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.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Radio Outreach in Thailand

God continues to open up new opportunities over here. The latest is still in very infant stages at the moment, but one of the Christian organisations over here is keen to look at the possibilities of using Radio as a way of encouraging people to seriously consider the Bible.The plan is to try and reach 1. those who have never heard or read it in their lives, 2. those who might be christians, but have never read or see the importance of reading the bible because they don't know any better and have never been taught. As for how it'll work just at the moment is still to be determined, but the idea is to look at getting some testimonies from people who have really been impacted by God's word and to hear how their lives were changed when they did hear God's word/read the Bible.

There was one story i was told about a thai soldier who was ready to commit suicide by drowning in a river. However before he went through with it, he thought that he'd have one last meal. So he went and bought some fried banana's. While he was eating his 'last' meal, he noticed that the banana's he'd bought were wrapped in in paper that had some writing on it. Those 'pages' of writing were in fact pages from a Bible. As this guy read the writing on the pages, he realised that life was worth living, that there was a point to life. Since then, he became a pastor of a church and has has been on fire for God since. I believe now he's in his 80's and still serving God. I don't know what the passage of scripture was that he read that day, but i thought it was a great way of being reminded that it is God's word that changes people's lives. It's not necessarily about what we do or how well we do it. We just always need to be pointing people back to God's Word!

Anyway, it's been interesting to be once again thinking about possibilities of various types of 'media evangelism'. It really is still early days and i have no idea what role i can/will play with this, especially given my recent thoughts about how hard it would be to do any kind of multimedia recording/editing with my current language level. But it's exciting to be seeing Thai's passionate for the gospel and getting God's Word out there. If i can help with that, that'd be awesome. Please pray for those who are involved with the project, for wisdom, discernment and a continued love for God's Word

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why would anyone want to use my voice?

So i discovered what real desperation is today when i got a call from a Thai friend who was trying to help out another friend find a 'native english speaker' to do some voice over work that needed to be done today for some online english teaching program that their company is developing. Having worked in media, i have a fairly good idea of what's needed for a job like that, and i know for a fact that i don't have it. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and i can now add 'voice talent' to my resume :) haha Pretty funny really if you ask me. I'm just waiting to meet some Thai kid in the street who speaks like me cos they've done this english course. Hmmmm.....actually, that's a very scary thought, but very funny at the same time. Whist at first, i thought of it as a whole new level of 'quality' that's acceptable over here, i then started to really think about the fact that if it was me trying to record stuff in Thai, i'm not so sure that i'd know the difference between a 'good' and a 'bad' take either. Really made me think, if i want to be doing anything in the lines of multimedia in the future over here, there's a LOT that i need to learn - and it's not just language!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Ok, so i still think it is God's clever way of forcing silence on you through lack of language. It really has been a really great way of sitting back, observing, absorbing and really getting a much better understanding of not only the language and culture, but also where the church is at and where Christians are at in their understanding of the Bible. The lack of language didn't really seem to bother me all that much in my first 6 months, maybe cos i really didn't understand all that much and i was just hanging onto any familiar words, phrases, concepts etc. But now, it's starting to feel like an annoying roadblock.

I know that i've still got a LONG way to go with language learning and understanding of the culture over here, but as i'm understanding more and 'almost' having the ability to say what i want to say (or find a way around saying the concept i want to say), i must say, my patience is also starting to get tested. There are just so many times i want to speak up, share my thoughts from the Bible, encourage friends to think more deeply about other aspects of the topic they're trying to learn about but may have missed the point on. But when i do speak up, i just feel like i keep hitting a massive brick wall in language - or lack thereof. No doubt it's turned into a huge motivator for my language learning, but there's also only so much a brain can take in at a time as well.

the other exciting (but frustrating for me) things that are happening over here are just the amount of awesome ministry opportunities that keep on arising over here - eg to start bible study groups, study the bible with people one-on-one, training up of Thai christians and partnering with them etc. To be honest, I just want to get in there and be a part of it all. But i can't. Best i can do right now is just go along, sit back, observe, try and pick up more vocab and build relationships. But i want to be able to do more!! i feel like everyone is getting on the train and taking off, but i'm still packing my bags and am not quite ready yet. i know that for some of the misso's here, it's taken almost 6 yrs for all these opportunities to come, so they've really had to be patient and wait. I'm just lucky enough to be able to ride off so much of the groundwork they've laid down over the years. But seeing them all go for it now, and me just not being ready is really quite....well....frustrating.

