February Prayer Letter 
Wednesday, February 28, 2007, 10:10 AM
Dear Friends,

Time has been whistling past at a rate of knots as we find ourselves at the end of our 2nd month in Chiang Mai; February as been a much more settled and normal month than January as we have got used to being at The Centre every day. We have really got to know the staff here much better and built good friendships with them but also had many opportunities to spend time with the students. It has been great to really get stuck into what we are here for and to really see God giving us the strength and energy for each day.

News from The Centre

The Centre has been a little quieter over these last few weeks as the students have had exams. Our first set of classes which we started the week after we got here, finished on the 9th February and exams for the students started on Monday 12th so we decided to postpone starting new classes until after the exams. This has given us 2 weeks to spend time just chatting with the students that drop in and also to help with other things around The Centre. It has also given us a chance to reflect and review the last 5 weeks teaching. As we had such a full on start it has been nice to be able to relax a little bit these last couple of weeks. We have also been given extra responsibilities around The Centre; Nathan and I are now responsible for running the discussion group/bible study on Monday nights. This is exciting but fairly scary too so please pray for wisdom in how to lead this group.

I want to introduce to you a couple of the students I have been working with recently so you can pray for them specifically. The first is “Jeep” (pronounced Jeev) he has been coming to The Centre for a while now and has heard a lot about Christianity. We have all been praying for him a lot recently as he accepts that Christianity is true but isn’t prepared to give up his Buddhist way of life and truly follow Jesus. Jeep is returning to his home town in central Thailand next week after he graduates so please pray that he would find Christians there who can continue to develop and encourage his interest in Christianity and hopefully lead him to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

I also want to introduce to you to Aun. Aun is 24 and is a freelance architect in Chiang Mai. I have got to know Aun well as he was in my class and speaks very good English. So far I haven’t had many opportunities to talk with him about Jesus but I will be having one on one classes with him during these next 4 weeks so please pray for some good opportunities to talk with him and pray that his heart would be open to the Gospel.

Other Activities

February has been an extremely busy month for SIM in Chiang Mai. There have been many conferences and lots of people visiting. We were asked to lead a time of worship at a day conference with some of the other SIM workers in Asia. This was a great day of people sharing some amazing testimonies of what God has been doing through their ministries. Some countries in Asia are among the most difficult places in the world for people to live out their witness but more and more are going in and many people’s lives are being changed. I found this day extremely encouraging and it also broadened my view of what the reality of mission is like in other parts of Asia. We heard so many testimonies of how God will use anyone, with any gifts to spread His word for His glory.

We also had the chance to spend a fun filled day with a lively group of SIM treasurers who were in Chiang Mai for a conference. We went out of the city to a small hill tribe village where we went riding on Elephants, trekking through the jungle and bamboo rafting. As you can imagine it was tremendous fun and a great experience.

Last week we embarked bravely on the massive challenge of learning Thai. We started lessons with one of the Thai staff at The Centre known as “Wor”. Thai is an extremely difficult language so we are realistic about our abilities to pick much up in the few months we are here but it is good fun and the Thai’s love it when we have a go at speaking a bit.

Please pray for us as we continue to hunt for the right church to become involved in. We have been to one Thai church and a couple of English speaking international churches which have been completely different experiences but we need to decide soon which to commit to. It is a great blessing to be able to go to church in a language you can understand and to even have a choice, for which we are very thankful. It has also been great to go to a cell group on Thursday mornings with a couple of other foreigners in a café just across the road from our apartments. This has been great to sit and chat with more experienced missionaries and to encourage each other in our faiths.


Just a reminder to check the blog (http://paul.zealey.org.uk), there you will find more news of my activities day to day and lots more things to pray for. I am also putting some photos up so you can see the environment and the people I’m working with.

