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Paton's Prayer Letter
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Posted on Tue, Oct 5, 2010
Tonight is a good night. We found Dr. Pepper at the import store yesterday so I am sitting here enjoying one of my favorite beverages that I rarely get to enjoy. The only downside to this is that, by my calculations, we must have paid at least 80% of the Dr.'s airline ticket from the USA. We'll just choose not to think about that right now.
In order to get re-acquainted I'll give some bullet point updates of some highlights over the past few months (in no particular order):
- Our visa's and work permit were renewed for another year. These trips to the immigration and labor offices are always an adventure. Example? As I enter the immigration office with Bonnie and all 5 kids along (yes, they all have to come too) I can see the officers trying to avoid eye contact with me so that perhaps they can escape the chore of processing 7 visa applications. I sit down across from the officer who I feel will be the most gracious and begin to unpack the truck-load of papers that are required for this process. He sighs and begins to organize his thoughts around this monumental task. At one point he tells me to go fill out 7 forms that I know to be completely unnecessary. Why must I fill these out? Because he wants some time to go and have coffee. These same forms get thrown out about 45 minutes later by another officer who has been coerced into helping our cause. Always fun times at immigration and we are grateful that we are able to live here legally for at least one more year.
- Last month we travelled to a city called Hua Hin for a conference with the other C&MA workers/affiliates that are living here in Thailand. It was a great time to meet up with friends we hadn't seen for awhile and enjoying a change of pace from our regular routine.
- Our three oldest (James (9), Thomas (8), and Kaylie (7)) are registered for school and will begin classes on Aug. 30 at 8:30 am. This week we picked up their uniforms and now only a few more supplies need to be purchased and we will be all ready. They are excited to start school and begin new activities like music lessons, after school sports, art classes as well as studying Thai and Mandarin as part of their daily curriculum. You can check out the website for their school at www.headstartphuket.com
- Daniel (4) and Emma (21 months) are each experiencing their own frustrations these days. Emma believes she has the right to run outside on the street unsupervised whenever the door is open and protests loudly whenever we bring her back inside. Daniel seems to be having trouble communicating what he is feeling so this leads to some very frustrating moments for him throughout the day. Please be praying for Daniel, and for us, as we are starting to notice some traits in his behavior that we don't fully understand. We need wisdom in how to proceed forward with him in a helpful and encouraging way.
- August 7th was our 11th anniversary. We celebrated by taking our kids to a water park for the day. Ya, there is a shortage of babysitters in our lives right now.
- A few weeks ago we hired a woman to help with house cleaning 3 mornings a week. She is doing a great job and we are grateful for her. Her name is Daow and she lives a very difficult life- more complex than an e-mail update can cover. This week Bonnie had that chance to briefly share with her about the peace of heart and mind that can only be found in a relationship with God through Jesus. Please pray for Daow that she would discover a new life in Jesus and find true freedom for her soul.
- Things seem to be at a standstill in the work we are desiring to see move forward. Currently, we meet once a week for prayer and bible study with our friends/co-workers named Phil and Yvette to seek the Lord and listen to his voice together. This is a source of encouragement and insight as we confront the myriad of obstacles that are present at every turn.
- Freedom House Phuket: We are waiting on funding and permission to be granted in order for us to take the next steps in seeing the home open and functional. Please pray for our co-worker E. She is such a gifted person in providing the care and leadership that is required for this ministry. However, if we are not able to move ahead in the near future there is the chance that she will leave to find other work. We have spoken openly and honestly with her about this and our relationship with her is strong. Please pray that we will navigate these challenging days with courage and peace.
- International Church Phuket: We are praying about the launch of an English speaking church that will reach out to the expat community and be a blessing to the Thai churches on the island. A website and logo are being designed that will be a point of contact for those wanting to be involved in this adventure. We believe that the International church can be a strategic launching pad for numerous initiatives both here in Phuket and beyond. If you are interested in some of the strategy we are thinking through with this, email me and we can talk.
- Foundation: After meeting with our lawyer, we realized the next step was to find Thai people, living in Phuket that are well respected in the community that would be willing to serve as Board members for the foundation. Once these people (at least 3 trustworthy individuals) are in place things can move ahead to the actual establishment of the not-for-profit foundation that will be the legal covering for the work we are seeking to do here. Pray that these 3 people would be found and be ready to serve in this way.
We are living in the midst of some deeply difficult realities as we see HIV/AIDS on the rise in Phuket as well as the numerous illegal abortions that are increasing at an alarming rate among young girls on the island. Prostitution is rampant and the amount of violent crime for a relatively small place is staggering. There are issues of brokenness, despair, poverty, greed, slavery, apathy and abuse that need to be confronted. We believe that we have been called here to share the life and message of Jesus through the ministries listed above as well as many other ways that God is showing us. However, we are discovering each day the complexity and enormity of the obstacles that stand in opposition to the way of Jesus here in Phuket and we need you to join with us in prayer to see these walls of opposition come down. As we sit before the Lord we know that there is a Godly kind of waiting that forges faith and perseverance in the midst of turmoil. We also know that there is spiritual resistance that can be prayed through to see victories won in the lives and hearts of people living in bondage. To you, our friends and supporters, we need you to be praying with us as we both wait on the Lord and confront the darkness. We believe that there will be a day when we see the physical realities of what is only a dream and vision today. Between today and that day that is yet to come will be the time in which the real battle is waged. Pray with us. Take courage and do not lose heart. We will do the same.
Peace to you,
Wade for Bonnie and the "5"
Find us on Facebook at WadeBonnie Paton. Lots of photos to look at.
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