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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Travels across the Tasman

It's been an awesome past week in NZ, spending time with family, enjoying my cousins wedding and post wedding celebrations, walks to the city, helping babysit my cousins kids, helping to prime another cousins house, sailing out on Auckland harbour, eating, eating, eating....and more eating. As i came to posting up photos, i realised that i hardly had any photos of the wedding, in particular, the bride and groom as i was concentrating so much on doing the video for them. But i did manage to get in a few other shots with other cousins. While my time in NZ was at times full on (at one stage there were 8 of us staying together at my aunty's place), it was generally a really relaxing time and a real blessing to be able to get away and spend with family.

When we got back to the Gold Coast, we were pleasantly surprised by a new 'pet' turtle that we found in our backyard. We're still trying to work out how it got there. We did release it back into the canals, hopefully it'll come back again.

For those who pray:
- praise God for the opportunity go spend time with family
- praise God for safe travels
- pray for my final month in Sydney, to spend the time well and be able to catch up with everyone.

Here are a few photos from the past week:

One of my few shots of the bride and groom

With most of the cousins

Trying to be creative with a rose and chocs given out at the wedding

As I was taking photos of the wedding flowers, this bee just happened to land in the middle of the shot

with mum sailing out on Auckland Harbour

dad with our surprise turtle

Mackay and Louie playing on the beach

the suckling pig at the post wedding celebrations

the fruit platter we made

trying to do a Donna Hay eskish photo of Iona's cupcakes

another attempt with the Nutella cupcakes

attempting some actions shots with the kids

Plus some other random experimental shots around Auckland

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tickets booked

New date for the diary...Monday 26th March. That's the date I'll be leaving Sydney to head to Thailand. Thanks to my parents, I was able to book my ticket over to Thailand on frequent flyer points. What a huge blessing! So as i start to count down my time in Australia, I'll keep you posted on times and dates for farewells. I'd love to be able to spend as much time with you all as I can before I head. 1 month to go...

Monday, February 20, 2012

A week of relaxation

It's been a great past week up at the Gold Coast spending time with my parents and my aunty and relaxing. Thankfully the weather turned it on and it's meant that there's been lots of time in the pool, out on the kayak, playing tennis with a bunch of people who's average (including me) was 70+yrs, socialising with my parents friends and just chilling.

The 'chen' resort

Some of the highlights of the week include feeding dad's 'pet' fish

Heading out on the kayak every morning, which has been a great time of not only getting some exercise, but especially for spending time in prayer and with God.

Doing a bit of cooking - including more mango sticky rice for a lunch with old friends

Having the Channel 7 film crew come around filming for a show on Saturday arvo at 5.30 in a couple weeks

Cooking my own steak on a Hot Rock at Black Angus

and of course playing with my camera. Here are a few more experimental shots

experimental shots

Experimental shots

Experimental shots

For those who pray:
- praise God for the opportunity to come up to the Gold Coast to spend time with family and relax
- praise God for good weather
- praise God for some opportunities to share with my parents friends what i'll be doing in Thailand
- pray for safe travels and quality time with extended family in NZ next week

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Post Info Night

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Info Night last night. I was truly blown away by the encouragement and support from everyone that came, and also from many who weren't able to make it. God is indeed good in providing so many faithful brothers and sisters to encourage, support and partner with me.

For those who weren't able to make the night, here's a quick run down of the night. The idea for the night was to give people an an experience of Thailand, where they could experience the tastes, sights and sounds of Thailand and get introduced to a few Thai friends along the way. So i thought it would be appropriate to kick off the night by getting everyone to stand and watch the Thai Royal Anthem, a very appropriate way to start any 'auspicious' occasion. That was then followed by the following vox pop about peoples impressions and knowledge about Thailand.

I then attempted to embark on teaching everyone how to make Khao Niaw Ma Muang (mango sticky rice). Thankfully it actually worked - despite the water running dry in the wok a couple times. Thankfully there were a few observant people who noticed 'smoke' and came to the rescue.

About to steam the rice

Here's a pic of the dessert after people have hoed into it

While the rice was cooking, I then began the tour of Thailand, showing them some of the sights of beaches, food, markets, festivals, traffic, as well as wats, Buddha images and monks. This naturally led us to getting a greater understanding of the needs in Thailand for people to not only hear the gospel, but also for the opportunity to learn how to read, understand the Bible for themselves in order to teach it to others. I introduced my everyone to some of my friends, Kim, Ajarn Jazz and Maggie and Ice and shared a little bit about how they have been impacted by Gods word and are keen to be serving God.

