Friday, January 27, 2012

In my last update, I said that I would write again in a few days or a week. What a liar I am. It has been almost one month, but time flies by so fast that I can miss whole days sometime. There was this movie I saw once with Richard Gere. He was a defense attorney defending some nutcase on the pretext that he (the nutcase) couldn't remember killing somebody because he "lost time." This is not exactly the same thing, because I know for a fact that if I had killed anybody I would remember. I have been working steadily for nearly 2 weeks learning a new computer program so that I will be up to speed when our new video equipment arrives here in Thailand. So, you see, it has been a concentrated time of doing the same thing every day. One day runs into the next and before you know it 2 weeks is "gone." However, if during that 2 week period I had actually killed anybody, it would have been out of the ordinary, and I would have remembered.

Moving on. It is now Friday night at 11:00 PM. Tom, Carolyn, Pook and I went out to our regular Friday after work evening meal. Pook had been listening to Tom and I talk about Korean food. We both hate it, but I hate it more than Tom does. He can actually eat some of it. I, on the other hand, can stomach very little of it. So Pook decided that she just had to have Korean food just to see what it was like for herself. There was a new Korean restaurant recently opened pretty close to us, so we opted to go there for our evening meal. Unfortunately, the food was very authentic. I chose a dish that I was familiar with (did I mention that we lived in Pusan, South Korea for 6 months?) Anyway we all ordered our food. Mine was beef soup and 765 tiny side dishes, just like they do it in Korea. Everybody else got a main dish and they also got 765 tiny side dishes that were different from our tiny side dishes. Washing dishes in a Korean restaurant must be a nightmare to die for. Everybody liked their main dish, but the side dishes were a real cultural extravaganza for Pook. Kimchie, which can only be described as a variety of weird veggies all soaked in vinegar until they are fermented, is kind of the Korean national dish. It comes in millions of varieties and I can barely tolerate any of them. I am not a vinegar person. But Pook is a very brave person who likes a challenge and likes to learn and try new things. So she tried everything that we had and we had about 9 kinds of Kimchie. As we were leaving the restaurant, I asked her if she enjoyed her cultural experience and she said that she did very much enjoy the experience. I asked her if she liked the food enough to eat it again. She said "No." I took this to mean that she did like the cultural experience of learning what Korean food actually tasted like, but she didn't like the food itself. On the way home in the car she mentioned that she didn't feel too well. Kinda like me the first time I ate Korean food. Tonight was the first time in 10 years that I have eaten Korean food and hopefully I won't have to eat it again for another 10. Next Friday night we have plans to eat Japanese. Pook likes raw fish and loves other Japanese food as well. I only like raw fish if it is cooked, preferably deep fried in nice light batter. I have trouble even watching people eat raw fish. I don't like the smell of raw fish either, so Friday night should be another interesting experience. I am going to sit as far away from Pook as I can, so that I do not see or smell the raw fish. When I walk past fresh, raw fish in the market, I have to hold my breath and hurry through before I have to breathe again. I must have had a really traumatic experience as a small child in the fish department to have these issues.

I talked to my daughter on the phone today. She lives in Lithuania. I was supposed to call her at Christmas. The last time I talked to her on the phone was December the 12, which is her birthday. I must have "lost time" somewhere in there. But they are all OK. If I don't hear from them, I know that everything is OK. If things are not going well, I hear immediately. Likewise, if I call her ever...she wonders if somebody died or is in the hospital.

Everybody is OK. Pray for us. Time is flying so fast that we are losing it. We need health and strength to do our jobs. The Lord is blessing our ministry here in Thailand and we are looking forward to some things coming together that have been in the works for awhile. We will let you know more about this as the time gets nearer and more finalized. In the meantime, I will write more later, maybe soon, or maybe not. Depends on if I find that time that I lost somewhere.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 is GONE!!!

Another year has flown by, we are all older and hopefully wiser, however...we are not any faster. The office here in Chiang Mai has been closed since Dec. 23 and will reopen again on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd.

Pook went home to LopBuri for Christmas with her family. Everybody else stayed here in town and rested and enjoyed cool weather. It is nice to wake up of natural causes. No alarm clock to jolt you into consciousness , just coasting awake as the sun filters through the window. Really nice.

As many of you may have noticed, the world did not come to an end at the dawning of 2012 like the Mayan calendar predicted. The Mayans practiced human sacrifice which proves that they didn't have their act together anyway, so why would anybody listen to them? So now, since the world didn't actually come to an end, it is time to plan for the year ahead. I was waiting till today to actually begin planning just in case, but now it is time to get it in gear. I only have 3 and a half hours to get 2012 mapped out. Here are my plans so far. Tomorrow morning I plan to get up, Lord willing.

The next part may take a little more time to sort out. However, the following day is Tuesday and the office opens back up which means back to the alarm clock jolting. We do not know what 2012 holds for any of us, but we can look back on 2011 and see God's hand of blessing and provision in our ministry and in our personal lives and in the lives of our family, friends, and co-workers.

Pook saw both of her parents accept Christ as Savior, Tom and my granddaughter, Kaylee, was saved in 2011. Thousands of Burmese Bibles went to their home. The illustrated Bible story book saw several new languages translated, one of which was Russian. The devil fought that Russian translation for all he was worth, but God had the last word and it was finally finished after almost a 3 year-long struggle to get it translated and proofread. Our Pakistani translators finally won their refugee status victory with the UNHCR, and are now on the fast track to relocation. They are growing spiritually by leaps and bounds and have real joy in the Lord. The persecution they have suffered in Pakistan is unfathomable to those of us who have never had to walk that path.

These victories were certainly not without struggles. The whole team here has been through the wringer with health issues, financial problems, and all the other things that satan throws in the path of those who are striving to serve God. But God has seen us through and we are looking ahead to 2012 with the anticipation that He will do the same again this year.

We do actually have a few plans for the upcoming year. We plan to expand our video ministry and are now purchasing the equipment to do this. This is a real step of faith, because the equipment to do this is not cheap. We are waiting on the Lord to see what and/or who He will send our way this year to help with this. We, of course, will always be striving to get the printed Word into countries where it is desperately needed. That project has been our life for over 33 years, and we are plowing forward with that, as we always have.

I will write more a little later, possibly this week or next. Until then I will answer a question that is asked me all the time by almost everybody. Everybody wants to know what we need and what they should pray for. I tell everybody the same thing. We need health, and strength to carry on, please pray for that. However, on the physical level I would like for you to pray for us to have a dependable vehicle. We have a van that is on its last leg and a car that goes into the auto shop yet again on Tuesday. Neither of these vehicles is dependable enough to leave town in, so we have to rent a vehicle every time we need a border run for visas or shipment of literature. So, please pray that the Lord would provide us with a good vehicle of His choosing that will meet the needs that we have.

Talk to y'all later on down the trail.