Monday, April 27, 2009

April Update

Hey guys. This last month in Thailand has been awesome. It's now hot season and its really... hot. It can get up into the 40’s but it feels like the high 40’s. We are lucky if it gets below 30 at night time.
What better way to enter the hot season with the worlds biggest water fight, Son Kran. The holiday comes from Thai tradition. Each year families get together to pay respects to the elderly by pouring water on there hands. If you look at some of my pictures you can check out how that looks. Well what I think must have happened was an old lady must of taken the kids water and dumped it on them and then started a big water fight. Out of this, we now have the worlds biggest annual water fight. Here in Bangsaen which is a very good spot for Son Kran , we had water fights for one week straight. The traffic was unbelievable. I cannot even explain to you how crazy it is, it is definitely the best holiday I have been apart of. This main road outside our church is packed for miles down, and everyone is in trucks throwing water at people and dancing. Thai people dancing are very funny to watch I am sorry for not getting a video but it is quite amusing. Although most of them are very drunk, which would explain most of it. As well people would run around smearing this white clay substance all over your face. I do not know exactly where this comes from I just figure it is just an excuse to touch people. One funny story from Son Kran. Monks are absolutely off limits to hit with water, usually. As this Song Taow was driving by, which is like a bus but in a truck form, we through water at it obviously because Son Taows are fun to hit because everyone is dry. That and open windows. Well there was a female monk in there and we didn’t realize until I looked and saw her very angry. Don’t hit monks not good, unless it’s an accident or pretend it is. During the nighttime there were concerts down at the beach. We saw, Thaitanium, which is a Thai rap group. Got to meet them actually after there show, talked to them briefly. We also saw Potatoe, you have to say that with a rising tone or else it doesn’t make scence. Just say it very enthusiastically. This was fun rocking out to songs that I had no idea what they were saying. Son Kran was awesome, loved it. 
Another thing you should all know was we had visa troubles again. Although that is all solved now because we flew to Malaysia on Tuesday to extend our Visas so we can stay in Thailand for the next month of our time. I have received some messages of people wondering what is going on in Thailand. To be honest it is played up, I feel anyway. There was a state of emergency, but that was more less for the politicians. They are not going after people or anything. There was a confrontation with the army and the army did open fire and there were 3 people I believe that were killed. It’s not that bad though, I live 45 minutes outside of Bangkok so in no way am I affected by it and I was in Bangkok during some of the protesting and it wasn’t that bad. If you are planning on traveling to Thailand, don’t worry you will be fine. As well I don’t know if I mentioned this in my last message but 10 people were baptized in Cachengsao 3 weeks ago. If you want to check my video’s and pictures I have them posted up. Praise God for this. This community is being transformed. I really want to see neighborhoods transformed like this in Vancouver.
 One more month for my time in Thailand. I may be writing you guys when I am back in Canada. This has been an amazing journey and I am sad to see it come to an end here. I have really come to love it here and I feel it may be a bit weird going back into our culture. God has taught me so much in these past 9 months. Dave asked the question, “In this time in Thailand, what has been the biggest result of it?” My answer is simple, I feel like my relationship has deepened with Jesus. Some of you may hear this and go, “Yah, easy for you to say you have been on missions in these last 7 months.” Just so everyone knows, something I learned being here, and Kenzi said this as well. I learned Missionaries have lives. It is actually no different than being at home. Not to mention Thailand is only 2.5 % Christian, but growing, praise God. My relationship has deepened to the point where my love for God is wanting to move out in action. My whole life as a Christian I constantly have people telling me, “ you need to read your bible, pray, tell people about Jesus, and serve him.” Obviously those things are true and it takes discipline. I am at the point though that nothing else matters than God. My love for Him is so deep that I want to serve him, I want to pray, I want to read my bible, I want to obey