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.