Welcome to PlaaPlaaPlaa!

So you may be wondering why PlaaPlaaPlaa? What are those strange fish symbols above? What is ปลา and what does it mean? In short, this is a blog site, so surely there's going to be plenty of rambling. Unfortunately BlahBlahBlah was already taken, so I had to settle for the 'Plaa'. But there's actually more to it then just ramblings. The first fish symbol is actually a Christian symbol meaning ICTHUS - a greek acronymn which means "Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour". The other strange letters you see in the last fish is actually the thai word for fish which funnily enough is pronounced "Plaa". So when you put it all together, this site is going to be my ramblings in telling people about how Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour in Thailand (with plenty of good stories about food in between). Happy reading.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bye Bron :( but welcome to the church camp

It's been an awesome past 6 weeks having my friend Bron stay with me as she did her thesis research on muiti-national supermarkets vs local fresh markets here in Chiang Mai. I'm highly impressed that she managed to have more weight in her carry on luggage then checked in luggage on her domestic flight to Bangkok this afternoon. A mighty fine effort really. But i think my friend Oum still takes the cake in arriving at the airport 10mins before her flight was to leave with 50kgs of luggage as she was leaving Thailand forever to live in the US. That's definitely one stressful way of getting out of paying overweight luggage.

But back to Bron, it really was a huge blessing to have her over here. To be able to share with her my life over here, to have her really come to love Thai's and learn so much about mission as well and to be such an encouragement to myself, the dickson's and many other thai christians over here. I know that many of my friends over here will really miss her. I'm amazed at the impact she was able to have and the relationships she was able to build in the short time that she was here. The fact that some friends even made special visits to come give her a farewell present, or that we had to make special visits to receive presents or those that she had only met once were sending her presents as well to say farewell says a lot about what people thought of her. Many of them keep asking me when she's coming back and really want for her to come back. So Bron.....you gotta come back :) you know what we think anyway :) hehe

for those who are praying:
- please pray for bron as she heas back to Oz and completes her studies
- pray for her as she faces an 'unknown' future when she finishes her studies, that God will be using her to be bringing glory to him, and using her to help others to know Him more
- pray that she'll be able to keep up her Thai and that she will be able to come back and visit again soon

Here's us with the Cana House kids who all drew special pictures for Bron

Church Camp this weekend!!
This weekend is actually a 4 day long weekend for the Thai Buddhist 'lent' (i guess that's the easiest way to try and describe it). Which also means it's our churches Weekend Away. It's the first one of these things i've ever been to, and i'm actually really excited about going on a number of fronts. It'll be a great opportunity to be meeting and getting to know many church people better - well, i hope so after spending 3 days with them :) i'm sure it'll also stretch me to the max in my language as well - living with 130 thai's, listening to talks, doing bible studies, prayer groups, 'compulsory fun' events etc etc etc - all in Thai. It's gonna be great.

But the other really exciting thing about it is that there are also a heap of non-christian friends of Denise and John's who are going to be going. A couple years ago, one of their friends became a christian, so brought her mum along to the church camp last year, where her mum also became a christian. However, her husband has been really anti christian since she became a christian - forbidding her to go to church or even read the Bible. So, she got around that by leaving her Bible at work and reading it in her lunch hours. However despite his hard heart to christians over the past couple years, this year he and other non christian members of her family have decided to come to the church camp which is REALLY EXCITING!!!

For those who are praying, please pray
- for this family in particular, that God will be working in the hearts of the non christian members of the family and helping them to understand what Christianity is all about.
- for the church camp to go smoothly and that many people will learn lots and be challenged by the Bible
- pray for Ajarn Chayan as he gives the talks
- pray for me to understand more then less this weekend

One of the fun parts of the weekend is the 'party night' that our cell group will be running on Saturday. We're basing on the show 'Are you smarter then a 5th grader' or the Thai equivalent of that. I'm seriously impressed with the creativity of some of the guys here and the technical skills that many of them have. God really has blessed many of them. That aside, it should be a great night of fun, encouragement and edification as we challenge those who come to the camp - are you smarter then Cell Moses (the name of our cell group). The host for the show is my friend Pi Tor who's the panda keeper at the zoo, so they thought we'd have a couple of mascots for the night - Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang. Here's a couple of us having a bit of fun with them at our 'rehearsal' night

me with the panda's

Jao with the panda's

See if you can guess who this cute kid is - one of questions that will be asked on the Party Night

ok, and here's just a random shot of me turning more thai..... hmmmmm......