Monthly Update

Hi friends,

I don't know about you, but February flew by for me! Thai language school picked up fast and daily becomes more intense. It has been a challenge to manage my time well, but daily I'm learning. This month has been a little rough emotionally and physically, but God is strengthening my character through it all. I'm learning to set boundaries, how to communicate honestly, and how to take care of myself. I've learned commonsense lessons like ignoring a small mosquito bite infection can lead to multiple trips to the hospital. I've also learned bigger lessons like the importance of drawing boundaries with the kids in my community. I'm learning about confrontation and forgiveness. I'm still learning how to function in a culture that is much different than the culture I was raised in, and it continues to be a roller-coaster. Yes, that means the good and the bad, but I can't imagine doing anything else at this point in my life! My life may be in a constant state of change and chaos, but I have learned that God is always consistent and unchanging. He is in control and He will continue to pour out His goodness in this place and time.

** Ministry Update
------------------------------------------------------------

** English Class
------------------------------------------------------------
Every time I get the chance to teach I always feel so blessed to know our students. They are a fantastic group of kids and I love spending time with them. The best part is that the classroom isn't the only place we teach. We had a Valentine's Day movie night (complete with watching The Hunger Games) and made cookies with some of our students. At one point this month some of our students couldn't come to our regular scheduled class, so Sarah and I actually got to teach in their homes. It was wonderful to meet their families and discover more about their lives. It was also nice to spend time in a nearby community that is very similar to ours.

 ** Kids Program
------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday afternoon is the highlight of my week because I get to see the kids in my community show off their ABC skills and learn more about Jesus. Each week we act out a bible story for the kiddos and teach English vocabulary that goes along with the story. What's been really exciting is the fact that the kids are remembering what we've been teaching! A special group of students have been especially consistent with showing up each week excited to learn. Their enthusiasm brings joy to my heart, especially when I hear them practice songs outside of class.

** Community Building
------------------------------------------------------------

This month I've learned more about my community's past and their desires for the future. We've seen relationships go to new and deeper levels. Friends have been open to prayer and have expressed the desire to make positive changes in their lives. God is doing amazing things in the hearts of our neighbors!

 ** Learning Thai
------------------------------------------------------------

I have officially started reading and writing, and it's tough stuff! My class' workload is much more difficult, but I'm understanding more and more. I still have a long way to go, but slowly I'm getting there. This month I'm repeating another class, but I've come to the conclusion that it's better to repeat and fully understand each class instead of struggling to keep up. Thai is definately giving me a lesson in humility that's for sure.

** Safety Update
------------------------------------------------------------
Protests continue and are even regrouping. Multiple areas of protest are all being conjoined in Lumpini Park, which is down the street from my Thai school. While so far I have not felt unsafe, we still need to keep our guard up. Unarmed soldiers have started assisting the protesters in hopes of stopping bombers in the crowds. However the new barricades that line my walkway to school are not that comforting. PLEASE continue to pray for safety and peace in Thailand. The protesting is not expected to stop anytime in the near future.