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November 2011 Ban Dek Yin Dee Newsletter

Hi,

The floods here have now claimed over 600 lives, and have affected nearly every area of Thailand. Praise God that our area is one of the few areas not flooded, but since most commercial items come from or through distribution centers in or around Bangkok, the shelves at the stores are missing many of the usual items. Those who were able just left Bangkok, so cars with Bangkok license plates are everywhere. Now the waters are receding and the leftover may be worse than the water. Stagnant water in the tropics quickly develops diseases, snakes (over 200 poisonous varieties here) come out of every nook and cranny, and many exotic animals have escaped from various zoos and other places (it seems to be a big thing – and not well regulated – for those financially able to keep a few in their homes) The worst probably are the many crocodiles – including some very large ones – that came from the flooded crocodile farms (some are for tourists and some are raised for skins, meat, etc.) Please pray with us that this disaster will cause some to look for He who is more real and more helpful than the dead idols in their temples or whatever inhabits their spirit houses (and never eats the food left out).

How quickly little children receive the things of God. Sarah, at 18 months, on her own, came, closed her eyes and laid hands on Moses when he injured himself. Praise God!

Please pray for the foundation’s final approval. A couple of snags have developed. The first was the closure of the government offices in Bangkok (floods) for nearly a month. That passed, there seems to be some reticence on the part of a government official. If you’re thinking “I don’t understand”, well, no one else seems to either. The only thing that we can do is to pray for God’s favor. Please join us in that.

Our helper didn’t last long. She regulated her diabetes very poorly and it got the best of her. When her doctor put her in the hospital for a few days, then as an outpatient for awhile, she decided she couldn’t handle it and didn’t come back. Another woman – much younger and also a believer – who said she was coming to work quit before she got here. Praise God that we had a Thai worker here when government officials visited. However, that puts us back where we were, asking for prayer for a helper.

We continue to thank God for all that He has done for us. This has been through your prayers, or through the many other ways that you have supported us. So, we also thank you. Yes, we do know that this is no longer November, but we started writing in November and a short note will come before Christmas.

May God’s Blessings Overwhelm You and Yours, Randy, Kathleen and the Rest of the BDYD Family

July 2011 Ban Dek Yin Dee Newsletter

Friends,

Praise Reports and Prayer Requests Combined One of our Sunday school 8th graders, Yuki, has been diagnosed with liver problems for some time – now they say it’s her gallbladder. After a couple of days in little Kusuman hospital (visiting is like retuning to the 50’s), they are sending her to Sakon Nakorn Hospital – bigger and more modern, but 1 hour away. Her mom lives in Bangkok and is very sick (possibly AIDS), so she lives with her grandmother here. Very poor Grandma took Yuki to the hospital on her very beat-up old mini-bike – her only form of transportation. Please pray that we can make time to help since we offered to help with transportation – now that Yuki is in Sakon Nakorn – and pray for Yuki’s healing.

At rural hospitals here, someone has to stay with the patients. Yuki was in one large room with several other children, two of whom really touched our hearts. One (that’s her name – Nung in Thai), a 5 yr-old girl attended by her 7 yr-old sister and 12 yr-old brother (mother deceased, father planting rice), had bad sores all over her body from swimming in polluted water. What a smile she has! The other was a 1 yr-old girl with a very high fever, whose mother had the all-too-common look of disdain for us when we have Thai children (Nun, Moses & Sarah) with us. When we asked – twice – if we could pray for the child the only response was a blank stare. Then Nun asked if we could pray that God heal her child, and the response was an immediate “yes” and the attitude changed. The Baby was released shortly thereafter. Praise God! Please pray that this mother and the family to have a desire to come to know God.

We thank God for stirring our hearts anew by showing us the needs still waiting for Jesus in Kusuman. Please pray with us that – in spite of still not having help – the Lord will use us more in fulfilling the promise He made years ago that many in Kusuman will see the Lord in all His glory. Please pray that strongholds will be broken and the gates of heaven will be opened for God’s children from Kusuman.

Thank you. We are blessed to have you as our partners. Without you, the Word would not be being preached in Kusuman. Sorry that this newsletter was longer than usual.

Blessings to All, Randy, Kathleen and all the rest of the BDYD Family

P.S. Pray for us to have young legs and good tennis shoes as Sarah is walking and Moses is running.