him and I want to tell others about him. This is coming out in a love for him. I don’t want to waste my life; I want to use it to bring glory to God. I do agree that we need to set disciplines for ourselves. But I think there is a point where this needs to be real and we actually want to do it. You do not need to go on a special program for this to happen. A great testimony is my buddy Kevin Johnston. I am so thankful that God has put a guy like him in my life. That guy is going hard for the Lord out of love for God. He did nothing this year other than reading his bible and listening to sermons. His love for God is unreal. The bible is going to answer why this happens, why this love for God outflows in our life. It all comes down to the holy spirit. He is the one who changes our hearts. 1 Though because of sin, our love and worship for God is damaged. We are likely wanting to love people, things, and experiences rather than God. A lot of people like to worship things as though it is a god. We like to poor ourselves out in praise and action to demons, people, things and experiences that we love in place of God.
God created a plan to free us from this false worship and join us in a reconciled loving relationship. God planned from the beginning to send His son Jesus or Immanuel “God with us in flesh”. That was the plan that we know of from Genesis 3 when Jesus was prophesied. Jesus Christ, God in flesh lived a perfect life as an example of our life of love for God and others. He died on the cross in place of us sinners and then three days later rose again to bring us a new life so that God the spirit would indwell in lost sinners, regenerating us and sealing us as Gods possession.
Romans 5:5 “Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
In John 21 Jesus asks Peter 3 times do you love me. Peter kept replying yes Jesus of course. But do you really love me, I mean just last week you denied me three times, so again are you sure you love me. We need to ask this to ourselves as well. Do you really love Jesus? Is this love being shown through your actions? Can people tell you have been changed by the gospel?
John 13:35 Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” There is this phenomenal article written by times magazine that you must read. I will post the link at the bottom. This known Atheist said in Time magazine and I quote, “ As an Atheist I truly believe Africa needs God.” He is not referring to Islam or anything like that. If you read the article he is talking about Christianity aka Jesus. This article blows my mind. THE GOSPEL IS CHANGING LIVES! Jesus is healing the sick! Jesus is freeing people from there sin! This thing is real! We cannot waste our lives. We must live missional lives in our communities. What are we waiting for? If you love God let this outpour through your life. People need to know about this Jesus. People are clueless; they have no idea what kind of God this is. I talked to some friends from the gym today; she thought Buddhism and Christianity was the same. I had to explain to her, MAI CHAI, aka NO there different. Buddhism you make merit, Christianity is you have faith and through that faith your heart is changed, your mind is changed to want to do the work of God. We are not based on a work system; if we were I would be going to straight to hell with no hope. Lets move towards Jesus. You must be getting spiritually fed. Please, please, if you are not involved in a local church, or a community group, get connected. We need to feed ourselves daily and we need to fellowship with other believers. We need to here preaching and we need to worship God. We need to be constantly reminded of the truth. Here is a great definition from a Pastor in Seattle, Mark Driscoll, he wrote a book called Vintage Church, 
“The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission as missionaries to the world for God’s glory and their joy.”
This starts in the church and then we scatter into our neighborhoods and share this great joy! I know to many people who have so much pride in there hearts that they wont submit to Godly authority in the church. This needs to be prayed about and repented of. There are Godly saturated biblical churches out there but people keep making excuses on not to go. Please get connected. Be a member, submit to Godly authority, go get fed through preaching and worship and join a community group, a bible study and be fed. You get fed and you take that passion and love for God into your neighborhoods. 
Do we truly love God? Have we been transformed by the spirit through the death and resurrection of Jesus and sealed in his possession. If so our lives will reflect the love of Jesus. Our love will show towards God and others.


