Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our First Sunday in the new building!

Happy New Year!!

The year is about to draw to a close and 2011 is about to begin! 

We  sent out our news up date yesterday, if you wish to receive one, but didn't, send us an email and let us know. We will see that you get one.

After our Christmas party on the 19th, we began to move all of the stuff from the old place, into the new bamboo building out at the land.  It was a busy week.  Ohley and I went to the market and bought some linoleum (a pretty blue) and some curtain material.  Everyone was busy trying to get things in order for Sunday.

Everything was ready in time, and Jerry preached the first service in the new worship area.  We love the new building!  Its open and airy, over looking the pond.  I did bring blankets with us on Sunday morning, because it is cool in the mornings and I knew some of us would appreciate wrapping up in something warm!! 

Last night on the 28th the Saa Paper group had our annual dinner. Since the time some of our short term visitors made the group some Southern fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, they have been begging me to fix some. So last night I prepared the American fare, They added rice, a Thai chicken soup,  a Thai omelet and guava for dessert.  It was quite a feast.  Our saa paper project, (Rainbow Tree) did quite well this year, and we would like to thank those who supported it by buying some of the cards and bags.  We were able to give the workers a hefty end of the year bonus, which they were thrilled about! We discussed new ideas and are excited about the new year ahead. Jerry prayed for the group before we all went home.  There are no Christians in the group, yet they have seen over and over again that God has answered our prayers and they are always open to praying to Him and asking for his blessing! I wish I had some pictures to show you, but we forgot the camera.

I will post various pictures from the past couple of weeks. I know we had some in the update, and will try not to duplicate. 

We have scheduled all day next Wednesday for a planning meeting to plan the activities for next year.  Please pray that God will give us wisdom and insight and his leading.

We are excited that several individuals said they are planning on visiting next year!  We are happy to have visitors and if you are interested in coming please let us know and we will be happy to help you plan your trip.

Work is to start soon on the first house! Hopefully I will have pictured of that in a week or two! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Youth of Philokalia had their Christmas party, Friday December 10th.  They invited the teens and young people who had attended the retreat in October, as a means of following up with new friendships.  The youth did a very good job putting together the program and the games, and decorations!  As a result, three of the young men who came to the Christmas party attended the services on Sunday. We were happy to receive them and hope they continue to come.

We are planning our family Christmas celebration for next Sunday evening (the 19th) .   There will be making of Thai sweets after the church service, and anyone who wants to participate can come and help.  I plan to go and learn another recipe for Thai desserts!   One of the teens asked me Sunday if I would bring brownies, so I guess we will have a variety of sweets!   I hope to have a few pictures for you to see next week! 

The land and its development is continuing. We are getting the last minute details finished up so we can start moving things out of the rented house, and out to the land.  We need to be out of the house by the 31st. It looks a bit daunting at this point!!

The saa paper group is working hard this week. They sold the bags and cards and (a new item) picture frames, at a new venue and did quite well.  We went out to the warehouse today and bought more paper to make more!!  We will be sending Adele another box of bags and cards soon. She has plenty of Christmas cards and bags now, if anyone wants to order some from her.

We thank you for your interest, and hope you will visit us again next week.

Blessings from Philokalia

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back again!

We had a very uneventful trip back to Thailand. We arrived home on Wednesday the 1st of December.   Jet lag keeps us from jumping right into the thick of things, though we have helped out here and there when asked by the team. The team is  very understanding and tries to give us some time to get our "legs" back.
Friday, Jerry and I spent the morning at Immigration. Jerry worked hard at getting our papers filled in, and in order.  They had changed the procedure, which was a bit frustrating, but we caught on fast and were able to get in the right cue.  We needed to extend our visa to stay in the country.  The officer was pleasant and talkative, and we were out of there before lunch.

On Saturday the 4th of December, the Saa Paper group had rented a space to sell our produce.  It took place in the parking lot of a large Presb. seminary in town.   We were assigned a space with a number.  The Saa Paper group needed me to come with the pickup and help load the bags, cards and picture frames, table, and chairs, and drive them to the sale. I did this at 7 a m which was a cinch for me, since I had been awake for hours. (jet lag)  Unloading, setting up, and then at noon, taking down, loading the truck, and then driving back to the center and unloading.  I took a long nap that afternoon!
Business was slow, but we managed to sell about 400 Baht. (a little over ten dollars U.S.)

