United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pattaya - the city of prosperity and desperate poverty

Last Saturday, we went to Pattaya with Pastors Jerron and On (they are assistant pastors at Pradumri UMC in Chon Buri at the present time and will be the new pastors at Bo Win UMC when it opens in 3 weeks.  We went with them to go on visitation with some of the church members who live in Pattaya, which is a 60-90 minute drive from church (depending upon traffic).  Pattaya is the largest city in this province with a metro area population that exceeds 500,000 people.  It is one of Thailand's busiest tourist locations with over 5 million people 
visiting every year.   Many of the tourists fall in love with this beautiful city on the coast of the Gulf
 of Thailand and decide to become permanent residents.  Pattaya has a very large expatriate 
population. Unfortunately, the cause for Pattaya's popularity is that it is the center for 
sex tourism in Thailand.   And with vice of sex tourism has come the dreaded scourge of AIDS which 
has devasted Thai families in this community.  AIDS has taken the lives of many adults, leaving many 
young children orphaned to be raised by relatives or friends.  Without intervention, these children 
turn towards prostitution as their only means of survival.  Child prostitution is rampant here and 
these children need ministries to reach out to them and give different options.  
One orphan that we visited is 6 year old Googeek, who lives in Baan Salay, a town south of Pattaya.  Googeek lives in a lean-to with her grandparents who are 85 years old and in poor health.  This lean to is a very small and has no water.  All water must be carried in from a neighbors well.  They have no bathroom and must use a storm drain near their lean-to for a toilet.  Pastors Jerron and On bring food to this family every week and dote on Googeek.  They will adopt Googeek when her grandparents can no longer take care of her.
There are many, many others like Googeek who are orphans living in destitution.  As United Methodists, we must provide for these children.   We hope that a ministry to orphans can be started this year that matches orphans up to be adopted by a Christian family and provides financial support for the adopting family to help with physical needs.  In cases like Googeek's family, her grandparents need to be adopted by a family to come live with her, so she is not separated from them and so her grangparents can be lifted out of their plight as well.

After visiting some families in the Pattaya metro region, we attended the cell group that meets at Pattaya.  There were 16 people that met for Bible Study, Worship, and dinner there in a member's home.  They have such abundant joy in worship and a real thirst for God's Word.  This cell group will probably form the third UMC church in Thailand and we pray it will open some time this year.  We are very blessed to be sent here to open new churches where there is such a great need.  We thank you for your support and prayers that makes it all possible.  May God Bless You!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Meet our new Thai language teachers

We want to progress faster in our Thai language studies, so we have added more instruction time each morning.  One element that was missing in our language studies are words and phrases used in the Bible and in the church context.   We asked for help at the church to see if anyone could teach us the Thai language in the morning hours and have some emphasis on biblical words.  A couple who are leaders at Pradumri UMC have offered their help.  Peter and Nuc are our new Thai teachers and they are a wonderful and spiritually mature couple.  We are very blessed to have their help and we believe we are making faster progress in learning the Thai language.  Now we receive instruction from local teachers on 4 mornings and 3 afternoons 
each week as well as all day Thursday at a language school in Bangkok.  
Our local language teacher that has been teaching us on afternoons has graduated from 
college and soon may not be able to tutor us, so our schedules may change again soon.

This last week, we had another lesson on the great hospitality of Thai people.  We wanted to plant just a few flowers and small trees in our front yard, which was really looking rather barren.  However, we know nothing of horticulture here, and it is all very different.... different weather, different plants, different soil, and different gardening materials and practices.  We asked our neighbor "Buk" for advice.  Buk not only helped us with advice, she helped take Sherri to several nurseries and also lined up all the workers to make a garden (which was actually much, much more than we had planned).  She personally supervised all the work because she knew we had difficulties with communicating to the workers.  After just 4 days, we had a new front yard, which has been a blessing to us, a peaceful place to enjoy in the early morning hours.  We asked for a an inch of help and we received a mile.  It really ended up being a neighborhood project because we had people from all up and down the lane in our yard helping.   We are truly blessed to have great neighbors.

Just a word about our internet phone.  If you cannot get in touch with us by the phone, please do not leave a voice message because we are unable to retrieve the messages at this time.  Please contact us by e-mail at thailandumc@gmail.com and we will call you.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Bo Win to see the progress on the church building construction.  We will take pictures and keep you up-to-date with how everything is going.