1. Vintage Church-Mark Driscoll

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30 Update

Hey everyone it has been a while it feels like. A lot has happened since I last messaged you. We had our team retreat. It was a great time to rest and have fun. Luke Haidle our TREK leader and his wife Joanne came to visit us and follow up for a week. It was a great time to just draw near to God and have almost no schedule. Snorkeling was amazing. A beautiful place called Koh Samet. Nice beaches and we went rented motor bikes and rid them in a thunderstorm which was fun. Luke is an awesome guy, very intelligent and really funny. As well the MEI team came for 2 weeks. They are a school from Abbotsford. That was fun having them here. Although we didn't get to spend to much time with them as our retreat and going to Chachengsao interfered. The MEI team did a VBS in Bangsaen where TLC is and in the north where the Kumu are. Now our team is living in Chachengsao. We moved here last saturday. God has really put something on my heart to share with all of you. I am not sure exactly how it is going to come out because I do not make rough drafts for this thing as I am sure a lot of you can tell with my terrible spelling. Last week we lived in a camp site in the boonies of Chachengsao. It is a poor area but it was a beautiful place. Watching lightning storms in the distance everyday got me. Wow unreal since I am from the city of Vancouver we don’t see lightning storms to much. We had two VBS’s. One at the camp site where we were living. Now this place is a dark place I would almost call it. There is a lot of spiritual stuff that goes on there. In fact we talked to one guy one time who tried to intimidate us with his evil spirits. We wouldn’t have any of that because our God has authority over all spirits,  
Colossians 2:13-15 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.  
Therefore instead of running away afraid we shared the gospel with this man. Every year they have a big spiritual ceremony where they cast evil spirits in to people and it gives them power. Some of you after hearing that may go, “Hear we go with the spirits, freak.” Well just so you all know they do exist, infact I have witnessed them, not to mention we are told in the bible. So this place is a very hard place to come into. There was once a cell group of “believers” but a lot of them fell away accept Pi gai and Pi Gal. They have two sons and they have been believers for 7 years. I have tons of respect for this family. They work hard. They wake up every morning at 1 am to work. Pi gai is a very good husband from what I have seen, praise God because you don’t see that a lot here. You can tell with interactions with other people in this place as well they are not as happy as most Thai people and don’t welcome us in to warmly. There are a few stories that I won’t go into about rumours made up about the christians here. Pretty much were supposedly here here to kidnap there children. Anyways, we had this VBS and it was awesome to see kids come out. We had maybe 20 kids at this VBS. As well we did prayer walks for this place. We are not giving up in this area, Bob and Chris who are the missionaries here go into the school every week, so the gospel is still being layed out there. Another VBS was at Pi Nats neighborhood. Pi’ Nat has just recently moved out to Chachengsao because God has called her there. She is now devoting her whole self to the church in Cachengsao. Pi’Nat is new so she does not know many of the neighbors so through this VBS the parents can get to know her and trust her more. We had about 50 kids come out. We had tons of fun with the kids and some of the parents came out as well. I thought in my mind after this was over, ok we did the VBS’s there over what did this accomplish. Obviously we gave the kids entertainment, told them about Jesus and had fun. But something else I realized is we are reaching out to the neighborhood. We are helping Pi’Nat reach out to her neighborhood. Through this we bring in people get to know them and then we trap them and tell them the gospel. NO, totally joking. In a way I am joking. I am serious about telling them the gospel but please don’t trap them and try to shove it down there throats it doesn’t usually work that way. We are told to love our neighbors and it is good to be in good relationships with them. But we are missionaries in our neighborhoods right? That means you guys reading this as well. Luke 9:6 “And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. 
