Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Team Member

We have a new team member arriving at midnight tonight, Thailand time. Her name is Carolyn Chambers. Everyone from the US that comes to Thailand usually comes at midnight. It makes for a long day the next day because the airport is an hour and a half away and by the time the person gets through customs and we get home, it is at least 2 AM. We, who live here, will be very tired tomorrow morning and she will be either one of two things. She will either be wide awake at 4 AM, unable to go to sleep or we won't be able to rouse her from a zombie/coma state for 24 hours. And you never know in advance how jet lag is going to affect someone. I personally think that the Jews had it right by changing the day at 6 AM. That makes more sense than changing days in the middle of night. The new day beginning at night? It just doesn't make sense. If anybody knows who changed it and messed things up, please tell me. I have wondered for years who and why they did that. Daylight savings time is also very presumptuous. I think they should let God decide what time the sun comes up:)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is We Is or Is We Ain't--That is the question.

As many of you know, we have translation projects going on in many languages now. A lot of these languages are regional to Southeast Asia. While Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand by far, Chiang Mai is full of people who speak many different languages. Because Chiang Mai is a smaller city, finding these native speakers is much easier than scouring a city with 13 Million people, looking for someone in particular who speaks a desired language or dialect. For this reason, we are praying about packing up our whole operation here in Bangkok and moving it all up to Chiang Mai. It is by no means a sure thing, but something that we are praying about and seeking the Lord's will about. There are pros and cons to moving, of course, like with everything else. First of all it will cost a lot. Moving two complete houses and a large office will not be cheap. Also rent in Chiang Mai is higher than it is here, because it is a tourist town. But there are also many good things about Chiang Mai. The ladies would be able to actually drive a vehicle there because there is not nearly as much traffic as there is in Bangkok. I don't drive here. My heart couldn't stand the stress. There are a lot more English speakers living there, and we already have friends living there to fellowship with. There are a couple of churches in Chiang Mai, so there would be a place to attend services. However, when people fly into or out of the country, they do it from Bangkok, so that would be very inconvenient for visitors or when one of us has to leave the country. So, as you can see there are good things and bad things about moving. Either way is fine with us, and right now we are simply praying about it and seeking the Lord's will in the matter. Please pray with us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


One of the most difficult jobs I do here in Thailand is bookkeeping. Many things are done here on a cash basis and no receipts are ever offered or given and it is up to the spender of money to remember how much was spent where. Yeah, like we are all going to remember this? Anyway, I also have to figure things out in several foreign currencies, which by the way, change each and every day. Needless to say, this is very stressful for me much of the time. I use an accounting program that was designed for morons like me, so at least it is very easy as far as the computer program is concerned. I have had at least 3 accountants look it over and they tell me that I am doing fine. My unaccounted for funds are under 3%, which they tell me is well within acceptable limits. I guess it will have to be acceptable, because it is the best I can do. I am looking at a receipt for 620 Baht. It is around $18 US dollars, today. Last week is was $19 and tomorrow it may be $17. It is all written in Thai. I have no idea what it was, which account it came out of, or where to record and file it. It sits here on my desk. I stare at it as if by staring at it long enough the words will all miraculously turn into English. So far that is not working. This is my least favorite job in Thailand.

My first job today was making a 30 egg omelet. That was easy. Eggs are fairly neutral linguistically. I can speak to them in English and they respond very well. My kitchen is difficult to describe. It started life as an external room on the back of the house. It has a roof, but no ceiling. The roof tiles slant down and over hang the exterior wall so the rain doesn't fall inside the room. The last time we went up country to Chiang Mai a 2 foot lizard got into the kitchen and then, somehow found a way to get inside my main house. We still aren't quite sure how he did that, but he did. When we got home, I could smell something that was yucky, but I just chalked it up to the house being closed up for several days. Then I started noticing things were moved around and knocked over. It seemed like somebody had been in the house, but that would not be that unusual, because when we are gone folks check on things for us. Anyway, Tom and I were standing at the kitchen counter and I was putting things away when the toaster started jumping around . I said, "Tom there is either a rat or a very large lizard behind the toaster." We started looking and we could see about 1 foot of the tail, so we knew it was BIG. Tom armed himself with a walking cane and the broom and we finally rousted him out of the main house and back out to the kitchen. We thought he would just go away the same way he got in. It was late and we were tired after getting home from our trip, so we just closed both doors to the kitchen and went to bed. The next morning, I very carefully opened the kitchen doors and NO he wasn't gone! He had climbed into the stove and 4 inches of his head and long neck were sticking up right out of the stove burner. "Tom!! GODZILLA is still in the kitchen." Tom armed himself with the cane once again and this time the big guy took his leave. I guess he figured he better leave or die, so he made like a Baptist Church and split. The same day we called a carpenter to come over and seal the kitchen up. The little geckos can still get in, but they get in no matter what, but the big stuff can no longer take up residence behind my toaster. STILL--I would rather chase lizards than do the bookkeeping.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We've Come a Long Way, Baby

SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2008
How things have changed from the 50's to today:

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2008 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2008 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2008- Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2008 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2008 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2008 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2008- BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him..
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2008 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy .

This goes to show how stupid we have become! Think about it!

A few Photos of our "Little Town"

This is Anne Hammond from Lehigh Valley Baptist Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

From the top of the Bayoke Tower, which is the tallest building in Thailand, you can see that the city stretches to the horizon in every direction. 13 Million souls call this place home.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Remember the Time!!

We love it when folks call us from the USA. Especially now that we have a vonage internet phone line. People who have never lived overseas or those who do not travel don't think of the time difference from the US to Thailand. Thailand is 12 hours ahead of Texas time. That is the Central Time Zone. So when it is 3 o'clock in the afternoon in Texas, it is 3 o"clock in the MORNING here. We have had so many folks call us in the middle of our night, that we now turn off our vonage line when we go to bed. So, remember, your day is our night. If we do not answer our vonage phone it is either because we are not home or the phone is turned off because we are asleep. If it is an emergency, call our cell phones. We have missionary friends in Samoa and I never call them because I can never sort out what time it is there. If I see them online, then I can call them or Instant Message them and tell them that i am going to call them. Tom and I always turn our computers off at night, so if you do not see us online, we probably aren't awake or we are traveling.

Also some things folks are asking about. MAIL. Mail is a problem. Sometimes we get it and sometimes we don't. Rachel Hammett sent Pookie a box 6 months ago and we still don't have it and probably never will see it. If it had pop tarts or candy in it, we really don't want to see it now. We have had to cancel 2 sets of credit cards, because they didn't make it here. The third set is on the way along with our absentee voting papers. If we don't get that mail, just know that we are voting for McCain/Palin. I personally am voting for Palin and McCain is just the guy who comes with her. I am praying for the election. It is heartbreaking to see my country, America, going down the road to destruction.

The easiest way to communicate with me is via e-mail. I don't ever write on paper with a pen or pencil. I donated them to the Smithsonian, and now I just type and send. Pushing buttons is my life. Almost everything I do here on the field is on the computer: video editing, bookkeeping, all communication, banking, etc. I even read and do my Bible study on the computer. A few months back, the electricity went off and I was in the middle of my Bible reading. My old computer had a fried battery and had to be plugged in to work. I promise that this is true. I sat there staring at my blank screen and said, "Lord, how am I going to read my Bible?" I glanced around the room and my eyes fell on my leather Bible that I take to church and I thought, "Woe, I am spending waaaay too much time at the computer." Still, I really love Sword Searcher. I think of the early missionaries who, when they left for the field, were leaving forever, shipping all their worldly goods over in the coffins that they would be buried in. Letters took months to reach home and by the time they got there sometimes the one who had sent it had been dead for months. We have it so easy now. Telephones, e-mail, instant messaging and air travel have made our lives so easy and yet we still complain. God forgive us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The "just life" stuff

