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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cell Group and new video

thanks to those who prayed for my 'cell group' leading time last week. The short version, i think it went well and that i didn't completely confuse everyone. :) haha Having said that, i'm so thankful that it wasn't actually a 'proper' study, as leading the group through a broad read of many OT books stretched me a lot. However, i'm really glad that i had the chance to do it and i've learnt a lot through the experience. i'm really thankful for my teacher who was able to help me at midnight on skype the night before in doing the hand out for the group, which meant that even if i wasn't able to explain everything clearly, they could still read the main idea of what i wanted to say. I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing, i'm actually taking it as a good thing, that there was no comments made about the handout eg laughing about what i had written, words of encouragement to say 'good try' or corrections on wording and grammar etc. Basically, i reckon if there were comments to try and encourage me on them, it would mean that i had way too much wrong on there and they had no idea what i meant or wanted to say, but they all read it and used it as if it were 'normal', so i was actually really happy about that (hope that makes sense). i'm sure having a teacher fix lots of my bad grammar the night before was a massive help. :)

anyway, in the past couple weeks, i've been working on a deputation video for the Dickson's as they head back to Oz in less then 2 weeks time now. So for those of you who go to churches that support them, you can get a sneak peak at some of the stuff they'll be showing around Sydney when they go back. For others, you can check out some of the stuff they're doing, as some of the stuff they do is what i'm doing as well.

For those of you who are praying, please pray for the Dicksons as they head back to Oz, that it'll be a good time of rest, recuperation and time spent with family, friends and supporters.
Please pray for those of us who are left back here (Ken, Kristy and I) and the extra 'workload' we take up as the dicksons head back ie Baan Tawai, Sunday School training, cell groups, cell group leader training etc. It'll be a massive workload especially for Ken, so please keep him in your prayers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quick Prayer Request

For those of you who might check this before tonight, i'd covet your prayers for me as i 'lead' the cell group tonight as Kim isn't around. Thankfully the way things worked out, it's not actually taking them through a full study as such, but we're going to be reading lots of different stories from Exodus through to Deuteronomy. The aim is to try and familiarise them with some of the stories from those books so when we fly through it next week, they won't be completely lost. Even though it's not a full study as such, it's still pretty crazy in trying to think about how to explain stuff. The current plan is, if they have any questions, write them down and we'll sort it out when we actually study it next week. how's that for a good deflection plan? :)

thanks for your prayers :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taking the Joshua Cell Group through the 'Big Picture' of the Bible

It's been a really exciting past few weeks as Kim and i have started taking our cell group through the big picture of the bible. To see people who are new christians who've hardly read any of the Bible reading stories in the Bible for the first time, to others who are familiar with many of the stories, but not sure as to why each story in the bible is important or how it fits into the big picture of God's plan of salvation. It's been a real privilege to be able to prepare all the studies with Kim, and then to see her lead them and watching as her enthusiasm and excitement for what she's learn is passed onto other members of the group. What's been really interesting and amusing is when we started, it was quite easy to do a study on creation, then the fall, then God's promise to Abraham. But as we're getting into learning about the Israelites and doing big sweeps of the bible, like covering Exodus to Deuteronomy in one hit, it's been really challenging to work out what to include, what to leave out, how much of a general sweep do we do, how do you cover that much when there are people in the group who have never even read any of the stuff we're covering, so how do we fill them in on lots of 'assumed knowledge'. it's been tough, but really good working it all out.

In amongst all the prep and teaching, there has been lots of uncertainty over the past few months on a week to week basis as to whether Kim will even be able to make it to cell group to teach because of her ever changing work schedule. VERY scary thought for me, as the current plan B's are basically for me to take it, try and train up one of the other girls in our group to help translate as i teach, or find some other activity to do instead of a bible study when kim isn't able to make it. We've been praying hard that my language will improve considerably to be able to take the study in Kim's absence, however especially as we're starting to do major sweeps of the Bible and there's lots of 'story telling' involved, it's REALLY hard for me to do, and i also feel really sorry for the group having to try and understand all that i want to say. But God in his sovereignty knows that i am probably not quite ready, and EVERY single time that it's looked like i've had to teach, God has stepped in at the last moment to change kim's work schedule, so she CAN make it to cell group to teach!! Isn't God just the BEST?!?!?!

Anyway, things to be praying for:
- kim and i as we continue to prepare studies to teach the group. pray for wisdom & understanding.
- pray for kim's continued work situation and uncertainty of work schedules, that God will continue to be sovereign over all
- pray for my language to improve so that i might be able to teach...one day :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Time with old friends

Despite being quite busy still with language, baan tawai, cell group study prep, sunday school stuff etc, the past few couple weeks has also been really nice to catch up with some old friends who were in town for a couple of conferences and to finally meet their son. I must say, one of the major benefits of being in Thailand is that many people think that it's a great place for conferences and holidays (apart from some of those big multinational companies who have now declared that Thailand the situation is now too 'fragile' to allow their staff to come here - sorry jo), so it's nice to be able to see some familiar faces and catch up with old friends from Oz, who i just don't get to see too often anymore as they're serving God in other countries.

So despite me accidentally dropping steph and jayden (with all the luggage) at the wrong hotel yesterday ("oops"!!), we had a great time going to the markets, hot springs, taking them around to Baan Tawai and showing them the disabled workshop, taking them along to church, a quick visit to my school and all sorts of other things. Meeting Jayden was cool too. I couldn't believe how big he is - for an 8 month old. He's only 1/2 kg lighter then sean who's a year older then him. Check out the difference in leg size between sean and jayden. Classic!!

Was pretty happy i still have the knack of taking self shots, even with a kid.

just thought this was a great shot of james and Jayden

Anyway, this weekend is going to be another busy one with Robbie (a guy from DPC) coming, a school outing to the flower show which i have to act as translator again (i'm surprised they've asked me back again to help :) haha), then another party down at baan tawai on saturday, then church all day sun. Trying to work on getting some extra sleep into the mix somewhere. it'll happen sooner or later :) will keep you posted on other things happening.

But one quick exciting thing to praise God for, Kim's work schedule has changed again which means that she is ABLE to make it to cell groups this month and lead it. HUGE relief for me that she can go and that i don't have to be the one leading the group on my own :) It's been great the past few weeks being able to spend time with Kim preparing the cell group studies though. lots to be giving thanks for. Will update on this more soon