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 
1 Peter 4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. Through those scriptures we are told to preach the gospel and why we are to preach the gospel. We cannot keep this thing to our self, in fact I would say it is a crime to do so. Reach out to your neighborhoods. God has called you to be where you are. I don’t know how that may look like. It may not be VBS’s ok, maybe you have a bunch of grumpy old men who never come out of there caves. You may have to be creative. You are missionaries in your work place. Be a regular in your community. Go to the same coffee shop to get your coffee. Become friends with the workers there. Be a regular at a gym if your into that. Be a regular at whatever because that is where you can start relationships with people and then share the love of Christ with them. Do not be ashamed of the gospel.
Romans 1:16 “ I am not be ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of Christ for the salvation of those who believe.”  
God’s waiting for you to act. It may be difficult but the gospel needs to be lived out in our actions and speech. That only works if the gospel has truly transformed you through the Holy Spirit. I have seen this thing almost from scratch. I am seeing God transform lives here; I am seeing God create a church here. All of it is Jesus, this is not any mans doing here. People just obeyed the call showed up here, made relationships in the community, told people the gospel and then the gospel leaked out from there. God has provided greatly. Bethel Church. We now meet every Sunday for fellowship, prayer and hear the word preached. Wednesday we have kids club there and then a prayer meeting following. Every Thursday we have believers in the city come out to study the bible and we have a kids club. We are seeing the gospel transform communities here. Now there is a lot of prayer into what is going to happen next. There is a vision to get a church in the city of Chachengsao. Pray for this, pray that God will give the leaders, Bob, Chris, Pi Nat and Louise wisdom into what to do next. Church’s generally don’t go to far in this city. People have found it very hard. This is a very strong Buddhist city. I am excited to see the future for Chachengsao because the gospel is making a break through. Unfortunately I wont be here to witness it but I am thankful that God has chosen me to be apart of this thing in a small way. God wants to use you as well know that. But do you want to be used by him, you need to step out in faith and just go for it and let the spirit lead you. I am currently living in Chachengsao for another two weeks and I am really excited to see what is to come. This week we will be going on a boat from 8 am to 9 am and going through the canals of chachengsao, praying and worshiping our creator. We will be praying for words of knowledge and wisdom to see what God has next for this city. Praying for the communities and observing and getting acquainted with the city. Next Sunday 10 more people will be baptized here in Chachengsao! Very exciting, I am really excited. We had 7 people baptized in the summer and now we have 10 more! Praise Jesus for this work he is doing. I will take pictures and put them on facebook if you want to check them out. Then we are back in Bangsaen in time for easter and please be in prayer for that because it is a great time for outreach to celebrate together the life of Jesus and his death and resurrection on the cross. After that is Son Kran! So excited for that. Just so you all know it is about 40 degrees now in Thailand. Very hot. Every year on April 13 for a whole week we have a huge water fight. It is the worlds biggest water fight. Two more months for our team here in Thailand, continually to be in prayer for our team. Pray for me as I consider what is next in my life. I feel confident in where God is calling me I am just not clear on how it is going to look for next year. God bless you all, lets keep are heads focused on Jesus Christ and be constantly pursuing him. Josh

