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 Caroline in Thailand...
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Caroline sends us a monthly email. Click to select...
2006
- November | December
2007 - January | February | March | May | June | July | August | September | October | November
2008 - March | June | October | November | December
2009 - January | February | March | April | May | June | July | Sept | October | November | December |
2010 - January | February

November 2006 

"Trying is succeeding"

Just one effective learning tip from a fun book called "Language Hungry!" I am grateful to have completed the first of three phases of my formal studies and wish for more confidence to speak out, appreshiating my misteakes. I am not yet able to laugh at myself and also find it hard to make small talk, even in English. 'Opportunity is no where' - now here, not no where!

The Trained2Serve days with Buk, A and others in the team were really valuable. Praying, studying and having fun together. We looked in creative ways at different pictures of the church and different ministry skills with time to reflect and hear God speak. One challenge, to students particularly, is that Thai Christians often attend lots of meetings and only have Christian friends.
May we be prayerfully seeking those who are open to hearing the gospel. May we not be ashamed of Jesus and his words but bold in proclaiming who Jesus is and what his kingdom means.

"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." J.Kabat Zinn

It has been a month of transition, rejoicing in the ups and downs of my experiences and remembering how God has carried me throughout this past year. I trust God will continue to provide for me as I move round the corner (same postal address, new phone number). I am now living with Nongnut, who hosts the Monday night homegroup for members from Lopburi church. Reading the bible and singing with this new family always encourages me.
Thirty-three families from Singburi church were affected by the worst flooding here in 60 years. Daaw and Wang moved back into their home today, praising God for his blessing in unexpected ways.

Dates 25th November Central Thai Christian Students day
1st December OMF day of prayer and celebration
8-11th December Christmas student evangelistic camp

Praise God for…
· Renewed motivation and vision, both personally and in ministry.
· A wonderful, refreshing holiday!
· A relaxed, first lesson with phii muu, building expectations.

Please pray for…
· Good understanding and relations with my landlady.
· Joy and self-discipline as I settle into a new routine.
· New Thai co-workers to serve students in Lopburi.

With love, ever thankful for your prayers, Caroline



December 2006

“We wish you a merry CHRISTmas”

Some seasonal Thai observations:
• Dogs are wrapped up in jumpers as the temperature drops below 30 degrees.
• Monday 25th is a normal working day.
• All Christians are asked to wear red!

Good memories:
• Seeing the two Christian committee members taking on leadership roles
• Candlelit Thai carols on camp (photo of Tangthai, Ann, Buk, Mai and Krit)
• The right word to hear and to say when needed

Not so good memories: viruses afflicting both me and my computer, lack of sleep!

The first Central Thailand Christian student training day and evangelistic
Christmas fun camp were packed full of different ideas, games and
nationalities. With short-term visitors, a dozen exchange students from
mainland China were able to read about the birth of Jesus in their own language
for the first time.
Thais greatly value all things “sanuk, sabaay and suay”, that is “fun,
easy-going and beautiful”. How are we to meaningfully share the gospel of
God? We pray that time spent on campus will enable us to discover the needs of
students and develop creative ways of sustaining contacts. As I observe and
assist bible studies, I participate more each week in our ministry of making
disciple-makers.

Special 21st December Christmas party at Youth House
Dates 25th December Presentation to students at University
3rd and 4th January Team planning, OMF morning of prayer

Praise God for…
• Friendships and interest growing at the Lopburi Youth House.
• Opportunities in schools to explain the true meaning of Christmas.
• Strength each day to get up, to get out of the house and to get on!

Please pray for…
• Mai, Krit and Ann to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord.
• Greater fervency in prayer and trusting teamwork with Buk and A



January 2007

"I want to believe..."


Those words were tentatively yet thoughtfully spoken by Mai ten days ago.
She has been faithf ully coming to the Youth House and joining in our activities so
there was great excitement as Puk led her through some Bible verses and a prayer of commitment. Mai knows very little of God's salvation history but is very eager to
read God's word. Ann has also decided to follow Jesus! Praise God for their new life in Christ, who has overcome the evil one. Please pray that Mai and Ann will trust in Christ's promises as they `come and see'. then 'go and tell'.

"Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen". Rev 1!,9,6

Other life changes; Puk and Aey have chosen to rnove out of the Youth House. as they await the birth of their first child and help Puk's mother grieve the loss of her husband. Please pray for good care, and clear cross-cultural communication so that no one and nothing is forgotten in handing over responsibilities. If we assume, we make an ass-of-u-and-me!

Praise God for graciously answering prayers, to lead Off and Peung, a
gifted, experienced and enthusiastic Thai couple, to take on the work here. They are the first full-time Thai student workers in Central Thailand and, as yet, have no guaranteed support.

Please pray that the Lord will provide for them in every way as they leave family and friends and prepare to minister in a new place with new people.
Please pray for the 3 of us as we get to know one another, move into the Youth
House, work out expectations and plan together for the new academic year.

Otherwise, I am continuing with my language study, chatting with students on carnpus, watching films, reading books and enjoying good laughs with phii Muu. Thankful for fun times with Muay and Deey, grateful too for prayerful fellowship with Renate.




English is Fun club...

Special dates.

1st - 2nd February - Prayer and team meetings.
8th - 11th February - Church planting training and retreat.
19th - 23rd Fenruary - Student ministry 'Trained to Serve' days.

With love and friendship, as always,
Caroline.


February 2007

Locked out and locked in
Soon after moving into the Youth House, I was washing my breakfast bowl out the back when the door slammed shut and locked. I cried out loud, "I don't believe it", then "What do I do now?" The yard is caged in and I did not have a key to the padlock. I prayed to God, tried to push up the roof, tried to force the lock with my spoon but thankfully was able to push open the slatted glass next to the door, break through the mosquito screen, squeeze my hand through the metal grill and reach round to turn the handle.

I often feel "locked out" of Thai society, misunderstanding language, attitudes and actions - "I don't believe it". I am misunderstood too and want to find a way in. I sometimes feel trapped in my own personality too, lacking creativity and ideas - "What do I do now?"

I am still working out who I am here in Thailand. Still working out who to speak with, when; where to go, how, day by day. Is my communication across cultures, Cross-cultural communication, centred on the Cross of Christ? In crossing cultures as well as crossing roads, I will do well to stop, look and listen.

At the retreat, we heard of older OMFer's experiences, learning how to be holy and a shepherd, testifying to Jesus in spiritual and ethical realities. God reminded me of his words in Micah 6:8, which I have adopted as my mission statement: "He has showed you, 0 man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly before your God."

Please pray that I will persevere with joy, especially since co-workers, Off and Peung will not join me until April. Please pray on for them in their transition.
Pray too against corruption in Thai government and against compromise in church leadership. OMF also needs much wisdom as team structures change.

The students are now taking end of year exams. Please pray that God will preserve Christian students as they return home for the holidays. May they have courage to be distinctly Christlike and worship the one, true God. Praise God for friends in Amm and Noon, two Thai graduate girls who are eager to pray and read Scripture. I ask for mutual trust to grow as we spend time together.

Special Dates
7th-8th March - Team and regional meetings
9th March - Language check, number 12 of 30
12th-16th March - Mentoring training in student ministry

Any reply is guaranteed a more personal mail!

