Thursday, June 30, 2011

“Penetrating The Darkness” Prayers Needed for 4th of July Weekend

Strategic English Camp in Thailand – July 1-3, 2011

God is using English in mighty ways to reach the hearts of young people in one of the most needy, yet fascinating places in the world – Northern Thailand. In just a few hours (since it is already Friday morning in Thailand), Grace Language School will begin a 3 day English camp where we will have lots of fun, make lots of new friends, and build bridges to the hearts of lost people. We have a great team from Florence, Mississippi here to help us as well as 2 Summer Volunteer Missionaries from Florecne, MS as well 2 Summer Volunteers Missionaries from my hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL. They have been busy all week getting ready for this very important weekend. In just a couple of hours from now, we will be registering somewhere between 40 to 60 high school and university students for this camp.

Pray for a special touch from God. Pray for the team to love these campers like Jesus loves them. Pray that God would help them to be His hands and His feet. Pray for these campers that their eyes and hearts will be opened to the message of our great and mighty Savior and King. We have already seen other students give their hearts to Jesus over the past couple of months and we are seeing God to do some amazing things.
Please also pray that God would send us laborers to help in the fields to follow up with these precious people. We are in desperate need of two people who would commit for 2 years to come and serve with us as teachers at Grace Language School and help us follow up and really make a long term impact in this part of the world.

Your Servant to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NTIM Update From Kara Davis - June 30, 2011

So I realized I haven’t written an update since….oh maybe…February?!  Wow time has flown by!  So here is what you’ve missed over the past few months, what’s coming up next, and what’s going on with me now! (Don’t be discouraged by how long this is – it’s worth the read!)

In March, we had two Children’s English Camps for the many children’s homes that attend our church as well as the children in the community.  The camp was called  “Animal Kingdom” and we used stories in the Bible to talk about different animals.  I was the director of both camps.  It was the first time for me to ever be part of an English camp let alone be in charge of one!  And I sure learned a lot!  We were very grateful for the mission team from Tuscaloosa, Alabama that came out for the second camp!  They taught the workstations and helped out in many other ways!  Thank you for all you did!

In April, the children from Baan Oon Rak went home for the summer, so I missed them very much!  But my dad and brother came to visit and surprised me by bringing one of my best friends with them!  I had a week off work for the Songkran Festival (largest water fight in the world – all of Thailand throws water at each other for at least 3 days!), so the four of us had a lot of fun adventures together.  One of my favorite things we did was go visit the BOR girls in their village.  It was the first time for me to visit their village and see where they come from.  The village is about a three hour drive from Chiang Rai and is tucked away high up in the mountains.  There are dirt roads, bamboo shacks, and extreme poverty.  Poverty is one of the factors that puts children at risk of being sold into sex trafficking.  BOR, as well as many other children’s homes, is set up to prevent sex trafficking and give these precious children a better home and education. 

A few days after my family left, Betsie came.  Betsie is 15-years-old from Mississippi.  She came to volunteer with our church and language school for two months.  She blessed us in many ways! 

At the end of April, one of our Grace Language School students, Yam, gave her life to Christ!!  Yam just graduated from Chiang Rai Rajabaht University.  She continues to study at GLS in Level 6.  She regularly attends our church on Sunday mornings as well as the youth and college cell groups on Friday nights.  She also studies Bible every week with one of our Baan Athitaan church staff members, Pii Ja.  Yam is very excited about learning more about God and what it means to be a follower of Christ.  Please keep her in your prayers as she grows in her faith.

The first Saturday in May, the BOR girls came back from their summer break!  What I thought would be a day of celebration turned into a day of fear.  Three of the girls did not come back with the rest, and no one could contact their families.  That afternoon a group of us drove to the village and talked to neighbors trying to find out why the girls did not come back.  We were told that one girl was in Burma with her family and two of the girls were with family in a different village.  We ran out of daylight and had to return home that night and ventured out again for a second trip a few days later.  The second trip was a success and we found the two girls that were in the other village.  Praise God!  They were safe with their mom whose phone was broken, which is why no one could contact her and she did not have the money to take the girls to Chiang Rai.  The girls came back with us that afternoon and are doing fine at BOR.  The third girl who did not come back stayed in Burma with her family.  They chose to proceed with Burmese citizenship, which makes it difficult for her to live in Thailand.  Please keep her in your prayers that she is safe, well, and happy. 

