June/July Prayer Letter "Home Coming" 
Thursday, July 19, 2007, 06:01 PM
Dear Friends,

I write my final prayer letter for the foreseeable future with sadness that this gap year has come to an end but praising God for a wonderful time and all the great things he has taught me and shown me this last year. It feels a very long time ago that I wrote and so much has happened since then. We had an extremely busy last month with a trip to India, the English Camp and then packing our bags for home. It was an extremely exciting time as we really saw God working in the students and starting to change their hearts. As we got on the plane to come home my heart was filled with joy and thankfulness to God for all he has done these last 6 months and such an excitement to get home and tell people about what a great God we have.

The Centre

The Centre was a very busy place in June as there were around 15 classes running and so many students coming to the evening events. We weren’t teaching in June as we didn’t have time to fit in a full class but we were very busy never the less preparing for the English camp and saying goodbye to all our friends in the last week. Nathan completed his series of Living Rooms on “2 ways to live” which was extremely powerful and got many of the students really thinking. It was wonderful to see many of the students who came to these sessions really taking it seriously and starting to understand the importance of the decision that we all have to make.

English Camp

Our last weekend at The Centre was one of the best as we took around 20 students away for the weekend. It was a wonderful time with lots of fun games, water games and swimming in the lake as well as some very powerful teaching. It was wonderful to see how God moved that weekend and so many of the students really responded and were keen to know more. One girl known as “Bee” became a Christian that weekend which was a wonderful encouragement to all of us.

I was personally delighted when Aun made the decision to come to English Camp, he wasn’t planning on coming as he had some business meetings but after some persuasion he cancelled his meetings and came. God was really at work in Aun that weekend and I had a wonderful conversation with him one evening when he told me that he believes in God and is close to believing in Jesus but there is just one part of the puzzle missing and he’s not quite sure what it is. It was wonderful to think back over the months and the conversations I have had with Aun and see how far he has come, from not being at all interested, to being really keen to find the truth. Please thank God for Aun and the work he is doing in his heart and pray that he would be able to believe in Jesus and accept his forgiveness. It is worth mentioning that Aun was not the only one to be very interested, there were many and one girl “Kwan” became a Christian the week after the camp so do pray for her too.


At the beginning of June Nathan and I set off on our travels once again, this time to the far north of India and a small town in the Himalayas called Mussoorie. We were invited by some friends from Chiang Mai to join them as they visited friends in Mussoorie where they used to work a few years ago. We were expecting it to be quite a quiet week, reading books and walking a few mountains but God turned it in to a week of really showing us so much about mission work and the need there is in India for salvation. We were welcomed and looked after so well by the missionaries there and they were so keen to show us around and show us their work.

One day we travelled with them to some very remote villages which were about a 2 hour drive and a one hour walk from Mussoorie. David and his team have been visiting these villages for over 7 years now but have seen very little response. Their faith and love for these people really astounded me. David was describing his work to us and very simply said, “The difference between Christianity and all other religions is love, so I just visit these villages and try to love the people to bits”. It was a real challenge to us and got us thinking about how much we really love the students we were working with and how we show it. India has the second largest population in the world and has many so called un-reached people groups who have never heard anything of Jesus. I have heard these things before but you can never really understand the scale of the need for Christianity in a country like India until you have been there.


I have just returned from a week’s debrief back at Wetheringsett with SIM. It was wonderful to join up with the rest of our GAP team who have been working all over the world for the last 6 months. We spent loads of time chatting and sharing about our placements and also each pair gave a half hour presentation on what they had been doing and what they had learnt. It was so exciting to see how God has been working in different ways all over the world and been teaching us all different things. It was great to see how everyone had a positive attitude to their time abroad even though it had been really difficult at times.

A date for your Diary

On the 22nd July I will be speaking at my home church St Nicolas, Newbury at the 6:30pm service about my time in Thailand. I will share a bit about what I have been doing and what God has been teaching me and there will also be time to pray for The Centre and for Thailand. It would be great to celebrate together what a great God we have and the work he is doing in Thailand at this time so if you are able to make it, I would love to see you. If you need directions you can find them on the website at
www.st-nicolas-newbury.org .

Closing thoughts

I really thank God for this gap year, it has been such an amazing time and he has taught me so much. There have been so many fun times and some great memories of things we have done, we have had such great opportunities to visit different places in Thailand and in Asia. We have been to Thailand, Singapore, Burma (for half an hour) and India; we have met lots of amazing people and heard many great stories. It’s been a tremendously encouraging time for me, to see how God is working in different places, in different ways to reach all people. It has been such a privilege to serve God this year and see him using me to share with the students in Chiang Mai.

