Happy New Year! We pray everyone finished 2015 well and had a great New Year.
Finishing 2015 seemed to be quite the marathon here in Thailand. During Christmas we went caroling to our neighbors, giving cookies and sharing the love of Jesus. We also had three amazing parties during this time. The first was where we partnered with the Hannah House church and went to our local gym. We had around 60 people show up, many whom we did not know. The party became a seven-hour event filled with games, food, prizes, a skit of the Gospel, and Jonathan sharing the Gospel at the end. By the end of the event, many either gave their lives to Christ or rededicated their lives to Christ. It is amazing how gracious God is. For the ones that rededicated their lives to Christ, it reminds me how God never relents no matter how far we run.
Our second party was at the Payao Prison where we met with the men we regularly disciple and a number of other invited prisoners. Nine of our Hannah House girls came with us to share special songs of worship and act out a skit of the Gospel. We were able to bring gifts of necessities to the prisoners, such as toothpaste, soaps, and lotions. Supakit shared on Christâ€™s birth and the freedom of what Christmas means.
Our last party was at Hannah House. This one holds such a special place in my heart as we rejoiced with one another in the goodness of God. We ate mugatot, which is where we cook food on these little grills that also have water to boil the vegetables. Mugatot is a favorite among the Thais. It is probably the equivalent of pizza for many westerners. Among the food in mugatot was squid, fish, pork, sausages, fat (another Thai favorite), morning glory, cabbage, and scallions. We even had a piÃ±ata Zaida made for us!
We played games and gave thanks for all God has done. This holds such a special place in my heart because being overseas during the holidays can become quite lonely. Thailand doesnâ€™t celebrate Christmas unless youâ€™re a Christian and almost everyone has to work that day. Being able to truly see Christmas as Godâ€™s special gift of Jesus without gifts or family around truly opens your eyes to just how amazing the gift of Jesusâ€™s birth is; our new life, new hope, and a new opportunity for the future.
As we begin 2016 it is my prayer for the girls, the prisoners, and all whom we minister, the true gift of Jesus would be rooted in each heart so when trials come, we will face them with the promise of Godâ€™s great love.
Lastly, I want to thank you all. I know we say thank you quite often, but itâ€™s so important that you know the fruit we see here is yours as well when you partner and pray for us. We know God is using you just as much as he is using us for this great work and we are so thankful for your heart and willingness to come alongside us!