With love and prayers for you too, as always,
Caroline



March 2007

All change

Puk and Aey are now parents of a not-so-little baby boy, called Freedom. Off and Peung have now moved in and are still unpacking. Students are not around much but I have been helping Krit learn how to swim and enjoying getting to know the ladies at aerobics better.

There is a different preacher every week at Singburi church and tension between the two previous pastors. Please pray that each member will reach out to others in love. God has been faithfully answering prayers this past month as I learn to submit and obey his prompting. He is changing me!

Geared for Growth
This was a truly blessed time of training in mentoring and discipling Thai students. We looked at the character of God and various biblical examples of how we are to prepare the ground, plant the seed, feed, support and prune the shoots that God grows as we model and transmit our lives.

To witness the commissioning of Off and Peung and another Thai girl, Bee, going as an OMF missionary to Mongolia, reminded me of God's mandate in building his kingdom: "And the things that you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." 2 Timothy 2:2

Renew
A team of nine (different ages, different languages) arrived to help `renew' the Lopburi Youth House. It took 2 days of cleaning and 2 days of painting to brighten and improve the place. We enjoyed morning devotions and evening activities together too. Although exhausting, especially in the heat, the commitment to serve God in this practical way was a great testimony to living sacrificially. Please join us in praying for students to feel welcome at their Youth House and to want to know more of who Jesus is. There are only a few Christian students at several campuses, may we meet here as one.

Coming up:
1st - 7th April Children's camp, co-ordinating handicrafts
9th - 21st Holiday up north with friends
23rd - 27th Planning retreat and team-building

Please thank God for..
His word and energy to sustain me each day. Fun with team members and a deepening fellowship. Opportunities to encourage students and others.

Please ask God that...
Off, Peung and myself will work well together and co-walk on the path to godliness. Children at camp will come to know Jesus as the conqueror of all and trust in him alone. I will have a restful break, ready for the next term.
Bye for now, take a look at www.cringrose.blogspot.com

love,
Caroline



May 2007

Am I willing to go the way of the cross?
This question provokes me to remember Jesus’ demand: “anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple”. Lk 14:27

Daily I am learning to trust that apart from Christ there is no saviour and I can do nothing. The past two months have been quiet at the Youth House so I have appreciated the time to read and pray about the questions of ‘how’ to ‘put to death’ ill-disciplined, lustful thoughts and maintain emotional stability.

Praise God for
*
a very happy, safe time at the Central Thailand church kids camp
* friends and relaxing holidays in the mountains and by the sea
* better understanding with Off and Peung, greater unity among the team
* encouragements in meeting with a university teacher, adjan soophit
* having a car and completing another language module about prayer.

Please pray for
*
strength and wisdom to build Christlike relationships with Thais
* the few Christian students to live as bold, faithful witnesses to Jesus on campus and to join together in bible study and prayer
* many first year students to earnestly seeking God, repent and believe
* conviction of sin and honouring of God’s word, both personally and corporately in the Youth House, at the start of this new academic year
* my perseverance in prayer and Thai language each day.

I still struggle to express myself clearly, progress is being made but at such a slow pace, wish I had more endurance and less of a tendency to sprint! Remembering you too as you battle on and make the truth of Jesus known.

Please will you ask God to further, for his kingdom and glory, the Central Thailand Student Ministry as we get to know one another, pray, plan, play games, feed from God’s word together, learn how to write and lead better bible studies and get excited about evangelism as a way of life.

Please continue to uphold the country of Thailand in prayer as the insurgency in the southern provinces claims more lives and the governing powers seek to control the violence. May there be a God-given lasting peace and freedom. God’s mission here is for Him to be exalted!

Coming up:
24th-1st June Staff team and student leaders training
7th-8th June Thai full-time workers meeting and prayer
20th-24th June OMF Thailand church planting conference

Thanking you once more for all your prayers, support and love,
Caroline



June 2007

‘Know - Follow the Light’ This slogan was chosen by the students as our vision statement for this year. Under God, we have embarked on a gospel project, called Look! All our activities this term will encourage students to look and turn towards Jesus, the light of the world.

God blessed an Open House event with an expectant atmosphere and sense of unity across different campuses and churches. Gospel tracts have been distributed widely and received with interest.

Our first student weekly bible study looking at who Jesus is from Mark’s gospel will take place on Wednesday 27th June.

For the next 4 weeks, we are hosting 8 short term workers - Christina, Carolyn, Amy, Rachel, Evan, Chris, Sarah and Wendy. They will make contact with students through teaching English/Mandarin at the Thepsatri Rajaphat University, through music workshops, film nights, Saturday parties and outings, ‘craft cafés’ and ‘English is fun’ nights at the Youth House. Pray for the students and teachers we’ll meet and work with.

Especially…
I thank God for JOY at our OMF annual conference and blessed times of prayer with both nationals and missionaries. We pray on for 100 new workers – "those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy". Psalm 126:5

Please continue to remember the Central Thailand Student Ministry team as
we seek to support and listen to one another in our differences.

Love and prayers,
Caroline



July 2007

Jesus says: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" Matt. 11:29

This verse is a great tonic to me, now alone in the Youth House after a mad month of hosting short term workers and student activities every day. I am grateful for your prayers that have sustained Off, Peung and myself as we give our lives to serve others. Still more task- than people-orientated, I have much to learn from Jesus in being "gentle and humble in heart".

Please join us in thanking God for:
• Adjan Eid and Adjan Preechaa who welcome us into their classrooms to teach English with many an opportunity to present Christian truths.
• Noon, a teacher at a secondary school, asking us to give a gospel presentation of drama and testimony to over 700 students.
• Tor, At and Mai, three young Christians who enjoy hanging out at the Youth House. They are the only believers in their families and face opposition from their friends too. Please pray for God to comfort and grow them in faith as they learn to pray and read God's word for themselves. They are eager to learn at our Wednesday bible studies.
• Opening the eyes of Serve Asia workers to the immense needs here in Thailand and how they can further God's mission back home.

Please join us in asking God for:
• Friendships with interested students: Jack, Martin, Wee and Som.
• A sincere seeking of spiritual meaning amongst an increasingly secular and materialistic worldview.
• Christian students to sign up for the weekend international camp and
bring along their not-yet believing friends to hear the gospel.
• My understanding of Thai language and culture and being understood
too. Sometimes I feel like I need a personality transplant!
• Deengthai, Nik, Joke, Oo and Soo: Christian students who appear to
be withdrawing from God, may they be wholehearted in their trust and
obedience, truly knowing God's love and mercy.

3rd-5th Aug. - Look! Evangelistic camp - please pray for students to be rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light.

5th-15th Aug. - A team of nine visiting from Macau and assisting with campus ministry

18th Aug. - Follow-up outing - to renew fellowship and encourage discipleship

Many thanks for your partnership with us here, with love
Caroline

See us: www.crinqrose.bloqspot.com and www.tcs-youthhouse.blogspot.com
OMF International (UK), Station Approach, Sevenoaks, TN1S SBG
www.omf.org.uk


Prayer News Bulletin
August 2007

Running on empty - prayer, people, programme

Those 3 p's have been my order of priorities but being surrounded by people and having a non-stop programme has made it difficult to pray. Drawing breath once more after another busy month, here are some highlights:
Action-packed Look! Camp with powerful messages given through God's word, drama and song.
Five secondary students deciding to follow Jesus and praying to counter opposition faced at school the next day.
Fun, safe outings, enjoying the beauty of what God has made.
Open air gospel presentation and distribution of evangelistic tracts in a rural area.
Seeing friends and praying with Renate Kohler regularly. Giving gospel portions to 80 trainee teachers.