For those praying, please pray for patience, for continued language learning, but also give thanks for the many opportunities that are popping up all over the place. Pray that God will become known and glorified through it all

Monday, August 18, 2008

Couple of things to pray for

The past few weeks/months in themselves seem essentially quite 'uneventful' - it's not like i've got to pat more panda's or met more royalty etc. I guess in some ways it's probably more a 'normal' life where your typical everyday things happen. But even though it doesn't feel that eventful at the time, it all eventually comes together at some stage where heaps of 'small' things, suddenly become 'bigger'. So there are a few things that would be fantastic to get your prayer on if you can:

1. School - Over the past few months, there have been a few problematic issues at the school. I don't want to go into much detail, but the essence of it is poor management skills which have led to many of the experienced teachers leaving and taking students with them, with not many new students coming. The short end of the story is that the future of the school is somewhat uncertain at the moment which for people like myself who have a student visa through the school, could potentially cause a few visa issues in the future should something happen to the school. Please pray for wisdom for me to know what is the best thing to do, to check out other school options (if i can change schools), or check out alternate visa options, or just pray and hope that nothing happens to the school. I'm not really sure what is best at the moment, but i'd really appreciate your prayers in this.

I've also had the opportunity to change school campus' in the past week. It wasn't my ideal at the time, but i was keen to keep on learning with my teacher rather then get a new one. It's only been a week so far, but so far it seems moving out to the new campus has given me some huge opportunities to get to know my teacher and a couple of the secretaries of the school heaps better as i eat lunch with them and pretty much hang out for a couple hours after the lesson. My teacher, Khruu Jai, is really cool too and we get on really well both in and out of the classroom. I'm hoping that there may be opportunities to study the bible with these guys during the week since the new campus doesn't really have an a formal weekly 'bible' time together. Please pray for opportunities to get to know Khruu Jai, Oar and Wao much better and for a chance to be a good witness to them too.

2. Cell Group - It's exciting to see and hear how the cell group that i've been going to has grown over the past 4 years. From a group of about 4-5 people 4 years ago, to a group of about 16-20 who meet each week now. It's an awesome group of people who get on really well together and are like family, but the size of the group has now become slightly problematic in places to meet as well as being able to invite new comers along and helping them fit in etc. So the plan is in place to split the group in the next few weeks. As much as everyone loves the group and doesn't want to split, it is encouraging to see that most of the group agree that it is a good thing to do and is best for the future. However, whilst everyone agrees it's a good way forward, no one is sure how to split the group or what. To be perfectly honest, It's frustrating at times to sit back and watch as they make try to make decisions and get everyone involved, but i'm also sure it's the way that things are done over here. i'm still really wary to put my hand up and offer advice, cos i just don't know if it's helpful or appropriate. Please pray for those making the decisions for the group, that they'll have wisdom to know what is best and be 'leaders' who lead. Please pray for Mac, Daa, Tor, Gunn & May as they make the decisions for the group and for the group too, that no one will feel bad with the way the groups splits etc, but that it will all be for the good of the group in helping them to grow as Christians and for everyone to be able to encourage each other more

Thanks for all those who pray and for your partnership through prayer. It's much appreciated and is also so powerful. will keep you posted on how all this stuff pans out

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

I know it's not May, but it's mothers day none the less. Unlike Australia who seem to choose a random date that's not even the Queen's real birthday for 'Mothers Day', here in Thailand, they actually celebrate Mothers Day on the Queen's Birthday. And it's a public holiday too! Pretty cool really.

Even though there was scope to go catch up with people today, waking up to heavy rain just put me in the mood to be lazy. So i finally had a full day at home to do catch up on a few emails, watch some olympics (haven't been able to do too much of that yet) then, my friend Kim came over so i could give her a haircut and so she could 'fix up' the hair cut she gave me. I won't show you any pics, cos in reality, we were both really tempted to head next door and ask them to help fix up the mess that we both made. Well, at least i don't have to work at a 5 star hotel in customer service :)