Blessings to you in the name of Jesus!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Feeling the Heat

Children are off from school here in Thailand for the next 2 months because the weather is becoming very hot.  Everyone is warning us that April is the hottest month of the year with the highest temperatures, high humidity, and very little rain to cool things off.  We say, "Praise God for air conditioning, fans, and please pass the ice water!"

In the hottest month of the year, we will be heading up to Li, Thailand to help conduct an English language camp and children's ministries.  We will be working with Pastor Wirot of the Li Happy Methodist Church, a ministry of the Thailand Methodist Foundation, which is a Korean Methodist Ministry.  Please visit their website at http://www.geocities.com/lihappymethodistchurch/
We cooperate in our ministry with other Christian groups, such as Korean Methodists, Singapore Methodists, Phayao Bible College, and other ministries as we work together to share the good news of Jesus Christ here in Thailand.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Our prayers for you

We want you to know how much we appreciate your prayers for the mission in Thailand and for us personally. Every time a person gives their life to Christ or makes a decision to deepen their relationship with our Lord, we give thanks for your prayers that laid the foundation for these blessings. Every time God miraculously provides for needs, provides physical and spiritual healing, we know that you have been faithful in praying for the people of Thailand.

We want you to know that we pray for you daily. We constantly lift up in prayer all of the congregations that our connected with the mission in Thailand. Always feel free to contact us at thailandumc@gmail.com to send prayer request us so we can pray for specific needs. It is an honor to be your missionaries and to be able to support you in prayer.

Many churches are now into the age of technology, and use computers, video projectors, and the internet (just as you are doing now). If your church is one of these, we would love to be able to speak with your congregation over the phone on any Sunday morning. If you have a high speed internet connection at church (DSL, cable, or any type which does not require you to dial up for access), it is possible to have a brief telephone interview with us during your Sunday morning worship. If you contact us by e-mail, we will set up a time to contact you by phone to tell you how this can be easily done. We praise God for the blessing of the internet that has made communication so much easier.

May the Lord Bless You and Your Congregation,
Mike, Sherri, and Anthony Morrissey

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Back to the 21st Century

Hello Everyone!

We have some good news, although it is not as good as we were hoping for. We did not receive one year worker visas, but we did receive extensions on our visas through Nov. 1st, which is the day we will have been here one year. We will be able to travel outside the country now, but must first apply for permits before doing so. But we are happy to be able to stay in Thailand, and are rejoicing over this.

Last week, Anthony's new dog got the computer power supply box wet, which burned out the power supply and also fried the clip that goes into the computer. That dog sent us back into the low tech world, working without the computer. We had to search a long time to find a new power supply for our Dell notebook, because Dell is not sold here in Thailand. Fortunately we were able to find one up in Bangkok and we were able to get back online so we could update this blogsite.

We are in the midst of several projects: 1. We are remodeling the new church building at Bo Win so it can open in the middle of April.; 2. We are preparing lessons for Pastoral Leadership Training both for UMC pastors and helping also in the training of pastors in other Methodist denominations; 3. And finally, we are continuing with our language studies, and will soon have extra tutoring during the morning periods now that we have long term visas and our lives will begin to settle into somewhat of a routine.

Please pray for unity and peace in Thailand. There is much political unrest here still.
1. Pray for unity and peace in the southern region of Thailand. The southernmost province have been experiencing a great deal of violence with murders of teachers, government officials, and other community leaders as well as random bombings at locations where tourists gather. The majority population in these provinces is Muslim (94% of Thais are Buddhist) and they are ethnic Malays (rather than ethnic Thai). Some people in this region would prefer to be independent of Thailand and seek to accomplish their goals through terrorism. Pray that peace can be achieved in this region without the last resort of military force.
2. Pray for unity and peace in the political divide of Thailand. There is a definite political divide between people who live in the Bangkok region and those who live north of Bangkok. Much of this division is over economics. Bangkok is relatively prosperous compared with much of the rural northern population. This economic division was a large factor in the political unrest that led to the coup last year and is still a large problem that will need to be overcome when elections take place in December. Please pray for the people of Thailand as they seek harmony.