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Saturday, October 28, 2006
Please also pray that we will be able to have changes made to our visa once we get to Thailand. Right now we have a one year - single entry visa. What this means is that if we leave Thailand, we lose our work visa and permit and must start over. We would like the ability to visit neighboring missions, especially in Cambodia, and be able to come back for Jim's graduation from Berea College in the Spring of 2007. Please pray that we may obtain multiple entry visas.
We have a new e-mail address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org -- we would love to hear from you.
We will be taking off on Oct. 31st and will arrive in Bangkok on Nov. 2nd. We will have a flurry of chores to do once we arrive. We must register with the American Embassy, go to our bank in Thailand, enroll in Language School, set up our house (hopefully we will not have to wait a long time for our belongings to come), find a doctor and set up our medical care, register to receive utilities and services, meet with church members and leaders, purchase computer and office equipment and household electrical goods (we must purchase new household electrical goods because Thailand uses a different voltage and hertz than the U.S.) and numerous other duties. About 2 weeks after we arrive, we will host our first VIM team from the Rocky Mount District of North Carolina. There will probably be a few weeks before we post again.
We thank you for your prayers. Without your prayers, we can do nothing. With your prayers, all things are possible!
May the Lord Bless You,
Mike, Sherri, and Anthony
Saturday, October 14, 2006
The commissioning service was truly a blessing and we are very excited about leaving for Thailand on October 31st. GBGM highlighted the Commissioning Service on their website http://gbgm-umc.org/global_news/pr.cfm?articleid=4251
and they also wrote a special feature about our mission to Thailand.
It was very special to us that many were praying for us and the mission to Thailand as we were being commissioned. Our special thanks to the Santa Clara UMC for your faithful prayers for us on that night.
After commissioning, we traveled to North Carolina at the invitation of Dr. William Simpson, District Superintendant of the Rocky Mount district. We met with clergy and laity from his district to tell the great news of what the Lord is doing in Thailand. Many of the people who attended this meeting will be arriving in Thailand next month as our first VIM team to ChonBuri. We are truly blessed to have the support of Dr. Simpson and the Rocky Mount District.
We are now at home and will speak at several churches in Kentucky while we do last minute preparations to be in Thailand for 3 years.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Individuals or churches can contribute to particular projects (see the WISH LIST), or to provide 'missionary support.' Either can be done by sending a check to your UMC Conference office treasurer. For example, if you are in Kentucky, mail to:
KY Conference UMC
7400 Floydsburg Road
Crestwood KY 40014
On the check, in the 'memo' section, write an "Advance Number" which will help administrators get the funds to the correct account. Here are the Advance Numbers:
For Missionary Support --
(Mike) Advance # 15122Z
(Sherri) Advance # 15123Z
For Project Support --
(Thailand) Advance # 00403A
*If a project is chosen, please send a note via email to let us know which project is being supported.
Here are the details concerning what is involved if your church chooses to become a "Covenant Church."
- Covenant Churches make a 3 year covenant with a missionary, to provide financial & prayer support. (The Covenant is not binding to the church -- in case a financial crunch emerges; the Covenant is meant to provide a framework for mission concern & relationship).
- The financial commitment = Once a year for each of the three years, the church provides support in the amount of 5 dollars per member. (If it is a large church, the suggested "cap" is at $2000 dollars).
- Any size church can become a Covenant Partner Church.
- The prayer commitment = to pray regularly for the missionary & for the mission work in the area being served.
As part of the Covenant Relationship, the missionary will:
- Keep in contact with the church (quarterly letters), sharing about the work, and what God is doing;
- Commit to praying for the stateside local congregation (and needs as these are shared);
- Make visiting the Covenant Churches "priority visits" during the itineration time which happens every three years.
If a church decides to become a Covenant Partner Church, The church needs to send in a Covenant Partner form which is found online at:
This helps to differentiate between churches that are 'supporters' but not necessarily entering into the Covenant Partnership with a missionary.
Funds are still sent to the Conference Treasurer (with the missionary's Advance Number listed). The Conf. treasurer then forwards these funds to the General Board of Global Ministries in New York. Because not all missionary settings 'cost the same' to support, funds sent in the name of a particular missionary are pooled together with other missionary support dollars, enabling missionaries to be sent throughout the world.
It is always helpful to directly contact your missionary if a gift is being sent to missions. Generally, GBGM accounting is done in a timely manner. Direct communication lets the missionary know what to anticipate, or to know what is going on stateside; it is also encouraging to know when God is moving in the hearts of His people.