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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Back in Thailand

Flying into Japan
Hello from Thailand!

We are back in Thailand, over jet lag and ready to begin ministry.  We were blessed to come back to mild temperatures, in the 80s.  It won't be long before it starts heating up, so we are enjoying it while its here!  We have been finalizing some work permit details and searching for a ministry vehicle while in Bangkok along with seeing our friends who live here.  We feel certain this is where the Lord needs us for this season of our lives.

 
 

Noah officially celebrated his 17th birthday in Thailand.  A couple from the church invited us to dinner  for a birthday celebration for Noah at their home, it was a wonderful night.  We are grateful for friends in Christ here.  He got a guitar for his birthday, so he has been practicing.  He has been able to play basketball with some teenagers from Life's school as well.  

Dinner with Friends in Thailand for Noah's 17th Birthday
At Sky Train 
Hannah Grace has been enjoying her time back with CJ and playing at the church.  God has blessed our transition back here, we cannot thank you enough of your support and prayers.  We feel the presence of God.

Hannah Grace in the Bangkok Mall at a Lego exhibition

Please continue to lift us up as we make the move to Roi Et next week, especially as we look for housing.  Our fellow mission family the Barbees will be on furlough for 5 months while they support raise for their second 5 year term.  We will be teaching several of their classes while they are away and assisting with Wednesday and Sunday worship activities with their students.  This is a great opportunity for us to get to know the students better and increase our Thai language ability.  Most students do not speak much English.  Please keep us in your prayers as we move into our new roles and also as we search for a location for an after school center in Roi Et.  

Meeting with fellow missionaries from China in Bangkok

We ask for special prayer requests for our brother in Christ, Jade.  Jade is a Christian who has lived his life in testimony to Christ.  Jade is 23 years old.  He has cancer and unable to receive more treatment.  Please pray for him and his family as well as all the people here who love him.   Jade has been a huge encouragement to our family and we love him dearly.

Jade with members of the Muang Thai Church

It was great to see as many of you as we did while in the US.  We will cherish all of our time spent with you.  We pray for you daily.  

Thank you again for loving us so well.  We could not serve Christ here without you.

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9




Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas in the US

Nana and Hannah Grace at Lake Junaluska
Merry Christmas to you all.

We have spent the past 2 months in the US visiting friends and family and speaking at churches about life in Thailand and how people can pray for and partner with the Thai people.  God has blessed our time here, we have spent quality time with folks which has been a tremendous blessing to us.  We have enjoyed familiar foods and all of the Christmas events.  We are so appreciative of our host family the Robinsons and many who have loved on us during our time here.

Time with Sidney
Christmas time with Ashley
Granmama and Noah
Time with Aunt Carolyn

Pop pop and Hannah Grace


Hannah Grace speaking to Good News Club
The people we have reconnected with at supporting churches and new people we have met who have an interest and heart for what God is doing across the world has been incredible.  So many have a heart for Asia and want to be part of bringing the love and hope of Jesus to Thailand.  They have committed to stay connected and to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Thailand and also for those who do not yet know him.


Roi Et Rural Roads
We will head back Jan 7 and plan to begin searching for a location for an after school program and make arrangements to take the English club to the rural schools.  We still will need to purchase a ministry vehicle when we return to be able to get to the rural schools, so far we have raised about $5000.  The projected cost of a certified used vehicle that will be adequate to transfer kids is $10,000 to $15,000.  If you can help with this special need there is a give now tab on our blog that is designated for the ministry vehicle.

We thank you all so much for your love and support to our family.   We could not answer this call on our lives without you.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers and we will do the same for you.

Peace and Love,
The Attaways

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life in Roi Et

Hello from the Attaways!

The adjustment in Roi Et has gone fairly smoothly these first couple of months. Our largest hurdle has been a re-adjustment to the food in the Northeast. Although it is similar to Bangkok our stomachs have identified some things that are different.  We are getting out and meeting the people in the area and have begun building relationships now that they have seen us visit their restaurant and shops several times. We have also made friends with one of the night watchmen at our apartment complex. We try to go by and speak with him every night. Without a doubt the first thing we discuss with him is; have you eaten yet? and what will you eat? This is a common early question in Thai culture. Many times after this they they will invite you to eat if you have not already. This routine has helped us work on our hearing and speaking of the Thai language in a relaxed setting. We look forward to building more an more of these relationships as we come to know the people of Roi Et.
Visiting a Temple in Chiang Mai
Corn is considered a dessert in Thailand

Fried frogs
Fried crickets


NO we don't eat the frogs and crickets…..yet!!