By not doing much today, i did get to catch up on on a bit of TV and noticed a few things: The olympics coverage here is pretty shocking. It's either not on, or 2 channels are showing exactly the same thing - 3-4hrs later. Hmmm. But for mothers day, it was pretty amazing to see that for at least an hour this evening, every single channel had a program or something dedicated to the Queen. At first, i felt annoyed that there was nothing else on, but it really made me think again at the way that the Thai's look at the Royal family and show their respect to them. It's really like nothing else i've ever experienced, but again it's a great insight for me into the way that we should be stopping everything for God and putting him as the most important person in our lives as well. Not just for one hour, one day of the year, but in everything that we do. It really is a huge eye opener to be able to experience living in a culture with respected and revered royalty.

on the flip side, i discovered on sunday that there are no sheep here! i seriously never gave it a thought before, but it puts a whole new spin on many bible stories that talk about Jesus as the shepherd who cares for his flock, so many of the psalms.....

I guess there's lots that we can be learning from each others cultures (not that the sheep farming in australia is like that of the bible either, but you know what i mean)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A few reflections - part 2

So last post on a few of my reflections i mentioned that one of the things that was really tugging at my heart was to be seeing Thai Christians grow to a maturity in Christ and be able to train up other Thai's and have thai's creating christian resources for thai's. In many ways, it seems like a huge dream, but one thing i was reminded of recently when listening to a talk from Isaiah, was the fact that we need to dream 'BIG' and to pray for those things and know that things that we might consider 'big' really aren't that big for God. He is able to do ANYTHING and we need to believe it and be faithful and do our bit.

Going to Bible College was always something that was on the agenda should long term overseas mission become more of a reality. As much as i dislike study, i knew that if i was to stay here long term, going to college would be a good idea. The more i think about the type of ministry that i'd like to be involved in for the future, the more important i think heading to college will be, to make sure that i'm as equipped as i can be so that i can be most effective that i can be over here. As i was talking to one of the missionary students at school today, it became even clearer to me the importance of being equipped and having a greater knowledge of the Bible and of God, especially if we want to train others. Apart from the odd 'freakish' person, generally most student's only ever learn as much as their teacher can teach them. So i'm thinking, (not that i'm planning on doing this on my own), but if i want to be involved in training thai's to a level of maturity so that they ultimately can be teaching, training Thai's, creating resources and hopefully growing the church over here, i need to make sure that i'm equipped as well as i possibly can be. It got me thinking, "is my understanding and 'ability' at a level that can do all that? Can i teach others to do all that?" Well, if i honestly think about it, i think i could do it to a certain extent, but i know that i have so much MORE to learn to even come close to being at a level that i think is necessary to be here long term doing that. I don't want to think that i know it all already and am not in any need of learning more, because i know that anything more that i learn is just more stuff i can be using to equip more thai's over here. how cool would that be to be able to teach others all we know about the Bible and have them excited to know more too.

So that leaves the question, what to do next? My initial idea was to come over for a year and 'test the waters' and see. Well, on testing the waters, i'm beginning to think that jumping in is most likely the way to go. But i think i need to learn how to be a 'strong swimmer' first. Which involves 2 things - more language learning, and being equipped more in the Bible. So what's the best way to go about that? Should i stay here for an extra year (ie stay here for an initial 2 year period) before heading back to college, or should i head back at the end of this year to head to college next year? Both plans have lots of pros and cons. Right now, i'm tempted to look at staying for the extra year, to try and concrete down more language and culture (which i hope that i won't lose as much of when i head back to oz), but also get a much better understanding of what it is i want to learn at college and so get the most of that. Or do i try and equip myself as much as i can as soon as i can, but possibly still be restricted cos of lost and lack of language? hmmmm...... lots to think and pray about.

for those praying, please pray for wisdom in what to do next year and for the future. Obviously, i'll still need to ask many of you for your continued support both prayerfully and financially for whatever it is that ends up happening. i know that God will open the doors that need to be opened and help to make things clearer for the future.

Another point for prayer is wisdom in what to do visa wise should i look at staying on for an additional year. My current student visa isn't meant to expire til early next year, however there is a possibility that my visa might have to end earlier then that. If that is to happen, i think i have a few other possible visa options available to me, but i'm just not sure what is the best thing to do right now. Please pray for the issues around the visa (sorry to be a bit vague, but it's a long story - basically some issues at the school i've got my visa through at the moment), for wisdom in what to do, that my student visa won't 'expire' earlier then it should, or if it does, that it won't end up being a major problem

anyway, still lots more thoughts to come, so stay posted :)