Prawit, Yai, and Surin brought by some cucumbers which came from our farm. They are excited about the frog project and its success.  They saved some frogs back and hopefully we will have more baby frogs soon to sell when they mature. 

Sunday morning found us doing our usual  schedule.
Before the service, I pick up many of the kids and elderly who do not have a way to get to the center.  As I started out there was a ceremony for the kings birthday going on at the local gov't offices.  I was stuck in one spot for over 30 minutes, until the ceremony was over, and traffic began to move again. I and my four passengers made it back  just in time for the services to begin.

It was great being back and worshiping with our Thai family. We noted two new ladies who had not been  attending when we left three months ago. Also little December (thats his name, because he was born in December) In Thai his name is Tawnwaa.  (December).  His mother became a Christian about 2 weeks before she passed away, about two years ago.  We promised we would help take care of him, as his dad is not able, without some help. Every Sunday we pick December up for church, bathe him, give him some food, and most of all love on him.  He is sharp as a whistle, and a favorite with all. He turned 5 on Sunday.

The Youth spent time after our Sunday meal to put up Christmas decorations.  They announced that they are planning their own Christmas outreach party this year.   They are excited about planning that, and inviting friends and teens that attended the fall retreat in hopes of keeping in touch with them.  The Center's Christmas celebration is scheduled for the 19th. 

Monday the 6th, (today) we attended our Monday morning prayer time at the center.  15 of us gathered for prayer and scripture reading at 6 a m.   We then ate a pot luck breakfast.  I had some steamed squash, sticky rice, garlic pork, and a banana.   Jerry had some rice noodles too.   The food was delicious and the fellowship priceless! 

I will try to update this blog every Monday morning and give a quick review about the happenings at Philokalia every week.  I hope this is informative and I am providing you with information you want to know. If you have any questions, or you want me to write about a certain subject just let me know, and I will be happy to do just that.

May we not just sing about his kingdom, but may we live it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

What a great time at the convention! We met so many talented and creative people there! We also touched base with old friends and coworkers! As the song goes, one is silver and the other is gold! Our booth was connected with two other Thai mission booths, and we were all together out in the hall not far from the registration counter.  I must say, as much as we enjoy it, we come home exhausted and ready to hibernate for a while. 

This is our last week in the States. We said good bye to our daughter Leah and her husband Michael and baby Emma at the convention.  I always hate good byes, they just never get easier. 

I am cooking the big turkey meal on Thanksgiving Day, as we have our twin daughters and their families for Thanksgiving. This will be our final visit with them and our grandchildren.  Another big day of being together, that we are all looking forward to!  We will combine it with an early birthday bash for Jason. It should be a great time if I can manage not to burn the turkey!  I still am having a hard time cooking with electric instead of my usual propane gas! 

Jerry has been invited to say a few words in the three services at Grandview Christian Church this Sunday. This is our home congregation that we attend when we are not traveling.  So it will be nice to be with these folk and say our goodbyes.  

We have a few loose ends to tie up,  quick lunch dates with friends that we haven't had the chance to be with yet... packing, library books to take back to the library ..that sort of thing, but I feel pretty calm right now about being prepared to walk out of the door by 4 a.m. Monday morning.  

I hope to have a picture or two up on this site the next time I post.

Have a very Thankful Thanksgiving everyone!!!! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

family reunion convention style

We are ready to pack our bags and head for the missionary convention in Lexington Ky!!  We will be leaving Thursday morning, with our son Jason as our passenger.  He will help man the booth for Philokalia.   Jerry and I are looking forward to seeing friends that have spanned the years, all in one place, as we set up our booth and greet friends and strangers and reconnect with those in whom we have lost touch.  We will have our saa paper cards and bags out on display and be giving them away for a donation. I am really excited to have our items available for such a large public viewing! 
Our daugther Leah and her husband Michael and baby Emma will also be attending. This will be the last opportunity to be with them before we depart for the field. I am looking forward to quality time with them also!