November is the beginning of the cool season here in Thailand. It's not as chilly as it sounds. Read this hot update about the month of November.
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looking back on the month of November

November marked the beginning of the "cool" season. The daily torrential rainfalls have stopped and the temperature has moved into the low 30's (Celsius). It was a refreshing 26 C (78.8 F) this morning as we took Daxon to school. Amber's mom also visited this month and she helped us understand that we've acclamated to the temperature more than we've realized!

Matthew's ankle continues to heal and he has a follow-up appointment on December 8th to determine how much longer a cast is required. We're praying for him to be crutch-free before Christmas. Health in general has been a challenge for our family since moving. Daxon caught a wicked stomach bug this month and it underscores the need to pray for health and to make good choices as we adjust to new bacteria in a new environment.

At the end of the month we successfully completed Speaking Level 2 at our Thai Language School. We're taking a break in December from the classroom as year-end work and Daxon's school holidays make balancing language classes much harder. We want to ensure we're learning and not just showing up. Plus, Daxon gets almost a month off starting on December 9th (not to mention the 5th is a national holiday for Thai Father's Day). We'll be doing lots of review on our own and then it's back to the classroom in January.

Compared to Polish we are speaking much sooner in Thai. The grammar is very simple, but the pronunciation of those tones - yikes!
Our Speaking Level 2 class on our last day together. Most of us were together in Level 1.
The water installation project in Myanmar continued this month with great success.
This past Sunday we celebrated the first week of Advent with the children. Jim and Denise Huzzey (Megan Wylie's parents) did a great job of putting this together. It will be our first Christmas in Thailand. There is so much new. As a young family we are still building our own traditions, then add the layer of being in a predominantly Buddhist country which is mourning the late King Rama IX, and there is much to navigate. Celebrating Advent is one way that we are bringing our children into the deeper meanings of Christmas.

This month was also great for relational wins. When looking at building community and connecting into the surrounding community, it's hard to gauge what success looks like. November offered up beautiful moments where we saw connection deepening. This looked like coffee with parents from Daxon's school, time with our language school classmates outside of the classroom, our neighbour dropping off gifts for the kids and bags of rice for us, a neat connecting point with the administration of Daxon's school, and time spent with members of the Imagine Thailand team.

It was a full month for Imagine Thailand. The clean water installation in Myanmar, across the border from Mae Sot, Thailand where Imagine has a base of operations, moved towards completion. This comes at a time when Myanmar is experiencing internal tensions and so acts of practical service speak even louder. In Takua Pa, the Lighthouse Learning Centre is being expanded (see below) and the staff are preparing for the annual Christmas party for the children.


the paperwork to stay

On Amber's birthday we went to language school, grabbed Daxon from his school, and flew down to Kuala Lumpur (KL) to renew our 90 day visas. This had to be done from out of country. Traveling with cute kids and a guy on crutches was like holding an express pass and we're grateful for the kindness of strangers along the way.

We're happy to share that we received our renewed 90 day visas! Thanks for praying along with us.

It was interesting to get a glimpse into one of our regional neighbours. KL is rich in history and architecture. Our hotel overlooked the As Syakirin Mosque and the call to prayer and the devotion of those who came to prayers were beautiful. It was humbling to have a bird's eye view of their faith in action. We also explored the Petronas Towers but didn't find Sean Connery or Catherine Zeta-Jones (think Entrapment).

NEXT STEPS: with our new 90 day visas and Matthew's work permit, we will apply for a one-year visa. Currently we are preparing the documents required to apply. Pray for us on December 2nd as we apply for our one year visa.
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mourning beyond the official mourning period

The 30 Days of Mourning has officially come to an end, but black banners remain on fences, electronic billboards continue to display messages of condolence, and Thais continue to avoid wearing colourful clothing. The streets around the Grand Palace remain closed as Thais are still lining up by the thousands (as early as 3am) to pay their respects to the body of King Rama IX. Memorials and books of condolences can be found throughout the city and transport companies are still bringing people in from around the country.

On December 1st, the ceremony to consecrate King Rama IX's body will take place. This will pave the way for his son to be crowned King Rama X - most likely next year.

It isn't clear when the sense of grief will abate, but for now public celebrations remain muted, Christmas appears to be absent, and there is a very present sense of loss as Thais talk about the loss of "my king".

We continue to pray for Thailand, her people, and her leaders.


expanding the LIghthouse Learning Centre in Takua Pa

Imagine Thailand founded the Lighthouse Learning Centre in Takua Pa in response to an expressed need from the community. Following the tsunami which devastated this area, local schools were all but non-existent. As the area has rebuilt, the Lighthouse Learning Centre has become a place of supplemental education and tutoring.

The Learning Centre has become such a key part of the community that it has reached capacity and so Imagine Thailand is expanding it with modular classrooms made from converted shipping containers. In the last week, we completed placing the foundations for two of the three modules. 

The first two units will be made into additional teaching space. These modular classrooms have been paid for, but they will need to be equipped with classroom supplies. During this season of generosity, if this is something you would like to know more about, we'd love to hear from you.


we believe there is strength in numbers

  • OUR VAN! We really need to sell our 2014 Dodge Caravan SXT. If you know someone who is looking, please let us know. Pray that this vehicle sells.
  • The Imagine Thailand team as we head into a busy season. Christmas brings great opportunity to share about God's greatest gift to us.
  • Health - that we would get healthy and stay healthy. We don't want health to be the thing that holds us back.
  • for Thailand as she grieves and Myanmar as she grapples with the new realities being faced as a nation.
  • next month, all of the PAOC Global Workers in Thailand are meeting in Pattaya. It's a work / bonding time hybrid. Pray that it would be a great time of connecting. People in proximity has great potential!

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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