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Update

o a lot has happened this past month. First of all my family and Kevin my friend came to visit. It was awesome seeing them and being able to show them a bit of thai culture. Plus me, Caleb, kevin and Josiah had some fun times. Time flew by though and they are now back in Canada. And then we had Kevin stay with us for 3 weeks, he was pretty much another member of the team for a bit. He got to help us out, plus it was good for me and Caleb to have some more guys around. 
I just want to talk about what has happened in the last week. This team of 2 men called DMI came to Thailand. There goal is to teach people like us how to share the gospel with people. This whole week was dedicated to going out and telling people the gospel of Christ. What we did was we went out in teams and shared the gospel with people after being trained. Did God ever do miraculous things. Last week sunday, I got to share my testimony with some of the bboys ( break dancers). After I shared my testimony Bank who is the leader for the break dancing ministry that goes on at TLC shared the gospel with 5 of the kids. Bank has a sweet thing going for him. He is the best break dancer in Chon Buri, he is fricken good. It's kinda crazy. Anyways he has brought in a lot of kids to the church and a lot of them have become christians. Including these 5 kids who Bank unpacked the gospel to. 
Monday morning we went out into Angsila. We had about 6 people come to christ there. But, one in particular who I want to talk about. I told you all about this married couple named Oi and Go. They have a daughter who is a christian. We shared the gospel with Pi Go and after and awkward 2 minutes of silents he answer, "Ok, lets do it". Man, this brings so much joy to my heart. We have been praying for this man for so long. We hang out with him all the time and he is an amazing man and I just praise God for saving this man. He also said that now he has to go and get his wife and get her to come to christ. Pray for Pi Oi, I think it is a matter of time before she accepts Christ. Already Pi Go has been reading his bible. He has the desire to want to know more. I love that. If you are a christian you need to be in the word. You can't have real faith if your don't even know what you believe. You need to know who God is, God is revealed to us through his word. Pi Go, want's to know more about what he believes. He want's to know the mystery which is revealed in the scriptures. Praise God. Thank you for your prayers. 
Tuesday we went out into the University and invited people to come back to Pi Ghays coffee shop. We ate together and then split up into groups and shared the gospel. We had around 10 people I think come to christ that day. 
Wednesday was a huge thrill for me. Me, Aschleigh, Bob and Pi uh oh went to a Burmese factory. We got there Bob said who want's to share the Gospel. When will I ever get the chance to share the gospel to 15 people from Burma, in a factory. I said I wanted to then I shared the gospel. We had me speaking then Uh Oh translating into thai. Then if they didn't understand a word in thai one of the believers from Bethel church translated it into Burmese. It was great we had 2 new people come to christ there.
Altogether God saved about 20 people this last week. Now we have the task to desciple them. The easy part is done, now the hard part is getting them connected to a church and get them growing in there faith. So far we have had some of them come out to church and are already growing closer. Please pray for these people, even if you don't know there names it is ok. 
I learned that we need to share the gospel more. I heard a scary statistic the other day. That Vancouver is only 2 % christian. That is scary. I am not 100% if that is true but I heard it from a pastor who said he did research on it. We need to share the gospel a lot more than we do. Learn how to share the gospel as well. Your close friends who aren't christians, explain to them the gospel. Romans 1:16 tells us not to be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation to those who believe. God is just waiting for us to share with people. Don't think you will offend people because there is nothing more loving you can do than tell someone about what Jesus did and why he did it. If you believe the bible than you believe the unbelievers go to hell. I know some unbelievers are reading this and to you that may be offensive for me to say that. Our sin needs to be punished which is why Jesus died in our place so if we believe we receive that free gift of salvation. People need to hear the gospel. Jesus has saved you, now he want's to use you to share his gospel with others. I would even say it is a crime to keep your faith to yourself. By God's grace you have received to be in relationship with him,We need to go out and bring more people into the kingdom. We must tell others about it. Don't keep this to yourself. If you are a christian when people meet you they should know, yah that is a follower of Jesus. The thing that intrigued Pi Go and Pi Oi was they said, I see a difference in how christians live. It is true as christians we should be living differently. Knowing we didn't do anything but God is the one who is transforming our hearts. If you are a unbeliever and you are reading this I encourage you to go talk to someone who you know is a strong christian and ask them to explain the gospel to you. Remember, to come to God, we don't need to be cleaned up. I know a lot of people who say, well I don't want to change my life, I am not clean enough to come to christ. No one is clean ENOUGH. We are all dirty. Come as you are, let God change and transform your hearts. To the believers who are reading this, tell your friends about Jesus. If you go to school tell them there. In your work places tell them. I promise you, if you step out in faith and share this with them you will see things happen. God is just waiting for you to do it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 4

