Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today We Bought New Chairs

A couple of days ago, we were all at the office with a loud SNAP was heard and then a crash. When we all looked around Tom was lying on the floor, still in the chair in a sitting position except he was lying on his back. One of the rolling legs of his office chair broke and he bit the dirt, as we say in Texas. So today he found 4 new office chairs to replace some of the ones that are becoming dangerously crummy.

A BIG answer to prayer: We have an IT guy and his wife who are ON THE WAY!!! Thanks to Bro. Mike Lewis and the Faith Baptist Church in Temple, Texas. This will be a very big help to us as our computers are glitching all over the place and we are just hanging on trying not to lose anything until somebody gets here who can get the computers and servers stabilized and doing what they were meant to do.

Myra Noel made it here safely from Texas. Safe, but very tired. Pray that she will get over the jet lag quickly, because she has a big job ahead of her. Please pray for Carolyn. She got a bone scan a few weeks ago, and she has osteoporosis with a high risk of fracture. They put her on Boneva, but one pill costs $60. She takes one pill per month for 6 months, and then goes back to the doctor for another scan. Pray that her bone density improves greatly.

The rest of us are all doing well, I think. At least we are still up and running. We are praying for another 2 workers, whether we hire them or they are volunteers. Tom would like a Thai man to travel with him to the neighboring countries.

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. We can always tell when people are praying and we can also tell when they are not. Keep on keeping on. It will mean the difference in whether the job gets done over here or not. The battle is won or lost in the prayer closet, not on the battle field.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Busy Month Ahead

Noah arrives today and Myra Noel arrives at midnight on Tuesday. They will be putting in long hours on the proofreading and typesetting of the Judson Bible in Burmese. This is going to be something that needs to be saturated in prayer. Those of you who know about this project, and have been praying, we want to say "Thank You" and please keep on praying. We are hoping to finish this project up in 1 month, but that may be wishful thinking on our part. Things usually take longer than hoped and planned for. At the moment, we are having computer problems with more than one of the systems and we are in desperate need of an IT person (translated "geek") to come over and help us keep these tricky computers and servers doing their job. We also need another full-time worker to help us with the "Good and Evil" project. Pookie is over-worked and underpaid. She is doubling as overseer of the G&E as well as Tom's almost full-time assistant. It is way too much for one person, so please pray about us being able to acquire another dependable worker to take the burden off of her.

The Judson picture tract is still having art work retouched. It is taking longer than expected also, but when it is finished, it is going to be a great tool for Burmese people. People have asked us if we plan to translate it into Thai. The answer is NO. It is a tract that is only culturally relevant to Burmese people. This is the reason it is important to train folks in these other countries to write their own materials: so that they will be culturally sensitive to the needs of that particular culture. There are many tribes and ethnic groups in Burma as there are in China, Thailand and other countries in this region. They need their own people producing literature for their own particular group and they need to be taught how to do it. Please pray for the funding of these regional training facilities, and more importantly for personnel to help us run them.

The Hmong are all headed back to Laos very soon. Please pray for their safety as they face a very uncertain future in their homeland. The church leaders have vowed to spread the Gospel message thru Laos. Pray that God would give them everything they need to do just that. We love these folks. They have become personal friends and fellow labourers for the Lord. Pray that the country of Laos will reap the benefits of their testimony and evangelization efforts. They may well pay a very high price for serving the Lord in that hostile country.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Midnight Run

Night before last at precisely 10:00 PM, I am shutting down the computer when I hear Anne calling me across the kitchen wall. "My eye, it really hurts." It looked pretty bad, and because an eye is too serious a thing to mess around with, I told her we needed to go to Bumrungrad. No, it's not another city. It is the international hospital that all who work here with us go to for medical attention. It is quite a distance from our house, but since it was the middle of the night, we got there in a taxi pretty fast. We went to the emergency room, but there was not an eye specialist there, so she had to see just a regular doctor. He shined a flashlight in her eye and said there was no foreign object but he wanted her to come back and see an eye specialist. He did however, giver her drops for pain to put into her eye. We were back home by midnight. We were very glad that Pook was still up and able to go with us. She wanted a Starbucks as payment for her services, but I absolutely refused. Coffee at midnight and she would have been bouncing off the walls till morning. We never, never, under any circumstances allow Pookie to drink coffee at night. We went back to Bumrungrad today. Anne has a scratched cornea, and will have to keep one eye closed for 12 hours a day. Sleeping at night counts, but the daytime 4 hours we haven't figured out how she is going to do that yet. We talked about an eye patch--"Anne the pirate." The doctor said that she was probably sleeping with her eye partially opened, and it was getting dried out. Why would she sleep with one eye opened? Does she have trust issues? Watching for lizards jumping on the bed? What? Anyway the visit to the ER cost her all of her money that she had set aside for February. But then Gary Karle, from my church, who has been supporting her since she got here, sent her money, and now she is back in the black. Oh, yes, and by the way, my doctor told me that I could resume taking showers. Ten weeks of sponge baths has been quite a challenge and I am glad that is over. Veeeeeerrrrry glad!

