February 2019 Newsletter
We are excited to share with you our latest newsletter from our new
location in Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai.
e had such a wonderful time in Vietnam over the
Christmas holidays. After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City
renewing our Thailand Visas we met up with Liz’s Mum
and her sister Jenn and her family in Hoi An. If you
haven’t heard of Hoi An, then it can be described as a magical little
town, a fusion of Asia and Europe like nothing we’ve ever experienced
before. It was a real treat for us to enjoy the endless supply of fresh
bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The boys had an excellent time catching up and reconnecting with
their cousins and I (Liz) enjoyed many hours of roaming and shopping
the old streets of Vietnam with my Mum and sister.
A Family Christmas
BYE BYE BAN LUANG
n return from holidays we threw ourselves straight into
cleaning up the new house in Wiang Chai (Chiang Rai). It was
a big job and I lost count of the number of buckets of dirty
water that came from dusting and cleaning. Although
exhausting at times, the cleaning process was quite cathartic as it
felt like we were bringing the tired house back to life.
In early January we returned to Ban Luang to pick up all our furniture
Our farewell dinner
and to attend a farewell party hosted by the faith groups. It was a
special event for us as we reflected on that past year and the
relationships that we had been able to build in that time. One of the
members prayed for us and we shared a few words about how
leaving our family in friends in Australia was hard, but we had been
so blessed to have such a wonderful group of new family in Christ
there in Ban Luang.
Packing our moving truck—a corn truck!
Playing in our front yard
“Trust. To build trust others must know that you accept and value them as people. Acceptance. Before you
can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness – your ability to welcome them into
your presence. Openness. Openness with people different from yourself requires that you are willing to step
out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships in a world of cultural differences.”
Duane Elmer—Cross Cultural Servanthood
iang Chai is the name of the district that we now live in
here in Chiang Rai. Within Wiang Chai we live in a small
community that is quite isolated by surrounding rice
fields on all sides. One of the biggest blessings about
joining a smaller community like this is that everyone knows
everyone! In fact, all our direct neighbours are related in some way
and it didn’t take long before the whole village knew we were here to
teach English at the local school.
some curry for our lunch and to chat with the sellers.
We live on a busy street, so we spent a lot of time sitting out the
front greeting people as they ride or walk pass curiously looking in to
see what the new “Farang” (Westerner) family are doing. When we
found out our neighbour had just had an operation, we took her
spaghetti (one of the few Farang dishes Thai’s seem to enjoy). A
week or so later the same neighbour returned our plastic container
with a local Thai dish in it for us to try. As we sat on our front step
she said to me “we used to have a Farang live just over
there” (pointing out towards some houses). “He never spoke to us,
he would just stare”. “I’m happy that you can talk with me.”
Surrounded by rice fields
Before we left Ban Luang Glenn and I decided that as soon as we
arrived in our new home, we would be very intentional to stop what
we were doing when we had people pop in to check us out, or if the
neighbours were willing to chat. Glenn made many trips to the local
hardware and paint shop which is conveniently only forty metres
down the road. He also goes to the morning market every day to buy
We pray for God to sustain us in our openness in this community as
we seek to become trusted and accepted. We pray for willingness to
step out of our comfort zone and perseverance to sustain
relationships even through cultural differences and challenges. We
ask God will use this time to shine His light and love into the hearts of
the people in our community.
Accept one another, then,
just as Christ accepted you,
in order to bring praise to God.
Local morning market
n the 4th of March Glenn will begin teaching English at our local primary
school. His teaching days are Monday and Tuesday afternoons and he teaches
grades 4, 5 and 6. His teaching schedule is only 6 hours a week, but he is
looking forward to getting to know the other teachers in the school. Thai
students are required to learn English as a part of their school curriculum. We have
offered to do some tutoring for a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon for those
students in our community who are keen to learn. Word got out and now every time
Glenn visits the morning market he has more and more people asking him about
We have limited the first class to 10 students, and it will begin on the 9th of March.