Hey everyone. These last two weeks for me have been great. This week God blessed us a lot by sending us to a place called Ban Kruit. There was a missionary Conference there, with missionaries from Mongolia and China. Our job was to look after there kids while they had meetings. The ages ran from 1-15. I had the older kids which was awesome because we just did fun stuff all day. This place was beautiful, I really got to sit in God's beautiful creation. We stayed at a place on the beach and the ocean was so nice. The first night we were there we all went into the ocean in the middle of the night where there were 7 foot waves crashing over us. Well I was suppose to be body surfing but I pretty much just got rocked. Caleb was actually bleeding from the head because he got turned up and smashed on the ocean ground. It was awesome. Any way's long story short the week was phenomenal and we really blessed these missionaries. As we blessed them they blessed us, it was great. 
I want to talk about 3 people that are unbelievers rite now. I say rite now because I believe that is going to change. Our cell group at Pi Ghays coffee shop has been going very well. One guy named Mick is very close to accepting christ. Unlike people in North America, in other countries becoming a christian is a huge deal with the family. Here is his dilemma. His family is Buddhist and in some buddhist beliefs the parent's believe that if there son becomes a monk for a week or two they will have a better chance at making heaven. Now they never truly know if they will make it, they just try to do good and hope for the best. Mick is an awesome guy and he takes this very seriously as we all should because it is our salvation we are talking about. He love's his mom and does not want to disappoint her. Be praying for him because he has big decisions to make. The holy spirit is definitely working in him because he is asking a lot of questions and I think the only thing holding him back is his mom. 
The other two people are Pi Go and Pi Oi. They are a married couple and have a beautiful daughter who is a christian. God is working in both of there hearts because they have been asking a lot of questions as well. Caleb had an hour and a half conversation about God with Pi Oi last week and I believe she is very close to accepting Christ. She comes to church and coming to church is probably the worse hobby to do if you don't actually care about what is being taught there. I don't know why any person on there own will would come to church for fun. No, I believe the holy spirit is working in her heart. Now Pi Go her husband has just recently been intrigued by Jesus. He has tried praying and he has been asking questions as well. It is very evident that God is working in there lives, please pray for them. I am really excited for these three. We have been hanging out with Pi Go and Pi Oi quite a bit, they are so much fun, in fact in about 1 hour we are going to the beach to barbeque some shrimp and eat sticky rice, should be good. 
God's grace is so amazing isn't it. That He would intervene in our lives and lead us on the right direction. I know that's what happened to me. I was headed down a very dark road if I had continued what I was doing. Jesus had other things planned for me, I didn't choose this, He chose me and as I try to grasp that I fall in complete awe. I don't deserve his grace at all. As you know I have been reading through Hebrews and I am in this section that repeats itself a lot. I encourage you guy's to read through Hebrews if you haven't, it goes through the old testament and how God fulfilled everything through Jesus Christ. In these verses that I am going to write, it is taken from Isaiah and it is prophesying the coming of Jesus and of the New Covenant.
Hebrews 8:10b-12
10. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: 
I will put my laws into there minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
11. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord' for they shall all know me. from the least of them to the greatest. 12. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more."
Man I love these three verses. Back in the old testament people would rite the law everywhere. On there foreheads, in there house, on there gates etc. Everywhere. But this new covenant through Jesus Christ, he will write it on our hearts and our minds. So my desires were never for God. I never use to want to read my bible, go to church or tell people about Jesus. But God changed my desires. As we persue him and develop our relationship with the living God he will transform our hearts and mind. This thing starts to shape together. It is not about religion about trying to do this and that. It simply will not work. In fact in Hebrews 9:26B says "But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
He did it all. IT IS FINISHED. There is nothing we can bring to him, our good works he doesn't need it. He has appeared once and for all. The sin is put away, every sin we commit past, present and future has been forgiven, man, praise Jesus. God will transform our hearts, let's just focus on persuing Jesus first. Verse 11 just simply talks about us as believers telling other people what they need to do to know the Lord. Whether you have been a christian for 20 years and you have a bible degree, went to seminary, you know the Lord just as much as the person who just became a christian. You can know Jesus deeper, you can have more knowledge of him and be in a deeper relationship but you both still know the Lord. Once you accept him you know him, he is not going anywhere. Once you accept christ, he is in you, you know the Lord. They shall all know him from the least of them to the greatest. I heard a really good analogy for verse 12. Think about a baby, I know most of you may not have one but just picture this. A baby takes it's first steps. Before those first steps there were so many fall's. But when the baby takes it's first steps, you rejoice, you get so excited, you just want to show everyone. Sometime's the baby will fall and it will be bloody and there may be tears but when that baby is walking you are so excited. When the baby is walking you don't even remember the falls because you are just so excited that the baby is walking. That is just like our God, we fall so many times but when were walking he is so excited and is rejoicing, in fact, he doesn't even remember the falls! Where do we find something like that, where in this universe can we find something like that. Praise Jesus, if you are a christian this should get you excited and put you in awe of our savior. I want to finish with one more verse for you guys. I could write for ever about Hebrews I would like to but I know most of you have already stopped reading this letter because it is far to long but that is okay. 
Hebrews 10:21-22
"And since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22. let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
Where do you draw near to God the most? Where is that place where you connect with God the most? What keep's you from drawing near to God? Ask these questions to yourself. Write them down, find those places where you draw near to God. He will transform your heart, HE WILL, trust me. Let's draw near to him guys. Let's draw near to God with a true heart.
I am really excited. Tomorrow my family comes along with my friend Kevin. Pray for there safety as they fly. Continue to pray for Thailand and our team. I am nearing the halfway mark in my time in Thailand which is crazy to me. Time is just flying by. As I am soon to think of my future if you guys could pray for me in that decision. I really want to follow God's plan for my life. My life is his so I want to do what he wants me to do. Pray against any fear or doubt that I am good enough. I meen I know I am not good enough, thats obvious, but trust that God can use me, that God can use a sinner like me to carry out his glory into this world. 
God bless you all, keep perusing Jesus 
Love you all