Tom returned from the left country yesterday and it was a very good and profitable trip. There were divine appointments and that is about all I can say because of where and who, etc. God is still in control, no matter who doesn't like it. Nanner, nanner, nanner.

Several of the computers are offline or in some way not operating properly. We need a geek to come over here for a few weeks and get us situated again. I say again, because maintenance of the computers is an ongoing thing and we are having a hard time keeping things going smoothly with no one here to maintain them full time. Please pray that God would send us someone to help us in this very important area.

Monday, February 9, 2009


A lot of things have happened since January 10th, which was the last time I posted something on this blog. On January 12, Alex Coats left us and believe me, he is greatly missed. He was a great help and a blessing to us while he was here. The very next day, Our pastor and wife, Larry and LaRue Atkisson arrived. That was a great time of fellowship and catching up on how our church is doing. We did a little sightseeing the first few days they were here, then we left for the Hmong refugee camp in Petchaboon. We were able to introduce the new believers to our pastor and we were there for a Sunday service. Many of the believers have gone back to Laos in the last several months. Some voluntary, some not, but the men in the church are all vowing to stand firm and spread the Gospel message with they get back to Laos. They will all go back sooner or later. Please pray for them that the Lao government will leave them alone and not go back to the massacres that caused them to flee in the first place. Those whom we have heard from in Laos, say that so far things are OK, and none of them has been shot or mistreated that they have heard about.

After leaving the Hmong camp, we journeyed to the Burmese border and spent a couple of days with the Believers there. We were taken to a garbage dump, where many refugees are living, while they pick through the stuff for things that can be recycled. Many children, some just infants live in these horrid conditions. The ground is literally crawling with flies. Dysentery and other diseases threaten their lives every day, and yet they would rather live here than in Burma. Freedom comes with an unbelievable price for these folks. They would rather be free to live in total poverty and squalor than to live in the country of Burma. Many of these people are ethnic tribespeople. The Karen people are being hunted and murdered with impunity in southern Burma every day. The military regime that controls the country offer them no protection, but rather they are the ones who are doing the killing. Americans have no idea what these countries are like. None of these statistics ever hit the news media. You have to be here and see it for yourself.

After leaving the border, we traveled to Chiang Mai for a few days, to meet with translators and printers. We did all this traveling in our van. There were 7 of us in all. Pook, Anne, and Carolyn all accompanied us, but by the time we got ready to leave Chiang Mai, the 5 of us "old folks" had had all we could take. We hired a driver and let the 2 young ladies, Pook and Anne, bring the van home to Bangkok. Like I have said many times, "getting old is not for sissies." We came home on Friday or Saturday, and Sunday morning and evening, Bro. Larry preached at the church They really liked his preaching style, although it was different from their own. Once he shouted and everybody jumped about a foot, then everybody laughed. Nobody knows but me how much I miss Larry's preaching. It was so good to have them here for almost 2 weeks.

Larry and LaRue left on Monday night and Tuesday morning, Tom and I flew back up to Chiang Mai for a missions conference sponsored by one of the missionaries up there. It was a very excellent conference and we met a lot of real nice folks. We came home Saturday the 31st, and went back to work on Monday, Feb 2nd. I had to begin sorting out the finances that I hadn't touched in almost 3 weeks. On Thursday, our daughter, Lisa Johnson, gave birth to our 4th grandbaby, Levi Taylor Johnson. Both of them are doing well. Our daughter and her husband, Brian Johnson, are missionaries in the country of Lithuania. They have been there 11 years.

Oh, yeah, I missed something in here. On the 1st of February, 2 young men from Lehigh Valley BC came. They will be with us for a few days, then they move on to Indonesia, and then back to us for a few more days next month. Tom and these guys left Sunday morning for a trip out of the country to a place that shall remain anonymous. This brings me up to date. Today is Monday, February 4th. Pook, Anne, Carolyn, and I are all taking the day off. Last week was very busy and stressful and today we crash. At the moment, I think they went to the bowling alley. Me? I'm blogging.