Friday, August 31, 2007

Our first picture is kind of a "polar bear in a snow storm"--which is really a picture of a worker painting my office now almost completely restored (other than furniture). Next week, I get my office back. Horray!!

This next picture is our dining room area, featuring Matt, our electrician, a young man who has been part of our Sawang Dandin church a number of years. We are enjoying our evening meal, with Gail pausing to take the picture, just after a long day and hooking up our ceiling fan, and lighting.

This last shot is a picture of our cluttered "Great Room" or church auditorium, with a completed ceiling other than some finishing work also fiinished today August 31, 2007.

As you can guess we are excited to see how this new facility will be used of the Lord for his glory.

Praise the Lord for the Lord's supply of our needs.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dining Room area

The next project on the list of projects is the kitchen dining room area of the house. You can see in this picture Gail standing in the back door by where the dining room will be. Perhaps we will put a suspended ceiling lamp here. Our workers designed the enclousures for the roof supports using artifical wood siding (to prevent termite invasion). The walls of the kitchen (left) still need plastering. We decided to replace them last week since they were twisted and very poorly make originally and did not match the new walls.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Outside nearly finished!

From the burnt out shell our house was 15 weeks ago, we now have a new, spacious one storey home. While freshly cemented walls cannot be painted for about a month, you can see how nice this house will look from the road on the North side of the house.
The men are now focusing on the interior finishing. There is a lot to do yet. Floors, ceilings, electrical, landscaping and other finishing work still has to be done.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rebuilding our house

Plan for Rebuilding - It is now 16 weeks after the fire.
Week one of May 1-5 Return from week of youth Camp on Friday and assessing fire damage.

Setting up housekeeping in the garage building, "the honeymoon cottage."
Week two of May 6-12 Inspection of fire by local authorities, moving all items out of the house (some to storage at our church center) and begin removal of damaged wooden upstairs. The downstairs is made of plastered cement block using support poles and these poles were duplicated and have become part of the new construction. All of the wooden upstairs was damaged and had to be removed. Wood is being kept for future use such as door frames, church furniture such as pews and pulpits.
Week three of May 13-19 Continuation of the removal of the wooden house walls and ceiling and clean up of rubble. Removal of three large trees was necessary to accommodate construction of rebuilding as one storey building entirely out of steel and cement.
Week four of May 20-June 2 Building starts with the installation of 5 new support poles and initial work for footings. Removal of old flooring, drop ceilings, wooden portions of the stairs--no longer needed.
Week one of June: 3-9 Preparing for pouring the new floor cement including laying reinforcing steel mesh.

Week two of June 10-16 Building 6 roof trusses. Week three of June. 17-23 Setting trusses and welding everything in together.
Week four of June 24-30 Roofing the entire structure begun. We are using insulated steel roofing with large overhangs to aid in cooling on hot days.
Week one of July, 1-7 Building cement block walls enclosing the addition, sawing lumber into windows frames, setting windows and door frames.
Week two of July, 8-14 Removal of "interior walls" that had windows. Begining the interior walls for a bathroom and bedrooms. West Soffit and north gable openings enclosed. Front and back doors are hung.
Week three of July 15-21 Finish the back gable enclosure and begining the plastering of walls.
Week three of July 22-28 Our bedroom and bathroom nearly completed. Ceilings started. Continued to plaster inside walls.

Month of August Rains slowed down progress during August. Still, we were making progress plastering all of the interior and exterior walls. The bedrooms and bathroom ceilings were installed. Initial electrical and phone connections were installed and the bathroom and bedroom completed (other than paint). During August we moved our bedroom into the finished bedroom and removed the temporary ceiling in the old office preparing for remodeling these rooms.

August 19, 2007
Rain (which the local workers depend upon for rice planting) continue. More finish work has been accomplished during the last week with just two workers. We have decided to remove the kitchen walls since they were poorly constructed originally (kind of "shaky!" and crooked) and redo the kitchen to make Gail's domain more comfortable and useful.

