Monthly Update

Hi Friends!

This month has been a refreshing time of adventure and retreat.  It was just what I needed because within this past month I truly felt my heart change as I explored Thailand from top to bottom.  I was blessed enough to celebrate a wedding and New Years in a more rural area called Buriram.  Then family and friends in Colorado helped me get to the beaches of southern Thailand for my Christmas present.  There in Krabi I was able to meet up with a close friend who is also a missionary here in Thailand.  After a few days we flew up to Chiang Mai (northern Thailand) and I stayed with her at her house.  The best part was my intern team had a retreat time planned in Chiang Mai, so I just met up with my team there.  It was during that retreat that I was able to process, dream, and allow God to move in my heart.

Now I'm back in Bangkok ready to take on the challenges ahead of me!  I'll admit, I really needed to take a break from Bangkok for a time.  I'm returning with a renewed vision, sense of purpose, and attitude.  This whole culture shock process has been tough, but I'm trusting that God is in control of it all.  Daily I fall more in love with my community and I know I'm right where God has asked me to be.


** Ministry Update


 ** Community Building


Last week my community was extremely blessed by my roommate's family who came to visit.  They could have just simply come to Thailand to see Sarah and sight-see, but instead they asked if they could help us with our ministry!  In the weeks leading up to their arrival we planned and arranged a two day VBS for the children and elderly.

The result was an absolute blast!  We did a play about Noah and the Ark, complete with a handmade cardboard ark.  The kids joined with animal masks and lots of laughing.  We taught new songs in English and in Thai, we danced, and we even got to do temporary animal tattoos.  I have never seen the kids that active and excited before!

Our day with the elderly was not as hectic, but it certainly had impact!  We acted out the same play, sang songs in Thai, gave out gift-bags, and played bingo.  The elderly had a wonderful time and I discovered that our oldest resident is 99 years old!

** English Class


Our students are still doing great, and their English is coming along nicely.  Next week we will start teaching the next section of our curriculum.

** Learning Thai


I decided to take a break from Thai school this month to give my brain a rest, but on Feb 3rd I will return ready to conquer reading and writing!  It ended up being a very good idea because protesting started up again, making it difficult for me to travel to school anyways.  However I am anxious to start school again. I want to learn more!!!

** Safety Update


Thailand has officially declared a state of emergency due to the anti government protest.  Early elections were blocked and it is rumored that the official election on Feb. 2nd might be postponed.  To be completely honest, I'm not 100% sure what will happen. A month ago I thought the protesting would soon be over, so obviously I'm no expert.  However I do know that I am not in any kind of immediate danger nor is my community.  We have been advised to avoid areas of protests, but everything else is business as usual.  It's just more of a headache for transportation at the moment.

** Prayer Requests


* For God to intervene on behalf of those suffering through injustices in Thailand such as poverty, political oppression, trafficking, spiritual oppression, and social oppression.

* Blessings over the people in my community, especially the children and elderly.

* For continued open doors, healthy friendships, and safety.

* That every person we interact with will feel the love of Christ.

* That God continues to give us direction on how to serve our community best.

* A deepening sense of God's presence in our community.

* Peace in Thailand and an end to protesting.

* Health and safety.

* Positive language learning abilities for myself and my team.