Jan 14

Hey, guys. Hope you all had a good christmas and new year. My christmas in Thailand was different. First off there wasn't three feet of snow out side. Christmas was busy, didn't really relax to much. New years was good. A bunch of us from the church started the night off by playing games, one included a massive game of dutch blitz. Later we went to the beach where there were fireworks. I have never been so close to them in my life. This is Thailand so they pretty much shot them rite above my head. One exploded literally like 20 feet away from me. It was awesome though. Two guys from our cell group came out. Mick and Oi. It is so good to see them coming out to church and engaging. The gospel is definitely working in there hearts. Mick has been asking a lot of questions and they both see a big difference in the way we as christians live. Pray for them God is working in there hearts. 
January 2nd, we got to go to Bangkok. This was a lot of fun to get away and see more of Thailand. We had the opportunity to check out the grand palace. I have pictures posted of it on my profile if you want to look at them. We were in Bangkok for 4 days. Came back on the 5th. 
On the 6th I was off to Chachengsao where the Bethel Church is. We had our normal cell group on wednesday. I will briefly talk about that day than I want to share a story about a guy named Art. We started with the normal kids group. Things went smoothly. Kids were themselves, crazy as usual. These kids can get really crazy trust me. They are little rats, thats what I like to call them, love them though. The adult cell group went well. Not as many people this time but it was really good that there wasn't. The last few weeks there have been so many new people that we haven't been able to go deeper with the other believers. This time Pi Nad had the opportunity to go more in depth. You can have a lot of people attending church but it is nothing if the believers aren’t growing with Jesus. We did have a few new people. Which leads me into my story about art. This is the soul part why I wanted to write an update letter to you guys. This guy Art has a wife and a daughter. He worked in Bangkok at a hotel. Life was alrite for him. I am sure he was just living life, probably never thought about Jesus or wanted to have anything to do with him. Well God took everything away from him. His job, his home and his money. A week ago on new years he ended up at the Mouban (Village). He showed up at Bob and Christine's house on new years. He ended up accepting christ as his savior. Now he wants to go hard for God. He wants his life to be all about him. He wants to live for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I got to talk to him a bit. He speaks pretty good english. His wife and daughter ended up going north to live with the wifes mom until things are sorted out. Well she is now coming down to Chachengsao to come live with her husband. Art told his wife that he has chosen to give his life to Jesus. He told me in his Tinglish. I want her to know the God. 
I have been reading through the book of Hebrews. I just read chapter 7. It is comparing Melchizedek to Jesus. Melchizedek was a high priest. I am not going to talk about the whole chapter it would take way to long but I want to talk about how the high priest Melchizdek leads to Jesus Christ. If you know your bible than you will know Jesus is known as the great high priest. What high priest would do is they would hold your life and compare it to the law. And the sins you would commit they would slaughter an animal and send him off. They are human. They sinned and had to sacrifice daily. I want to compare Levitical high priest to Jesus. This is going somewhere which will connect to my story about Art. 

