How are you? We hope this post finds you all well and excited about everything our Lord is doing. Let us not forget our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East in our prayers.
This month we have continued to study the Thai language, spending 14 hours a week doing classes plus homework everyday. Wolfgang is starting to speak a little now with the locals but Dianne still has a fair way to go before she can speak with the neighbours. The process of learning the language takes a long time and a lot of work but God blesses us with resources and the opportunities to learn.
We have settled well into the house in Khon Kaen and have been blessed to have our first visitor to stay the night. It was fun cooking Aussie food including jelly slice for our friend. Actually jelly slice is a big hit here and everyone wants the recipe for it – the Thais love the sweetness of it.
We continue to go to the prison once a week, Dianne goes on Thursdays with a couple of women and Wolfgang goes on Fridays with a couple of men from Jump Church. We preach, talk with the inmates, sing songs and let them talk about whatever is on their mind. We thank our Lord Jesus that three men have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour. Often the girls want prayer for their families, for their court cases and for themselves. It is incredibly hard for the girls to be inside – they worry about their children, their elderly parents and their partners. They have little resources or money – some of the women are needing reading glasses which they cannot afford the $4.00 for. So they do without but cannot read or do any activity such as sewing while inside the prison. The prison is a very well run prison and the governor has made many improvements since he has been there over the past year or so but resources don’t extend to reading glasses for women. Our English program will now start on the twelfth of March.
Recently we travelled to Nong Kai with our local church to a meeting with pastors and members from the Laos Church. It is illegal to start new churches in Laos so the existing church works mainly within the established Christian community. We met on the friendship bridge which Australians have built since the Vietnam war. It is the main bridge over the Mekong River and is absolutely huge. The road way includes tracks for the train as well as for trucks, cars and buses. We walked to the middle of the bridge and had a prayer meating and sang some songs with the locals. It was a bit scary when the train went by! It was a very interesting experience.
Our neighbours are friendly – a few days ago the power went off and we weren’t sure why. One elderly neighbour went with Wolfgang up and down the street until she could find an electrician to fix the problem. It turned out we were the only ones without power and the man she found came straight away and fixed the problem for $8. 00! This same elderly neighbor has taken it upon herself to look after our pot plants we have out the front of the house and gives us vegetables. She doesn’t speak a word of English but is always smiling and helpful to us. Praise God for good neighbours.
Last week we travelled to Vientiane in Laos for a visa. We currently have to exit Thailand every 60 days to renew our visa’s. This time we stayed overnight in Vientiane – we couldn’t get over the number of tourists there and the high prices for food as compared to Thailand. It was an interesting visit and we learnt not to leave anything on the bus when you go across the border because the bus might not wait for you as you do the formalities and you may have to chase up anything you left on the bus.
Please pray that we will learn the language quickly and that we won’t be missing our family and friends as much. Also we praise God for our daughter Rebekah’s engagement to Adish Goburdhen last week, for His provision in so many areas for us and for the churches we have joined.
Thank you for all your prayers and support, without you supporting us we could not fulfill the call that we have,
Richest Blessings Wolfgang and Dianne
Prayer on the Friendship Bridge between Thailand and Laos