Please pray for wisdom in discerning students' interest and inviting them to investigate further in an evangelistic bible study. We are building relationships as we spend time chatting, eating and playing games together, I am still slowly learning that nothing is done quickly here!

Please pray I can return to a good routine of language study and reconnect with those who do not come to the Youth House regularly. We long for continued contact now that the teams have gone.

We give thanks that Deengthai and Soo have been more involved this month, bringing friends along and showing spiritual maturity in many ways. Please pray on as purity, singleminded and wholehearted commitment to Christ is under pressure here. At is not able to go home as his mother is a spirit medium and forces him to partake in water rituals. She is now refusing to give him any money, please pray for a resolution that brings glory to God, making His powerful name known.

Please also remember the country and leaders of Thailand at this time. Yesterday in a nationwide referendum, the people voted in favour of a new constitution as we move closer to the democratic election of government. Ask God to raise up faithful and just men to teach his people in the church too.

25th Aug. English camp with Lopburi Commercial and Technical college

31st Aug. Graduates dinner and presentation of Central Thailand student
ministry, looking to build a network of support.

1st Sept. Central Thailand Christian Students day - bigger picture
teaching in small group workshops. Prayer and praise.

14th Sept. Language check, telling stories in Mark's gospel.

17-18th Sept. Staff team days, to look back and think ahead together.

Thank you for being with us in prayer, remembering you too, love Caroline

See us: www.cringrose.blogspot.com and www.tcs-youthhouse.blogspot.com
OMF International (UK), Station Approach, Sevenoaks, TN15 38G wuvur.omf.arg.uk



Prayer News Bulletin
September 2007

You have Jesus, we have Buddha!

Just one comment made during an hour's conversation about beliefs and authority with staff at the Lopburi Technical Commercial College on a weekend camp. A very Thai experience with many interesting cultural insights learnt about building up merit and paying back past deeds for any future existences. Thai people are not so much concerned in what's true but in what works and is real for them: the world has no beginning or end so there is no concept of God being a loving Creator and a holy Judge. The underlying worldview is of self-reliance and sufficiency, choosing to accept whatever is `good'. Only by the power of God's Spirit will Thai Buddhists be convicted of Christ's righteousness and their sin. There is much spiritual deception here, please pray that God will reveal himself personally to those who seek him.

As a team, we are thankful to God for our growing partnership with the Thai Christian Student national movement through our regional events. I have appreciated getting to know the Bangkok staff and hearing testimony of two students who became Christians this term. Please give thanks for two graduates, Noon and Tam, who through "the obedience that comes from faith", have offered to join the Trained to Serve student ministry apprentice programme next year. Please pray that they will encounter more of God's faithfulness as they go on a mission trip to neighbouring countries next month.

Students are taking their end of term exams (singing a Christmas song is one of their assignments!) and I am thankful to have also completed another module of language study. Evangelistic bible studies, birthday celebrations, brownie making and testimony sharing have helped to introduce students to the person of Jesus and demonstrate the difference He makes to our lives. There are still male students lodging here and I hope to visit two girls, Nik and Krit at home to further our friendship. I long to be able to pray more with Off and Peung, please pray for clear, trusting communication between us and please pray against misunderstandings or resentment.

October dates
4th-15th: holiday in Sydney, Australia with school and university friends -
fun, worshipful times and sharing of our lives.

16th-21st: friend from supporting church, St Nicholas, comes to visit -
good fellowship and safe travel round Central Thailand.

22nd-26th: student ministry training, theme of the Holy Spirit and evangelism -
ears to hear, stamina to think and speak Thai!

That's all for this month, love and prayers

Caroline

Photos: www.crinqrose.bloqspot.com and www.tcs-youthhouse.bloqspot.com



October 2007

Two years since leaving the UK...

I really appreciated cooler weather, drinking water from the tap, browsing a Christian bookstore and playing with dogs whilst on holiday `down under'. Wonderful to be with friends, meet new people and explore the beauty of city, national park and coast. Great too to see more of this diverse country, contrasting the huge shopping centres in Bangkok with the peaceful forests and waterfalls near the Burmese border. I thank God for the rest and readjustment to Thai language and culture, ready for the new academic term.

Please pray for Thailand
On the 23rd December, the Thai people will vote for their leaders. A Bangkok Post article last week writes: about two-thirds of the respondents in a recent opinion poll across 14 provinces say they will sell their votes in exchange for cash or benefits and over 80% would not alert election officials about vote buying if they were aware of it.
People named five essential qualifications they expect from candidates and parties: honesty, far-sighted vision, determination, keen knowledge of the nation and clear political ideologies. Please pray against corruption and fraud in a land where the average household monthly income is 270 pounds and the average household debt is 1620 pounds.

Multiplication through division?
The church in Singburi has successfully planted 3 other congregations throughout the province with the pioneering help of OMF members. A Thai led group has now started a new Sunday meeting in the city centre. There has been much bitterness amongst the different groups. Please pray that God will reconcile and restore hurting relationships, giving strength to leaders.
New ventures in making disciples
Please pray with us as we reach out to students through a proposed activity club on the university campus on Friday afternoons. I ask for permission to be granted, for creative ideas and for responsive hearts.
In our weekly bible studies we will look at Active evangelism, giving the students confidence in the gospel - the power of salvation. We hope to train the students in leading bible studies too. Please pray we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak the word of God boldly.

November dates
2nd-3rd: district youth camp, leading a workshop about money
8th: OMF prayer at Lopburi Youth House
12th-14th: Central Thailand Student Ministry staff days
20th-26th: Jill and Kate, friends from All Nations Christian College, visiting
30th: language check, "research by interview"

ever thankful for your friendship, love and prayers
Caroline

Photos:
www.crinqrose.bloqspot.com


November 2007

Day by day...

another month goes by. The church weekend camps gave me good insight to the Thai understanding of what it means to be a Christian believer in this culture, though I could not catch the jokes in the long, fast sermons. I ask that the Holy Spirit will shine the teaching of God's truth into hearts willing to listen and obey.
I am thankful for opportunities to spend fun times with Nik, Muay and Krit, sharing interests, showing compassion and building trust. May they and other friends come to personally know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
The studies in Acts and training in evangelism have prompted encouraging responses from the students in their praying and desire to speak out of Jesus. We enjoyed a Unihoc event giving testimony of a restored relationship with our Creator God and hope to play each week on campus, drawing others in for different activities.
Without structured language lessons this month I have struggled to be motivated and know what I should be doing. Please pray that I will not give up, but ask for help and endure with joy. Amidst the busyness of your preparation over this festive season please remember Off, Peung and the Lopburi Youth House in prayer:

5th December The king of Thailand celebrates his 80th' birthday.
In all the fun and formalities may Thai Christians be mindful of the Kings of Kings before whom one day all will bow. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus".

