Concordia Gospel Ministry April 2003
Volunteer Missionary Newsletter
It is, again, with much praise and thanksgiving that I share yet another update about the wonderful things that God is doing here in Bangkok! He continues to richly bless the ministry here. This past month has been one where I have been especially aware of the little blessings that surround and sustain me each day. And so I wanted to share some of them with you.
I recently received a telephone call from Sirisuk, a good friend of mine. Sirisuk and I have known each other for quite some time now4 years already. We met during my first trip to Bangkok in the summer of 1999 when she was still a university student and served as a tour guide extraordinaire for our group. We have kept in touch over the years, and now that I am a more permanent fixture here in Thailand, its such a blessing to be able to catch up on the phone and over a nice dinner every now and then. I thank God for her friendship and the blessing it has been for me.
Two weeks ago during the Singing & Games Club, which I lead here at the center every Tuesday, I received yet another blessing. All of the students who attend this group have been studying together for several months now and are good friendsboth to myself and to each other. The way the game works is that everyone writes his or her name on the top of a piece of paper. That piece of paper is then passed around to everyone in the group. As it is passed, each student writes something nice about the person whose name appears on the top of the sheet of paper. Once the sheet has made a complete round and returned to its owner, you now have a list of good things that other people are thinking about you. The statements that students wrote on my list were truly a blessing. Here are just a few direct quotes, each of which is very precious
She give love with student and everyone.
Shes a very nice teacher. When I talk to her, she talk gently.
Heidi you are so nice and friendly. I love you.
Another blessing has been found in a new friend, Kung. Kung is new to CGM Center this term, and I thank God for her friendship. Even though she does not actually study with me, I have been fortunate enough to get to know her outside of class. Shes a very thoughtful and sincere young lady, and a wonderful friend! Unfortunately, this past week was a difficult week for Kung. She was moved to a different department at work and was taking the reassignment very personally, feeling that she had not been doing well enough in her previous position. I was glad to be able to listen and support her through a rough couple of days. And I was able to clearly see why God led her to CGM and myself when He did. She is doing well now and is most appreciative of my love and friendship, as I am of hers.
I thank God for the assurance and comfort and joy that each of these blessings brings. I pray that I would continue to remember that each and every day is a blessing from God! I also pray that I would continue to look to Him for leadership and guidance as I embark on each new day.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
IN OTHER NEWS
A few other items of interest.
v This month, Pastor Mark Schultz and his family announced that they would be returning to the United States in early June. The Schultzes have been missionaries here in Bangkok for five years now, and their announcement saddened all of us, as they will be dearly missed. Please pray for the Schultz family as they prepare to repatriate, and all that this process involves. We praise God for the enormous blessing they have been to the mission over the past five years!
v Also in the last month, as I am sure many of you already know, there has been an outbreak of a new and deadly virus here in Southeast Asia. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), believed to have originated in southern China, has been spreading throughout the region and the world. Thousands of people have been infected and hundreds have died. While the situation is very serious, especially in southern China and Hong Kong, Thailand has not been affected. There have been a few people who have died of the disease here in Bangkok, but they were infected abroad and died after entering Thailand. Thankfully, they did not infect any others here in Thailand. Please pray for the doctors and infectious disease specialists around the world who are currently working around the clock to get a handle on this new virus. Please pray also for all of the people and countries that have been affected by the situation.
v I also wanted to address briefly the issue of the War in Iraq and how it has affected the lives of American citizens here in Bangkok. I have gotten quite a few questions from people regarding this, and just wanted to assure everyone that I am doing well and am most safe here. Americans are generally well regarded in Thailand, and this has not changed despite the ever-changing world situation.
v Lastly, I would just ask for your continued prayers for the work that I am doing here. Please continue to pray for the students whose lives are being touched and changed and enriched every day by the ministry here at the teaching center.