Glenn is also currently putting together all the paperwork to update his Visa with the
new school. We hope to have our updated visa in early April.
ith the help of our team mates we have been able to find a new language
nurturer. Lah is in her 40’s and lives just a few streets away from our
place. She has recently opened a small shop selling drinks and snack
foods outside her home, however she will close her shop during the
morning when she comes to our house to teach us.
Although Lah has never had any training in teaching a language, she has been doing
really well. Glenn and I have been able to explain the activities that we’d like to do with
her and then she has been able to do them confidently. She seems to have a gift for
teaching, and although sometimes she can speak very fast, it has been a good
challenge for us!
It is such a blessing to have a language nurturer that is also a part of our community
as she is a great insider for us to know what is happening around our village. She also
said we are welcome to come and sit at her shop and she will introduce us to everyone
who comes to visit so we can practise our Thai!
SEB, LEVI & OLLIE
e are very pleased to share with you that Seb has begun attending
Chiang Rai International Christian School. It is a huge answer to pray and
quite a miracle that the school has been able to accept Seb. We began
discussions with the school in December 2018 about admitting both Seb
and Levi however the school has a policy that they do not accept student’s mid-year
and only take enrolments in the new school year. As the school in on the American
system their new year wasn’t until August. There was also the problem that Levi’s
class was at full capacity. After lots of prayer asking for God’s guidance, the school felt
that they could accept Seb. He has been attending now for almost a month and is
loving school. We are praising God for this provision and the joy that it has brought to
We are currently looking at the best options for Levi and Oliver in the new school year.
There is another international school here in Chiang Rai, it’s likely that they will start
attending there and move over to the same school as Seb when positions become
1st – 3rd March is Family Camp.
The members from the Ban Luang, Ban Faa and Ban Sra faith
communities as well as believers from Chiang Mai will all come
together for a family camp over the weekend. This is an exciting time
for believers to have the opportunity to invite their families and
friends to join together in time of fellowship and bible teaching. We
are also looking forward to taking a day trip up to the “famous” caves
that the children were trapped in last October.
Language with Pee Lah
Seb’s new classmates
4th March is Glenn’s first day of teaching at BanWiangDerm School.
9th March is Liz’s first English tutoring class.
27th – 28th April is Leadership training.
The Thailand team host leadership training events two times a year.
It’s a very special time where leaders of the faith communities to
come together to discuss any challenges they are facing and to learn
more from the bible. As Glenn and I begin to understand more and
more of what is being said around us it is always very insightful to
hear the leaders talk about topics that the believers want to know
more about or struggle with. The next training will focus more on the
Holy Spirit and what the Bible teaches us about God’s Spirit.
Home School Teacher
While our situation has changed, and we no longer need a Home
School Teacher, our team mates Luke and Belle have a 5 year old boy
that will be home-schooled in their next term. If you are interested
and God has placed it on your heart, please contact the Global
Interaction state office for more details.
Playing with new friends
Prayer and Praise Points
Local morning market
g In thanks for the lovely community that Glenn and Liz are now in.
g Pray for Glenn and Liz as they make relationships and live their
lives with openness to the people around them. For God to use
them to be a light to their community.
g Pray for perseverance and willingness to be open even when they
reach cultural difference and challenges.
g In thanks for the wonderful holidays in Vietnam with family.
g In thanks for the Ban Luang fellowship and for the send-off. Also
please pray for these groups that God will protect them and
continue to grow them in number now as this is the first time
they haven’t had a cross cultural worker living in the area.
g Pray for Glenn as he builds new relationships in the local school
teaching English. Also that his visa will be renewed with no issues
in late March or early April.
g Pray for their relationship with their new language nurturer Lah
to grow and for Glenn and Liz to have perseverance and skill in
communicating in Thai.
g In thanks for Seb and his admission to the international school.
Praise for the joy that is has given him and the friendships he has
g Pray for an opportunity to arise for Levi and Oliver to be enrolled
in an English-speaking school ASAP.
g Pray for the family camp, for safe travels, open hearts and a great
time of fellowship.
g Pray for the leadership training in April, for it to be a valuable time
for leaders to share and gain greater wisdom from God.
Glenn’s new school