Saturday, July 20, 2013

Village ministry

Children of KoknoiA friend called Narlin on the phone and asked if we could drive them to Ban Koknoi to bring a mother to see her daughter. Koknoi is a village on the mountain that we used to go to do ministry. We taught English and brought YWAM team to minister with the children over there.

The story goes like this: Our friend’s friend came into an agreement to have a “symbiotic” relationship with the village school. The school needed more students to get the government support and our friend needed a place for the children. The children had lived there for over three years and consequently the school acquired new buildings and facilities because of the additional students.

For some reason, however, this year the children were moved to another town and are now living in another children’s home in that place. Apparently, our friend’s friend made similar agreement with this village school again. Regardless of the idea behind all of this, I think the move was good for the children.

We are going to Koknoi to see the girl who decided to stay. I think everybody was upset with that decision so her mother will go to convince her to return home or to go with the rest of the children. We were excited to go to Koknoi because we had been there and we have friends in the village. Unfortunately, the trip was cancelled because of the mother got sick. We hope to make the trip some time.

Friends in KoknoiI tell you this story to let you know that in the past years, God had given us opportunities to visit and minister to the hard to reach villages around Chiang Rai. We hope to do more of this in the future. We had been to two villages this year and the village school teachers had invited us to do English camp in the school

This is why we are thankful to God for our giving us the “miracle” truck. We can go places to share God’s love to the villagers.



Prayer Concerns

Please pray for the children in Koknoi and other villages around Chiang Rai that God will use more Christian workers so that they learn about the Word of God and that they will have good education so that they can  have better future.

We thought we could make the trip to Koknoi last Saturday. But as you already know, the truck’s tires are dangerously bald already. We could not make the trip with the bad tires. We borrowed money from the Microfinance Cooperative of Grace Church so we can change the tires. Please pray for God’s provisions. We need THB 25,000 (roughly USD 800) to pay for the loan we made for the tires.

We hope to do more village ministry in the future in partnership with NCWSA. Please pray that God will send people to help us to teach English and share God’s love in Shan State this coming summer.

It’s exam week for Reuven. Thankfully, his exam schedule does not conflict with our scheduled trip to Chiang Mai. Please that he will do well in the test.

We will be traveling to Chiang Mai today (16 July 2013) to appear at the immigration office for our extension of our visa. It has been raining heavily today and the roads to Chiang Mai are winding and slippery. Thankfully we already have the new tires. Please pray for safe travel.

Please pray that our visa will be extended without any problem. The Foundation and I had worked together so that every documentation is properly done.

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Joy and Assurance

Joyful greetings in the name of Christ. Thank you so much for your love and prayers. We are sharing to you some of our stories this month. We want to begin with Andrew and Luke:

I was trying to concentrate on my study but the noise of the two little boys happily laughing and playing wildly had distracted me in a good way. It made me smile. The moment gave me an unexplainable joy and assurance that we made the right decision to take them into our life. Nataset (Andrew) and Flook (Luke)have eventually adjusted and settled in the family, ‬the long hour of crying were finally over. As a matter of fact they are enjoying the love being showered to them by their older brothers and sisters.

We thank you not only for praying for us but also for being part of God’s answers to our prayers.‭ ‬Your support,‭ ‬gifts and contributions have been sustaining us and our ministry.


Roofing Project

In our previous newsletter,‭ ‬we shared to you about the temporary roofing we put up five years ago to prevent the rain from coming in the dirty kitchen and laundry area.‭ ‬The tarp roofing had became old and worn out it was no longer able to serve its purpose.‭ Some of our friends learned about it ande collected funds among themselvesfor the installation of the roof and construction of the bench and sink.
‭We are grateful for God-given friends who are ready to help us in time of need. ‬The construction of the roof and the sink is almost complete. We also thank the Lord for our handyman friend who found time to do the work in spite of his busy schedule.



Lea’s Visa

Narlin and Lea went out to Laos to get non-immigrant visa.‭ We did not bothered to review the supporting documents provided by the Network for Children and Women Association‭ (‬NCWA‭)‬-Mae Sai,‭ ‬and even if we did we could not have noticed it because the documents are written in Thai.‭ ‬The small error caused the Thai Royal Embassy in Lao to deny Lea her visa.‭ ‬However,‭ the immigration ‬officer told them that if they can submit the corrected paper they can issue a non-immigrant volunteer visa right away.