There have also been hard times, times when I’ve wished I could communicate, times when I’ve been frustrated with work at The Centre and times of loneliness. However, I have seen God looking after me during these times, he has guided me in my thoughts and actions and he has given me peace at the times I most needed it. He has taught me so many things during these times and has been shaping me in to the person he wants me to be. I learnt a lot about mission work and the challenges and frustrations that all missionaries face, being a missionary is not an easy business but it is the most rewarding thing you can ever do with your life.

Thank you so much to all of you for reading these letters and for praying for me, it has made such a difference in my life and in the lives of those around me. Your support has been invaluable whether you have prayed, sent me cards and letters or given money, it has all made a huge difference and without it this year would not have been as rewarding and exciting as it has been. I thank God for all of you and hear are a few more things to pray for over the next few weeks and months.

Prayer Points

• Thank God for all he has taught me over these last 9 months.
• Thank God for the opportunity to visit India and all I learnt about him through that.
• Thank God for the English Camp and the way he was working in so many of the students over that weekend. Thank him for Bee and Kwan who became Christians through the camp and pray for them as the start their new life.
• Thank God for Aun, the relationship I have with him and the work that God has done in his heart over the last 6 months.
• Thank God for the safety he has given us over the last 9 months, I have had only 2 days feeling un-well which is a miracle.
• Thank God for the wonderful support I have received over these last 9 months.
• Pray for The Centre as they are in desperate need of more staff at this time.
• Pray for Opal, Wor, Max, Jen and Jim as they continue the work at The Centre and pray that they would continue to be excited about the work despite a lack of staff and therefore students.
• Pray for the whole GAP team as we all head off to university in September, pray that we would all continue in our walk with God and continue to be a great witness to those around us. (Nathan, Bob, Steve, Jocelyn, Hanna, Jo, Kat, Katie, Rebekah, Becky, Ailsa, James and myself)
• Pray for me as I share with churches, friends and family about my time in Thailand that I would be able to communicate effectively and share my passion for Gods work.

God Bless,

Paul Zealey

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India Photo's 
Wednesday, July 4, 2007, 04:43 PM
I've only now got round to putting up India photo's, do take a look. Link to your right.
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The last week! 
Thursday, June 28, 2007, 01:21 PM
Well, we are here, our last few days in Thailand. At times it has felt like this time has been a while in coming at others it has felt like it is here far too soon. I have mixed emotions about returning home, while I'm excited to see everyone at home and enjoy some good mother's cooking, it is extremely sad to leave such a great place and some wonderful friends.

Last weekend was the English camp which was a fantastic time of going away with around 20 students, playing water games and getting some great teaching which the theam of "Dare to be Different". It was a really fun weekend and it was great to get to spend a whole weekend with some of the students that we have spent the last 6 months getting to know. Many of the students really showed a lot of interest in becoming Christians, one girl Bee did give her life to Christ and another Kwan just yesterday became a Christian too. The Centre has been a tremendous place to be this week as students are so open to talking about Christian things and they are so keen to hang out with us and have fun with us. It is sad to be leaving now at such an exciting time when 2 students have become Christians and others we feel may do in the near future.

This week has been a lot of fun as we have enjoyed spending time with Jen and the team. On Monday we celebrated a very happy half Christmas with a mixture of English and American Christmas traditions and lots of laughter. The last couple of days have also been a lot of fun as we have been busy doing all the things we need to do before we go. The next few days will be spent saying goodbye to all our friends here, which is very sad. Later we are going out with some of students for a meal, tomorrow we are going for lunch with the staff from The Centre and in the evening we are having our goodbye party. It's been an amazing 6 months, in which I have learnt a lot and really grown in my faith so much. I look forward to telling you all about it when I return on Sunday. There will also be a prayer letter heading out at sometime next week with news of our time in India and the last few weeks.
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Friday, June 22, 2007, 11:05 AM

As I mentioned, 2 weeks ago we trotted off to India for a bit of holiday before returning to Chiang Mai for a busy final 2 weeks. We were heading for a small town in the north of India called Mussoorie. Mussoorie is an extremely beautiful place, it is located in the foot hills of the Himalaya’s and is known as a popular honeymoon destination for many Indians and a holiday place for missionaries all over India looking to escape the sweltering heat of the summer months.

We arrived on Friday afternoon after spending a night in Delhi ad then catching a train and a taxi in a 7 hour journey up into the mountains. We were staying at a small Christian guest house at the top of a mountain wit stunning views of Mussoorie and the surrounding mountains. It was great to meet some missionaries there who work in other parts of India and to hear about their work. It certainly sounded very different to the luxuries we enjoy in Chiang Mai.