Prayer Points

• Thank God for the work of The Centre and the impact it is clearly having on student’s lives. Thank God for Jeep’s interest and the relationship we have been able to form with him and also with Aun.
• Thank God for the last few weeks during which we haven’t been teaching. Thank God for the opportunities to get involved in other ways in The Centre and the opportunity to review and hopefully improve our teaching.
• Thank God for the day we were able to spend with some of the SIM missionaries who work in other parts of Asia. Thank God for their faith and the encouragement they were to us, also pray for their work.
• Please pray for Nathan as he leads the Monday night discussion group. Pray for him to have wisdom in knowing how to relate to the students and get the biblical message across.
• Please pray for Jeep as he returns home and also for Aun as I get to know him and share Christ with him.
• Finally, please pray for us to always have the energy and enthusiasm to do a good job and be great witnesses to the students.

Thank you for your prayers,

Paul Zealey

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Cooking Night 
Thursday, February 15, 2007, 03:08 PM

As well as offering students a chance to improve their English, The Centre also has evening activities to help build relationships with the students. One of these is the legendary Wednesday Cooking Night. This is a chance for the students to learn how to cook Western food and also to have fun eating and chatting with Western people. Nathan and I have been helping with these evenings – well, mainly Nathan: my cooking skills don’t extend much beyond tins and microwaves. A crucial skill for a University student-to-be, of course, but maybe not the most useful when you can’t get tinned food! Recent dishes have been; Pasta, Pizza, Mexican food and Pancakes!
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Elephant Riding 
Saturday, February 10, 2007, 03:23 PM
Today we tagged on to a lively bunch of SIM treasurers to head of on a day of Elephant riding, trekking through the Jungle, visiting a hill tribe village and bamboo rafting. Need it be said it was tremendous fun. The day started with a spot of Elephant riding, we got the ADHD Elephant that which took every opportunity to climb up the very steep sides of the path and dismantle a tree with a swish of it trunk or stop for a little scratch of its backside on a stone. This made for an entertaining ride for us and especially for those watching! This was added to when the Elephant we were following decided to let off some excess gas from its backside right in our faces for a full 30 seconds.

This was followed by a short trek through the jungle and over a rather rickety bridge, not for someone with a head for heights. The scenery was very impressive; rolling mountains surrounded us with rice and crop fields up the sides and a river down the middle of the valley. The team of treasurers from all over the world and varying in age from around 30 to 60 did well as they struggled up the side of the mountain to the hill tribe village. We were met by a few traditional looking houses and a lot of people in traditional Thai dress wanting to sell us junk for extortionate prices, well by Thai standards. This obviously wasn’t a very typical village as the only people around were selling things and as many tourists visit everyday it made it seem a little false.

In the afternoon it was time for a spot of Bamboo rafting down the river. This was much like punting in England only it was fun as you actually get wet! Ours had me and 3 big guys on it so most of the time it was more like a submarine, 3 of us got very wet bums as we sat on the raft and Steve did a great job standing on the back and dipping a bamboo stick every now and then as was required.

The rest of the week was busy at The Centre, it was the final week for our classes which have been running for the last 4 weeks. I haven’t found the teaching particularly easy or enjoyable but I can see some improvement in my students and we have had some fun over the last few weeks. Hopefully, most of them will sign up for future classes although many of them are graduation in the next few weeks and moving on to the world of work. Next week is exam week for the students so I expect it will a quieter week for The Centre, we also have a week off from teaching as we will wait till the exams have finished before we start more classes. It is great fun being around The Centre chatting to students and having fun with the other staff who we are really getting to know now, it is exciting to see how much work God is doing through The Centre at this time.

Many thanks to all who have sent encouraging emails and letter or sent gifts of chocolate in the last few weeks it is such a blessing to have a great group of supporters. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to all of them but I will do my best over the next few weeks. We are continuing to see many prayers answered and really enjoying ourselves in all we are doing.

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Agency Day 
Wednesday, February 7, 2007, 04:30 AM
Today we were invited to attend a conference with other SIM missionaries who are working in China. Some of them are here in Chiang Mai for another conference with SIM's partner organisation so today was a chance for them to share their experiences and prayer requests with us. Unfortunately, as China is a very dangerous country to be a missionary I can't give many details for fear of putting others ministries and lives in danger but I can tell you I found this day extremely encouraging.