6th December OMF Central Thailand Day of Prayer and Christmas celebration As we intercede for the millions of Buddhists here and the work of OMF worldwide, "let us hold firmly to the faith we profess".

7th-10th December Evangelistic student Christmas Fun camp - the Gift.
May students be able to come with their friends for Bible studies, workshops, games, songs and drama that give glory to God. "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

11th-13th December Teaching English in Thai (!) at the Technical College
I need wisdom and patience in explaining the meaning of Christmas to teenagers. I ask there will some who are seeking spiritual truth and granted understanding.

14th December Christmas presentation and party at the Rajaphat University Praise God for Adjan Preechaa's willingness for the Youth House to lead the whole department, may we be clear and courageous in announcing the good news.

15th December Christmas outreach with Lopburi church in Baanklap
We ask that in this village with new believers, a church will be planted that grows to maturity, reaching out to other Buddhist communities.

22th December Christmas party and service at Singburi church
I pray that when Thai people hear of the Christ, they will be glad and honour the word of the Lord, and that all who are appointed for eternal life will believe.

23rd December Election for the political leaders of Thailand -just, righteous?

25th December Singing carols and distributing tracts on the Rajaphat campus

26th December Central Thailand Student Ministry Team celebration (collapse?!)


March 2008

The temperature is rising as the end of term approaches. Students are printing off their Ant reports and reAsing for final exams. We are happy to pray with them in the throes of obstacles and then celebrate when it's all over.

Several students will leave to do their teaching practice or work experience, look for 8 job or minister with us by the Trained 2 Serve programme. Please pray for Teengthai, Mai, Ghet, Tam and Zo, that they will delight in the LORD and seek to glorify God as they trust and obey Him. Ask God to mature and use them for His kingdom; pray against any schemes of the devil to distract or accuse these young adults in their stand for Jesus.

After much prayer and discussion with different people, I have decided to accept the invitation to move to Nakhon Sawan in May. Although sad to leave friends here, I am looking forward to the challenge of starting over and the many possibilities for learning. I will continue to study Thai language and culture and work alongside a committee of high school and university students, in an evangelising and diGCip!iOg ministry, helped by CTSM leaders, Johnny and Ann McClean, and two Trained 2 serve apprentices. I value your prayers that I will finish well in Lopburi, making and taking opportunities to give to others, especially Singburi church. May I be Spirit-filled and not stressed!

My parents enjoyed seeing life at the Lopburi Youth House and meeting some of the Thai aunties who have adopted me Muu runs a shop and loves to chat when I pass by - how shall I show her the love of God? Nongnut was my landlady and continues to regularly feed me - how shall I encourage her to deepen her understanding of the Bible? Jum is my language helper who faces family and financial difficulties -how shall I comfort and spur her on as a child of God? I am always brought back to Jesus and long to bring others to know him more too.



Relaxing with family Ringrose at the beach was a welcome break I am thankful for how far the LORD has enabled me to adjust in being here. Please pray that I will be single-minded and graciously wholehearted in my service, having realistic expectations. "One thing I do" -Phillppians 3:14

Coming up
1st March Farewell, fun trip for leavers from Lopburi Youth House
2nd to 6th Staff team training - spiritual disciplines, review and planning
7th to 8th G[] mission team preparation for children's camp
17th OMFmedical -8m thankful for keeping fit and well
21st Language check - need to co-ordinate ears, eyes, mind, tongue!

Thank you for all your friendship and support, there are photos to view at www.cringrose.blogspot.com and www.tcs-youthhouse.blogspot.com

Love, as always Caroline




June 2008

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever"

Psalm 107:1

In the less than 3 weeks since moving to Nakhon Sawan, so much has happened!
First, there was painting, cleaning and moving various bits and pieces from down the road, where the Youth House used to be. Then, lots of shopping and screwdriving of flat pack furniture to arrange 3 bedrooms for staff team members. Alongside our meetings, followed a steady stream of workmen, putting in a glass front door, telephone and internet, ceiling fans, plumbing and tiling a kitchen floor.

I cannot count how many people have come to have a look, 'hang out' and make numerous bowls of noodles! Last night three female students moved in, unpacked and we hosted our first fellowship group of the new term, outlining our vision and committing everything to God in prayer.

"By God's grace to see students of Central Thailand receiving salvation, growing as disciples, being faithful witnesses and living holy lives according to the Word of God."

Please remember the student committee as they seek to lead and encourage others to love, live, teach and proclaim the Bible. The three boys are: Nam, Aun and Best, the three girls are: Art, Nancy and Fern. Most of the students are either in their last year of secondary school or university and we praise God that He has already answered our prayers for new first year Christian students at the neighbouring Rajaphat university.

Please pray that Tarn and Way (both girls) will be willing to help me lead the younger Sunday bible study group of 1 Peter and a weekly fun club on campus called INTERactive. Through daily devotions, regular "Jesus inside" training sessions, bible quiz, 'prayer and share' Buddy groups looking at evangelism as a way of life and memory verses, we hope to build up believers in their faith, passion and commitment to follow Jesus.

There are still 'teething troubles' at the Youth House but we pray that the people and programme here throughout the term will have 'real bite'! Please remember us as we work together and serve one another. Other people to mention: Phii Nok who cooks and cleans at the Youth House, living here with her young son, Nong Niw, striving to bring him up as a Christian, Phii Eid who is the new leader of the youth group at Nakhon Sawan ACT church and Phii Wi who is very friendly and sells superb coffee in front of the Youth House, but is as yet not believing and trusting Jesus. Our arrival has not gone unnoticed in the neighbourhood and we are aware that we are being closely watched, please pray that we will be faithful ambassadors of Christ, in all seasons, and communicate well with the local churches so that God is glorified through the Nakhon Sawan Youth House.

June diary, special events:

Thursday 12th
: Level 2 language exam, please pray that I will speak, read, hear and understand Thai clearly, without being too nervous beforehand, nor too self-critical after.

Friday 13th: Full-time workers meeting with our Thai church-planting colleagues, please pray for helpful, mutual support.

Sunday 22nd: Art and Best will be baptized at Nakhon Sawan ACT church in the morning and in the evening the Nakhon Sawan Youth House hosts a NEW LIFE OPEN HOUSE. This will be an evangelistic party and opportunity for students to invite their friends to see and hear what we are about. Please pray for many to come, want to find out more, be involved and contribute to our ongoing gospel ministry to students.

Love and prayers for you too, visual update available at cringrose@blogspot.com



October 2008

"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. " Acts 20:28

Nearly the end of my first term here at the Nakhon Sawan Youth House, I have much to be thankful for. At the evangelistic end of term party, Bom testified to how a holy God has received him, a sinner, as his child. He is eager to read God's word to know and love Him more. At our staff days last week, it was good to reflect on what God has done and to evaluate how far our goals for this year have been accomplished.