In many ways Mussoorie is a fairly developed and wealthy town compared to much of India but the poverty of the local people is clear for all to see. It reminded me very much of when I visited Uganda a few years ago, and the shock it was to see so many people walking around malnourished and with dirty rags around them. It was of course very different to Uganda, I don’t think there can be another place like India, it is quite unique.

What we expected to be a quiet week of walking a few mountains and reading books quickly turned into a fun packed week of exploring the town, walking mountains everyday and hanging out with some great people. We were welcomed wonderfully by Heidi and Rebecca and their friend Jeremy who was visiting them. Heidi is a short term worker in Mussoorie and the surrounding villages and Rebecca is a dorm parent at the International school and Jeremy was visiting his friends for a few weeks from New York. Heidi and Rebecca were very keen to show us around and it was great fun spending time with them. Some of the highlights included swimming in our jeans at about midnight and going on a man powered Ferris wheel. This was a Ferris wheel with no motor but just 10 Indians clinging on, and walking around inside, just like a hamster’s ball. It was the funniest thing I have seen in a very long time.

We were told that you can often see the white peaks of the Himalayas from where we were staying but unfortunately it was too cloudy for us to see them which was a little disappointing but we can’t complain, we saw some stunning views. Despite being the middle of summer in India and what most people say is the worst time to visit India, Mussoorie was a pleasant temperature. During the day it would go up to around 30°C and at night it would go down to a slightly chilly 15°C, this was a pleasant change from the heat we have had in Chiang Mai in recent weeks.

Monday was one of the most inspiring days I have had in a long time. We woke up early, slightly earlier than intended due to Nathan not changing his alarm clock from Thai time, and joined some of our new friends to head off in to the villages to see their ministry there. After a 2 hour drive and an hours walk we arrived at a small village on the side of a mountain. It was wonderful to chat with David, an American missionary who has been working in India and Nepal for 17 years walking around remote villages sharing the gospel and building relationships and his friend Timothy who is Nepalese and has been an evangelist for nearly 60 years, he is now around 80 years old but still walks around the mountains with plenty of energy. David, Timothy and their team visit around 10 villages regularly building relationships, sharing the gospel and helping in any way they can. One thing that David said to us that day as he was talking about his work really stuck with me.

“You know, the difference between Christianity and other religions is love. Hinduism doesn’t have any love and that is what these people need most, so I just come and try to love these people to bits.”

This I found this an enormous challenge in how much I really love the students I’m working with in Chiang Mai and my non-Christian friends. God is love, without him we can’t know true love and as his people we are to show the world his love. David and Timothy have been walking around these villages in what seems a very simple ministry for 7 years now but have seen very little response, only recently are people beginning to be interested in the gospel. However, they are bringing the Good News to so many people who desperately need it and wouldn’t have heard it otherwise. I really admire David, Timothy and the team for their faithfulness and love for these people.

Wednesday, I got the gift that many get butI was hoping not to get from India, an upset stomach. I spent the morning in bed and then we got the taxi and train back down to Delhi. Fortunately, the hour drive down the winding roads through the mountain didn’t stir up my stomach too much and we arrived at the train station in good time for the 6 hour journey to Delhi. We were very glad to be met by some people from our company and taken to a small but very plush guest house for the night. The next day we had some time to explore Delhi which was great fun if not a little scary at times. Delhi is an amazing city in many ways and definitely not somewhere I would like to spend to much time in the future. We were the only white people around which obviously got us a fair bit of attention from all the beggars around town and crossing the road was almost suicidal. However, we did manage a few times, crossing 6 or 7 lanes of traffic without too many problems. The other most noticeable things were the smell, the constant sound of horns and the 42°C heat. It was a fun day despite all that, we walked around Conaught place, and then visited India Gate and the parliament buildings which were impressive.

It was a great week and one in which I learnt a lot more about mission in different parts of the world. It was tremendous fun spending time with Hiedi, Rebecca and Jeremy and amazing how well we got to know each other in just 4 days. It was also amazing how God looked after us so well during the week as we traveled, as we ate food and as we crossed the road. Everyone we met seemed to make us feel so welcome even though they had never met us before, it was a wonderful week.

More photos to follow shortly.
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Going to India 
Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 01:39 PM
Tomorrow we continue our travels around this vast continent of Asia as we head to India for a week. We will be traveling with friends from Chiang Mai to a small town in the north of India, at the foot of the Himalaya's. We have been told it is a very beautiful place and so I'm sure we will enjoy a few days relaxing and experiencing the amazing country of India. Today has been crazy as we have been trying to get things ready as well as celebrating Jen's birthday. We return on the 15th so expect lots of stories and photos.
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