Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Cry for Help—In Need of a Kidney

While in Bangkok doing Noom's visa the last couple of weeks, we had the chance to visit some relatives of Noom: Lui and Noi. Lui is one of Noom’s cousin and Noi is Lui’s wife. They have been married for about 4 years and don’t yet have children. Just 6-7 months ago, Noi began to get sick and was taken to the hospital. She was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, a disease that she unknowingly got from her mother (who died from it 2 years ago). When Noi found out 6 months ago that she had this disease, it was already too late to stop it as her kidneys were already almost completely gone.

Two times a week, Noi gets on the back of the motorbike with Lui and goes to the hospital for treatment. This 2-times-a-week treatment at the hospital keeps her alive as a machine does the same job of a kidney by removing waste from her blood (this treatment is called hemodialysis). However, this will only help until Lui and Noi run out of money to pay for the treatment. When they run out, Noi will die. Lui works as a motorbike driver and sometimes only makes 50-100 baht a day ($2-$4). When Lui runs out of his savings, he can do nothing else for his wife. Noi’s only chance is a new kidney, and fast. With the continued treatment, she is still very weak and frail. She can only drink a limited amount of water each day. A new kidney is her only chance to have a strong, healthy body and normal life. It is her only chance to be able to have children. But there are many other people waiting for new kidneys, and by the time Noi gets one through the hospital, it might be too late. Noi is only 29 years old.

Lui and Noi are not yet Christians. They have a Bible (the New Testament) and have been reading it. We have told them that God has the power to heal and they are very interested in the story of Jesus. We know that God’s will is for them to come and know Him and to see His works in their lives. We also know that God’s will is to heal Noi, whether that be in heaven, or on earth: through a donor, continued provision for hemodialysis, or a miracle.

The future is unknown for them, so please pray for their salvation and God’s provision.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Update on House Hunting :)

Thank you all so much for your prayers. Thank you also so much for your support in every way. You all make our journey in Thailand so much more pleasant through your faithful prayers and support.

We have come across a house which we really like and we feel like God has set apart for us, too. Right at the beginning when we prayed, Noom heard from God that we would rent a house from a policeman. I (Karis) also felt that we would rent a house in the same area as one of the elders from our local church (also like our "Ubon family" or "Ubon parents"). Yesterday we found a cheap and good house about 9km from the town which we almost decided to move in to this week but didn't have peace. Just before we went to give a final answer ("yes") and clean that house, we felt like something wasn't right and wanted to search just one more time. When searching this last time we came across a house in the same area as our "Ubon parents". At first, we asked the man outside this house if he knew of any houses that were open to rent in that area. He answered "yes, this house - I'm the owner" so that was funny. We later found out that he is a policeman, just like what Noom said (what he felt God told him).

This house is great quality and a good getaway when we really need a break. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, then outside it has another small house (or just a big room) which we can use for teams when they come to visit, or as another place for the guys to stay who we take care of (if they don't want to stay inside the house).

Something that really amazes me is that I have been praying (or hoping) for a bath for a long time. It's something that really makes me relax. But to buy a bath in Thailand is very expensive and there are hardly any houses which have baths inside them (I have never seen one). BUT...this house doesn't just give Noom and I a personal bathroom, but this bathroom includes a bath!!!! I was so excited to see this and really felt like God had His eyes on this house for us for a long time. It is a normal house, just one floor and belonging to a thai - and I never expected a house like this to have a bath. God really is a Father who gives good gifts to His children!!!

The rental price for this house is just 2,000 baht ($AU 75) more than the house we are renting now (per month), and it's much nicer with space for teams - and definitely not a place that would flood! We have prayed about this and felt like it is something God has prepared for us but we ask that everyone else would pray with us for this house - that God would protect it and use it as a resting place for us as well as a resting place for the people who help us (including teams). Please also pray for our monthly financial support. The total cost for this house each month is $AU 185.

Thankyou so much for all your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for this housing situation and thank God for His provision :) If all goes well and nothing changes, we will move our stuff in this week before the rain season starts.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

The 5 top pictures from my 19th Bday Celebrations :D

Eating out at Mu Gutta for dinner on my birthday night...and camping the weekend before :D

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Strengths, God, and Culture

This week I have learnt many things, about me, the others on my team, thai culture, farang culture, and GOD!

Phil Porter from YWAM Bangkok came to speak to us about Discovering Our Strengths (and more!). After doing two tests, I learnt 1. That I am People Oriented and Structured; and 2. That my 5 top strengths in leadership are Empathy, Developer, Includer, Restorative and Connectedness. I also learnt that everyone else on my team are either Task Oriented/Unstructured or Task Oriented/Structured, apart from Daow (my roomie) who is the same as me. And I learnt the 5 top strengths of everyone else in my team. By doing this, I have been able to understand almost every question I had about that person: why they act the way they do, why they need the things they need, and why they say the things they say. Now I understand, not only my teammates but also myself. And by looking at all of our strengths and how we all fit together into a team, like a body with different parts, I can’t help but FEEL that there is definitely a GOD who created us and put us all together. Wow, He is so amazing.