I also have much to be learning in how to relate to the Thai students as a big sister. Although still constrained by language and many misunderstandings, may I persevere and give of myself sacrificially. I ask particularly for good times next term with 'lodgers', Fern, Way and Wear, being together, having fun and sharing our lives. To be an overseer and shepherd is a God-given responsibility without forgetting that the sheep belong to Him. I need to trust Jesus, not myself, and cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, especially love, joy, peace and patience.
As the students return home please pray for those who will do extra study and for those who are the only Christians in their families. Remembering that the Chief Shepherd will appear, may they stand firm and be unashamed of Jesus. There are half a dozen students in their last year of secondary school, needing to make decisions about university entrance. Thai society is very respectful and hierarchical with the elder `patron' expecting an unquestioning younger 'client' to conform. Please pray that Christian students will both obey God and honour their parents, in choosing courses and places of study that will offer good opportunities for fellowship, thus helping, not hindering, their spiritual growth.

October diary:
2nd: Language checks on Thai culture and religious communication modules. I have enjoyed learning stories and using new vocabulary in evangelistic surveys on campus. Please pray that I proclaim the gospel faithfully and express myself clearly. May those interested students who have received Scripture read of Jesus and acknowledge he is the way, the truth and the life.

3rd-4th: Central Thailand churches youth committee meeting and sports day. A good opportunity to observe and network, though I will need much energy!
5th: Nakhon Sawan church youth group: what does the Bible teach about money? For us all to fear God and store up treasure in heaven.

6th-10th: CTSM team training week on Christian leadership. We will read Mark's gospel together and discuss how to follow Jesus, to suffer, to be servants, stewards, and shepherds of God's children. We also say farewell to Jonathan and Ashley Wallace and welcome to Alison Young.

11th-23rd: Holiday with friend from the UK, needing rest and safety as we travel.

Last week: Meet with student committee and staff to pray, plan and prepare for new term. Two fourth year English major male students, Nam and Aun, will do their work experience with us. May communication not be lost in translation!

There are a few photos to view at www.cringrose@blogspot.com.

Ever grateful for your support and partnership, with love and prayers
Caroline



November 2008

Praise God!

Although busy with activity, October was also restful, thanks to a wonderful holiday, enjoying God's creation at the beach and in forests, cycling and white water rafting along rivers and climbing up mountains with friends (see www.cringrose.blogspot.com)

Alison has settled into the Nakhon Sawan Youth House and started to use her musical talents to draw alongside students, a great example to learn from.
The new term has begun with students excited by opportunities for evangelism and discipleship, may they show a genuine interest and 'have faith in God' for all things.

Please pray!
Our local staff team has doubled in size and I am still working out how to live and lead cross-culturally so need much of God's grace and wisdom.
In our student fellowship groups this term, we will be studying Isaiah and ask God to convict us of His righteous judgment and unique salvation so that our lives please Him.
Our desire is to see mature students, particularly those in their last term here, trained to be disciple-makers, praying for one another, learning how to teach the bible and sharing their lives. Please ask God to spiritually grow every student, either in a campus buddy group or meeting one-to-one with an older believer.

Personal thoughts
In reading a book by Oswald Chambers I was challenged by the following questions: Do I live a spiritual life that causes others to want to know the God I love or do I lead a religious life that causes others to hate the god I follow?
What am I trying to get from human relationships that only God can provide? What am I waiting for God to give me which He has not promised and which I have no right to expect?
Am I a channel of God's blessing to others or only a consumer? Is God's goodness being multiplied and magnified in my life or hidden, hoarded and devoured?
Does my compassion build confidence in God or create dependency on me?
Am I separating myself from sin? Am I learning to love righteousness? Am I becoming more like Jesus or more like the world?
Please pray with me as I continue to grapple with how to humble and deny myself in serving Thai students so that I freely give to others and leave the results to God. "0 Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself." St Augustine

November diary
Alongside regular English teaching at the Youth House, visiting of students and hosting of activity clubs on campus, preparing and leading bible studies, language study and lessons, prayer with staff and friends at church, evangelism at the night market...

15th Central Thailand youth committee meeting
17th-19th CTSM team staff days of fun, fellowship and business
20th OMF prayer day
25th Language check on Thai traditions and Christian beliefs
27th-28th Campus outreach at Rajaphat Univeristy and Achiwa college with Saskia Wijers, athlete friend, and a drama team from New Zealand
29th-1st Weekend away, to recover and ready myself for December!

With lots of love and prayers for you too,
Caroline



December 2008

"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" Titus 2:11

Prayer…
Thailand has been thrust in the news again with a weeklong blockade of airports by anti-government 'yellow shirts' and mass rallies by pro-Thaksin 'red shirts'. Prime Minister Somchai has resigned and the Constitutional Court has found three parties guilty of vote-buying fraud in the December 2007 elections. The royalist People's Alliance for Democracy has vowed to continue protests until their demands for a government independent of Thaksin are met. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7584005.stm

The PAD protesters - who seek to eliminate the one-person, one-vote system so that parliament is part-appointed -say they will return to the streets if political change does not occur. Thai society is deeply divided and there are no leaders who command sufficient respect. Ask the LORD Most High, the King of all the earth, to raise up just and righteous authorities to rule this nation in peace.

People…
Alison and I have been reading the letter of Titus together and greatly appreciate our time together to reflect, pray and have fun too! Data and Liew are two young high-school students who are also young in their faith. I ask for natural openings to get to know them better, to have the right words to say and encourage them to be disciple-makers.

There are about a dozen neighbours who come to learn English at the Youth House each week, may I be bold to proclaim who Jesus is and may they be challenged to respond. Please pray too for Pang and Champ, students who have shown themselves to be interested in the gospel at the INTERactive student club and party.

Programme…
We were grateful for God-given opportunities to be on two different campuses with a dance and drama team from 10 different nationalities. We met hundreds of students, teaching a little English conversation and showing them something of the God who is always waiting for us, even as we reject his loving rule and live in rebellion against him. We gave out refreshments and magazines with the gospel of John, inviting people to join us for fun activities at the Youth House.

The next 10 days are busy preparing for camp, with many different ways of engaging Thai students with the truth of the Christmas message - Jesus is the One who brings love, peace, joy and hope. Please pray particularly for the small group bible studies, that God's Spirit will lead and guide students to hear, seek, believe and follow.

December dates
12th-14th - The ONE Christmas evangelistic camp - party games, songs, skits, gift making for refugee children, traditional craft workshops, hunt the leader and scavenger hunt, carols by candlelight, film, feast.

20th - Nakhon Sawan church outreach, may neighbours and teacher friends come.

22nd, 23rd - Christmas presentations at the Technical school

17th, 24th - Christmas presentations at the Rajaphat University

26th, 27th - Carolling with the church youth group around all their houses - all night!

31st - CTSM Team celebration - what does God have for us in 2009?

Ever grateful for your prayerful support - here's wishing you a blessed CHRISTmas.
Caroline



January 2009

Thank you for praying for us throughout this past busy month. Christmas brings many a wonderful opportunity to explain why God became man. The ONE evangelistic camp was a very happy and safe weekend with many non-professing high school students. We praise God for clear teaching of his word and for the few who decided to follow Jesus. Please ask God to give us wisdom and sensitivity as we seek to follow up students, pray with them and offer evangelistic bible studies.

