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.
Once 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.