Taking everyone on the tour of Thailand

We then played a quick game of 'Place or Food' to give everyone a chance to stretch before i went onto to share about what my plans are for ministry in Thailand.

I then answered a few quick FAQ's then had a chance for questions. There were some really good questions that came out, and a few unexpected answers they got about some of the potential challenges of being a single female doing mission work (if you want to find out what those answers were, you'll just have to come and ask me). Craig then got up to talk about partnership and support before we broke up into smaller groups to pray for Thailand and for me.

We wrapped up the night by finishing up the dessert and then eating an amazing supper that many friends kindly provided.

The supper spread!

The night was a huge encouragement to me and has made me even more excited about heading back to Thailand. However, at the same time, it also made me sad to think about all the people that I won't get to see on a regular basis back here. But i'm hoping that coming back for home assignment ever couple years will mean that i do still get to see people on a semi regular basis.

Just wanted to also say a huge THANKS to everyone who came and who helped in so many ways - providing supper, setting up, doing tech, washing up and cleaning up. You guys are the BEST!!!

Here are a few photos from the night.

Setting up the night - with my little cooking demonstration setup

My 'geeky' setup so i could run everything from the front

Bec trying to imitate me...keep trying Bec :P

Supper up close

Catching up with people over supper

Mich & Ange dared to try the Mango Sticky Rice

Some of the wash up team doing....not sure.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Info Night 10th Feb

So there's only one more sleep til my info night which feels both exciting and daunting at the same time. Over the past few weeks i've wrestled with all sorts of ideas with how to make it interesting, engaging, relevant and informative. But no matter how it turns out, my prayer is that through the presentation, the needs for the gospel in Thailand will become clearer and people will be convicted by the need and enthused for missions around the world. I'm still not sure how well the night will work, but those coming along will be given the chance to go on a 'tour' of Thailand, where they will experience the sights, sounds, tastes of Thailand and meet some of my Thai friends along the way. I've never taught cooking before - in fact, most of my cooking is experimental, so it will be interesting trying to teach everyone how to make Khao Niaw Ma Muang (mango sticky rice). I just hope the final product tastes ok.

If you're keen to come along, Info night will be at Drummoyne Presbyterian Church, from 7.30-9pm.

For those who pray:
- Praise God for the opportunity to share about Thailand and for all the people coming along
- Pray that the info night is helpful for people to get a greater understanding of the needs for the gospel in Thailand
- Pray that people will be challenged to consider how they can be involved in overseas gospel work
- Pray no one gets food poisoning from my cooking demonstration!

For those who like pictures, here are a few more pics from my experimentation of both camera work and food

I love this photo on a number of levels. 1. Cos it's of coke cans, 2. the reflection shows how clean the floor is..., 3. the focus and the depth of field the camera has captured, 4. I love Coke!! :)

Experimental Calamari Salad

Can't take credit for this dessert, but i sooooo want to try this at home one night

Out with the old Shiseido gals

AJ with all the bears

My new toy thanks to Rachie :)

my brunch creation

More Experimental night city shots

Stuck at Central one night, i thought i'd pass the time experimenting with my camera

Another experimental shot at Central

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The business end of things

I can't believe February has already arrived! I've had an awesome past couple months having time to relax, going on holidays with friends, having fun with experimental cooking and especially having friends over to eat it, going on lots of bike rides with lots of friends with no more flat tyres (although the series of accidents was not great, but thankfully they're over now), late nights watching tennis, and just spending lots of time with various friends. It's been a huge blessing to be able to have time out to do all that and just enjoy life, friends, food and God's creation. But it just occurred to me that i'm starting to hit the business end of things. Over the next 2 weeks, i'll be doing 5 lots of sharing at various bible study groups, churches, my own info night and the DPC staff meeting. It's kinda daunting at times thinking about how to condense what my whole life will be into a 5-10min presentation. So over the next few days, i'm going to have to get out of holiday mode and get my brain back into 'serious' 'responsible' mode while i sort this out. This morning, i'll be sharing from Ps 67 along with my own deputation stuff.

For those who pray, it would be great if you could be praying for wisdom in what to share and how i share it. Praise God for the opportunities to share both from the Bible and about mission in Thailand. Pray that i will be able to help increase peoples awareness and passion for mission. Pray that God will be glorified through it all.

Here are a few pics from the past few weeks

Catching up with old friends

WIth old CCC friends

crazy photo booth fun

Banana Bacon Salad

Fun out riding