I was personally grateful for Tutor, who helped me explain gospel passages and salvation history in our small group - he only decided that he would come to camp as the bus was leaving! Please pray for him and other students who are taking university entrance exams, waiting results and making decisions. May God be honoured as they honour Him. Please pray also for Mind to believe and not doubt what she has heard and received, even though her elder sister has returned to Buddhism. Please also remember Tae and Yok who are curious to know more of what it means to be Christians, pray that they will count the cost and commit themselves to Jesus.

Presentations at various colleges meant that hundreds of students heard the real meaning of Christmas, joined in activities and took away brochures. We are grateful to have seen several new faces at the Youth House too, either at our Christmas Eve party or Sunday night fellowship group, including Data's younger `sister' Pae. The traditions might be different but the reason is the same. Khaawsooy, a girl who recently professed faith, invited us to sing carols at her home and pray for her parents. She had made individual cards for us all and was thrilled that her mother came with her to the church outreach.

Thank you too for praying for the kingdom of Thailand, there is still much mistrust of political leaders and uncertainty of the future as the king is very frail. Please pray that we would all grasp the reality of God's righteousness and the urgency of our great commission in the year ahead.

January
3rd-4th Visit sisters, Way and Wear, at their church in Uthai province. Please pray that Kung might come too and trust Jesus , I first met her last millennium!

10th Children's Day outreach in the neighbourhood. Please pray that those who
learn English with me will be interested in the gospel, `repent and believe'.

14th-16th CTSM staff team days, reviewing and planning, praying and celebrating
together. Pray for Johnny and Ann McClean as they lead us.

22nd OMF prayer day - fellowship and hearing stories of God at work.

27th Language check, please pray that I will discipline myself to study without
distraction; I have to read a book and be able to summarise the story. 30th Retreat with Associated Churches of Central Thailand Youth Committee,
please pray that our studies in Hebrews 10 will both encourage and
challenge leaders afresh to love and serve God.

31st The ONE concert in Bangkok, we long for not-yet believing students to come
and be convicted by God's Holy Spirit.

Worth Waiting For, OMF Annual Conference: 6-8 March 2009, The Hayes, Swanwick. Do you want to hear more of what God is doing here? OMF Thailand field directors Mark and Becky Leighton will report on current exciting gospel responses and Dominic Smart from Aberdeen will give Bible teaching from Habakkuk. To book, phone Alice Cross on 01732 887299 ext 1318, visit www.omf.orq.uk/swanwick, or email swanwick@omf.orq.uk

With love and best wishes for 2009,
Caroline



February 2009

God does not need a secretary!

That was one of the comments from the students during our study of Isaiah 40. Throughout this term we have been struck by how awesome our God, the Holy One of Israel is and the salvation that he alone can bring. Please pray that the students will continue to read God's word as they face exams and then the long summer break, pray for them to have confidence in God's promises, when life changes and seems uncertain. Fern, Way and Wear will all move out from the Youth House and we ask God to bring new tenants who will both contribute to and benefit from our family home here.

This past month God has clearly proved his faithfulness in answering your prayers - Kung did come to church, an hour early, and had many questions about Jesus and his teaching. Although the Children's Day outreach did not happen, we were able to proclaim Christ crucified to hundreds of people at three different night markets around town, engaging people with the good news and handing out gospel literature. We pray on that these scattered seeds will be rooted in receptive hearts which God will feed and grow, bearing fruit.

I have met 3 new girls at church, Kitty, Ong and May who are all eager to learn more in following Jesus. Kitty is a Chinese exchange student at the Rajaphat University and was asking much of Angie, a new short term worker who arrived this past week. Angie is from Singapore and able to share in Mandarin, please give thanks for Angie's enthusiasm and experience in relating to Thais. Kitty took several friends to the ONE concert and heard testimony of how Jesus left his own to come to seek and save the one was lost. Please pray that Kitty will submit to Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, so having life in all its fullness and witnessing to her classmates and family.

Nancy, one of the regional youth group committee on retreat, shared last night how much she was touched by God's grace, through our study of Hebrews 10. Jesus gives us a relationship with God when we deserve his judgment. I thank God that although my last language check showed how much I still have to do to speak in complete, correct sentences and although daunted by two Thai pastors also being present, I was able to explain something of the great power of Jesus' all sufficient sacrifice on the cross to cleanse us and make us holy. The encouragement to persevere (v23 and 35) was well heeded by me too!

February dates
2nd-14th Time with my family visiting Nakhon Sawan and a beach!

6th-8th Mission team training and preparation - there are 3 trips planned, please pray for God to remove barriers to students applying and working together.

14th Valentine's Day outreach with two different churches - pray that many
students will come to know that they are truly loved by their Creator.

23rd-27th CTSM staff team training in World Mission - to learn from one another.

Please remember the FREE! Gospel project too, deadlines are looming...

Caroline

Worth Waiting For, OMF Annual Conference: 6-8 March 2009, The Hayes, Swanwick. There are still some places available, do consider coming to learn more; OMF field directors Mark and Becky Leighton will update us on the gospel breakthrough they're starting to see in Thailand and Dominic Smart from Aberdeen will give Bible teaching from Habakkuk. The booking deadline is 18 February. To book, visit www.omf.orq.uk/swanwick,, email swanwick{cD,omf.orq.uk or phone Alice Cross on 01732 887299 ext 1318.



March 2009

"God reveals his glory to all nations in order to receive glory from all nations"

In a land where idols and superstitious folk beliefs are prevalent and obvious, in a land where Christian communities are small and weak, I was grateful to be reminded of God's great plan and good purpose for his world. Our week's mission course stirred me once more to pray and live each day expectant of Jesus' return - as I have been blessed in Christ, may I be a blessing to others. Give thanks also for the GO! training - 3 teams of students are preparing to go and share their faith in different places, partnering with local believers. We ask God to ready, both spiritually and practically, each member to serve others, so that each person whom we will interact with will give glory to God.

The Valentine's Day outreach brought together youth from three different churches and I was encouraged to see students from the Technical school showing an interest in the gospel. Please pray for God's Spirit to convict those who have ears to hear and to provide further opportunities for Christians in this city to witness as one. Students are now celebrating the end of exams and term, those who live outside of Nakhon Sawan will return to their Buddhist families. Please pray for God to strengthen and grow Fern, Art and Bom, particularly, as they face temptations and lack Christian support at home. The Youth House will be quieter this month with no fixed, regular activities though the doors will be open for any to drop in, relax and pray. Khaawsooy, a new believer, is struggling to submit to her parents who work hard and want her to stay at home. Pray for her to rest in God's love and to show obedience that honours those in authority. Please also remember Liew, who needs to find work during the holiday to pay for next term's school fees.

With many of the more mature students leaving, we look to God to grow those remaining and pass on the vision for making disciple-makers. The ministry of the Youth House is primarily fourfold: an assembly for worship, a family for fellowship, an organism for evangelistic outreach on campuses and a school for training leaders. All your prayers for Thai students will help change this nation. Personally I am grateful for a wonderful week with my family here and ask God to renew my passion and remove my weariness. I still have many cultural adjustments to make and still find relaxing with Thais hard work! Please pray for freedom in communication and authenticity in relationships, particularly as I seek ways to serve at church. I have helped to teach the youngest children in a Sunday class and begun a new course of English with 2 graduates - Nut and May. I have greater admiration for those who patiently teach us how to read and write Thai language!

