe he will sustain us for another decade onwards. Our regular supports are mainly coming from small churches and Women’s Missionary Union. But God has his own way of filling up the gap, provision from unexpected source. Praise is His name.

Pray for wisdom and guidance in making major decisions this year. Guidance we need on several projects like partnership, branching out, helping the orphans and establishing learning and training center in our home.

Pray for the Summer English Camps this year. We are planning to hold three camps this year. We are receiving emails and calls from different organizations that may and participate in the camp. We consider this as a blessing from the Lord; however, we need your prayer that we can coordinate this very well.

Pray for the ministry. Evangelism, discipleship, church planting and leadership training all are being done in partnership with the local church (Mae Sai Grace Church). Pray for harmony and unity among God’s people (nationals and missionaries) in the mission field.
Pray for the payment of our house rent. We need to pay THB 42,000 (approx. U$ 1,300) in March. This the amount for the whole year.

Pray our visa extension. The processing for our visa extension and work permit will start on April, three months before our visa expires. Rainbow Covenant Foundation is providing us visa and work permit for a very minimal fees. However, we need to pay the government as well. We need the amount THB 19,000 for the Foundation and other fees (approx. U$580) before April and THB 13,500 (approx. U$400) for the immigration and Ministry of Labor before July. God’s provisions for our visa never fail every year.

Pray for our children’s education. Jared needs one year more to graduate High School. Reuven and Jillian will graduate elementary and middle school respectively. We went to School of Tomorrow, Living Heritage Academy Campus in Paranaque; Desiree (our children’s academic adviser) told us that if we wanted they could come home in March to join the graduation ceremony. We know, it would be a very special occasion for Jillian and Reuven but we do not have the money to come home. We actually sold our flood-damaged jeep to buy their homeschooling workbooks for this year.

Pray for the fees for the “branching out.” Our three Filipino missionary friends in Chiang Rai are helping us out with the fees. They already contributed THB 10,000 and we need to pay THB 20,000 more as soon as possible.

Pray for our ministry vehicle. Our 26-year old van is falling apart. Need I say more? =)

Pray for the Lacquian Family. My sister Nori and her husband together with their 5-year old son will come here in March. Both of them are teaching in Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS). They will come and will teach music and theology. Their coming is significant because it will signal the beginning of SEE in Mae Sai. Pray for traveling mercy and financial provision for this missions trip.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blog resuscitation

In spite of inactivity in this blog, this blog's number of visits really never went down. Although it is not really that high. I have also been receiving emails expressing gratitude for the blog. Evidently, some of the posts have been very helpful to theology students. It seems also that some of the stuff I put in the sidebar had helped theology students with their papers and home works.

Furthermore, I received encouraging testimony from missionaries who have similar struggles with regards to contextualization of theology. Also, a student expressed that this blog and some of my experiences posted here had encouraged him to pursue further theological education. It is very encouraging.

This is my first blog and I started it when I came to the mission field and did not know anything about blogging. So it was a "hit and miss" experience for me then. This blog also has my name stamped on it. So I decided to resusucitate this blog and hope I can post more regularly. I also need to update my sidebar and put more resources that will provide materials for both missionaries and theologians.