Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In a previous post, I mentioned how our camp pictures disappeared. Well I was digging around a CD which had some utilities on it and there was a program (about my 10th try at trying to recover the SD RAM from the camera after one of the teens accidentally deleted the whole camp set). Well before my eyes, there it was popping one picture at a time into the camera.
So these pictures are "Redeemed" in a real sence. Now I can share them with you.

Thirty two campers from Sawang Dandin and Santisuk Baptist Churches at LIFE camp

At least most of us!

Even Miss Kaew was a teacher helper (and she is pretty good in English having worked as a fellow teacher with us for 5 years) teaching children of campers.

Don's class of High Schoolers at English Camp. Work and fun.
Gail Teaching -- starting out with just 7 on how to teach English.
Super Class! Ending up with nearly 30 after many heard about her subject matter Gail was teaching to her students.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Naval Captain, Sailor, Pastor and Spiritual Father

A recent guest coming through our center was a retired Naval Captain for the US Navy who had been serving in Thailand in the past. Duane is now not only a Pastor in USA, but also the "spiritual father" of some of the local young people here. Pastor Duane Harper and his wife, Dianne came up to meet an unofficial "adopted" Thai daughter he and his wife met here many years ago. At that time, they were involved in visiting a Baptist church planting ministry in Bangkok and met a beautician, the mother of Miss Nut, now one our our teens.
As Duane told the story, Miss Nut's mom kindly invited Duane and Dianne to Sawang Dandin a few years ago and the grand mother welcomed them into their family as not only friends but family (a Thai form of artificial kinship). For Duane and Dianne this was a chance to show the Lord's love to an unsaved family and they took prayerful opportunity to join as a "Dad and Mom" for Miss Nut. Now her spiritual Dad as well, to their delight.
Duane and his wife met little Miss Nut, then a fourth grade girl and encouraged her to pursue a good education offering to help her and then brought her to us for help in English Classes. After they introduced her to us, then they returned to USA and continued in their ministry, praying faithfully for Nut and her family. In successive visits, they helped out with her needs and continued to encourage her to study well and again brought her to us. Nut was saved in classes earlier this year.

Since Nut's village was a long drive from our home, we asked Nut to consider bringing fellow villagers when we go and pick her up to make the drive worthwhile. Soon that trip to pick up just one little girl grew in numbers as Nut invited friends to fill a entire van load of children. Soon I had so many from her village grouping that I decided to hire a local truck in her village to help bring that group of youth saving me a lot of travel time each time we opened the doors for special classes. One by one, Nut and many of her friends grew in understanding, as they not only studied English, but the Bible, became Christians. She has recently passed her 14th birthday and continues to grow spiritually. Amazingly Nut and her friends have on their own with a little help from us, bought their own Bibles, memorized many key passages of Scripture, and have shared their faith with others. Many of their friends have also come to the Lord. This is a picture of Nut and some friends at a English Camp (From left, Nut's Best friend, Oom, also a new Christian, Miss Nut, Miss Aoh, Miss Kunya an adult helper, Miss Ann-- baptized in May, and Kristen Caynor, a MK who is an age mate).

How delighted Pastor Duane and his wife were when they met Nut this time and heard from her own mouth, "I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior." Last Saturday, we had a lot of fun with our growing English Classes with Pastor Duane and Diane helping out with not only English Classes but the music since Diane is a wonderful Piano player.

I invited them to share in our Saturday Bible time/English Classes and also asked if he would preach for our two Church services on Sunday here in Sawang Dandin and also at Santisuk Baptist Church, through my translation into Thai. It was a wonderful time studying from John 1. 1-14 and Joshua 6.1-6 together. The passage in Joshua was preached at the Santisuk Baptist Church and focused on the confidence in the Lord the Lord's people had to have to be victorious over Jerico and an application to our lives today as we face difficulties.

The Harper family are sweet servants of the Lord and blessed with a gift of encouragement. They unfortunately had limited time (as many pastors do since they are on "personal vacation" here) but we really appreciated the gift of encouragement and ministry they shared here. We were exhausted as drivers and counsellors at camps, for two camps in a row so we also welcomed the ministry help they offered.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Day at camp.

