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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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sawadee Wan Kapkhoon Prajao - Happy Thanksgiving Day

We wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and may the Lord, who provides for our every need, receive all the honor, glory, and praise!

It is during the holiday season that we miss our spending these special celebrations with our loved ones back in North America. So our son Jim invited many of the teachers at Sammuk Christian Academy to come celebrate Thank God Day (that is how Thanksgiving Day translates into the Thai language). We had a house full of missionary teachers, some were American, some were Thai, and one was from Taiwan. We had a huge meal, Sherri always cooks enough to feed the Chinese Army, and the two American missionary teachers, Abby and Kathy, brought desserts too. We were especially honored to have our Thai language teacher, Nuc and her mother with us. Nuc's mother, who we call Khun Maa (Mrs. Mom) always prepares lunch for us when we go to Nuc's house to study. She is a wondeful cook and is very, very kind to us. It was a privilege to be able to have Khun Maa in our home and to serve her.

Since there are no American football games on TV, we did a substitute activity. After stuffing ourselves with delicious food, we all played DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), a video game that uses dance pads with up, down, left, and right arrows on the pad. As the music plays, you watch the screen for the arrows, and you step on the appropriate arrow(s) at the correct time. We all had a lot of fun.

Our time with our missionaries helps to feed our souls with the warmth of fellowship and unity of purpose, the purpose of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all Thai people. We praise the Lord for bringing these fellow missionaries into our lives who inspire us to keep serving the Lord and remain focused on the mission set before us by God.

May the Lord Bless You!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Welcome Respite

It has been a good few weeks here because life has slowed down a bit. We still have done some traveling to do an interview and accomplish other tasks, but we have been able stay in Chonburi and get back into Thai language studies to a greater degree. We have welcomed the lull in our schedule that will last another week.

Having life slow down a bit has allowed us time to start and finish projects that we had to put on the back burner - develop pastor/lay leader training materials, write letters and postcards to supporting churches and individuals back in the U.S., and all the other back-burner projects.

Pradumri and Bowin churches are planning their large Christmas events and we are excited because these are evangelistic events. Many people from the community come to the church for the first time at these events. Please pray that the Lord will use these Christmas events, the worship music, the Christmas plays, the evangelistic preaching, and the love of the saints to lead many people to Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Morrisseys Meet Marvelous Missionaries

Our trip to Chiang Mai last week was successful, in that we came back with 3 month visas, but is was also an inspirational time for us as we were able to connect with many veteran missionaries here in Thailand.

One veteran missionary we have been trying to connect with is Hella, a German Methodist who is "retired". Retired is in "quotation marks" because she is far from retired. She still does translation work with Wycliffe Translators for a tribal group in S.E. Asia. She has a delightful, gentle, and humble spirit and it was a pleasure to finally meet her. She helped introduce us to a ministry that we have been wanting to connect with for a long time, a large Christian orphanage in Chiang Mai that serves orphans with AIDS called Agape Home (Nikki's Place). Jan (on the right with one of the orphans) gave us a tour and answered our numerous questions as we seek to have a similar ministry started in the near future. Jan has worked with Agape Home since its inception.
At first, most of the AIDS orphans lived only a year or two, but now with the new anti-viral medications, these children are living longer and healthier lives. They have a wonderful ministry and God is blessing their work. Their website is http://www.nikkisplace.org/

We were also able to connect with other ministries, such as the Thailand Bible Society and the Missionary Language Training Center operated by OMF in Lopburi. Hopefully, future GBGM missionaries will be able to start their first 9 month of language training at this school.

Having a car to drive has made all the difference in the world to our ability to connect with other ministries and interview pastoral candidates. Up until now, we used buses and public transportation, which does fine if we go to only one location, but going to multiple sites becomes very time consuming and difficult. Now it is much more efficient.

Driving on the left hand side of the road no longer feels awkward to us, and we wonder if it will feel awkward when we get back to the US and have to drive on the right side of the road again.

We thank everyone who was praying for our visa situation. We are set for another 3 months, which is a good feeling.

Rats! Anthony did it again!

Anthony has a way of trying new experiences that cause us all to stretch. Our trip north to Chiang Mai was one of these.

While Sherri was driving, I noticed many street vendors barbecuing meat on their charcoal grills. When I read their signs, my mind read one thing, but they really said something different. My mind read “Mu yang” which means grilled pork, but the signs really said “Nu yang” which means grilled rat! Nittaya, our translator, mentioned that many of these vendors were from Northeast Thailand where it is common to eat grilled rat, but she said she would never eat it and most Thais do not eat it.

This is where Anthony’s urge for new experiences, especially experiences with bragging rights with his older brothers, kicks in. Anthony asked if we would stop and buy him a grilled rat for the bargain basement price of 20 baht (about 30 cents). The vendor woman was very friendly and proceeded to take a partially cooked rat from a platter piled with them and finish barbecuing the chosen rat on her grill. When all was said and done, Anthony was munching on a fresh piece of BBQ rat. He said it tasted like chicken (doesn’t everything!), so he convinced me to take a bite. To my regret, I took a small bite and found that this beast tasted nothing like chicken. Instead, it tasted like the meat from White Castle hamburgers, confirming a suspicion I had (just joking, I really like White Castles, but this stuff tasted nasty)

Immediately upon re-embarking on our journey north, I asked Sherri to stop at the nearest gas station so I could buy some bitter black coffee to wash the taste out of my mouth. I know this was all just “in my head” and it was fine for consumption, but this was one time it was hard to get past my home culture.

Now it is back to grilled chicken, pork, beef, shrimp….anything but rodents.