Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Weeks of Intensive English Day Camp

Here I am preparing the Certificates of Completion for our 50+ students who studied our first week of Intensive English classes, a "Day Camp" where students spent the entire day in English and Bible classes. They went home for sleeping and breakfast. We had the students register and pay for meals provided for them for lunch and supper. We had lots of help thanks to our new ABWE missionary staff who are all still in Thai Language Study in Bangkok. They welcomed the break from heat and pressure of Bangkok and gave us a real boost here. The adults and young English students fell in love with them and many trusted the Lord during this week.

To our amazement, when the week of Intensive English was "over" almost all of the students wanted to add another week to it. Our full staff had to leave, but we carried on for another week providing a full day of classes, games and fun for the kids. Even now, they still want to continue. Perhaps we will continue through out the Thai summer break.

" Ice cream break" thanks to Miss Lisa Morgan, one of our great teachers this week. And of course, a chance to pose for a picture doing something they love to do. Miss Ning, the young lady on the right, is one of our helpers, a partially retarded and crippled girl who has trusted the Lord here. She has a good relationship with the children and helps us with "crowd control." She also helps with the students we pick up for classes, opening and closing the van doors, remembering where kids go (it gets to be a blur for me sometimes!). She loves to help our center and we love her.
Having 10 helpers was a great blessing here. But one of the great things about a project like this was Christian fellowship around breakfast (our only western style meal during the week). Gail made lots of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee and fruit each day for our team. From the left are Michelle Garcia, Lesa Morgan, short termer, Deana Zipp, Ricky Caynor, Rick Caynor, Tangmo (from our Santisuk Church-our musician), Kristen and Lisa Caynor. (Bethany Johnson and Miss Kaew are partially hidden).
Here is a picture of Miss Michelle with one of her students from 9th grade, Miss Siliam. Siliam trusted the Lord this week along with others in our classes. Siliam told us that she could tell there was something going on here that she knew she wanted in her life. She heard the gospel many times during the week and trusted the Lord when she understood the message. Many others trusted the Lord or heard the gospel for the first time. We trust the Lord to continue the work started duing these blessed weeks.

Miss Michelle Garcia, is one lovely and talented young woman. She came to Thailand from her home in the Philippine Islands where she grew up in a good Christian home. Her family members are leaders in the Baptist churches in the Philippines which grew out of the pioneering work of ABWE missionaries many generations ago. Michelle, came to Thailand seeking employment to help her family, but always attached herself to a church planting ministry. She has spent many years teaching in Thai universities and is now teaching in a elementary school in Bangkok suburbs. One of the reasons the youth love her so much is her great ability to learn language. She speaks Thai fluently and sings beautifully even though she never had any formal Thai language study. She also has a big heart for the youth here. And she continues to stay connected via phone calls and SMS messages with her students. Here she is leading singing.

Bible Memory that works!

In our youth ministry here in Sawang Dandin, we have stumbled upon a clever method of helping our youth memorize verses. I used to erase one word at a time, from a white board. Sometimes I would add a cartoon or something to help with memory. It was a lot of work "on the fly" and took a lot of time but I observed kids liked it. But with an digital video projector, we can prepare multible slides using power-point which substitute cleverly chosen icons representing an idea, one word at a time. Sometimes we might chose a pun, or humorous illustration for a word --size it to the sentence size and replace it. For the children (and the Adults!) it is a challenging word game! They not only repeat with great gusto each small change, but it provides a lasting word association method that helps them remember verses quickly and with enduring recall. The longer the verse the more word substitutions and repeats. Each time we start the memory time, there is a round of clapping and cheers--they love it. Here a second grader is quoting from memory 1 John 1:9, just learned. All thirty students were able to do just as well. Interesting enough, they have fun reviewing the verses as they get together in play time, recalling from memory sometimes helping each other, using the mental images of the clip art and icons chosen for the memory verse.

This is just one illustration how, our video projector has become one of the greatest tools in our ministry. I had always thought it would be nice to have one but they are still quite expensive items. This projector was provided for us through an amazing set of circumstances (amazing how the way the Lord works!) which included a automobile accident for a fellow missionary. This nearly destroyed the projector a few years ago. He replaced it, and gave it to us. We had used the projector after a partial repair, from time to time, but because the screen quality was poor, we rarely used it.
A few months ago, I was able to restore it to full function and had our workmen affix it to our auditorium ceiling and now it is instantly usable for any images displayed through a personal computer. This includes Christian movies and cartoons in Thai and English, digital photos of the classes (they like to see their images), Bible memory, Bible Study text, announcements, English lessons and projected songs and choruses for rally time. How the Lord has blessed the ministry here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Opening of English Classes

Our English Evangelism classes are off to a good start. Lots of people, including Adults, teens, preteens and primary schools children. Our "ABC" adults are having a great time learning and reviewing English. Each class has lots of Bible memory, songs in English and Thai and fun ways to approach English.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Emma Elizebeth

This is a picture of Ashley presenting her new younger sister Emma Craft (Joshua and Bekah) born just a few hours before on March 14th. Emma is our seventh grandchild. God bless this beautiful family.

Full Week of Intensive English Evangelism

This morning starts our first day of a week of intensive English Evangelism outreach here in Sawang Dandin. Many weeks and lot of preparations have gone into this week. Today our helpers, fellow missionaries, volunteers and family are here. We begin at 9 AM Monday morning and will have three full sessions of classes using ONLY English for an entire week. Lots of fun activities are planned including games, singing, plays and other aspects of the program. But of course the important message of the week is the Gospel.