Mark in Chiang Mai October 2010
Making Friends While Teaching English The main way, right now, for us to meet new friends in Chiang Mai is to offer English classes. We have had many opportunities to meet new people and start building relationships through these classes. In the picture above you can see where we were able to go into a local school to teach English. These students are not Christian nor is this a Christian school, but we are allowed to come in to teach English and to start relationships with teachers that want us to come back again. One of the teachers at this school has had a connection with our church for many years and she is growing in her faith and understanding of who we are as Christians. When I was here in 2007 I was able to work with this teacher and it was interesting to see how she is still working with our church. Besides working in the local school, we were asked to teach English to a group of
people who work at the District Court. Making relationships with very important officials in Chiang Mai allows us to show them who Christian really are. One of the ladies that works there, Awn, is 29 and she has con-
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS - Hilary teaching Oil during her one-on-one lesson.
tinued to study and hangout with people at the church. Iâ€™m excited to see how her relationship with others in the church will effect her willingness to come to church and participate in other activities than just English classes. We have been teaching English Tuesday through Friday with one-on-one classes, but now since the interns are all starting school soon we will change to each teaching two 5-person classes a week. This way we can keep our friends that we already have and allow for new students to join existing classes. We hope that more students will start coming soon and get connected with others here at the Payap Christian Zone. We always pray that our English classes will be a bridge for our students to connect with others at the church. Please pray with usthat our students will seek Christian community.
Starting School... Again
STARTING SCHOOL - Lisa and I will begin school at Payap on November 2nd.
Prayer Requests • •
Pray for unity within our intern team that we can grow to serve God more here in Chiang Mai. Pray for growth within the church here so that the church doesn’t rely on foreigners to keep the church going. Pray for the interns to be bold to meet new friends on campus. Pray for Lisa and me as we start classes soon. Pray for strength and willingness to talk about our faith to our new friends. Thank God for the friends we have made so far and pray that those relationships continue and grow Thank God for this opportunity to serve here in Thailand
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When I graduated in May I was extremely excited to be finished with school and thought to myself that I would not go back to school for a long time, if ever. Well, after arriving in Thailand Robert, the missionary here, told me of an opportunity to go to school and learn the Thai language. Payap University started a program last year to allow students from China to be in an exchange program to learn Thai language and study Thai culture. Robert met many of these students last year because they came to the Zone to learn English as well. He suggested that I join this program because it would really help my Thai language skills and would be a great opportunity to minister to these students. Since I signed up for this course another friend from Malaysia decided to take the course as well. She is a Christian and knows many people at the Zone, but she doesn’t know Thai so I pray this is a time we can work with each other to minister to the students in our classes. On November 2nd, we will have an orientation to meet all of our teachers and the new students. Then we will start our schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes every week. It will be intense language learning. I pray that this will help me improve my Thai language skills and allow me to feel more confident to reach out to more people around campus.
Guests, Wedding, & More
October was filled with many visitors and activities, but before October began I was able to surprise my mom for her birthday, September 24th, in Singapore. My dad was scheduled to speak at churches in Singapore and Malaysia so I decided to go down and spend a few days with them. It was a special time for all of us to be together and celebrate her birthday. Our first group of visitors arrived from New Zealand on October 2nd. The group from South Pacific Bible School in Tauranga, New Zealand knows some of the Thai Christians who studied at the school before. While here, we all worked with several ministries in and around Chiang Mai. We cleaned at a former leper colony where elderly patients live and are taken care of by medical professionals. It was good to help out and spend time singing with the residents. Another ministry we worked with reaches out to children who live in a slum near Chiang Mai. Many
of the children live here without parents for different reasons so the outreach gives them a place to hangout, learn and have a healthy meal. It was interesting to learn that there are many children living in Thailand that are not allowed to go to school because they are not Thai citizens. I’m glad there is this opportunity for these kids to still learn. As that week came to a close, two members of the church here got married. Everyone at the church, including the interns and New
Zealand group, pitched in to make everything happen. It was nice to see the whole church working together to make the wedding happen. The next few days slowed down and I was able to celebrate my 23rd birthday with a full rack of ribs from an American food restaurant here in Chiang Mai. We finished out the month with more English classes, celebrating Hilary’s birthday, a back-to-school party and I preached my first sermon here, beginning a series on the Fruits of the Spirit.
SERVICE SUNDAY - Payap Christian Zone members pose before cleaning at McKean Hospital, a former leper colony