May 31 2011 Newsletter from Thailand

June 2011 Ban Dek Yin Dee Newsletter   Hi Friends,   Praise Reports Much of our recent teaching has been on who Jesus is. We feel they have finally been receptive, perhaps because our hearts have been more focused on being a servant’s heart (all parents know demonstration works better than words). Servant leader is sometimes a difficult balance – and easy to forget in the daily routine of life – but this is the example Jesus gave us for good reason. Esther came to us believing that her real mother was dead and her handicapped stepmother was unable to raise her – apparently a story told to her at a previous orphanage. Esther had great fear of the stepmother taking her away. Esther’s aunt that brought her here simply called her the mom (a step-mom would be called the mom in Thailand). When mom showed up with her sister, the true story came out. Her real mother is mentally and physically handicapped, but very much alive, loves her, wants the best for her (in this case, to stay here), and just wants to know her. It was a very happy ending to a very sad story. Praise God!   Sometimes a reminder of how blessed we are shows up at our door. Last Sunday, 4 sisters showed up – the youngest a 2 year old in the picture with Moses – dressed in their Sunday best (clothes we would probably use for rags). They still looked beautiful. In America, and likewise, at Ban Dek Yin Dee, we have so much. God has blessed BDYD through many of you and we are very grateful. Thank you. May God continue to bless you mightily.   Prayer Requests Please continue to pray for Moses. There is definite improvement, but still times of severe itching and breathing and sleeping difficulties. Please also pray for the Sunday school children to grow in their relationship to the Lord and for wisdom, knowledge and ability – for us – of how to be the kind of examples and leaders that they need.   In Christ, Randy, Kathleen and the rest of the Ban Dek Yin Dee Gang     

May 08, 2011 God’s Love through a Mother’s Heart

Since it is Mother’s Day, I felt the Lord leading me to bring a message of honor to each of our mothers and to those here who are mothers.  I found some interesting facts about the establishment of Mother’s Day as a day of national observance.  In 1872, Julia Ward Howe organized a day for mothers dedicated to peace.  The idea was born out of a desire for peace after the Civil War.  Julia Ward Howe also wrote the words to the hymn, ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’.

 

Starting around 1907, Anna Jarvis campaigned vigorously for years to get state governments and private leaders and organizations to officially recognize Mother’s Day, a tradition she had started in honor of her mother, who was a Sunday School teacher for 20 years in West Virginia.  Anna finally convinced the World’s Sunday School Association to back her, and they were a key influence over state legislators and congress at that time.  Interesting and sad how things have changed in 100 years.  What sort of influence would the World’s Sunday School Association have on congress today!  In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

 

Another interesting fact is that after Mother’s Day was established, it became so commercial that Anna Jarvis and her sister actively campaigned against it until Anna died in 1948.  She and her sister spent all they had fighting the path the day had taken and died poor.  What would they think of it today?

According to her New York Times obituary, Jarvis became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card.  As she said,

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.

—Anna Jarvis.[2][3

 

However, we know that honoring our mothers is a commandment of God.  It is the 5th commandment as given to us in Exodus 20:12:

 

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

 

In Deuteronomy 5:16, the Word says: ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.’

 

This is the only commandment that is joined with a promise.  This promise is clarified for us by Paul where he writes in Eph 6:1-3:

 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

 

We may therefore conclude that it will go poorly with the disobedient, and there is no doubt that the untimely deaths of many young people are the natural consequence of their disobedience to their parents.(Adam Clarke’s Commentary,para.)

 

Let’s turn to Proverbs 30:17(read).

 

This proverb seems to tell of the consequences of ignoring the 5th commandment!

 

Why do you suppose that this commandment was given and why it is joined with a promise?  Is it just to keep us safe and to live a long life?  I want you to think of the relationship that a mother has with her child.  For a great number of years, our parents, who includes our mother, stand in the place of God.  When we are young we don’t have a real understanding of God.  Our mothers and fathers were God to us!  So to disobey lawful commands of one’s mother is likened unto disobeying God.  Rebellious behavior toward your mother is rebellion against God.  We learn to obey God by first obeying our parents.  Also, as God requires parents, requires mothers, to care for, to provide for, to nourish, to defend, to instruct the children He graciously gives to them, the same is expected of the children as their parents grow old and are in need of care, sometimes in the same way that they were cared for as a child.

 

So we honor our mothers in obedience to God.  When we are obedient to God, we are showing Him that we truly love Him.  We truly honor God when we honor our mothers.

 

Another great gift that God has given mothers is the innate ability to love – to love unconditionally, to love without ceasing.  The Word of God uses a mother’s love as an example of His own love for us in Isa 66:13:

 

As a mother comforts her child,

so will I comfort you;

and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”

 

Here God is promising to comfort His people just as a mother comforts her child.  How great it is to have the Lord our God use a mother’s comfort as an example of His care for us.  God is showing us that in a mother’s love, we see the love of God!  What an honor it is to be the very face of God, the true love of God, to your children.  And not to your children only, but to your husbands and to your friends, to others, and to your children when they are no longer children, and to your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and so on.  Mothers have a special place in the heart of God in that His tangible love and comfort comes through them to the world!

