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, March 25, 2009

Weekend Away to Pitsanulork

A couple weekends ago, i was able to go on a weekend tiaw with my teacher and her family to Pitsanulork (honestly, i have no idea how they spell it in english :) haha). it was an awesome weekend away to spend time with my teacher, get to meet her relo's - although i didn't understand a whole lot of what was said as they all spoke issaan, get to see other parts of the Thai countryside that i've never seen, plus do crazy things like bushbashing for 4 hours wearing thongs, then climbing up bamboo ladders to get to the top of the rock on the top of the mountain (like Pigeon House mountain near Ulladulla for those who've been there). Was really cool fun. anyway, here are a few pics from the weekened away.

with Jai and Im

somewhere on the mountain

me and jai

on top of chang luang (the mountain)

picnic lunch on the mountain

one of the ladders to get up the top of one of the 3 rocks

on top of the rock

oops - gotta be careful

somewhere on the way up the mountain

attempting to take a photo of what we climbed

the non existent path we took

trying to get up the last rock

the ladder up to the last rock

trying to get up to the top of the last rock

on top of the last rock

the sore, tired feet after 4 hrs of bush bashing

massive fish that was caught - unfortunately not by me

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's the unexpected people that God uses...

At the moment, Kim and I are taking our cell group through an overview of the Bible, to help others understand tbe 'big picture' of the Bible, so in the future, no matter what they read from wherever in the Bible, they'll hopefully be able to read it in some sort of context and therefore understand it more. Last night as Kim and i were preparing the next study on Judges, we got to the end, trying to think of application points and a good intro activity. Part of what we want people to learn and realise is that God so often uses the unexpected people/things to be the thing that rescues us. There are so many examples of that as we read through Judges, but the ultimate example is Jesus dying on a cross! so we started thinking of intro scenarios that might help introduce the whole 'unexpected king' idea. We thought about having a hypothetical where our cell group was taken hostage by terrorists. Who would we like to come be our rescuer? James Bond 007, Rambo, Bill Gates, Mickey Mouse, Deb Chen??? i'm sure most of us would choose the character/person who we thought had the skills, had the muscle power or had the money? but what about the ordinary people? So then kim started thinking towards our cell group and Kim brought up a really good point. If we were to think back about 5 months ago when our group was trying to work out what to study and who would be leading the group, who would we think would be leading the group at the moment? Our group is made up of a Bible College lecturer, doctor, head manager at the Chiang Mai Zoo, teachers, church secretary and an architect...to a waitress in a hotel who just finished uni last year and a foreigner who's only got limited thai..... apart from the last 2 people, It seems to be a pretty impressive group as such based on their qualifications, skills from a worldly point of view. So who would be the ones ready to lead the group? In a culture where age generally earns you respect, to be the youngest person in the group teaching older ones is a crazy role reversal. So who would've thought, that this year, it's the young waitress (youngest in the group) and the foreigner with limited Thai who would be the ones teaching the group the Bible? It was a really weird realisation that we had last night as we prepared our study of how God really does use the unexpected people!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jesus Riding a Pink Donkey???

I'm sure many of you a probably starting to worry about some of the things that i've been teaching over here. Come on, God pulling his pants down and now pink donkeys..... but it is all legit or honest mistakes. We've just started doing a 6 week series on Easter with the kids at sunday school. For the craft, we've decided to make a display of easter for the whole church. So we've made big characters for the kids to colour in, and we're then making a big display at the front of the church, so each week, the adults can see the story take place and see what the kids have been up to when they head out to sunday school.

the display wall

So the first week, we taught the kids about the triumphal entry. So of course there's a big picture of Jesus riding on a donkey that needs to be coloured in. I have no idea how it happened, but my niece Mimi and 2 of the other girls ended up being responsible for making Jesus look 'pretty'. So if Jesus is going to be pretty, what better colour to make the donkey that he's riding.....PINK with long eyelashes!!! HELLO!! Pretty funny really. At least it makes it memorable for everyone at church and it stands out more then if it were a boring brown.

Last week we taught about the last supper, so have made a whole lot of plasticine figurines to show the scene of the last supper.

The Last Supper (before it made it on official display)

It'd be great if you could be praying for the teachers as we teach the kids about Easter. Please pray especially for Kristy as she takes over the training of the leaders while Denise is back in Oz.

With some of the teachers at the wedding

So other stuff that's been happening...i went along to the wedding of the daughter of one of the teachers at school. It meant that i also had to wear a skirt, which seem to amuse many of the teachers who have been begging me to dress more 'feminine'. So they were pretty stoked to finally have an opportunity to see me in a skirt!! :) haha

Who ever heard of graduation ceremonies for Kindy??? Well over here, it happens!! Last weekend, Mimi graduated from Kindy and from next school term will officially be in primary school. She was also one of 2 kids to be chosen to be the student representative to say a few words on behalf of the rest of the kids to the teachers as a thank you for teaching them. On top of that, she also got a special award for excellence in English. Hmmmm....bit of an unfair advantage there i reckon, but hey, may as well take what you can hey?? :)

cool shot of the kids

the Dicksons at Mimi's graduation

Thursday, March 5, 2009

God's fulfilling his promise by pulling down his pants?????

So i've discovered yet another way how my dodgy thai can end up teaching 'interesting' truths about God. Thankfully this was only done with my teacher as she was helping me prepare things i was going to be teaching at cell group this week.

Story goes like this: i was trying to explain that at the beginning of Exodus, we start to see how God is beginning to fulfil his promises to Abraham as the Israelites start to increase in number. So i went to my online thai-english dictionary and typed in the word for 'fulfil'. i was given a few options and chose the one i thought was best - which sounds like 'gae bon'. However, i soon discovered that was a wrong choice. As that meant that we fulfil promises we make to God, not that God fulfils a promise he made to us. When my teacher looked at it, she realised i had chosen the wrong word, so changed it to just 'gae' on it's own. Which i thought was a bit odd, so wanted to confirm that we use 'gae' on it's own to explain god fulfilling his promises. Only problem, i kinda didn't use enough words and said 'gae diaw'. Only thing is, she heard 'gae tdiaw' and subsequently burst out into fits of laughter. 'gae tdiaw' in northern thai means to pull down your pants!! hmmm, better watch what i say at cell group this friday. (actually, what i really want to say doesn't sound anything like that, so no chance of me saying the wrong thing there - but i might end up teaching some other 'interesting' thing from the Bible instead - only i'll never know).