March dates
11-14th Chinese speaking evangelistic camp, please pray for God to have
mercy on Kitty and rescue her from the dominion of darkness.

16-25th Thai Christian Students national camp, training student leaders so
they are not ashamed and correctly handle the word of truth.

24th Language check on Thai perspectives and social problems. Please
pray that I will delight in and be disciplined in my study with Ruangrat.

25-31St CTSM team retreat, for us all to meet with God and hear his voice as
we read the Bible, pray and play together!

Have you recently looked at www.cringrose.blogspot.com?

Love and prayers,
Caroline



April 2009

"Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God." Romans 15:17

New life and learning
Through the witness of the church during the three day funeral of a Granny who loved God's word and faithfully served for many years, one of her relatives believed that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. I was curious to learn more about Thai attitudes to death and grief, showing respect to the bereaved and giving the deceased dignity in different ways.
During the burial an OMF friend was rushed into hospital to have an emergency caesarean operation to give birth to a healthy baby girl. Staying over at the hospital gave me some other interesting observations about Thai values. Everything is much more public here - time, space and belongings are much more freely shared.
Not long after, Kitty returned from camp, wanting to tell her friends that she is now a Christian, a follower of Jesus. Praise God for the Spirit's work in her life, for her enthusiasm to pray, study Scripture and ask questions. Please pray that she will be clearly taught and faithfully discipled, preferably by a female Chinese speaker.

Days of homeschooling our team leaders' children, Thai language learning, English teaching, reading Psalm 119, and baking brownies to raise funds for our mission trip made March pass quickly. I was thankful to pass another module (only 4 more to go!) and catch up with friends in Lopburi, only possible by God's protecting provision when my car broke down in the middle of the highway!
The month ended with our team retreat and I was grateful for some silence and solitude as we read and reflected upon Jesus' last supper, death and resurrection. I really enjoyed getting to know one another better, praying together and playing hockey on the beach though my body is slowing up! Please pray for mutual understanding between Alison and myself, for loving acceptance of our differences as we live and work together.

April diary
3-5th Central Thailand believers' camp. Please pray for unity in spirit and good fellowship with members of different churches as we seek to be witnesses that honour Jesus among our neighbours. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Please pray that the significance and meaning of Easter will not be overlooked in the Thai New Year celebrations (13-15th April).

11-18th Holiday with Claire Brice, resting in Bangkok and Nakhon Sawan.
21-25 Regional church youth camp, please pray that I will be able to concentrate in the heat and build good, godly relationships with teenagers across Central Thailand. Please pray for my preparation of the morning bible study material, looking at the book of Jonah, and ask God to challenge each of us to obey his commands.

27th-2 May GO! Team to Cha Cheong Sao. Off, Peung and myself will lead a team of students to join a new church planting venture for an action-packed few days of evangelistic presentations at nights markets, visiting and children activities. May the fear of the LORD and the love of Christ embolden us to faithfully proclaim the gospel truth and encourage local believers. We ask that the students will both trust God and be ready to testify of his kingdom building work.

Thank you for your partnership with us, with much love and prayer
Caroline




May 2009

"God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply."

Please give God thanks for both the church youth camp and the cross-cultural GO! Team mission trips, ministering to Karen, Laos and Burmese people aswell as Thai Buddhists and Muslims. God's word was faithfully taught and God's Spirit was clearly at work as the students responded with increased confidence to proclaim Christ and submit to his will. There were shared fun times too which helped to build relationships and we were grateful for safety and unity with lots of last minute changes.

In ChaChoengSao, we were working alongside a new church plant called Bethel which ministers to poor communities in and around rice factories. We were able to help make contacts at different night markets each evening by presenting the truths of the gospel. Ruth led a bible study for the first time and shared in our team evaluation debrief how she has much more of a desire to read God's word herself each day. I ask that the students will also have a greater burden for kingdom building amongst their peers.

We praise God that 2 girls, Kat and Aom, turned in repentance and faith to Jesus. Kat is about to start university in Bangkok and Aom has one more year at school in Lopburi. They ask for prayer to grow in faith, being bold to share Jesus with family and friends. May we continue to pray for all those we met in ChaChoengSao and to be holy in the daily challenges of obediently living out the gospel.

Alison and I are beginning to look ahead to next term with our 2 Thai male colleagues, Zo and Aun. Please pray for good, loving understanding of one another as we learn to work together and reach out to the students here. Aun is starting the Trained to Serve apprenticeship programme and hopes to have further opportunities to develop his preaching gifts. Zo is beginning his second year of T2S and wanting to learn further how to be a disciple-maker. Please pray for God to give us faithfulness and freshness.

The CTSM team has a heart-felt conviction that prayer and the Word of God have the power to transform lives and to save students, rather than events or activities. The aim of the FREE! project is to equip and enthuse Christian students for personal, regular and varied evangelism for one academic year with different resources. We pray for many more students to receive Jesus, believe in his name and be well-grounded in their faith through this gospel project in 2009-2010. Through FREE! we long to see Christian students growing in their love for God and their ability to handle God's Word. Praise God for opening doors for Thais worldwide to join in this exciting venture! 15,000 specially printed John's gospels are ready...
One of the effects of the financial crisis has been the dramatic change in exchange rates. My Total Support Figure went up 25% this year due to exchanging pounds into dollars and then into Thai baht. My latest support income received percentage was 93% so I thank our Sovereign Lord for all who generously and sacrificially give to student ministry here. This time of uncertainty is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our genuine trust in God. Our first response must be one of prayerful, daily dependence upon the Lord to meet our needs.

Some photos to view at www.cringrose.blogspot.com

love,
Caroline



June 2009

"Teach me your way, 0 Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give mean undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11

This verse was printed on my prayer card, probably now very faded, but I have been prompted to keep humbly learning and walk in obedience, being single-minded and undistracted. God is God and God is good, mighty to save!
June brought many a blessing and answer to prayer: a smooth transition for the McCleans in starting a new Youth House and a greater appreciative understanding among our reduced staff team here (Alison, Aun, Zo and myself). We are all very different but complement each other well!

Phil Nok, our househelp, has started making and selling food in front of the Youth House and many university students nearby call by. Please pray that they will be intrigued to learn more of what we offer in Christ and pray that we will be bold to make the most of every opportunity. Best's friends, Eh and Som, are here most days, may God reveal his truth to them by his Spirit. We give thanks for a good start to the INTERactive club on the Rajaphat campus, getting to know new students and making sweets. Please pray that relationships can be sustained and serve the gospel.

Believers from local churches came to help us at the night market, carrying boxes and handing out gospel magazines, and showed their support for the FREE! project at our launch party. The students were very nervous to speak before church leaders but even through tears and trauma, they were faithful. Thai teenagers are growing up in a society quite different to their parents, please pray for a right respect for truth and love in families.

Our fellowship group on Sundays evenings has encouraged the students, some for the first time, to take more ownership and initiative in leading. We are alternating studies in John's gospel with other biblical training in evangelism and prayer this month.

Seeing friends from different countries and fellow OMFers at conference helped to renew my joy and heed their warnings. Days off are not often possible so I catch hours to myself and to exercise when I can. Please pray that I will not speak harshly when I am stressed but will love always.