We are currently back in the US where we will be sharing our life and ministry with some of our supporting churches and potential new supporters. This is a special time for us as we share and hopefully provide a deeper insight into what life for us is like in Thailand and how we plan to expand our mission goals. We are looking for a place to provide a after school program. We will meet with a city Director to discuss opportunities we may can be involved in with an after school program.
Rural  Roi Et
 In addition, we are developing an English Club to take into the rural schools outside of Roi Et. With that we need to purchase a ministry vehicle to reach these areas. Most of the village schools are located 20 to 45 minutes outside of the city. We have priced Toyota certified vehicles, small pick-ups and vans, and they range from $10,000 to 15,000.  We can hopefully find a quality vehicle for less, but this provides us a target to aim for.  If you or any group you know of would like to help meet this need, a contribution can be made by clicking the "Donate" link on the left side of this blog.  It will take you to the contribution page. Select the vehicle link to make your contribution.
Sunday Stories and English

Thai Student Leaders
                                                   
                                                                Learning at Banon
                                           

We thank you for all the support of prayers, care packages, calls, notes and finances. We hope you all feel a part of this ministry and can feel the blessings that you are to us and the Thai people we come in contact.

Prayer Requests:
For continued support and funding for a ministry vehicle
Please pray for our time as we speak with each group over the next couple of months.
Our time with family and friends.
The English Club as we go out to these schools when we return to Thailand.
A place for after school meetings.

Many blessings and thank you for staying with us on this journey!

The Attaways

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Leaving Bangkok for Roi Et

Greetings everyone,

We have had a busy couple of weeks, we have moved from our apartment at the church in Bangkok to the city of Roi Et, seven hours NorthEast.  We felt the Lord prompting us to continue our language and culture study here where we plan on serving him for our remaining time in Thailand.  The Isan area where we now live is primarily rural, with rice farming being the main source of income here.  We found an apartment in the city of Roi Et which is a larger city here, about 40,000 people.  There are shops, restaurants, businesses, schools and temples all around.  There are a few restaurants that serve Western food so that has been a blessing!  It is much quieter here, less traffic and a breeze.  We get a lot of looks as we walk around the town, since there are few Westerners here. Noah and Hannah Grace get most of the stares, we try to greet folks and smile.  Having eyes on you is definitely an adjustment for all of us, but at least they are noticing we are here.  We try to be ourselves and pray that God is using our presence here somehow for his glory.  Now we just have to get to know them and to be able to speak with them.
Getting ready to board the bus to Roi Et
Our belongings
 There is a beautiful park in the center of the city where many people go to walk, play basketball, play on the playground and just hang out.  We are in walking distance of most of the things we need, which is important since we haven't yet purchased a ministry vehicle.  We go to the park about everyday to try to meet and greet Thai people.





The other team members live 10 to 15 minutes from us so we have been blessed by their company and presence since arriving.  Some of the students we got to know at camp this summer were at their home last Wednesday night for worship, so we had the chance to reconnect. with them.  Noah picked right up with a friend he made named Biw.  Although they have to speak with broken Thai and English the two seem to find a way to make it work.
We felt the Lord encouraging us to host a worship night in English in our home, so that those on the team and others serving here who speak English could have an opportunity to worship in their native tongue.  We had worship here in our apartment Saturday night from 6 to 9.  We ate dinner together (we made spaghetti) read scripture, sang praise songs and watched a recorded sermon about Listening to God.  After the sermon we had small group time and prayed for each other.  We had 10 people here to worship,  Noah and Hannah Grace participated as well.  God blessed our time and we believe offering church in our home each week is something we feel led to do.  Please join us in prayer for our group to grow, for this to be an opportunity for team members and others to be fed spiritually and for God to be shone glory.
New apartment, main room

One of the bedrooms

Our apartment in Roi Et, Second floor
Please continue to pray for our transition here and for us to begin to make relationships with Thai nationals.  We live in a 2 bedroom apartment where we are comfortable.  The apartment complex is full of high school students who live here and attend school right down the street.  We are living in the middle of students and believe the Lord has brought us here for a reason.  Join us in prayer in how we can serve him and bring his name and hope to so many who do not know him.