Heb. 7:23-24
Levitical High Priest- Many in Number
Jesus the high priest- One

Levitical High priest- Temporary
Jesus the High priest- Permanent and eternal

Levitical high priest- Sinners who had to offer sacrifices for their "own sins".
Jesus the high priest- holy, innocent; offers sacrifice only for others.

Levitical high priest- Had to sacrifice "daily"
Jesus the high priest- Sacrificed "once for all"

Heb. 7:27, 9:11-14
Levitical high priest-Offered sacrificial animals
Jesus the high priest-"offered up himself"

Levitical high priest-Entered holy places through a man made tent and by means of the blood of goats and calves.
Jesus the high priest- Entered the holy place of the presence of God and by means of his own blood. 

Hebrews 7:26-27
" For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. "

Jesus is here. He is alive. He sacrificed once and FOR ALL. Don't believe the lie that you need to clean yourself up before you come to him. He says COME AS YOU ARE. I am so fortunate to live in this time. Just think before Jesus came, people would only hope and wait for him. They knew he was coming in the Old Testament and that is what they were hoping for. Now us, 2000 years later. Jesus has come, he died on a Roman Cross once and for all. We have no need to hope, he did it already. 
Hebrews 7:18-19.
"For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 ( FOR THE LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.''

I have no idea where you guys are at, but maybe for some of you this needs to happen. Maybe God has to take away the things that are important to you for you to draw near to him. Art, he has nothing left. Money failed him. He is in a time of suffering, which can be the grace of God which it is in this situation. The only one who last forever is the God of the universe. The one who invites us all into a personal relationship with him. He doesn't invite us into religion. Religion does nothing good for you. What you need is Jesus. It all about Jesus, its only about Jesus. The law does not making anything perfect and it does not change hearts. The law is holy and we should by the transformation of the holy spirit live by the law but our sinful hearts is going to get in the way. The only thing that will change hearts is Jesus, the holy spirit. Yes I said it the holy spirit, some of you may think he is weird but he is actually God. The law is there to show us how much we need a savior and how messed up we are. He is the one who transforms lives, he will renew your heart. I am not saying because I have Jesus I have it all together. I don’t, I am so far from, it is not even funny. Being a Christian is not having it all together. It is in fact the opposite. It is saying, “ Jesus I don’t have it together, I cannot do this on my own, I am full of sin, I need a Savior because I am wicked.” Some of you may not be able to hear, the bible speaks of that. But for those who can hear rite now, what is it going to be? What other choices do you have? Maybe God has to take away all that is important to you, which is the grace of God if it brings you to him. ART has absolutely nothing! He is living in a place where people in North America would say is unlivable. But you know what? He is in a better spot than say Oprah. Oprah may be one of the riches people in the world but she doesn't have Jesus. God showed him grace, the only option for him was to take everything he has and look, his eyes were opened. Come on guys, I am pleading with you, take your life seriously, think about it. For some of you, maybe something tragic needs to happen in your life. I don't know. But we are invited into a better hope introduced through Jesus Christ, therefore we draw near to him.

Praise the Lord, thank you for your prayers. The Orphange is now under MBMSI foundation. We flew to Malaysia on Sunday got back Tuesday. We received 90 day visas. Continue praying for Thailand, the orphans, Chachengsao, Bethel, the boys Cell group, TLC, Angsila, and our team. Lot’s you can pray for. As well keep praying for language. I have picked up a bit but I would love to know a lot more so I can communicate more with the Thai people. 

Love you guys