This week has also been an exciting week for me as I have tried to express my worship in a different way to God, a way that I haven’t used for awhile, and that has been through dancing. Since outreach in Laos, Daow (who has a real heart for using Thai dance to reach out in Thailand) has taught me two dances, a Thai dance and a mixed (slow-ish) dance, and I remembered how much I love to express my feelings through moving to music. So this morning before our team met together, I went upstairs into the classroom, put music on, and danced for God – as my worship to Him. And I was able to connect to Him in a way I haven’t been able to for a LONG time. I can connect to Him through playing music, but dancing is a whole new step. After this, I went to our team meeting and we sung together. In this time when I closed my eyes, I could see a picture of a dance, I could see the actions: expressing themselves through what the words of the song were saying. So in my heart I followed these actions, and again I was able to connect to God and understand the songs so much more. God really touched me as in one of the songs I realized again that His love can change me and His love can turn my weaknesses into strengths. And no-one can ever satisfy me like God can. I was so overwhelmed that I cried.

The third main thing I have learnt this week has been about culture. In our meeting today Phil talked to us about culture differences. There are many differences between Thai and Western culture, for example westerners like their personal space and time, so if they visit someone, they will call first to make sure it’s ok. This is how they show respect. But Thais only call before visiting someone when it is a business meeting or someone they don’t really know, so if they show up to your house or room without calling, it’s a way that they show they feel close to you, that you are their friend, and that you are more than just business. But to a westerner, “just showing up” might seem rude. There are many differences like this. Some aren’t good, but some are very good. Phil pointed out that us westerners have a lot to learn from Thais. Many things of their culture are biblical, such as sacrificing personal time and space to serve others. As farangs we like our personal time, but Thais are willing to sacrifice their personal time for others, just like Jesus sacrificed His time for others. Another difference is that us westerners like to grow up and leave our families, living out independence. This is good and biblical of course, but all too often we tend to forget about the needs of our parents. We forget to support our parents. But in Thai culture, the Thais support their parents until their parents die. And this, too, is something we can learn from them. Because this, too, is biblical (Matt 15:4-7). There were a lot more examples we talked about, and I was really challenged to live not as a farang, not as a Thai, but like Jesus – using the best from both cultures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

L@0s :-)

A quick rundown on L@0s…
So we (the DTS staff) just got back from a trip to L@0s. We were there for almost 2 weeks, including the travelling. We went to a town called Luang Prabang (which is a popular tourist town) and to get there we had to take a 2-day boat ride along the Maekong River. While we were there, we visited chrches and Chrstn villages, and ministered to them. We spent two days painting a chrch and the rest of the time we spent going to villages and doing children ministry, sharing from the word or sharing testimonies, pryng with the Chrstns (who are in danger of being prsecuted). Actually, the last village that we went to, we had to leave sooner than planned because the police found out that there was a group of foreigners there and got suspicious, so we had to leave in case they came. The next day we came back to Thailand on a 10-hour overnight van ride through the mountains! For more information about our trip, you can ask me :-) But here are some photos for you to look at! (though for the safety of the Chrstns in L@0s, I can only put up photos of us). For more pics you can see my Facebook.
On one of the boats (the short 5 minute one into Laos!)

Num and I in front of the Maekong River while travelling into Luang Prabang
Sunset over the Maekong River ^

Working in the church

(the same spot, but AFTER)...

Num playing football in an orphanage school ^

The LONNNNNG ride back in the van...10 hours with 4 people squished in the very back and freeeezing cold weather!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chiang Rai is BUSY!

But I love it!

(Sorry for the no-blogs-in-a-while guys, the internet on our base hasn’t been working so I haven’t been online for days until now! Our electricity is crazy at the moment, we’ve been having cold showers -warm if we’re lucky haha- with the lights going on and off, no internet and sometimes complete blackouts!) But apart from that…

At the moment, an average day in the life of me consists of meetings in the mornings, learning and studying Thai in the afternoons, and doing other jobs for the Chiang Rai base. Nights consist of hanging out with friends on base (or going out), doing my thai homework, or relaxing and watching a movie (and checking emails when we have internet again!). Saturdays consist of wedding planning (a couple of weeks ago Num and I spent ALL day planning and looking at locations!) and Sundays will hopefully be rest days, or half-rest days because of church. But I am enjoying all the busy-ness.

My goals for the next couple of months:
1. Learn alot more Thai: be able to read with the tones, be able to have more than just a basic conversation.
2. Get motorbike license. I got to practise last week on my friend Kiah's motorbike when I drove home from Thai lessons, in peak hour traffic! And again on Num’s motorbike driving into town.
3. Break down this stronghold of guilt that has been affecting my relationship with God for a long time.
4. Work out a location and make bookings for the wedding.
5. Trust God with everything: finances, relationships, be healed from my bitterness and envy.
6. Be more confident about hearing God’s voice and praying for people based on what God’s voice is prompting me to pray for.

