Tuesday, September 23, 2008, 09:23 AM
“Hey Paul, you want to come and see the pig getting cut up?” Saman called to me. It was something they had mentioned on the first day and a group of men from the village, appeared in the garden to shave, chop and barbeque the fattened pig for me. It was quite a sight to see an animal being cut up for me, I have never had that experience before. It certainly made for a great feast later that evening.

During the preparations we had the usual Friday night club which was a lot of fun. Mindy had baked a few cup cakes and we had made some copies of “The Father’s love letter” for the teenagers. I said a few words of thanks and they had a chance to say thank you to me in a slightly scary affair where I was made to sit in the middle of a circle and hear what they had to say but it was encouraging to hear what they said and Mindy translated for me. Just before we started Mindy called me aside and said that someone had come to her asking to become a Christian. It turned out it was a girl called Yoke who we had got to know at English camp the week before. It was wonderful to pray with her and to pray with the other new believers that evening as well. I think it has been a great encouragement to the other young people to see 6 more of their classmates come to believe in Jesus.

Later as we were enjoying our pig feast Saman asked me how the food had been while I had stayed with them. I naturally replied politely very good, very delicious and it has been very good. They asked me again, “How has the food been this last week?” I was surprised and responded “very good, very delicious”. They then told me that they had given me a test to see if I could be a long term missionary in Thailand. They said that they had given me some special food a few days ago, which Mon the Lahu intern had cooked and I had eaten which was actually dog meat. I do remember eating it and it was really no different to pork, it was indeed very delicious.

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Journey Home 
Saturday, September 20, 2008, 05:52 PM
It was with great sadness that I left Pua this morning. I travelled back to Chiang Mai with Nok and Saman and a friend of theirs. It has been a wonderful time and a wonderful last few days with another girl who came to English camp choosing to accept Jesus just last night (Friday night). I have lots to say but will leave that till tomorrow. Thank you for your support and prayers, the Lord has really blessed this time in so many ways!
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SIM Conference – Getting a grip on world mission 
Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 03:58 AM
One of things I find most exciting about returning home is having opportunities to encourage people by sharing stories from my time away. One such opportunity is the SIM day conference in Bristol on the 11th October. There will be other people speaking about SIM’s work around the world and I will be sharing a little from my time away too. I went to an SIM conference in Cambridge a couple of years ago and it was so encouraging to be reminded of God’s work and how he uses ordinary people like you and me to bring the gospel to people all over the world. More information can be found on www.sim.co.uk
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English Camp 
Monday, September 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
This weekend was something of a climax to my time here as Mindy and I held an English camp at the Chiang Klang mission compound. It was an extremely fun time as we had wonderful opportunities to share the gospel, to teach English and play some games. We had around 25 teenagers from Chiang Klang and from Pua all of whom came from non-Christian backgrounds and many from villages that are totally un-reached with the gospel.

On the Friday evening we had 5 of the teenagers from the Friday night club come and perform a mime which they have been practicing with Mindy for several months. I had seen them in rehearsals and was a little sceptical about how it would work out but they did an amazing job and were totally in time with the music. It showed us being tempted by Satan into drunkenness and sexual immorality, us trying to get to God but being unable to and then Jesus dying on the cross so we can come to God. It was tremendously powerful and there was a short explanation as well. I also shared a short testimony and then we played a game involving the leaders hiding around the compound (I found a home in a mango tree) and then the teenagers running around finding us and asking questions in English. Friday night I camped out in the church with the boys and was rather disappointed when they all wanted to go to bed at 1am, I was well up for staying up all night.

Saturday saw 2 English classes from me, a short explanation of “Two ways to live” in Thai from me and some small group time to discuss what we had been learning about Jesus. It was amazing to see how open each person was to the gospel. As we were eating lunch one girl asked me “What do I need to do to be saved?” Later that afternoon in the small group time Mindy had a chance to answer that question and she became a Christian. During the afternoon 4 others also accepted Christ for the first time and others said they wanted to but would talk to their parents first. This obviously is fantastic news and extremely exciting for everyone here. There was a tremendous sense of the Holy Spirit at work opening hearts and minds, something which Mindy says she has never experienced before in her 6 years in Thailand. All 5 of these new Christians are from Pua, one of whom has been coming to Friday night club for some time so this will be extremely exciting for all those who come to Friday night club. They all know each other from school and many from the Friday night club had been advertising and coercing their friends to go.

I asked you to pray that those who came would have an open heart to the gospel and God has been faithful in answering that prayer. We also had fantastic weather, enough energy for the games and no behaviour problems whatsoever. It was so obvious how God was at work this weekend and a tremendous way to finish my time here. This morning one of the girls who didn’t become a Christian at the camp came to church so let’s pray for more to come to know Jesus over the next few weeks.

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The Power of Native Language 
Monday, September 8, 2008, 06:12 PM
“Utterly amazed they asked “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?” Acts 2:7-8

When we read verses like these it is easy to feel a little jealous of the power the Holy Spirit gave the apostles on that day of Pentecost. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Holy Spirit would just enable us to speak the language of those around us? One of my fears and prayers before I came was that God might enable me to communicate in Thai, not fluently but that I would at least be motivated to make an effort to learn. God has certainly answered my prayers and your prayers for me too as he has enabled me to communicate at a basic level but far above what I imagined 3 months ago.

God in his goodness has not only enabled me to communicate on a basic level but also to explain the gospel on a basic level in Thai. It was a goal I set myself when I arrived. As I sat on the plane from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, I sat next to a Thai girl to my right and to the right of her a missionary to India. As I sat, tired after an overnight flight from London I realised that this missionary was making a valiant effort to explain the gospel with this Thai girl who clearly had very little English. I desperately wanted to help out and translate before remembering that being able to say “hello” and “how much does this cost?” wasn’t going to help much. Half way through my time here I mentioned this to Mindy and asked her to help me translate a very simple explanation of “Two ways to live”. To my surprise I realised I knew most of the words for it and that it may actually be possible. Today was the day I unveiled this to my Thai hosts, Nok and Saman, who until now had no idea I was learning this. As it happened Saman’s friend was also in the restaurant and got chatting to Saman, before I knew it I was asked to explain the gospel to this friend. Rather terrified, I agreed and although it came out rather broken he seemed to understand. He said afterwards he wants to know more, although it seems he has heard the gospel several times before. I am amazed at how God has allowed me to learn this and I hope he gives me opportunities to use this with Thai students in Southampton and who knows, may on the plane home as well.

The day of Pentecost shows us what can happen when people hear the gospel in their own language, 3000 people became Christians! There are still many people in this world who don’t have the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language, lets pray that God would provide a way for those to hear and respond so that his Great Commission may be fulfilled and we will be with people from every nation, tribe and language on that last day!

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