God is leading us into a new building and He's using it before it is even ours. 
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A New Building

Several years ago Iven unexpectedly heard God say that we would start looking for a building in January, and find it in May. Every January since then, we find ourselves wondering whether this  will be the year that word will come to pass.

At the start of this year our team came to a point of unified clarity about what the heart and purpose of a Rak Teh building would be: that is threefold – a center for worship and prayer, a home in which to extend radical hospitality out of, and the anchoring birthplace of Church in our neighborhood.

Both our family and our teammates Lilian and Matthijs realized God was leading us to open our hearts to the prospect of moving in to that (as of then unknown) space together – to let it be “home” for our own families, and enable us to welcome our neighbors into our lives and families more wholly and sacrificially.  We finished that conversation with a continued commitment to wait, watch and pray, and see what God might be doing around us.

In April, Kashmira had a super crazy, vivid dream that she had confidence was from the Lord:

"It began with Iven leading me to a door in a very skinny and deep building, and explaining this was our new building and new home. It looked totally unappealing and I was pretty sceptical, but I trusted his confidence and agreed, “Lets try it.” We went to sleep in the building, and I was overwhelmingly distracted by the big windows that made me feel like I was living in a fishbowl on a busy street. I knew there were floors above us that also were ours, but I couldn’t look at them yet.

In my dream I woke up in the morning in the same building but it looked completely transformed. It was insanely beautiful and creative and I couldn’t believe that was where we lived. Then an orange-robed monk walked in the front door and started sweeping the entry-way. I thought this was strange, but continued in my enthusiastic jubilation about the building. Just then it began to change before my eyes and became an old, dingy bamboo warehouse (same footprint) filled with run-down Buddhist images. For the sake of space, I won’t go into details of the story, but will say that as I asked God what this was about He showed me that the beautiful, transformed building (spiritually, especially) was what was true, and the other images of the building were not to be trusted. The dream unfolded in this last scene with my speaking out (and watching happen before me) complete, transformational healing of an extremely disabled man who was then filled with a burning need to share the story of what God had done in him, my being bitten by a poisonous snake and rebuking the venom and the power of death, sharing with animals about God having redemption for all of Creation, and finally being begged to help out in a restaurant that had no edible food to speak of, only to see God multiply delicious aromatic soup out of sludge. It was a pretty cool dream, to say the least, and I had the strong sense that it was tied to the reality of a building God was preparing for us, but much more than that to a perspective shift empowering us to see our neighborhood and context through God’s eyes (a redeemed, transformed Kingdom) rather than our own."


In mid-May Iven found himself in a conversation with our landlord, mentioning that we were (probably) pregnant again and when the possibility of us moving into a larger space (eventually) came up, and she said cryptically, “I think I may have something for you…I am working on it.”

In June she approached us and explained that the Thai-Chinese family group that owns the building we live in now has purchased the building directly adjacent to us (across our back alley – about 10 feet away), will be doing some extensive remodeling to turn the top three floors into studio apartments, and wants to offer us the building first, if we are interested. Four weeks ago they let us know we needed to make an immediate decision, so they could move ahead on finding contractors and beginning to do the renovation work, with us in mind, if we were committed.

Some ridiculous kickers (shadows of the dream Kashmira had):

• The building is four stories, but the footprint is roughly 12 feet wide and 55 feet deep (a fairly common style in our neighborhood, but especially deep)

• The front window is completely glass and feels incredibly fish-bowly at night (this is the only unit in our entire extended neighborhood with a complete, untinted glass front wall)

• And (the really ridiculous thing) the bottom floor has been until recently used by the former owner as a doctor’s clinic, but the top three floors have been rented to a lawyer’s office that shares a wall – SO, there are not yet any internal stairs leading up to the 2nd, 3rd, 4rth floors  - which means we needed to say “yes, we intend to rent the building” before we could see anything but the first floor! (Whoever heard of only seeing a quarter of a building before agreeing to rent it - a crazy, confirming detail God is certainly involved in!)

Our team has (with fear and trembling, but consciously choosing faith) made a verbal agreement of our intention to rent the building. The expected monthly rent will be about 40,000 baht (about $1,250), not counting utilities and ministry activity costs. We anticipate having at least two families living in the building, which will cover some of those costs, but as a team we will be seeking out new financial partners who specifically want to invest in this vision. Our landlord has told us to expect the building to be ready for our use by January, but we know how renovation projects can go. Please join us in praying for God's perfect timing at every stage (we are well aware the building may be ready for us to take over the same month we will welcome a new baby!), for Him to be leading the details of renovations, and to be stirring the hearts of those He wants to lead into financial partnership for this building.

Meeting Jesus At 3:00am


A few weeks ago, in partnership with a (mostly) Thai DTS Outreach team that joined Rak Teh for ministry in early July, we were given permission by our landlord to host 24 hours of continuous prayer and worship in the ground floor of the new building, (since it is empty right now and renovations have not yet begun). It was a beautiful way to vision for how the space may come to be used, and to invite God’s presence into the property even before we take over as tenants. One of the DTS students offered to be upstairs with our kids so Iven and I could share some middle of the night prayer time in the prayer room together.

At 3:00 a.m. the two of us walked the 15 steps from our back alley door to the front door of the doctor’s-office-turned-prayer room and entered into a holy space. Though we intentionally hung a large sign in the window explaining what was happening and welcoming passerbys to come inside (many, many neighbors came and asked what was happening the day before as we cleaned and decorated the room) no one had yet taken us up on the invitation.

About 10 minutes after we arrived in the space, with much of our team already there, a young man we have known for years from both the Loop and our neighborhood (and whose girlfriend we had also known before she died two years ago due to alcohol related violence) wandered by, recognized us and decided to come in. A little afraid we might not remember him, “Z” was astonished to hear that the space had only been open that day, and explained that he just got released from 4 months in jail the same day.

“Z” shared openly about his current struggle with deep anxiety, and wondered out loud why it is that we only feel bad about some of our choices after we make them. Iven had a fantastic conversation with him about how Jesus is able to change us on the inside and “Z” joined Iven in praying his heart out to Jesus. After about 45-minutes together “Z” started to recognize a feeling of peace in his heart that wasn’t there before. He then sat outside with us listening to music worshiping Jesus for a while before continuing out into the night, filled with new hope and amazement that God was caring for him.

Its just a tiny taste, but it was a beautiful appetizer and reminder of how God’s presence can draw people to Himself. These past six+ years as a street-based ministry team we have trusted God to lead us to the people He is speaking to. Now as we look towards having a building for the first time, we love that God is reminding us He is able to bring people to us in just the same way. What a strange and special thing to have jobs like ours, simply seeking to be intentionally available – and we are pretty sure we just keep getting weirder and weirder in the eyes of many of our neighbors, but some people are experiencing peace, and life, through our willingness to be here, and to be weird – what joy.

Thank you for being part of the story of what God is doing here in the Pra Nakon district of Bangkok. (A reminder for anyone not yet receiving our weekly prayer updates who would like to - feel free to send us a quick note asking to be added to the list and we will happily include you.)

Much love,

Iven, Kashmira, Izayla, Elian, Kyin and a little Avacado-sized person in the tummy
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As non-salaried YWAM volunteers all of our financial support comes from
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Iven & Kashmira Hauptman | c/o YWAM Montana Accounting
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Our new Personal Mailing Address in Thailand:
Iven & Kashmira Hauptman | PO Box 2

Ratchdomnern Post Office | Bangkok | 10200 | Thailand

Our Contact Info:
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www.ivenandkashmira.info
skype: ivenandkashmira
tel US: 206.201.2134
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