Saturday 29th Oct 2016

Hrang Tiam

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Thomas Update
The latest news from the Thomas Family in Chiang Mai. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read. 
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The Thomas Treatise

Work permit and visa prayer

 

… we’re so thankful for answers to pray enabling the preparation of Cliff’s work permit papers. Please pray as he has day trips to Bangkok Monday May 30th and Friday June 3rd to process this and ask for safe travel, that flights are on time and the work permit is issued. It makes for a very busy week for Cliff. Monday June 6th we will be at Immigration in Chiang Mai: please pray that Lynell’s visa is issued.

... And no less important

 

...  Pray for Cliff as he fills-in for others away on furlough leave. He has taken on the role as acting SIM Thailand Director, and also has additional roles within the C-SEA team. Yes, it's true that missions generally is understaffed, and this does increase the pressure on those serving on the field. There is plenty of room for more workers! Pray the Lord of the harvest sends others equipped to help, and pray that we as workers know the Lord's protection, strength, and fruitfulness (Luke 10:2). Ask wisdom, time management and strength for Cliff. Please pray also for the SIM Thailand team, asking God's grace for good health, safe-keeping, and a trouble-free 3 months ahead. Pray for wisdom as we intentionally mentor 4 of our colleagues, and seek to encourage the mission team. Pray for self-discipline with our personal prayers, devotions and spiritual life, that we'd be strongly connected to Jesus, the vine, able to be thrive and be fruitful (John 15: 1-12).
"Pray, asking God to help us live the kind of life he called as to live. Pray that with his power God will help us do the good things we want to do and perform the works that come from faith. Pray all this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified" (Paraphrase) 2 Thes 1:11-12.

Introducing Sutin

...  the Radical Grace holistic care and support person. Sutin is a Thai national and is ethnically Karen. He is married to Julii and has 4 beautiful daughters aged 1, 8, 12 & 14. Along with musical talent that is inspiring, Sutin is a sound technician and is interested in media. He recently shared their heart for talented teenage girls who lack support to access higher education and reach their potential. He demonstrates his spiritual maturity, wisdom and compassion daily as he works with people. His prayer requests.... For knowledge and God's help as he raises his children, that they'd make godly choices; for faith for challenges such as school fees (a challenge even with both parents working full-time); and for patience as they await God's timing to fulfil His vision and promises (pray Hebrews 10:35-36). Please pray also for the Radical Grace team as we pray, share Scripture, and journey with people facing huge physical, practical and spiritual needs; pray for fruit in the lives of those seeking God and those choosing to follow Jesus.

Grace International School

During the long school break (June to mid-August) Jaz's school, Grace International School, is shifting to temporary rented premises at a new bilingual Thai school, please pray for classroom refurbishment to be completed in time. Pray provision of the school's major fundraising needs in order to start building a new facility on other land already purchased. About 90% of pupils are missionary kids. Pray for Grace moving forward, there is much spiritual opposition. Pray urgently for a physics teacher for the 2016-17 school year, Jaz plans to study AP physics but the course may not be available.
https://www.gisthailand.org
 

Family News

We are planning a family holiday June 22 - July 13, with Zac, Charissa and Jacob joining us here. We are excited!! Please pray for good life re-connections, fun, that Cliff has at least some of this time away from work demands, and safe travels. Pray for our kids to be open to God’s work in their lives. In the meantime, it's very busy for Zac finishing the semester at Carey College, and working ahead on assignments due in July. Charissa's temporary work for Lincoln University may finish in June, pray God's continued provision in her life. Please pray also for Jacob in his day-to-day farm work that has plenty of challenges. Having collected 2 academic awards, Jaz is now on holiday, which may get rather boring until his siblings join us.

Other Prayer Needs

SIM Thailand's Spiritual Life Conference is July 23-27: please pray for planning and preparations, Cliff is carrying a large role in this. Pray also for the team coming from the USA who will run a children’s programme, and ask provision of a speaker for this retreat/conference.
 
We're thankful for several good showers of rain, which has dropped temperatures from 42+, to 30-36°C (and humid). Thailand has been experiencing its worst droughtin 20 years, please pray for a decent rainy season. Likewise, the gospel message in Thailand has been slow to take root and everywhere we see signs of spiritual drought, esteem of evil spirits, and the brokenness of lives. Praise God for the Thai church. Pray for fervour, and that the church would see the harvest and be equipped to gather in and disciple, when the harvest is ripe. 

