Christmas in Thailand
I must say that, visually, it’s easier to tell it’s Christmas time in Thailand than when I lived in China. But, as someone who associates cold weather and warm winter clothing with the season, it did not feel like Christmas here at all!
You could say I became Santa’s little helper in December. Jenny, P. Poang, P. Nueng, and I went Christmas shopping for gifts for the church. I had the most enjoyment watching the three of them pick out gifts and discuss what to get. Jenny and I made frequent trips to a local factory that makes bedding. Jenny had the idea to give blankets as a big gift to the church members, and when discussed and approved by Dr. Wallapa, she decided to purchase comforters for the pastors and missionaries. Jenny, P. Poang, and I then sorted all of these out after they were delivered to the center.
The first party I attended was about two and a half hours away at a church in the rural part of Thailand. We ate Thai barbecue, sang Christmas songs, handed out gifts of rice, oil, etc., and had a baptism. Next up was a night going caroling. Jenny played guitar, Uncle Tham had maracas and I shook a tambourine as we sang to different people in the area. Then, we had the church’s Christmas service and party. Jenny, P. Poang, and I led the song service and later sang “O Holy Night” as a special. We had so much food for lunch and many gifts to hand out. Jenny put me in charge of the game portion. We did “Wrap the Present”, wrapping one’s partner with toilet paper and topping the wrapping up with a Christmas bow. It was a lot of fun.
It was a joyous time as we celebrated our Savior’s birth and remembered the gift He is to us.
Thailand Theological Seminary (TTS)
Since I’ve been in Thailand, I’ve attended every TTS class they have had. In November, Van Bloss and Marvin Goodnight came to Thailand for Dr. Bloss to teach seminary classes. It was a big event held in the large ceremony hall with four classes in attendance besides the Phetchabun class. It was clearly an encouraging time for the students, but I was blessed as well by the fellowship.
In January, after Jenny and I returned from a Christmas break, we joined the event held for the Phetchabun class. This event ended with a night of Thai barbecue and singing.
• Relationships with Jenny and others in Phetchabun are growing.
• Christmas celebrations all went well.
• The rural skies of Phetchabun are beautiful.
• I’m moving rooms. Pray that goes smoothly and I get settled in the new space.
• My stomach does not like most Thai food, causing me to have to be careful of what I eat. Pray I can adjust.