Well, I gotta go and learn Thai

Monday, October 20, 2008

Captivated by the CREATOR

The things I say in this blog aren't purposely meant to be a sequel of the last one, but it seems that God has taken me on a series of new revelations in the last couple of days!

I am a person who struggles with guilt - guilt of things I've done wrong in the past which is funny because almost everything I do wrong I can forgive myself and move on, but if it involves quiet times, I suffer from guilt. I feel guilty when I miss a quiet time, when I push God away, when I decide to do something else (eg. watch a movie) instead of spend time with God, or when I answer my phone during a 'quiet time'. Stuff like that.

Lately, I have felt like I'm 'doomed' to be one of those people who stop following God because they haven't experienced enough of Him. I don't think I could ever stop following God but the fear that I'm doomed for that has come up in my mind lately. Obviously that fear hasn't been from God. I also let all the times I've pushed God away build up and felt like God is struggling to forgive me because I've pushed Him away so much. Obviously another lie from the evil one!

So anyway, last night (the night after I was ROMANCED by the CREATOR!) I was CAPTIVATED by the Creator. I was trying to spend time with God but had all this guilt building up, and I finally cried out to God asking Him to take it away, and then said: "Any guilt that is NOT conviction of the Holy Spirit: Anything that is condemnation from Satan: Be gone in Jesus' name". And I felt a weight lifted off my shoulder, I no longer felt guilty.

I then wanted to read some Bible verses about forgiveness and guilt so I looked some up on the internet and came across a website:

I read the whole thing, and to be honest, I felt like I saw God for the first time (in a LONNNNNNG time!). I was captivated by the words "Know that your past sins have been forgiven, and that you are now clean in Christ Jesus. Stop thinking about your past sins and start thinking about the new person you are in Christ. We are NEVER told to mull around our past sins, but rather to forget the things which are behind and press forward." (

Through reading this study on this website, I realised that I have a stronghold of guilt, and I have been struggling to connect with God when I spend time with Him because all I can see is the lie that all HE can see is all the times I've pushed Him away. Then I stop myself from spending much time with Him because I know I'll just push Him away again, maybe the next day, maybe the next hour, maybe the next minute! But it's also because of this stronghold that I have been pushing Him away.

And the revelation I had was that because of Christ, I am HOLY! What the?!?! It seems sooo amazing to be true!!! But it IS true. Because of Christ, God sees me as someone who has never sinned. He has chosen to forget my sins. When I sin, it's like the first time because all the other times have been forgotten. So of course He is NOT struggling to forgive me for ALL my sins, because He already has! When I ask Him to forgive me for pushing Him away, it's like I am asking forgiveness for just this sin, because there are no others (not because I'm perfect but because all the others are already forgiven and OUT OF SIGHT!)

Wowwwww..................pretty captivating hey?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Romanced by the CREATOR

For all their lives, girls dream of being romanced. We dream of finding our Prince Charming who will come and pick us up - rescue us from all our troubles and take us on a journey full of romance, away from troubles and pain. We dream of someone handsome and thoughtful, sensitive and loving, appreciative, safe, strong and with real "gentleman" qualities.

I have been looking for the Prince Charming, the "perfect" man to come and pick me up and take me away, but when the reality hit me that there is NO perfect man and they all have their flaws (just like us women!) I was discouraged. I feel like I was made for romance. Alot of girls do. They feel like they are made for romance...but we are never satisfied enough, because the perfect guy is NOT out there. So we become confused and unsatisfied. We are looking to the men in our life to romance us, but it doesn't always happen quite like we expected it.

Last night I had a revelation to this concept.

I realised that the perfect guy IS out there. And He has already romanced you. He has already romanced me! All the romance I have ever longed for, I HAVE! Yep - I think you can guess who it is...not your boyfriend, fiancee or husband...but your Creator. The Creator of ROMANCE! Just read Song of Songs, the most romantic book of the Bible, to see how God wrote romance into our lives. BUT - read Song of Songs with the view of God talking to YOU. This is what God asked me to do last night, and I realised that I was being romanced by the Creator of the Universe.

Also Ezekiel 16:6-14 shows us how God has taken us out of the "miry clay" and given us life, love, and everything else we've ever wanted. Of course it goes on to say what we do to Him in return and the chapter gets worse and worse after verse 14, but if you read the whole way through, it is a story of God rescuing His people (us), declaring His marriage vows, and then us going to commit adultery. God gets angry and jealous, threatening to take everything away from us so that we can come back to realise what's important again, and have LIFE again, and then He promises to fully restore us.

So - all you girls out there who have always longed to be romanced: rejoice, because you have already been romanced. And you can be romanced again and again. God isn't just your friend, ruler, Father, Spirit, Son of the Father, and Shepherd...but He is your lover too.

Here is a pic (taken from a few pics I got off the internet) and I added some bible verses to them (Ez 16:14 and Song of Songs 4:1) and just a glimpse (a few words) of a song I wrote after my be ENCOURAGED!!!