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It's 2017, or 2560 in the Buddhist calendar as used in Thailand. We'd love to share about how the year has begun.
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JANUARY IN THAILAND

we're going to party like it's 2560...because that's the Buddhist year in Thailand


This month wasted no time in getting started. January kicked-off with Language School resuming right away. We're currently in the home stretch of Speaking Level 3. It's boatloads of vocabulary and we've probably forgotten more than we've remembered! Thank goodness for flashcards! Next week we begin our first course for Reading and Writing in Thai. Google the Thai alphabet and appreciate why we're intimidated. The days are full and our home has a revolving door. Read Amber's thoughts about our daily life over on our blog.

It was a relational month as we had a number of visitors and people passing through the city. From new people, such as Imagine Thailand's newest intern Marissa, to familiar faces, such as Darcy and Leanne McAlister, it's been good to have our home full. Darcy and Leanne work with PAOC International Missions and as part of our sending organization and as our friends, it was great to have them here in our world.

There was also a notable "see you later" this month as Jim and Denise Huzzey returned to Canada after having been here for 5 months. More than helping our two families get established here, Jim and Denise invested in us, our kids, and everyone around them. We are sad to see them go, but we know they'll be back!

We were also invited to a district event for the Full Gospel Assemblies of Thailand (FGAT - PAOC's primary partner in Thailand). We only understood portions of it, but it was a great evening of connecting with people engaged in serving the city.

On a national level, the 100 Days of Mourning for the passing of His Majesty King Rama IX has come to an end. Some colour has returned but the tone remains muted. Many Thais will observe a year of grieving.
Leanne and Darcy dinning al fresco so all the kids could run free!
Most of the Imagine Thailand team as we gathered for our 3 Seasons meetings.
Mid-month, the Imagine Thailand team gathered here in Bangkok for a time of connection, reporting, and planning ahead.  Zach and Megan Wylie did a great job of hosting the meetings in their home. This was the second "3 Seasons" meeting that we've been part of and it was exciting in a new way as we better understand all that is going on.

It felt good to contribute and it reminds us of the tension we live in between investing deeply in culture and language study and wanting to jump eyeball-deep into life with Imagine Thailand. Language study will make us more successful in the long-term, but it doesn't always feel as fun in the interim.

We were thrilled to hear year-end reports from different team members. From the water projects in Mae Sot to the Christmas Party in Takua Pa (where the town's mayor paid for the food and over 200 people from the community joined in) to the campus ministry in Bangkok - all of it is exciting and we're grateful to be part of a team like this.

Imagine Thailand is partnered with Entrance Coffeehouse and Studio which is a student ministry to the campus of Chulalongkorn University (Thailand's oldest and arguably most prestigious university). This year "Chula" is celebrating 100 years and we're engaging in 100 Days of Prayer for the university. We're about mid-way through now. If you'd like to receive a daily prayer email, please let us know and we will see that you get them.

VISA PROCESS

the paperwork to stay


In order for Immigration to issue a visa, a different ministry within the government must take responsibility for you. Because of the nature of our work, we report to the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW). This month we found out the DSDW decided to grant us a 6-month visa and not the 1 year visa we had requested. It's not uncommon - especially for new comers. With our letter from DSDW we were able to obtain our 6-month visa. The plan is that in 6 months we will apply for a 1 year visa which we can then renew annually.
ZOE Network works to connect women in Canada with women serving in different contexts around the world. Leanne helps bring leadership to ZOE Network and sat down with Megan and Amber.

Check out the video on ZOE's Facebook page.

LIGHTHOUSE UPDATE

the Lighthouse Learning Centre continues to grow


The modified shipping containers turned classrooms are now in Takua Pa at the Lighthouse Learning Centre. Our water installation team from Mae Sot has gone down to help with the setup (go team work). This added classroom space will provide the students with an improved learning environment. The fact that the centre continues to grow speaks so highly of the team there and the relationship they have built with students and the community. A Christian presence in southern Thailand is challenging, and yet we've seen such open doors there. This is an exciting time for Takua Pa!
The containers were shipped overnight from Bangkok and hoisted onto their foundations with a crane.
The Students and teaching staff at the LIghthouse Learning Centre are very excited!
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Matthew
Matthew
Amber
Amber
Matthew
Matthew
Imagine Thailand
Imagine Thailand
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.

PRAY WITH US

we believe there is strength in numbers

  • health continues to be a challenge as Daxon spiked a fever a few days ago and is on the mend now. Zala had a wart cut out of her foot this weekend and we're praying against infection. It was deep!
  • Matthew is now cast and crutches free and has begun the process of rebuilding strength and flexibility in his ankle and leg. There's no running or sports permitted yet. Please pray everything heals as it should.
  • Pray for our brains as we head into reading and writing in Thai.
  • It's been a challenging parenting season as our kids adjust and respond to the shift in culture. Pray that we remember that it's about parenting and not winning and that we have the grace and insight to parent well.

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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