Contact Details
Email: lynell.thomas@sim.org
Phone:
+66 613724370 Cliff

+66 613724371 Lynell

Skype: clczjt
Postal Address below

SIM New Zealand      
SIM NZ
PO Box 38 588
Howick
Auckland 2145
Email: nz.info@sim.org 
Phone: 0508 474669
ww.sim.org.nz

Copyright © 2016 Cliff, Lynell & Jazriel Thomas serving with SIM, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email from the Thomas Family as they work in Asia through Ministry Leadership, Project Support and HOPE for AIDS 

Our mailing address is: 
Cliff, Lynell & Jazriel Thomas serving with SIM

PO Box 69,

Maehia Post Office

Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai 50100

Thailand


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Thailand Mission Trip
August 2016
Thomas Update 21 Feb 2016

Cliff & Lynell & Jaz Thomas

Serving in mission with SIM, Chiangmai, Thailand

 

Dear HBC friends, It’s 4 weeks since our last update, and much longer than that since we wrote a prayer letter. We really appreciate and rely upon your faithful prayer and support.

 

Life is full... so much so that it’s hard to select what to share with you, and hard to convey what life is like for us here. Some recent highlights? Jaz turned 15 this week and we celebrated with a trip to an ice-cream parlour. He now has a phone (and some friends to communicate with), and we are getting details about the motorbike tests/licensing process and Jaz is practicing to gain skills.

We continue to study Thai language with a tutor 3 mornings a week: communication remains a big challenge.

Cliff’s work is office-based as he talks/emails missionaries in Thailand, Central SE Asia, and SIM Internationally along with prayer meetings, worship times, leadership meetings, attending to IT problems. Rebuilding work after Nepal’s earthquake, and Business as Mission people navigating legal quagmires are current challenges. Out of the office, Cliff has visited church-planting ministries in Bangkok and Eastern Thailand, conducting annual review interviews, along with preaching, visitation, support and encouragement. He is concluding 7 (out of 24) missionary reviews he is responsible for, lots of work! 

We had our review interview this week; the most helpful aspect was discussion of new language tutors to be contacted on our behalf.

Lynell’s SIM health coordinator role varies each week... last week 4 missionaries asked for assistance and the administration paperwork was ‘handed over’ so there is a lot of paper work up ahead. She attends a seminar this afternoon about local healthcare options.

 

Work with the Radical Grace team is fascinating, challenging, fun, perplexing and sometimes discouraging for Lynell, but God is at work in people’s lives. She is working alongside Sutin in care, support and home visiting. Praise God for Sutin, a wise, godly man who has worked with marginalised people for many years. He patiently interprets both the discussions and his observations and understanding of situations. Pray that Christ is made known as Scripture is shared, in prayer times, and as we journey with people facing huge physical, practical and spiritual needs. Lynell is writing up some of these stories of God at work through Radical Grace.

This week we’ve meet with other missionaries for a monthly evening orientation session discussing studies of Thai culture, we invited a short-term missionary (journalist student) for a meal, meet with someone we are mentoring (watched a movie together) and tonight there is a combined birthday party!

Cliff attended a recent Grace International School board meeting where SIM requested (and received) a change to owner associate status, which will involve benefits for student fees but also additional responsibilities. There is a parent meeting Monday night re future options for a school site. The upheaval starts next month. 

Please pray for God’s provision for the school, and courage and grace for the admin/teachers at a very difficult time.

Other prayer requests, thank you… safety on the roads, good health (lots of colds/coughs, Cliff sore wrist), persistence in language studies, for our personal prayer lives to be richer, for wisdom with prioritising, for fruitfulness, for our kids.

For more details/questions email us! lynell.thomas@sim.org

 

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Thomas' Thailand Mission
Mursi to Asia

Unable to continue their work in Ethiopia, these New Zealand Baptists have found mission roles in Asia that will enable them to impact an entire region.

Meryl Ashworth is supported by Mt. Albert and Mt Roskill Baptist Churches in Auckland. Cliff and Lynell Thomas are from Hokowhitu Baptist Church in Palmerston North. All three serve with SIM, this month's featured MISSION WORLD strategic mission partner.