 

How many times have we heard the expressions of a mother’s love?  That is, ‘a face only a mother could love’, or ‘a child that only a mother could love’.  Sometimes these statements are meant in jest or even to be cruel, but they are based in a great truth.  Mothers love from their hearts and with their hearts and not from what they see or even what they must sometimes endure.  Is this not a glimpse of God’s great, unwavering, unconditional love for each one of us?!  As much as a mother loves, God loves 10 times, a hundred times, a thousand times more!  But a mother’s love gives us a glimpse of how that love is shown and how it feels.

 

So we honor our mothers because they show us the love of God in a way that we can touch and feel so we can begin to believe in God’s love.  What an honored position God has given mothers!

 

What an awesome role God has given to mothers!  I have learned to cherish the women in my life and how they have modeled the heart of God to me and to others.  I praise God for each of you!  And I pray you praise God for your roles, and the impact you have had on so many. Praise God for how he elevated you to honor in His sight thousands of years ago when all around the world, men, living without the Living God in their hearts, did not honor women. Women were property, slaves. And still are in many places and cultures today. God set you apart and made you special and unique as He established the commandments for His covenant people.

 

I commonly talk about and pray about loving God and loving others and we do that by following Jesus and His examples that are provided throughout the Gospels.  Jesus gives us a great example of honoring our mothers in John 19:25-27:

 

Jesus is dying on the cross!  Before He dies, He makes certain that His mother is cared for on this earth for the rest of her days.  He tells His disciple, John, ‘here is your mother’, so that Mary would not be left alone.  And the Word assures us that John took her into his home from that time on.  What a great example for all of us!

 

So, let us honor our mothers today in our hearts, in our prayers, and in our actions.  We have set aside this day to honor mothers, but let us also be reminded to honor our mothers every day; to praise God for them; to pray for them; to thank them; to show our love for them.

 

And I want to say special word to you who are mothers.  The story of Hannah praying for a child is told in 1 Samuel 1.  She is married but she has no children.  Her husband took a second wife which was common and permissible in those days, and she had children.  It was very important then to be able to give your husband children and women who could not bear children were greatly distressed.  It is most likely that the second wife was taken here because Hannah did not bear children as soon as hoped.  It is also interesting to note that in this case and pretty much every case in the Bible where a man has more than one wife, there is strife in the home.  And there was strife between these two.  Let’s read from God’s Word in 1 Sam 1:1-8 (read).

 

Bearing children was very important so that the family would have heirs to their land and their possessions and so that the lineage would be carried on.  Also, there is some thought that they all hoped that the Messiah would come from their line.  Did you notice the insensitivity of Elkanah?  It is so like us men sometimes to be so disconnected from the heart of our bride!  He cannot figure out why she is so downhearted.  Perhaps he is even somewhat unaware of the strife between the two women.

 

So Hannah prayed to God for the blessing of a child, specifically a son, in 1 Sam 1:10-11.  Let’s read on.

 

The Lord heard her prayer and gave her a son and she named him Samuel.  Let’s continue in 1 Samuel 1:12-20 (read).

 

She gave him back to the Lord as she had promised and he became a great prophet for the Lord.  Let’s read in 1 Samuel 1:22-28.  Later in 1 Sam 2:18-21, we read of how the Lord honored Hannah and Elkanah. (read).

 

So what is the point of me telling this story to you?  There are two.  First, through God giving Hannah Samuel, He proves and Hannah testified that God hears and answers prayer!  Let us never forget that God is listening and He cares for our every need and our every problem!  And He will answer your prayer in His perfect time, but not our imperfect time.  Always pray to the Lord your God for your children!

 

Secondly, who or what is responsible for the conception of a child?  Is it two people?  Does it just happen? Is it all by chance?  No!  God is the One who is responsible for conception!  We see it here with Hannah and we have seen it with Sarah and others!  To bear a child is a great gift from God!  Each one of you have been blessed by God!

 

So to all of you who are mothers, praise God for the gifts he has given you!  Praise God for the roles He has given you!  You model the love of God, the very heart of God, to so many – your children especially, but to many, many others.  Pray that He will continue to allow you to serve Him by modeling His very heart to all you come into contact.  Pray for His guidance in every opportunity to serve God and to be eager and willing to represent Him to the world around you!

 

And to all of us, we are to honor our mothers and the mothers among us, for they have a special place in the heart of God and in our lives, placed there by God Himself!