We love you all and pray for you, please continue to stay with us on this journey.  Blessings.
Our family with our Thai Tutor, Nid in Bangkok


Todd at the Barber shop in Roi Et




Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hello from the Attaways.

We hope you are all doing well and had a Happy 4th of July!  We missed celebrating with friends and family at home, but were invited to attend a cookout at a guest house near the church where we live.  There were several families from the US there and the menu included hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and a red, white and blue cake!  They even had some sparklers and a few fireworks so it was great to celebrate our nation's Independence day along with you, actually 11 hours ahead of you!

This past month has had its ups and downs.  One of the positive things is we have founds an alternative Thai language program that is more practical and written for English speakers.  This program is online and also includes native Thai tutors.  Our Thai tutor in Bangkok is Kruu Nid, she has been a blessing and is teaching us commonly used phrases and sentence structure.  They have tutors in Roi Et as well so this program would allow us the opportunity to move to the Northeast where we plan on serving sooner.  The Thai language is challenging, but we are committed to learn to speak and understand the language of those who we will serve.  Please pray for our language acquisition.

Noah and Hannah Grace have enjoying being out of school, but of course have to study Thai each day.  They are troopers and continue to bring joy to everyone they meet.  Noah has made a couple of friends at an English church we have attended this month and has been to youth group a couple of times.  Hannah Grace has enjoyed her Sunday School and has also made friends.  They had a family picnic this month that we attended and enjoyed the fellowship.  We feel blessed to have found an opportunity to worship and have some fellowship in our native tongue since we are not yet proficient in Thai.

Water games at the Church Picnic

Water fun and fellowship

























Hannah Grace was reading her Bible one night and called us in her room.  She said she felt lead to pack her backpack with water and snacks and take it to the people who live on the street near our home.  We went to 7-11 the next morning where she bought 6 bottles of water and 6 snacks with her money.  Hannah Grace packed them in her book bag along with her Bible, we prayed and then went out.  She prayed during the walk, found people in need, offered the water and food and tried to greet everyone in Thai.  It was really an amazing experience for her and for us.  We are proud of Hannah Grace's and Noah's hearts for the Lord and for others.

Prepared to go the the streets


Hannah Grace being the Light
We traveled to Roi Et this month to pray over where the Lord needs us to serve.  We met with the English teachers at the Muang Suang school.  They are eager to have volunteer English teachers and would welcome us.  The school has 1000 students and several other neighboring schools are in need of conversational English teachers.   While in Roi Et we were able to participate in the Wednesday night worship and fellowship with the Barbees and Mot, a member of the team.  Noah lead the students in a new game.  It was a blessing being in their company and praising God in Thai.


Wednesday night worship and study at the Barbees in Roi Et


Noah teaching a game-Ninja to Roi Et Students

A challenge we have faced is missing Sidney and Ashley since their visit.  We have had time to reflect on their time here and have stayed in touch each week, but it is still difficult.  Please keep them both in your prayers.  Sidney is working at  Camp Greenville this summer in a leadership role and is really enjoying it.  Ashley has had a lot of opportunity to travel and has seen so many new things, she in now back in Clemson.  We believe their visit here was important for them to see some of the reasons we feel called to serve in Thailand.

We are learning so much about Thai culture and about the people here.  We are also learning a lot about God and trusting him.  We continually lift you up in prayer and hope you know how important you all are to us.  Please join us in prayer for our family in the US and for us here.  We ask for spiritual protection, health, language learning, and guidance for our transition to the Northeast.  We pray that God will use us to his glory here and that we make his name known to many who haven't heard the Good News.  Thank you again for all of your love and support on this journey we are on together.

May God be glorified.

I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28