25 July 2009

First Impressions

We are now into day 3 in Thailand. I just ate at an authentic Thai restaurant...well maybe restaurant is not the right word. It was down a back road half hidden away. I've noticed most good places to eat are only found if you get lost or if you are a local. We had an excellent lunch, but I ate what I thought was a green bean and it turned out to be a green chilli. I don't eat much hot food and have never had a chilli straight. At one point I was making plans of what to do if I passed out cause my vision was blurry and I was feeling quite light headed. My stomach burned and Erik (the missionary we've come to see) said I'll feel it burn all the way through, so I'm looking forward to that! Then Matt tried one and said 'yeah, it's a little hot'. MmHmmm, granted he eats chilli like it's candy.

God has made it very clear from the beginning that He is here with us. One of the girls in the group almost didn't end up coming because her passport was going to expire in 5 ½ months and apparently you can't travel on a passport unless it's got 6 months left on it at least. Someone in Cairns finally sent her through with a warning that they might send her back when we get to Singapore. Each step of the way she was questioned and checked, phone calls were made. But she is here with us now, and I just take that as God making His presence known from the start.

Seth travelled amazingly well, and we even met a lady in the Singapore airport who grew up near where I grew up...it's a small world sometimes (for those who know Canandaigua, she grew up in Ithica)!

The place we are staying is quite beautiful. It's a little run down (they are working on renovations where they can) but the rooms are comfortable and we are being well looked after. I asked Mariaana (Erik's wife) how the structure of the building is. She said the structure is good, but the wood has been eaten out by termites. The Thai people let the termites eat the wood because they believe they are holy. In fact, they let them destroy their holy structures because they believe the termites to be more holy.

We've been asked several times if anything has surprised us, but I think when you visit a foreign country you expect things to be different so it's not really a surprise. Also, as I mentioned, we've been so well looked after that we haven't really been outside our comfort zone. Sunday we visit the mountain tribes were I imagine things will be different. It will be interesting to see how everyone handles the new environment.

It's amazing the work that the team is doing here. The influence they have in schools, in the government. I'm not going to even bother writing it down now because I don't have that much time!

I suppose that is enough for now. I'm sure I will have more to write later, after all it's only been a couple of days. It's a great experience being in a country not as a tourist, but having the opportunity to be shown around by locals and encounter authentic Thailand.

20 July 2009

Ready, Set...

GO! Headed to the airport this morning I'm alot more at peace than I was a week ago. Seth hasn't been sleeping well because we haven't been home and I was getting frustrated thinking about how poorly he would sleep while we are in Thailand. I was a bit cranky at God asking why my son had to suffer because we are following what we believe to be the path God has put before us. God's response was as follows:
"I never said there wouldn't be any suffering." Then he reminded me that he sacrificed His son. And then...because He's a loving God and His desire is not for anyone to suffer, He reminded me that when I made the decision to go to Thailand He made it quite clear He was going to be there the whole time. Not just in the sense that 'God is always with us' but as an intrigal part of the trip. And so off we go...I'm pretty excited to see what God has in store for us as we put our faith in Him again...

09 July 2009


And so the adventure begins...well sort of. I'm at my in-laws at the moment which means I've got a bit of a break with a full time baby sitter (thanks nanna). Matt is up at Weipa until Friday next week so he will be having more of an adventure than I am, although with the temperatures looking to drop this weekend close to freezing I'd say I'm being adventurous (it's amazing how fast after living in New York I've acclimatized to the tropics!)

With all this quiet time God is beginning to move my heart with new thoughts. As mentioned in my previous post, I've been reading the book 'Can God' by J Edwin Orr. His journey is one of stirring people to pray earnestly for revival and describes revival as follows:

"What is revival? It is not an Evangelistic campaign, or a series of special meetings. The way the word has been prostituted so as to mean to many nothing more than the visit of an itinerant Evangelist, displays terrible ignorance, which savours of profanity.

"What is revival in Nature? Yonder is a gaunt, gnarled tree, that has withstood many a blast. What a miserable object it is, with a few withered leaves still clinging to its lifeless limbs! But go back in the spring. What a change! The old dead leaves have all dropped off, and the tree is radiant with a new life, that has come pulsating from within. In the physical realm, revival means, not the coming of some new exotic parasite seeking either to camouflage, or to replace the old tree, but the new life and growth in the already existent.

"The parallel is true also in the spiritual realm. Revival is not a matter of organizing; but it bursts through human plans and organization, sending new stream of life into undreamt of channels.

He discusses the past revivals that swept through Whales in 1860 and 1905 (the book was published in 1934) but says this:

'Will those who tell us that they have been through the Welsh Revival explain whythere is no revival today?'

"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save: neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear."

'Who'll pay the price?'

"The Lord saw it – and wondered that there was no intercessor."

Romans 12:1 says

I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, your reasonable sacrifice.

If all of us as Christians offered ourselves fully to God (after all, this is our 'reasonable sacrifice') scary as it can be...and we prayed in earnest for revival, what would happen? I would have to say in all honesty that I believe some pretty incredible stuff would happen that I've never seen in my lifetime...so why aren't we??

It's stirring in my heart...but I know that thinking about it is not good enough...

...and (He) wondered that there was no intercessor...

02 July 2009

Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? (Ps 78:19)

I love what J. Edwin Orr says about the start of his journey in the book Can God - ? "An hour later I was cycling down the road to nowhere, convinced that it led to everywhere." It turns out on his journey that the road does in fact lead to everywhere.

We are shifting at the moment from Matt supporting our family to God supporting it...not that God isn't always supporting our family; however, Matt has no work after today until mid September and we decided that we would take advantage of every opportunity that God gives to us in that time instead of stressing. That means we are starting on a journey down a road to nowhere that we are convinced leads everywhere.

This month Matt is headed up to Weipa with a couple of pastors on a fishing/camping/hunting adventure for a few days. Then later this month the three of us (Matt, Seth and I) are headed to Thailand on a missions trip for about a week and a half. We get back Aug 1st and after that we are hopping in the Landcruiser, packing our camping gear and driving off into the sunset, or rather the sunrise, as that is the best time to travel with Seth. We have been invited to a few different places including Claremont, Longreach and Newcastle. There will most likely be some or all of the following: Motorbike (motorcycle for the Americans) including a side car and horse riding, camping, preaching, learning, meeting lots of people and probably a lot of trust in God (since we are believing that God will open doors as we go and that he will provide all of our needs). We have felt recently that God is bringing us into a new season but He has been very silent on the particulars and we felt it important to take advantage of every opportunity that He has so far provided and believing quite strongly that as we trust in the path He is laying out for us, some pretty exciting things will happen.

I'll keep everything updated on here as I am pretty excited about these next few months, so if you want, you can experience at least a small part of what is happening in our neck of the woods or the rainforest or the outback or wherever we end up at a given time.