If I could use only one word to describe the worship at God Purpose Church, it would be JOY! They sing with fervor while waving colorful banners in the sanctuary. They love to sing praises and the preaching was Biblical and spiritually filling. The church greeted us by brining us flowers as they sang, and we feel at home here. The service started at 9:30 and ended at 12:30. We then had a terrific meal and then there was a time of sharing and fellowship following the meal.
Right now, both the city and the rural congregation meet together on Sunday morning for worship, but some time in the near future, the rural congregation will need to form their own church because their number is becoming too large to transport to the church using the church vans. Pray that the Lord will open the doors to make it possible to support a pastor and his/her own family there in the rural area. This rural area is very poor, yet the people are filled with joy.
Sherri, Anthony, and I made a trip in to Bangkok on Monday to register for Thai language classes and to do our banking and other needs. We will be going to school there on Thursdays. We are going today (Tuesday) to the University in Chon Buri to find a Thai language teacher to help us on the other weekdays. Please pray that we are able to effectively learn to speak, read, and write the Thai language quickly.
We have made friends with a Buddhist family in Chon Buri that owns a furniture store near where we live. Please pray for the Plang family, as we seek to invite them to church.
After we get our schedules set for language study, we will work with the leaders of God Purpose Church to schedule an English class and Bible study at the church and English classes at some of the local public schools. Please pray that the English class will draw the lost to the church so that all of the members of God Purpose Church may witness to them of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We are still getting things set up at home and are in the midst of buying furniture, dishes, and other essentials for living.
The food here has been great, and we have had only one "stretching" experience. While waiting for a ride, Anthony was hungry, so we gave him some money to buy food from one of the many street vendors nearby. Well, he came back with a bag filled with deep-fried bugs! And it wasn't just a small sandwich bag, it was a quart size one! I asked him why he bought such a big bag of them when he may not like them, and he said he wanted to try some of each insect (good grief! a bug buffet!). Anthony started to eat them and said they were good. I was laughing uncontrollably the whole time. He offered them to me but I refused, but Sherri was a trooper and started to eat them. Well, I eventually ate them by reaching into the bag and quickly popping one into my mouth with my eyes shut. It turned out to be a grasshopper and it was rather crunchy and tasted OK. Soon I was eating them while looking at them. The small bugs and grasshoppers were good, but the grubs were not as good, because it was hard to get past the soft texture of their insides. We then started to share the fried bugs with people nearby, who started laughing at the Farang (foreigners) who were eating things Farang usually dont eat. Now I will have to ask my supervisors in NY if we are real missionaries now that we have eaten bugs.
We appreciate your prayers and support!