Nathan and I were asked to lead a bit of worship at the beginning which we very much enjoyed. Nathan was delighted to have the chance to play a piano for the first time in a month and I was happy to strum away to a few well known songs. It is always difficult choosing songs when there are people for all over the world who know and like very different songs but I think we managed to pick a few that most people knew.

Then there was a chance for some of the new people who are starting work in China in the next few weeks to share about what they will be doing and how God has called them to serve him in China. It is so encouraging to hear how God really can and does use anyone for his work, many of them said how they had doubted for many years that God could use them in the mission field but that he had shown them that they could. Also how God had been working in their lives over many years preparing them for this work and how God had used so many people to bring them to this stage. It filled me with joy to be reminded of how God is working and made me excited about what he could be doing in my life and what he has planned for me in the future. I'm so glad that I don't have to worry about the future but I can trust God that he has it all sorted and that it is the best plan for my life. One verse from the day really stood out,

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

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January Prayer Letter 
Friday, January 26, 2007, 05:30 PM

Dear friends...

Welcome to Chiang Mai! Nathan and I arrived here safely Monday morning (8th Jan) after a long but pleasant flight from Heathrow to Bangkok and then a short flight to Chiang Mai. We have so far settled in well and we’re enjoying the busy life that accompanies living in the middle of a city. Chiang Mai is very busy at the moment as it is peak holiday season for western tourists and is also graduation time from the local universities.

We started work at The Centre on our second day here, still feeling very jet lagged we were given two classes and a few resources and told to teach! Fortunately my first class didn’t turn up which gave me more time to prepare for the second class. It was desperately needed as I have never taught English before and didn’t have much idea what I was to teach. In the end it went a few students. Classes are never any larger than 5 or 6 and it is rare for everyone to turn up. Students pay just 700 baht (₤10) for 20 classes, one every day for four weeks. This gives us a good opportunity to build relationships and often students will sign up for further classes.

After classes there are activities on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights; Tuesday and Thursday evenings we often go out to dinner with our students. Monday nights there is a discussion group which discusses issues such as relationships, Wednesday night is the western cooking night which is very popular and involves a few students helping to cook and then everyone enjoying a meal, and The Friday night party which is a chance to play a few games, have some food and hear a short testimony or gospel talk.


We returned from the C-SEA (Central and South East Asia) SIM conference in Singapore on Tuesday evening. We were helping to look after the kids while their parents were in the meetings. We played a lot of games with them, made balloon animals and sang some songs. It was good fun but often hard work particularly as I was a bit ill for most of it. There were around 50 missionaries at the conference many of whom work in sensitive areas of Asia and so have never had the opportunity to meet their colleagues. It was great for them to be encouraged by each others work and to discuss future projects and plans. Please thank God for the great time it was and for the work of SIM in Asia and the impact it is having.


While I am in Thailand I will be writing a blog which can be viewed here (you are reading it!) This will give further insight into my daily life here in Chiang Mai and also photos of what we have been getting up to.

Prayer Points

Please thank God for:
• The safe and comfortable journey to Thailand and also to Singapore.
• A quick settling in process and for the friendly staff at The Centre: Opal, Rachel, Wor, Jim, Max and Jen.
• The exciting plans for a new Centre in another part of the city, and the financial support for that from a church in the US.
• A good time in Singapore and the opportunity to be encouraged by the faith and work of fellow missionaries in Asia.

Please pray for:
• Opportunities to build strong relationships with our students; pray particularly for Jeev, Pang and Aun as I teach them and spend time with them.
• The YWAM team who are arriving at The Centre on Monday (29th Jan) for 3 weeks from Newcastle, Australia. Pray for safe travel and a real enthusiasm to get to know the students and share with them the good news of Jesus.
• Guidance in which church to commit to as we look around at different English speaking and Thai speaking churches. Please pray for a church which we can both get a lot out of, we can both be involved in and we can both be an encouragement to.

Thank you so much for praying for us, we have seen many prayers answered already and continue to everyday, it is so encouraging to know that God is always with us and is providing for us all the time. Prayer is so powerful.

God bless,

Paul Zealey

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