Friday, June 8

The News....

Hello Everybody!!

Well this month of lectures went by fast as always and God has not failed in teaching new things every day. we started off this lecture block with Steve and Marie Goode taking us through some of the history of YWAM, it's heart and how it came to be so World Focused. During this week was the YWAM international day of Prayer and Fasting. It was an amazing time but the devil tried to attack many of us by making us feel like we had been fasting for three days by giving us headaches and tiredness even before 11 am when we'd only missed breakfast! But we prayed all together that morning in class and pushed through those feelings. after lunch I went to the corner store and bought two iced tea drinks, which I apparently drank too fast because they came right back up about and hour later... my problem was that I was in the class room on the second floor and the bathrooms were on the bottom floor! So, not having time to get to the bathroom, I threw up over the second floor balcony hoping that there was nobody underneath!! It quickly became something to laugh about.... after I felt a little better!
The next week we had Suzanne north from Melbourne and she talked about global missions which was really good too. She and her husband used to be missionaries to the Islamic community in Nepal until they got banned from the country for "Forcing people to change religions." Suzanne talked about some of the history of Global missions and showed some videos of people currently and in the past who have been a part of Global missions.
Week three was Dan Baumann. Dan was a missionary to the Islamic nations surrounding Iran. he had spent years in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and had been on a week-long trip across the border into Iran and upon exiting they would not return his pass port and placed him in jail. He spent 9 weeks there and endured beating and interrogation and the only thing that got him out in the end was his Swiss passport. While he was there he was able to minister to his main "interrogator" and the day before Dan was released, he gave his life to Christ. Apart from telling his amazing story, Dan also spoke to us about intimacy with Jesus and having a relationship with him that just trusts. You take him at his word and when he says go, you go and see what happens. He also talked about finding God's will for our lives and stated that if our hearts are for Jesus and listening for his voice, then it's virtually impossible to miss his will for our lives. another freeing thing that he said in talking about God's will is that IF we do happen to miss God's will for our lives, then he doesn’t say oh well that's another life down the drain, but he will either gently guide us back to his original plan, or he'll make a brand new BEST plan for our lives. It was really freeing and allowed me to make those decisions about Staffing and future.
And last week (week ending the 1/6/07) we enjoyed John hall a church planter/pastor who's been here in Thailand for almost 20 years working in the eastern provinces he talked about modern church planting strategies, the status of the local church in Thailand, and what a local church "should" look like. By this I mean that he challenged the thinking on what we define as church and what aspects are just cultural aspects and what parts are necessary (such as a leader(s)).
the schools and universities were on break for the first two weeks of this lecture block so we had to change our usual Friday night evangelism (one location was at a smoothie shop by a university, and the other was a boarding school) to Friday afternoon evangelism in just our Mubaan (Village/Suburb). This was great and all of the Students loved it. We were able to serve our village and talk to them, build relationship and let them know more about what the big base on the top of the hill was all about. We however could only do this for two weeks as the schools and universities opened backup and we went back to our normal evangelism locations. My team's location was the Night Bazaar and we were able to talk to people there and share the good news about Christ and what he's done for them. On the second week we took a guitar and bongo drums and we played and sang Christian songs on the corner, and talked to people as they came by. For many this became their favourite experience on DTS and they went back the next night.

I leave for my five week outreach to Kanchanaburi and Pattaya this coming Monday which I’m excited and a little nervous about, but I really do think it's going to be fun. I am part of an awesome team that have great attitudes and are all good friends outside of outreaches, so I know that we'll be fine. We will be in Kanchanaburi for three weeks and there we'll be building a house, doing some painting, planting an acre of mandioca (I don't know what that is) and teaching English in a school. We then go by bus to Pattaya for the final two weeks where the Girls will be working in the Tamar centre, a project reaching out to rescue women from prostitution and give them hope for a better life. They’ll also be going with the Tamar Centre teams into Bars to evangelise the Prostitutes there and tell them about the English classes that the girls on our team are also running. As for us males, we'll be doing prison ministry and ministry at a centre for young men called the Crossing. It is sort of a drop in centre with a skate park (good thing we're all good skaters!! NOT! :D) but we'll be working there and then doing street evangelism as well.
Something that I have been working on over the course of being here in Chiang Rai is my relationship with Grayce Hollingsworth. She did her DTS last year at the Chiang Rai base and now works at Baan Nam Jai (home of the open heart), an orphanage for children with HIV. I met her when I came to visit Shane last June and though we never really spoke while I was here, we became close friends through the totally amazing God given internet chat programme Skype. We talked and talked and by September we realised that there was something more than just friendship coming along here but chose for several reasons not to pursue that. When I got here in January we sought God and the wisdom of our leaders together and we decided that we would start /Courting/ with a view towards engagement. So that is the short story up to where we are. We are courting. You can see here her Photo's or her blog here. I think that's it, other than to say that she's an amazing Woman and I’m extraordinarily blessed to have her in my life! Jing Jing! (That means "seriously" in Thai).

Here is the biggest news. I have decided to stay on here in Chiang Rai and join staff for the next three DTS's. I really feel that this is in line with my calling and gifts and I’m excited about the opportunity. Since my mid teens I have felt God's call on my life towards missions and this is just another step to being commissioned to that call. I have been corresponding with mum and Dad, John Lee, and my leaders here about this and they all are excited and so am I. So that's it. I will be home either in September or November to say hi and work my little proverbial off to save some money, then I’m back here in January for Tom Beckingham’s wedding and life in Thailand! As far as I can see I’ll be here for three years, and then I don’t know where in the world I’ll be.

As always I would ask for your prayers. I’ve seen first hand how powerful our prayers are and how God wants to work to bring them to pass, so here are some things you can pray for.
*Safety and effectiveness on outreach.* (Someone in our commissioning service today read a scripture that Nations would quake at the work of the LORD, and I read last night that Kanchanaburi has two fault lines running through it. -- oh while I’m at it, I’ll just let you know that about four or five weeks ago now, there was a powerful earthquake (6.1) about 100 km north of Chiang Rai. There were no reports of injury and only minor damage. We felt it here in Chiang Rai at probably a magnitude of between 4 and 5 for about 10-15 seconds! Everyone was ok and there was no damage.)
There are five outreach teams going to all different parts of Thailand with one team going to Laos (which is still a communist country) pray that everyone will be safe in their respective locations and that God will use them mightily for his Kingdom.
*The availability of housing for after DTS. *As of the end of DTS, I have to find a home to live in for the time that I’m here. One or two possibilities have arisen but I will need money to pay for rent and living for that time. Pray that God will work all of this out and his faithfulness will be shown once again.
*That I will be able to get a Thai Motorbike licence*. Getting around here is cheapest and easiest on a motorbike (though safer and more comfortable in a carJ). I will be able to get a licence after DTS but will need all the necessary paperwork to come through as quickly as possible. (Also pray that I will be able to get a bike (or a Car at some point.)
*That God will CONTINUE to provide. *God’s provision up until this point had been wonderful and I have no reason to doubt that he will continue to provide but it still helps to ask Him, he knows our needs, but still wants us to tell him so I ask that you join with me in telling him my needs. And join with me in watching him provide them!*


*Once again I thank you for your prayers and support. I look forward to telling you all that has happened on outreach and all that God has done in me and through me as I walk out this adventure with him. I also look forward very much to seeing you all in September or November (the meeting will be all the more sweet if it’s in November).*

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*Love and Blessings to all…..*

*Ryan Munyard.*

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