What is left to do in September and following?
Electrical wiring (lights, plugs, fans, and so on).
Screens, antitheft bars, glass window panes for some of the still unfinished windows.

Remodeling Thai style bathroom.
Ceilings and floors in the auditorium.
Remodeling of Office and kitchen
Painting and trim

Landscaping (this includes clean up and leveling property)
Using up wood for furniture (before the termites get it!)

Another project we would like to do as the Lord supplies, is to convert the temporary living quarters which was our garage and storage building into living quarters for Miss Kaew Petchompu, the single co-worker and her mother who are our helpers at the Baptist center. When this is finished, we can save monthly rent and other expenses of our rental property, which is where our church presently meets.

This future project, while smaller, will mean we will have to install more doors, walls, plaster walls, install new electrical wiring, an additional bathroom and drop ceilings and a new parking area along side to replace the present garage which will be part of the converted

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Monsoons finally start in NE Thailand and "Mother's Day" in Thailand

It has been a realitively "dry" rice planting season so far -- that is, not enough rain for rice farmers to do their fields. We knew if and when the rains really started, we would not have workers coming since they have to get their rice fields planted-something peasent rice farmers depend upon. Well, the news today is, a tropical depression moving into our part of Thailand has brought the rains our workers were hoping for and sure enough, we have had a couple of quiet days here. (See the "Red line" moving west on the weather map). We are happy for them, of course. This storm has been moving closer daily and is now just about a few hundred miles east and slightly north of us. It has literally rained all day for four days now.
Actually for Gail and I it is sort of a relief since we are "over the hump" of the getting the roof and walls up now. With no one here, we are able to take a few days without overseeing a houseful of workers and extra cooking and cleaning needed. Isn't the Lord's timing great! We needed a break. We are enjoying our better situation and there are lots of little things about the house to keep us busy anyway.
Praise the Lord for a dry house in a country where there is flooding all around us. Yesterday we just took a "shopping" trip and relaxed and took our time. We bought some building supplies and tools needed for finishing the house, some grocery items we can't get locally, and looked at some furniture and other things for outfiting our house when finished.
August 12th is Thailand's mother's day. This yearly celebration is HM Queen Sirikit's birthday. We found some nice little gifts for our mothers in our church. Gail found some things she needed for her kitchen. The Bible tells us to honor our mothers (Proverbs 1:8 ff). It is nice to be reminded of the great gift we all have with our mothers.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

34 blessed years together

Saturday night, August 4th, was a happy event for the two of us as we celebrated 34 years of marriage. We invited our co-workers and our good friends to join us in a lovely meal and homemade pie to share our celebration. We gathered very comfortably with nine of us in our new partially finished home (all in our "Great Room" as Gail calls it).

Together we serve the Lord here in Thailand. We trust the Lord for many years service here. Of course, God has used YOU, our supporters, to be a blessing to us and God continues to bless His work here. Today in our newest church, Santisuk Baptist Church, we had truly a full house. Every seat was full, we had two seated on the stairs, and the song leader had to sit on the piano bench during the message. So far the Santisuk Baptist Church is meeting in one of the member's home but perhaps soon they will have to look for a new meeting hall! They have a building fund and perhaps they will have to trust the Lord to expand soon.

How blessed we are to have reared 3 godly children and now have two son-in-laws and a daughter-in-law who are also living for the Lord. To those six, we have added grandsons and granddaughters, making our clan now a dozen.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127.3

Please pray for us as we continue the house work. The inside is all plastered now and most of the outside is done. We are now in the finishing stage (not "finished" but the items such as lighting, flooring, screens, anti-theft bars, drop ceilings, painting, trim and such).

Gail and I have been sleeping in our newly finished bedroom with attached bathroom. I have moved part of my office into the bedroom while the remodeling is being done on the office and kitchen. How nice it is to know that we are "in" our bedroom after three months of temporary living. God has blessed beyond our dreams and showed us his power to bless those who depend wholly on Him.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Eph 3:20-21