It's a brisk 36℃ (97℉) on this fine Christmas Eve. Here's a snapshot of December.
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fa-la-la-la-la farangs (foreigners) celebrating Christmas

As the 100-days of mourning continues, the Christmas celebrations have arrived in Bangkok, but in a very muted way. Even the city's mega-malls (shopping tourism is big here) have pulled back, but there has been creativity in the grief. One mall put up displays of white trees with yellow decorations. White symbolizes mourning and yellow is the colour of the late King (each day of the week is represented by a colour and so the Monarchy uses the colour of each family member's birthday to represent that person).

Earlier in the month, PAOC workers from around the country came together in Pattaya for strategic conversations about the work taking place throughout the country. It's great seeing people who could operate independently of one another, choose to come together and invest in collaboration. It was also a great opportunity for us to meet those who are veterans here, learn from them, and build relationship. Plus, there was a gift exchange!
Daxon and Zala taking in the white and yellow Christmas trees.
A group shot of PAOC workers from around Thailand.
December was also a month of great connections.

We celebrated Daxon's 5th birthday and invited his friends and their families to a party. It was a great mix of people from the facets of our life here. Building community requires shared experiences. Our proud parent moments came when Daxon delivered an un-coached thank you speech to his friends and insisted on serving them cake before he had his own.

There have been some neat opportunities for Imagine Thailand that we were able to be part of. A highlight for Matthew was meeting with interns from the Canadian and Dutch Embassies to discuss the migrant situation in Mae Sot. There is a lot of good to be done, and we will do it best in partnership. Meetings with Embassy people sounds impressive, but God and gravity keep Matthew humble. While going into the meeting place, the street had just been washed and Matthew fell going up a few stairs on wet crutches. It hurt his pride more than his broken ankle!

Along with the Wylie and Huzzey families, we put together gifts for the staff in the apartment complex where we all live. We are trying to make the most of an opportunity to express love, thanks, and the message of the Christmas season, we were surprised when the staff here presented all of us with gifts before we gave ours to them. We still feel like we seized an opportunity to share about why we celebrate this season, it was a great reminder of how Christ in Christmas can bring out generosity and community in a context which does not recognize why Christmas is so special.

This week Imagine Thailand saw off a team from Brampton ON and welcomed a team from Saskatoon SK. We had very little to do with these teams as they were serving at Imagine projects outside of Bangkok. We were able to say goodbye and hello as the teams passed through the city. Hearing their stories of experiences past and anticipated were wonderful reminders to us of the great team we are part of here. The work of Imagine Thailand is creating real change as we are focusing on language learning and it's humbling to be brought into this team.


the paperwork to stay

This month there was a step added to our process that is either new (the visa laws changed this month) or we simply missed before.

With Matthew's work permit and our renewed visas, we thought we could apply for our one year visas. However, to apply for our one year visa we need a letter of invitation from the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW). We applied for our letter at the start of the month and are waiting on it now. Moving forward we will file activity reports every 90 days with the DSDW and our visas will be contingent on the DSDW approving of our work.


the LIghthouse Learning Centre continues to grow

The foundations are now in place for the modular classrooms to be delivered and installed. The shipping containers have been modified and have been painted pink to match the Lighthouse Learning Centre. The containers will be delivered to the learning centre on January 27th providing much needed additional classroom space.

Today (December 24th), the LIghthouse Learning Centre is putting on a Christmas Party for the community. The team from Saskatoon is there to help as part of their "Christmas with a Purpose" trip. Join us in praying for the Lighthouse staff and the Saskatoon team as they share about God's love for us as seen in Christmas.
The foundations to the right of the Centre are ready for the modular classrooms.
The converted shipping containers are ready to be sent to Takua Pa and will be operational by the end of January.


thank you for investing in Thailand

This year we launched to Thailand because of your generous investments. Whether you believe in us, want to make a difference in Thailand, or support the work of Imagine Thailand, we're grateful for your gifts. We know they come with sacrifice and we work hard to make every dollar count.

Your money doesn't just make our life here possible, it helps provide meaningful employment to nationals, provides water and soy milk for migrant children, and boosts the education of those still dealing with the aftermath of the tsunami. All of this is done to help introduce people to Jesus.

We recognize it's an expensive time of year, but as you think and pray through your year-end giving, we invite you to consider us and the work of Imagine Thailand.

You can give by TEXT, online (CANADIAN or AMERICAN), or by cheque.
Getting involved is just a text message away.

Text GIVE to 647-360-8056 to make a one-time donation right now to our life and work in Thailand.

Text PRAY to 647-360-8056 to add your email to our prayer list and get prayer updates (separate from this newsletter).

Text NOW to 647-360-8056 to get a text back with some of the areas we are praying about right now.


we believe there is strength in numbers

  • OUR VAN SOLD! This is a huge answer to prayer. We sold it at a loss so it will remain part of our personal finances for a little while longer, but we're happy to have resolution. Thanks for praying!
  • Our Christmas break from language school will soon be over. Pray for our brains to kick back into student mode very soon!
  • At present, we're all pretty healthy! This is a win. Matthew's ankle is healing well and he goes for his next x-ray on the 29th (one day after his birthday, which he shares with Azaiah Wylie). Pray for continued health and that Matthew will be cast-free soon!
  • Pray for continued opportunities, for us and the Imagine team, throughout the Christmas season to share about God's love for us as seen in Jesus coming.

CANADIAN residents can partner with us through the International Missions department of the PAOC to receive a tax receipt.
AMERICAN residents can partner with us through our American sister organization to receive a tax receipt.
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