Monday, October 22, 2007

Life Camp and Workers Retreat, progress!

One of our young men, Art, was baptized in the waterfall pool on the campgrounds of LIFE camp. Here are some pictures and we trust you will pray for him. Art has a good testimony and has been winning his friends and family members to the Lord. Pray for him and future decisions for the Lord. Our fellow pastor, Surasit (below right) preformed the baptismal ceremony. He is a full time school teacher but announced this week how he desires to give his life full time to the Lord and "retire" early from teaching. How we rejoice to see true growth among our churches.

We just completed the week of "LIFE" camp (an acrostic for Learning Intensive Free English) hosted by one of our fellow churches in Bangkok last Thursday. We took four vans from our area with students from our local schools and colleges. Our purpose in English camp, of course, is English Evangelism and we praise the Lord for the many presentations of the Gospel during the week through preaching and "buddy time" and other opportunities. Most of the campers have been under the teaching of the Word of God in our local ministries and this is a great time for the campers to be away from family and peer pressure -- it is no wonder that each year up to 75 campers place their faith in Jesus Christ. One of our teens was baptized in the waterfall pool there and at least one young lady, "Bia" trusted the Lord from our area. There are so many blessings to share with you we could write many pages in our Blog.

Of course, one thought that stuck Gail and me as we traveled home after camp, and that is this time we were returning to a lovely nearly completed home and ministry place. What a contrast to the situation we faced when we were traveling home from the annual camp and heard our house was afire. In the end we believe God wanted to bless us in a special way that we never experienced before and he had to test us first. And we can testify that we found the Lord faithful in the hard times as well as the easy times.

Here are some recent pictures of the interior of our facility at the Sawang Dandin Baptist Church:

This is our new "Auditorim" facing toward the entrance and the front windows. Gail is sewing (her hobby!) In this picture you can see the new curtains which really have dressed up the auditorium. The second picture is a a picture of the "living room" which is a corner in the large room.

Below is a snap shot of the newly remodeled two bedroom Thai style "parsonage" recently purchased adjacent to our church building. This will be the home initially for Miss Kaew, our single woman co-worker and her mother. The workmen just finished the interior and exterior today (the yard needs some cleaning up of course!).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This is an artists conception of the new Youth building, Garage and storage building which will be under construction during November. At first we were thinking about making it housing for Miss Kaew but the new additional property added next door was much nicer and will be a nice "Parsonage" for the future church here. The youth building will now have space for two new bathrooms on front of the building doubling our bathroom space and providing the youth building with new bathrooms. The right door will be the garage and the left door will be outside access for the storage room (Lawn mowers, sport equipment and other items). The large 24 foot by 36 foot center room will be suitable for ping pong tables, English Classes, and other youth activities. It will also have two guest bedrooms usable for Christian youth from other districts who may be studying in our district. The overall structure is quiet large at 45 feet by 40 feet (including the bathrooms). We have recently replaced the entire roof with tile, making the building quiet a bit nicer looking than before.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Remodeling the Additional Property for Co-worker Miss Kaew

This is a panoramic shot of the new lot adjacent, just purchased as an addition to our church/house center. It is now being remodeled with new floors, ceilings, bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and a fresh coat of paint. We have agreed with our carpenters to finish this for us while we are in camps and other activities over the month of October. The "Road" we put in here goes through the back of our church/house center. The entire cost will be just over $5,000 dollars. We are especially happy because we are now free of a very messy and noisy drunk neighbor who sold the house and property to us for just $4,500. How the Lord has blessed to make our new property even better today.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Finishing touches, Property expansion, Youth center

Over the last week, our volunteer helpers from Lapeer, Michigan, Ed and Carol Bowman, helped us with some of the finishing touches which really take a lot of time. Ed designed and assisted in the creation of some new kitchen cabinets, has been renewing our furniture, some of which was damaged during the fire and rebuilding process. Carol and Gail have had a wonderful time, doing things women like to do -- fellowshipping and working together as Carol has used her gifts, encouraging, cooking, shopping, sorting through the jumble of things as we now start living in our new home, and most of all being a friend for Gail. Ed is an employee in the automobile industry, and Carol is a nurse, but they took their three week "vacations" so they could serve the Lord here helping on the mission field. What a blessing!
One of the many help projects Ed helped accomplish this week was the design and layout of new kitchen cabinets (in this picture, still unfinished) made from wood left over from the removal of the upstairs after the fire.

Another pleasant surprise this week was the offer from our neighbor for purchase of land and a small house in an adjacent property at a bargain price of $4,500 dollars, providing more road frontage and additional housing for our Thai co-worker, Miss Kaew and her mother. This house will be a lot nicer housing for them after it is remodeled and will free up the other building (our former garage building) for future use as our youth center, and garage.

This "Youth Center" will provide space for things like additional class rooms, computer lab, game room, and parking for our van. All of this will be rent free facilities for the growing Sawang Dandin Baptist Church.