Here are some of the kids after breakfast just before we travel 10 hours home. From Left to right, Miss Nut, Miss Oom, and Miss Michelle a tent maker school teacher from the Philippines and one of the encouragers for these kids. LIFE Camp this year was a special blessing with 550 campers and nearly one hundred decisions for Christ. We took three van loads to camp 10 hours from our churches to a mountain resort in Nakhon Nayok. We baptized Mr. Boss (his nickname) in a river near the mountain campground. Boss was saved at our Santisuk Baptist Church a number of months ago. Sadly we lost all of our digital pictures when one of the teens borrowed our camera to take a few pictures--perhaps she pushed the wrong button? But we have had a wonderful time at camp. God provided miraculously for our expenses this year, in spite of the poor economy and many pressures on our bank book. All of the camp expenses this were provided through a special gift for our ministry. Two local High school Junior men, Isara and Satit (twins) who went to the camp were among the 96 campers saved this year. They attended both churches here this last Sunday, this time as brothers and born again Christians. All in all this has been a blessed school break here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Heart for Service - Mike Bosley

One of our supporting churches, Carleton Community Baptist Church, has a member who corresponds with us and, of course, has been involved in prayer and support of the ministry here, Mike Bosley. Mike is an Electronic Engineer and travels to Asia regularly on business with his company and asked if he could swing by on a side trip. We invited him to participate in our Light Camp this year as guest speaker. For Mike it was an opportunity to see a ministry he and his church have supported and actually get a chance to get involved first hand. He already loved Thai food and was looking forward to this side trip. He brought lots of small gifts (like coffee for us!) and sweets for the kids. But the real blessing was sharing his life and heart with us through translation into the local language. He spoke in English (after all it is an English Camp!) and I translated for Mike.

Brother Mike, I am sure, was amazed with the way the Lord has had his hand on our ministry here. Even the little things that happened while he was here show the wonderful power of the Lord displayed on His work here. As Mike shared the simple and profound message of the Gospel here, many first time campers heard the clear message of salvation for the first time. We praise the Lord how he is working among the people here.

English Camp a great sucess - Thank goodness for Back Ups?!

Our 2008 Light Camp Staff as follows:
Miss June, Gail, Miss Kaew, Mike Bosley (our guest speaker) , JoyLynn, Michelle, Me (Don Craft), Miss Kanya, and Tangmo.

We finished our English Camp entitled, "Light Camp" on Tuesday, but for our center, the blessing will be an on going boost to our overall ministry. One special event was the first real service opportunity for Miss Kanya, a lady from our Santisuk church who was baptized last year, who now has a great desire to serve the Lord here. (second from right).

Certainly we had a number of set backs as we started. For example:

On the Friday morning before the camp, a hard drive which had much of the Power points and lessons to be used in the camp, died! It simply refused to turn on! That failure took some recent data. Fortunately I had back ups of other materials done recently on another hard disk so we were able to recover and go ahead with no other difficulties and other things went well.

We plan ahead but we can never anticipate what may happen as the school term ends and some schools in the area extended classes a few days to make up for lost class days to meet annual minimum teaching days requirements.

One village where we had a number of new prospective students had a village merit making on the first day of our camp. Most of these children went with their families to the merit ceremonies.

Our septic system for the youth center was taxed to the limit by constant rains and lots of girls some of whom spent the nights for our camp (we always have more girls than boys for classes) and our youth center sewer backed up late one evening. We were forced to re-opened a bathroom we had "retired" off my office which was being used for storage and that helped us get through the camp. I was unsure how long it would take to find a "honey wagon" to clean out the full sewer.

But there was an amazing resolution to the problem early the next day while picking up some children for youth camp, we were almost home when I spotted a "honey wagon" traveling into our city. They were being stopped at a police check, so we flagged them down and told them to follow us to the center. They saw the van load of local kids and only charged us about 8 dollars for the clean out and everything was back to normal again with no interruption to our camp! How wonderful it is when the Lord provides for our needs in big and little things. Now we know we need to extend our sewer some with a first hand test -- so I visited with our builder and we now have a plan for doubling our capacity.

In spite of these things we had a full house each day. It was almost like we had a different group each day for Camp.

On the positive side, one of our college aged Christians asked us if her mother could come and help with housekeeping for family income. That mom saw our center and invited three children the first days, seven the second day and twenty four the final day of camp from her village. Our van was packed.

On the final evening of our camp, a young lady who was a friend of some of the eleventh grade girls and a former LIFE camper stopped by and together with one of our volunteer teachers, Miss Kanya, arranged a plan to send fifteen more girls to the annual LIFE camp next week -- this took a lot of phone calls but because the host church of LIFE camp reopened registration to fill up at the last minute, we are able to send this whole group. How we praise the Lord for Miss Kanya.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Light Camp next week!

Yesterday, a number of prospective students came and registered for our English "Light Camp" as we get closer to the first day of classes. We are delighted and trust the Lord that these will be days of continual blessing here in Sawang Dandin. Our "regular" students have been inviting their friends as well as the promotion that we expect when we placed posters in the local schools.

Our Saturday English class had 47 students enrolled. Even our Wednesday Bible/prayer meeting class has been full. We had 37 for prayer meeting.

We are excited and anticipate a good showing for our Camp in spite of the fact that many of the local schools have not officially closed for the mid-term break (each October).

In two weeks, we will be taking two van loads to LIFE camp in Nakhon Nayok. Registration for Life camp has been closed for two weeks and we filled up our quota quickly.