New Year, New Goals
Last month (and last year), I mentioned that we had some new plans that we are developing. Honestly, it's hard to figure out how to write about it, since the details are still being worked out. We've been in Thailand almost 10 years, setting up the Love For Asia Foundation (LFA) office and studio, and this country feels like home for us.
[The picture is is helping unpack electronics after LFA staff moved into the new office building.]
However, even though my father-in-law's Parkinson's is not at a severe stage yet, it is at a stage where we are making the judgment call as a family that it would be good for Daniel and I to be available for his parents as needed. Also, the administrative position that Daniel has held in the LFA Foundation had reached the end of a 5 year term, so it's a convenient time for a shift in responsibilities (in terms of organization). So starting at mid-May 2022, we plan to be in the USA for 10 months out of the year, and in Thailand for 2 months of the year.
Jesus warned the disciples not to neglect their parents in offerings to God, and we think that applies to the time we offer to God in our mission work. Thai culture values respect and care for parents very highly, so our shift in strategy is respected among our Thai friends here.
Actually, anyone older than you deserves your respect in Asia. We were just explaining to our kids that you could embarrass someone by asking an adult woman's age in the USA. That was a new concept to them, because I always need to find out if my adult friends are older or younger than I am, so that I can expect a mentoring relationship or one where I need to show them respect as the older person.
So as we talk our about our plan to slowly shift into care giving for our parents, our Thai friends and coworkers respond that we are stepping into a blessing. And we agree with that!
Just to be clear, though, we are NOT planning to retire from the mission field and our Thailand Gospel Ministry project. We still feel that God is calling us to continue working to share the gospel with the Thai people, and we have several creative ideas of how to do that!
Covid-19 restrictions has given us more ideas on how to do ministry remotely, so we know it is possible for us to keep working for Thailand through the internet.
We have several projects that we will be continuing remotely. Daniel will be working with the Asian language Hymnal apps. His current one is the Lao language, and he is also researching effective ways for a print edition to be available for some of the Southeast Asian countries. I am studying the Bible online with a Thai friend (who also speaks English), and I plan to pick up more Bible studies as I can. As my Thai improves, I hope to create videos to illustrate or teach Bible lessons.
In the meantime, we are working as hard as we can to maximize our impact in Thailand even while we work on the shift of our primary residence. For example, this month we enjoyed helping collect clothes for the poor.
We joined Gop and some of the LFA studio staff in giving food and clothes (and even a few toys) to an impoverished village near Mae Taeng, Thailand. The village population is from the Lisu tribe, and we have a growing church in that village. Their joy and excitement was such a blessing to watch!
So dear readers, please keep us in your prayers as we shift mission plans. And those of you who are donors, we still need you and appreciate you!
Anyone who wants to donate online can click on the link in the green box below. Also, some of our donors asked for the address to send a donation by check. You can write a check out to Jesus for Asia, Inc. (and please put Thailand Gospel Media Project in the memo or note area) and then send it to Jesus for Asia, Inc., PO Box 1221, Collegedale, TN 37315.
This newsletter is long enough, but next month I plan to tell a story I just heard, about how 82 people were baptized, and how we had a part in that. Thanks so much for making this possible!
Tesha and Daniel Bair, and kids.