Because of the time and distance, ‬Narlin and Lea decided to settle with a tourist visa for the meantime and come back to Laos after two months with the correct documents.‭ ‬She may have failed to get the visa but it was a learning experience that can be useful when the need to get volunteer visa for people who want to come and work in Mae Sai.

Birthday Celebrations

Month of June,‭ ‬we celebrated three birthdays.‭ Narlin’s birthday was on the 14th, Nataset on the 18th and Joey on the 19th. Jillian celebrated her birthday without us for the first time in the Philippines. It is the eighth year that we celebrate our birthday here in Mae Sai. God is good and faithful. We are hoping to celebrate many more of our birthday here.

More Prayer Concerns

  • Pray for strength, wisdom and boldness to share the gospel to the people we encounter every day, moreover, to the people we are teaching and we befriended.
  • Please pray for our health specifically to that of the children. The rainy season has started and it seems that dengue breakout could not be prevented because of our proximity to Burma.
  • Please continue to pray for all our children’s schooling. The school expenses are taking its toll on our budget. We have 10 children on elementary school and 2 in pre-school with one of our children in high school and two in college in the Philippines. We thank you so much for your prayers and support for this particular need.
  • Pray for our partnership with Network for Children and Women Association (NCWA). We are thankful to God that the association is able to provide government recognition to our children’s home. In the future, we are hoping to work with individuals, foundations and organizations for future projects to help improve the life of the people both physically and spiritually.
  • Pray for our visa. As we have shared already, the process in extending visa in Thailand takes a lot of time. Our work permit has been extended already. The next step would be to extend our non-immigrant volunteer visa. We need to be physically present at the immigration office and to pay the fees for three people--Narlin, Reuven and Joey
  • We are thankful for our miracle truck. I could not believe that the truck has been with us for almost three years. We have been using it everyday to drive the children to the school. We also used it for our outreach activities to the villages. I noticed that the tires are wearing out. We are praying for God’s provision as we might be replacing them before the year is over.
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Thank you Lord

I already forget about this blog until I read my own blog posted on Facebook. I still received email thanking me for some materials I posted several years ago when I was still active in blogging. I will post again our latest family and ministry update and I hope I can post more. Thanks for those who still find this blog useful.

DSCN2775Once again, we thank you for faithfully remembering us in your prayers. We thank the Lord for your partnership in God’s ministry here in Mae Sai.  All of us here especially the kids are enjoying the benefits of your love and generosity.

After what seems to be a long hot summer, heavy rain began falling on  the second  week of May. The rain gives us relief from the oppressive heat and refreshes our body and soul. Watching water falls from heaven reminds us of God’s faithfulness to his humble servants.

Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before- (Joel 2:22)

Our Recent Philippine Trip

We are thankful for the opportunity the Lord had given to us to visit the Philippines twice within six months. We thank our friends who help us financially to make this journey back home possible. We realized this may not happen again. The first time was when we were invited to share our missionary testimony at the 10th Anniversary celebration of Asia Vision Short Term Missions (AVSTM) in December.The second time was at the wedding of my (Joey) younger sister, Bethie last month.

It was also a rare opportunity when all the members Dela Paz family were reunited after many years. They have reunions on Christmas but we could not go home to join them. We are thankful to the Lord for that wonderful time. And again, this may not happen again in a very long time. We are thankful for the AVSTM Team who looked after the children while we were in the Philippines.

Bethie's Wedding

2013 School Opening

After a long summer vacation, the kids were again very excited to go to school. This year, the kids have outgrown their school uniforms and besides they are old and faded already,  we bought each kid  three sets of new uniforms (PE, regular, traditional, and scouting for the older children).  These uniforms need three different kinds of shoes.  The kids are very excited with all these new things that they even keep their shoes beside them when they go to sleep.

Reuven is also in his second year in Mae Prasitsat High School English program. The school fees for the program are expensive but again we thank the Lord for his provisions. Jared and Jillian had already enrolled for college at University of Cordilleras in Baguio City.  Their school starts on the third of June.

