Dear Praying Friends and Faithful Supporters,
A little different format for you all this time—I hope you find it easier to read and more interesting.
It’s just about two weeks since we returned to Thailand. Tan and I are both still a little under the weather with nasty coughs we think we brought with us from the US. Our time so far has been taken up with catching up with friends in Thailand and Myanmar (by phone, internet, and email), sorting out my Thai visa, and the building project of the Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS).
Can you believe that after living in Thailand for 40 of my last 52 years I am still having visa troubles? I lost my ‘foreign spouse of a Thai wife Non-Immigrant’ visa since I was in the US when it was up for extension. So now, for the first time in my life, I am a ‘tourist’ in this country. I have submitted the paperwork to get a no-immigrant visa. In the meantime, we are not allowed to travel abroad until the visa is approved toward the end of the month. That means we can’t get up to Eastern Shan State to see our friends or continue our work up there.
But it is probably OK since the building project at CRICS needs some special attention now. One of two new buildings is very close to completion, and we are ready to start a 3rd. We are busily trying to help get everything ready so a contract can be signed with the builder. Of course, we continue to move forward on Faith. We are still over $200,000 short in raising the funds that are needed and yet we blindly, no… trustingly rather, continue to build because it has to get done! The highway is coming and we have to have a place for these wonderful kids to go to school. If anyone is interested in learning more about the school and this need please click here: http://crics.asia
It is our nature to stress out over the whole thing. The needs keep coming and we are compelled to keep building, yet we are completely unsure where the support will come from. But this past week, the Lord impressed upon me in two different worship services that in trials it blesses the Lord when we thank Him, and oh do we have so much to thank the Lord for! Our little Thai church, just had their annual thanksgiving service this past Saturday. It was so nice to be a part of that. I love their practice of bringing ‘first fruits’ as a tithe to the Lord.
We so enjoyed visiting so many of you this time in the US. It was really a good time for us. We visited several of our faithful supporting churches, though we missed a number too. And we so loved seeing some of the retired missionaries on this trip. The Worleys, Dickersons, Dodges, Elders, and Dahlbergs. Such wonderful, faithful examples to us.
Lastly, we have a prayer request. Please pray for our dear friends, the Stouts. During our travels around the US we always see Kevin and Nita who live near Harrisburg, PA. We have known them since our graduate school days, almost 25 years ago. Nita, from Bangladesh, and Tan enjoyed their first experience in the snow together in Philadelphia in 1991. Two days before we left the US, Nita, only 45 years old, was tragically killed by a car while out on her morning walk. We know this is a very hard time for Kevin and his four boys. It has been very hard for Tan and I as well.
We thank God so much for each of you and your prayers for us and for our service here. Please continue to “pray without ceasing”. Thank you, thank you.
Scott and Tan