Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gail and My Dad

Gail has been visiting Hannah in Chattanooga Tennessee for the last couple days and getting through jet lag. Today (May 16) Roy, my brother, is picking up Dad and delivering him to Gail and my Daughter. On Monday May 18th they will fly to Michigan and see my other two children and their spouses and our other six grandchildren. Dad will be getting a visa for Thailand while waiting and having a nice visit with his family members and friends who are living in Detroit suburbs. Hopefully all paperwork will be done in time for scheduled flight date, May 25th. Then Dad and Gail will fly to Bangkok and I will be picking them up there. We have some paper work in Bangkok and will return to Sawang Dandin in a day or two. Then a new chapter in our lives, "Living with Grandpa" will begin. We think it will be fun and while extra work, a blessing to our lives. Asians here choose this status as the Asian way. So we trust it will be a good testimony and Dad will have more of a part in our work here. Dad has been supporting the ministry in Thailand for the last 29 years already, so why not! We appreciate your fellowship in prayer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News around Sawang Dandin

One of the most interesting new items and one that has kept us quite busy for the last few weeks (outside of our regular ministry responsibilities which we have not let slide!) is the prospect of bringing my father, Donald Craft, Sr. here to be with us. Dad is now 80 years old and has a good retirement but unable to live alone at this stage. He had been attached to the farm property that Dad and Mom purchased for retirement about 20 years ago in Paragould, Arkansas. The problem is after Mom's passing away, Dad was pretty much alone. Dad had remarried back in 2001 to a very nice widow who was a nurse but after her stroke, her children would not let her return to Arkansas fearing for her well-being. After a number of years of separation, and Dad's refusal to leave his farm they annulled his marriage which resolved a lot of legal and tax issues facing them. So Dad was alone again and life is complicated when you are nearly 80 with bills, taxes, and deteriorating health which meant Dad could not drive and so on. Finally Dad was hospitalized just before his 80th birthday. Dad is still quite sharp but at 80 years, he needs family and we are the best option for him, I think for this at this time. We believe that Dad can help our ministry by being here too. We have plenty of room for him and he can eat with us and we can take care of his needs just as though we had children. But in Dad's case, he is paying his own way -- because of retirement and SS something that few children can claim. We also think that this may be provision for our ministry, not only in having another helper for our English classes and a person to help out, but also with some of the financial pressures we are under considering the world wide financial crisis looming.

Gail, my wife, is currently in USA and having a great time with our grandkids as she prepares to receive Dad. I decided that I would rather Gail go so I can continue my work here and she can use her spare time doing grandmother things with our seven grandchildren. Besides, I hate air travel and Gail doesn't mind too much knowing she will see kids as well.
These are good days for my Father too since we are able to help him have a happier time with family and we can help him with keeping in touch with family using modern communications such as Email, phones (with my unlimited Vonage Phone service) and other things we can help his quality of life, not to mention eating his meals with one of the best cooks on earth, my wife. Other care issues such as house keeping, medications, housing, clothing and so on are much cheaper in Thailand, so we believe that this will be good stewardship with Dad's resources. If you care to comment or have questions, feel free to contact me at my regular email, or call me on our Vonage phone. 586-797-9019

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is Thailand still a remote country? Hardly

Last week Gail and I went to buy some Air Tickets for her return to pick up my Dad, w.
e stopped breifly at a brand new shopping center here called "Carerfour" (kind of like a Myers) which had a KFC, Dunkun Donuts, Dairy Queen and so on. On the way back to Sawang, we noticed another big mall going up and sure enough, a McDonalds Hamburgers is going in there too with all the other resturants. This means that not only we westerners are enjoying an occasional stop for a hamburger or KFC but a majority of Thais also like them. Who would have believed that cities in Thailand would become so much like a suburb in any American city when we arrived here 29 years ago when we first came to Thailand? But they still need people preaching the good news! No amout of western influence will provide eternal life in Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Church Camp

Children's special music in front of Camp auditorium with Theme poster for Theme, Walking Forward Together, a special World Missions emphasis this years.

Camp songs...what a lot of fun and laughs!

Ah, yes! Camp what a wonderful time for kids. Here skit practice.

Nearly 400 people at our annual Church camp in Chomtian district of Chonburi. The singing was great and the messages great and challenging.

Camp Music is prepared by a team from our Romprakhun Baptist Bible School. Here, introducing the Camp Theme song.