We are thankful for God’s faithful provisions for the kids' schooling. Thank you for your partnership in providing good education and home for these wonderful kids.

First Day of School

Welcome Lea, Our New Co-Worker  And Natahset, Our New Baby

Our two reliable daughters who provided us with help had left us. Jillian went back to the Philippines for college and Nuch has moved on to look for another work.  Nuch wanted to stay and help with the children but we understand that she still wants to accomplish more with her young life. So we let her go to follow her desire. She is now teaching pre-school in Rayong. We will be missing these girls . They had been a huge help for us for years.

Nevertheless, God has provided us another helper. Lea is part of the AVSTM team that came to minister with us through English camps and looked after the children while we were gone. She decided to stay with us and help us with our ministry. We thank the Lord for bringing to us the right person to be our co-worker. Lea had extensive experience with children and doing house works.

Please pray that Lea can get a work permit and a one-year visa. Pray for financial provisions and supporting documents.

Lea with the kids We had another addition to the family. A boy named Natahset. He was born four years ago in Chiang Rai to a single mother. His mother gave him up for adoption and our friend took him. We were actually with this fried when the mother gave the baby.  After  four years, our friend find it difficult to get him to school because most of the time she is staying in Burma. So we are helping her with him. Natahse will be staying for us while he goes to school here in Mae Sai.


Network for Children and Women Association (NCWSA) Office

Three years ago we were invited to attend a meeting of an organization (samakom in Thai) called Network for Children and Women Association. Apparently, its main objective is to prevent human trafficking—to save young women from prostitution and the children from being victims of child trafficking. The organization was started by Khun Abraham (founder of the biggest children shelter in Mae Sai) and Ajan Sunnit (the Pastor of the church we are attending). However, when Khun Abraham had his own Foundation, the leadership was left to Ajan Sunnit. We have been working with the organization ever since we joined it.

All the time we are with the organization, we noticed that it has very little funding and very few activities, however, we are surprised that it is fully recognized by the Thai government. Hence this year, we started organizing English camps under its name. The organization is also able to provide legal covering for our children’s home. We also let them use the small room upstairs as its office. The organization membership is composed of the church pastors and leaders. We are hoping that through this organization, we will be able to provide work permit and visa for future missionaries and volunteers. Below is the photo of our last meeting in our house which we do regularly once a month.

NWCSA Meeting

Roofing Project

We do our laundry and charcoal cooking (we do it a lot) outside the house.  So we thought it would be good to put tarpaulin roofing tacked on a bamboo frame. It serves as a shade against a hot sun and cover from the rain. However, we failed to anticipate that the rainy season always start with hail storm and strong winds. The wind blew away the tarpaulin and we had to reattach it on the bamboo frame.

We asked the owner if she would allow us to put a permanent roof. She gave us her permission but she made it clear that she will not be paying for it. Our handyman friend (who did all the works and repairs in the house) made an estimate of the cost of labor and materials. He came up with 28,000 Baht.  This includes the cost of a bench and kitchen sinks. If a permanent roof is installed we plan to do all the cooking and dish washing in this area so that the extra space we will have inside the house will be used as dining area.

We do not want the money intended for the children and ministry to be used in this project so we are hoping that God will provide funds specifically for this project.  We’ll be sending out  update about the development of this project.

Roof Repair

Temporary Roof

More Prayer Requests

  • We are thankful for God’s provisions for the kids’ schooling this year. He indeed is faithful.
  • We are thankful for God’s healing.  In the last couple of months, the kids were having problem with heat. At least three of them had fever and cough. We also learned that Mae Sai is on the top of the number of kids who are infected with dengue. We thank the Lord for healing and protection.
  • Please pray for Narlin as she continues to teach English voluntarily at the school. The English teacher at the school had resigned and therefore she will have more teaching load this semester.
  • Please pray for Joey as he will be teaching at ARLDF in the following weeks. Pray for wisdom and strength.
  • Please pray for Jared and Jillian for their studies in the Philippines. Pray for provisions for their school fees and the apartment they are renting.
  • Please pray for Lea that she can get her visa and work permit as soon as possible.
  • Please for boldness, strength and wisdom as we share the Jesus' saving grace to all the people  we encounter everyday.