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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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Back in Thailand

Well.... we arrived early in the morning on August 7 at BKK airport and we proceeded to take a few days off to rest and get our house set back up (buy groceries, unpack bags, etc.) before getting back into action here. Itineration in the States was draining. We were in the States for nine and a half weeks, with one week devoted to our medical examinations in Atlanta. In the remaining eight and a half weeks we spoke at 85 churches, 2 annual conference meetings, and 2 large retreats. All in all we preached and spoke close to 120 times. Our goal was to visit as many churches as possible, and the reception we received was wonderful.

Sunday morning was a joyful time at Pradumri UMC. Wednesday is Mother's Day in Thailand, because it is the Queen Sirikit's birthday. (Queen Sirikit's picture in on the left)

The Christians of Pradumri UMC have a tradition of placing flowers at the altar table. People will take flowers and give them to their mothers and "spiritual mothers". Pastor Sarah had a large bouquet of flowers as other women showed their deep gratitude for her pastoral leadership and spiritual nurture.

There was also much special music by the children, as well as a four-part harmony a cappella choir singing hymns. Harmony and multi-part singing is not usual in Thai music, including worship music. So this was a venture into new territory. There was also a humorous skit about being thankful and respectful to mothers. The Thai Christians are very creative and love to celebrate and have fun.

We thoroughly enjoyed worship at Pradumri UMC. We experienced passionate, joyful, Spirit-filled worship of our Lord Jesus Christ that fills the soul. We enjoyed worship even though we were both completely exhausted and very sleepy. Thailand is on the opposite side of the world, so we are completely turned around on time. I (Mike) didn't sleep at all on Saturday night.

Today (Monday, August 10) we go to get our visas. This is a multi-step process. We must stop for copies of our passports (every page) and a photos. We must also go to the language school to pick up our paperwork and fill it out. Then we go to Immigration Police in Bangkok. First we have to fill out our 90 day reports and get them registered. The ninety day reports lets the police know our where we are staying in Thailand. Then when that is complete, we put in our visa applications and paperwork and wait. These are always days filled with prayer, that all will go well and that God will give us favor in their eyes. The top priority we have is staying in the country because we cannot do our work otherwise.

I am going to close this blog out now and will get back with you later this week. We have much to say but do not have the time today. We have to head off to Bangkok now.