For 15 years, Meryl Ashworth served faithfully in Ethiopia only to come back to New Zealand and discover she was unable to return she and her supporters began to pray. In December 2012, God opened a door on the other side of the world. Meryl was called to go to South Korea to train prospective SIM missionaries.

South Korea is strategically positioned in the 10/40 window, and the Christian church there has a passion to make Christ known worldwide. South Korea sends out (per capita) more missionaries than any other nation in the world, and they are welcome in many unreached nations who are hostile to Westerners. With this as a background, Korean missionaries have come to realise that crosscultural training and language studies are vital in order to serve effectively.

Meryl is working amongst these passionate people; taking her mission experience and reproducing herself.

We have just received a new batch of students for the next term, reports Meryl. This term will last 12 weeks instead of the six weeks of the previous winter term. All students have mission in their minds, with some already feeling a call to a particular country. Others are looking for God's guidance as to where they should go.

The previous terms students included a professor from one of the most prestigious universities in Korea. He saw his mission held as being the campuses of universities in South Korea, as well as the country directly above it, and China. There was also a man who had his own company to do with TV programmes, and some missionaries taking a break from their work in China and Malaysia.

This term our students include, amongst others, a set of almost identical twins who are pastoring a church they have just planted in Seoul, and a couple determined to go to work in Kyrgzstan. Please pray for them all as they begin the next three months where they are required to speak only in Englishits so hard for many of them.

From rural Mursiland to big city Seongnam, from extremely hot to below zero temperatures, with radical changes of language and culture, Meryl has adjusted to her new home, but there was the initial expected culture shock to be worked through.

As a single woman, adapting to life in a new country can be a lonely challenge. Last month another couple arrived to share the teaching load. Meryl's situation is reminiscent of the advice Paul gave to Timothy, ...throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me ...to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn't get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It's the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain. (2 Timothy 2:1-7 MSG).

Cliff and Lynell Thomas and their family were also forced to leave Ethiopia. It was a severe bout of malaria that brought them back from Mursiland over 12 years ago, but their close involvement in overseas mission remains.

The Thomases have served here in New Zealand in many roles, most recently as SIM NZ Prayer Coordinator (Lynell) and doing design and layout for the Sll/I magazine (Cliff). Recently, however, God has been stirring them, and the Thomases are now preparing to return overseasthis time to Thailand.

Last year, when we were asked to return to Mursi to build a new dam for irrigation and water supply, it was so tempting, says Lynell. We looked at each other and asked, why are we here in New Zealand when there's such a need back in Ethiopia?

The thing is, we know the people and the culture there and can still remember enough language to get ourselves into troubleand the need is so real. Unfortunately, however, in May 2012, Cliff was advised by tropical medicine experts to never again live in a malarial area.

After working through the disappointment of not going back to Mursi, God continued to ruffle our feathers, to make us unsettled about where we were at before beginning to open us up to new possibilities.

Unable to retun to malarial areas, God redirected Cliff and Lynell to SIMs Central and South East Asia office where their work will impact a whole region. As Projects and Business Consultant, Cliff will oversee our projects in I've surrounding countries. Lynell (and Cliff parttime) will serve in the Radical Grace: Relational Approaches to HIV Project, which was begtm by fellow New Zealanders Kenneth and Kim Fleck.

It'll not be easy to leave behind two adult children, Charissa and Zac, as well as aging parents. Helping their youngest, Iazriel, to adapt to life in a new culture and continue his schooling at an international school will be another challenge. And, they will have to learn Thai.

The call is greater than the cost, however, and the Thomases hope to be in Chiang Mai by the end of July. If you'd like to know more, or join their support team, email: clczjt@gmail.com).

 

As Cliff says, "God called us to be light to the nations (Isaiah 42); to get out of our comfort zone, just as Jesus did for us. Our call to bring the good news to those who haven't heard it is still alive and we need to start doing that more actively both here in New Zealand, and cross culturally. Trust in God. It's God who works through us, to enable us to make a difference in this world. It's he who provides the physical and spiritual resources for the task and to live wherever he calls us to go."

View original article here.

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