Tom and Jeff went up country till Tuesday, with all the men from Lehigh Valley BC, leaving all the women here to fend for ourselves. Yesterday evening all the ladies and the two straggler survey trip guys, Adam and Ryan, who were leaving the country last night, and Nicorn, and Steve Savageau from Jeff's church, all had a potluck together. Theresa cooked beans for two days and they were still hard, but fortunately we had a lot of left-over salad makings from the night before. I made chicken and rice and Pookie cooked meat balls. Theresa made the most delectable and delicious ice-cream cake, that would put the Dairy Queen ones to shame. Everything must have tasted OK because there was not one piece of lettuce, one grain of rice or one meatball left. It was like a flock of vultures had made a sweep. This leaves me with no leftovers for supper tonight and I think I am out of popcorn. Good grief, what will I eat? I think one of the guys brought pretzels. Yeah, that'll work.

the Lange family

Jeff and Theresa Lange live right across the street from us. They have been missionaries here for at least 5 years now. They went to Chiang Mai, Thailand, went to language school, passed all their proficiency tests to get actual missionary visas, and are doing a good work here. They have 2 kids, Jon who is 5, and Gracie 18 months. We have our work and they have theirs, but many times our ministry circles overlap.

Who is Here Now

Tom and I have several helpers with us here on the field. Over the years since 1998 we have had over 30 people work with us, first in the Philippines, then in E. Timor, Australia, South Korea and now in Thailand. Here in Bangkok with us at present are: Alex Coats from Victory Baptist Church in Maryland, Anne Hammond from Lehigh Valley Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, Kimjira Pekaow, also known as "Pookie," and Nakorn Kulachan, aka "Berm." We have just hired another Thai lady whose English name is "Lena." Her Thai name is Bunga Moungthai. Now you know why most Thai people have nicknames. If they didn't, we could never sort them out or say "Hi." Pookie and Berm are members of Lat Phrao Baptist Church here in Bangkok and Lena is a member of Romphrakhun Baptist Church, which means "Grace of God." We have another lady joining us in a couple of weeks from Grace Independent Baptist Church in Linden, Tennessee. Hopefully, she will be with us indefinitely. Her name is Carolyn Chambers.

This week we have a small team of men from Lehigh Valley Baptist Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania with us. Right now they are up country near the Thai/Burmese border. We have folks coming and going all the time. Some staying for a few days or some for a few weeks. Two men just left last night who were in Thailand for a survey trip. A young couple just left here who were helping us for 6 weeks. David and Deborah Madill from Tennessee. We are so thankful for the many who are lending us their time and expertise and are allowing God to use them. One of the guys stopping over on his survey trip stayed up all one night to get our computer server up and running and backing up our files. Thanks Adam, I didn't get to tell you goodbye. Hope to see you again soon.

Pookie is teaching Lena computer graphics. Pookie is the one who teaches everybody how to do the computer graphics program that we use for one of our major projects. She also is our personal assistant and does everything under the sun that can only be done by a person who can actually speak the Thai language. Without her we would be in a lot of trouble over here.

Nakorn is translating the Bible Institute Curriculum from Oak Harbor Baptist Church that was written by Bro. Robert Seargent, into the Thai language. All the Thai pastors who have read it are screaming for it and the pressure is really on him to get it finished. We estimate that it will take almost another year to complete it and have it proof-read and ready for press. The pastors who are doing the proof reading are already making copies on their copy machines and using it in its unedited and un proofed form in their churches, and asking for the next book to please hurry up and get done. Oh well, Nakon, no pressure there.

Anne is doing the printing and in her spare time, (are you kidding??!!! If I were to say spare time out loud the whole office would erupt into hysterical laughter), she is also working on the illustrated Bible Story Book, "Good and Evil" with Pookie, who is head honcho of this particular project.

Why this Blog?

This blog is simply to keep folks posted on the daily life of the Gaudet family here in Thailand. It will involve just mostly the everyday things that are seemingly of no great importance. It will keep family and friends up to date on the "just life" part of us. We know that so many folks think that the life of a missionary is some grand, romantic adventure where we are out there winning souls every day and living like Robinson Crusoe. People think missionaries are a special breed of human, far superior to the regular people of the world. Maybe this blog will help those of you who think these things to come to a better understanding of how ordinary missionaries really are and that all it takes to be one is a love for God and a desire to do what He tells us to do. It doesn't take a college degree in Theology to serve God. It doesn't take a college degree in anything. If uneducated fishermen could do it, so can we and so can you.