At the end of May, Michael Johnson and his son, Josh, left for the states to see Michael and Hope’s oldest daughter, Jessica, graduate from college.  Hope, Liz, and Caleb stayed in Thailand to watch Liz graduate from high school.  Michael and his family will be in the states for the summer, so please pray for their time together and for our staff while they are gone.

I was also able to go on a weekend roadtrip to Chiang Mai with Pii Ja at the end of May.  We went to visit Ao, a good friend and active church member.  Ao recently moved to Chiang Mai to attend college.  Pii Ja and I went to help her find a church and get connected with other Christians.  God had His hand all over the trip and prepared everything for us.  We attended a church Sunday morning and met several Christians, including college students.  They told us about a ministry called “The Light” that meets at a coffee shop across the street from Ao’s university.  We went Sunday night and worshipped, listened to the speaker, and talked and prayed in small groups with many believers Ao’s age.  It was very encouraging to know Ao has so many other believers surrounding her.  Please pray for her as she adjusts to college life and that she will be a light to her campus. 

On the 3rd, a group from our church along with a team from the states went on a “prayer ride” to Huay Ku village.  They took motorbikes up through the mountains and stopped and prayed at villages and for churches along the way.  In Huay Ku, they prayed with the pastor and his family and encouraged them in the work they are doing.

We had our annual Church Activity Fun Day on the 4th.  Many church members (mainly the youth) came and competed in games, ate a lot of great food, and fellowshipped together.  It was a great day!

The rest of the Johnson family left for the states to spend time with family and get Liz settled in at college.  While they are gone I am housesitting/dogsitting for them J.  I love staying in a house (vs. living at the church), but I do not like living alone!  I get scared at night, so pray for my sanity haha!

We are halfway through Jon’s women’s self-defense class.  It is going great!  We are learning a lot from the training and the devotion time, and many young women (Thais and Westerners) attend regularly. 

Betsie left with her mom, and my friends, Lindsay and Jackie, also returned to the states.  Lindsay and Jackie got here around the same time I did.  They were volunteer teachers at the Family Learning Center and Lindsay also taught for us at GLS.  We will miss all of them very much! 

Two teams of four arrived on the 15th.  One team was here to help with our HIV/Aids ministry.  The other team is here for 6 weeks as summer volunteers and we will put them to work in many ways!  We have another team arriving today (the 28th).  We are so blessed so many people have been called to work with us!

We learned on the 16th that one of our team member’s, Chrissy Espy, brother passed away.  Please keep Chrissy, Jon, CyCy, and the rest of Chrissy’s family in your prayers as they go through this difficult time.   They return from the states on the 29th.

What’s next?

July 1-3 we have an English Camp for youth and college students ages 15-22.   It is an overnight camp and the theme is “American Teen Sports.”  The team from Mississippi is teaching the workstations and we are getting very excited about it!  Pii Jay and I are in charge of the camp, so please pray for us, as we make sure everything comes together! 

As for me…
I’ve been here 10 months now!  Can you believe it?  I continue to teach Level 4 English at GLS.  I work in the church office, organize the English-speaking Children’s Church, as well as other responsibilities that come up.  I go every Saturday to Baan Oon Rak and spend time with the children.  Many of you know this is where my heart is and I came to Thailand with plans of moving in at BOR after 6 months of living here; however, sometimes God’s plans are not our own.  Because of different circumstances, we feel like this is not the right decision for me right now, and we are praying about other possibilities.  Please pray for God’s guidance and that He would lead me in the right direction.  Also, please keep all of us in Northern Thailand in your prayers as we try to reach people for Christ. 

In Christ,

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21