July dates
6th - Night market evangelism - in the middle of a five day Buddhist holiday, we want to present the claims of Jesus to those who wander round the stalls. May there be some who stop to look and listen, take away John's gospel to read and ask to know more.
13-15th - CTSM staff team days - to review, pray and plan, to have fun and fellowship too! Please pray for Au, a Thai student worker, who is considering also joining our team.
21st - Language check- listening to media, I need to improve my sentence structure and keep writing. May I be disciplined to sit down with my helper and practise.
23rd - OMF Day of prayer and arrival of 11 short term workers from the UK and a teacher volunteer from Hong Kong. Please pray for their cultural adjustment, understanding life and ministry in Thailand so they can bless and mobilise others.
25th - Outing with team and students - please pray for safety, for Christian students to invite their friends and for conversations full of grace, seasoned with salt.

Once more, I am grateful for your partnership in prayer, spurring us on in ministry, "
With love,
Caroline



July 2009

"May the LORD make your love increase and overflow for each other and everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with his all his holy ones."
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13.

These verses were shared by a member of the UK short-term team and my prayer, as one who is loved by our heavenly Father, is that I will love each one of the 11 volunteers and every person (of whatever nationality!) who comes to the Youth House. Please ask that I will live humbly and boldly by faith, having an eternal perspective and being ready for the day of Jesus' return, even in the chaos of everyday life here.

The team has settled well, adjusting to the heat and eating local delicacies such as mango with sticky rice and fried insects! After lots of fun getting to know one another at the Youth House, we hope to build good relationships with friends who are not yet believers on 3 different campuses. Please pray that God will lead us as we seek openings through English teaching, survey questionnaires, party activities and `hanging out' with students. May the team's experience lead to further future involvement in world mission.

We look to God to speak through his word and by his Holy Spirit into the hearts of Thai students to change their lives. Please pray particularly for those who will lead their peers in bible study and co-ordinate the fun activities at the FREE! evangelistic camp. We ask God to provide all the necessary funds and to protect us from any incident (such as swine flu) that would prevent people hearing and responding to the gospel. May this camp be a turning point for many to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

August - please pray...
1st-2nd
English teaching at the University of Central Thailand - please pray for Godgiven opportunities to share our lives and faith. We will need stamina and creativity too!

3rd Night market evangelism - an Open Air Campaigners worker, Rob, will join us as we return to set up a stall near the university halls of residence to present the claims of Christ. Praise God for a dry evening last month, 50 people took away John's gospel and one individual enquired later to know if Jesus is true. Please pray for God's mercy once more as we hold out the word of life.

7th-9th FREE! Evangelistic camp - Walk Rally games, workshops, treasure hunt, late night live music and market, amazing story activities and small group `FREEDOM" studies. Please pray that all our interaction at camp gives glory to God, the one who sets us free!

12th UK team leave, we follow up interest from camp, offering evangelistic bible studies and ongoing discipleship. May we rest too!

24th-26th CTSM team meeting - always an encouragement, though I still find it hard to relax in Thai. I am thankful to pass another module of language - only one more to go!

Please pray on for clear, appreciative understanding within our local team here and ask God to guide us in knowing his will for next year - should I return to Nakhon Sawan after my home assignment?

With grateful thanks for upholding us before God's throne of grace,
Caroline


September 2009

"Farangelism"

No need to check the spelling, this is a word coined by the UK Serve Asia team who worked alongside us. ("Farang" is Thai for foreigner, also for guava!) Wanting to befriend and evangelise Thais, we went onto the Rajaphat university campus with maybe a guitar, some sports equipment, photos from home and a smile, to meet with students and engage them in conversation. Sharing experiences and a meal together, asking questions and building relationships, introducing the Youth House and the person of Jesus Christ, giving out and talking through tracts with those who are interested, even going into classes!
We give God thanks for the many new contacts made, for the 20 Buddhist students who came on the FREE! evangelistic camp and for the 3 Chinese girls (Grace, Jan and Maple) who believed Jesus to be their Saviour from sin.

We praise God for the team who made such a great impact on so many and are grateful for all the positive, enjoyable experiences to take back home and tell others. Give God thanks for new students (Post, Teeth, James and JJ) joining us at the youth house after the FREE! evangelistic camp. Please pray for opportunities to disciple the Chinese girls and follow up their profession. We long to see a new generation of Thai Christians growing in their faith and serving in the church so we trust God for a harvest of fruit that lasts and establishes his kingdom.

Please pray that we can also continue to meet with Champ, Kaan, Chat, Get and C, introduce Jesus to them and follow up any interest. Please pray too for the Christian students to love one another, grow in their faith and accept newcomers to the Youth House. I especially ask that Kwang and Khaawsooy will hunger for God's word, thirst for righteousness and live out the truth in their relationships and study.

One of the highschool students, Data, is facing intense pressure from her family to return to Buddhism and she has had various unresponsive "turns", brought on by stress though her parents think that the spirit of her elder brother who died 15 years ago is inside her. How are we to counsel this family?

Dates (alongside the regular Thai language study, English teaching, activities on campus, bible studies and prayer with students and staff team)

5th - Central Thailand Christian Students "Free... for all "day of fellowship and teaching workshops (bible overview). Please pray for students to delight in the Lord and be active in sharing their faith with friends.

7th - Outreach at the night market - proclaiming Christ in word and deed, giving testimony, talking with passers-by, handing out literature and presenting the gospel in song and drama. Please pray for God's mercy in giving us a good place, in keeping the weather dry and in preparing hearts to respond.

17th - OMF prayer at the Nakhon Sawan Youth House and review with regional leader - looking back over my first term and looking ahead to the second.

18-19th - Mission training and preparation - I am leading a small team to Cambodia in October, please pray for wisdom in making decisions and caring for others.

20-25th - Staff team training on mentoring - to learn from and pray for one another at the end of term.

29th - Language check - please pray for good concentration and sufficient time to practice.

Please take a look at: www.cringrose@blogspot.com and http://tcscentralthailand.wordpress.com/

With love and prayers, thank you for your back-up support, till next time,
Caroline




October 2009

"The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:14

This has been my testimony over this past month as I celebrated 20 years of knowing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and reflected on God's goodness in my life thus far. There have been moments nearing the end of term when I am tired, lack joy and find it hard to love the students, but God has reminded me of his steadfastness and the glory of his gospel. In answer to prayer, God has given me his strength and peace to be here, accepting my weaknesses and trusting God's faithfulness.

Praise
We are grateful for students especially Post and Teeth, responding eagerly to the organized evangelistic and discipling events. We ask for God's Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and their need to trust in Jesus. There have also been good opportunities to speak with individuals to explain more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
9 Chinese exchange students, only one of whom was professing faith before coming to Thailand, came away for a weekend of Bible teaching in their own language. Pray on for this work amongst international students to bear fruit for God's kingdom.
Students at Durham university are using the Free? guide to pray for Thai students throughout this academic year. IFES movements worldwide are supporting our Go! mission teams to Bangladesh and Cambodia this month. We long for Thai students to have a Christian worldview and lifelong concern for God's mission, reaching the nations.

Pray
Kitty will be visiting her home in mainland China for the first time since she has become a Christian. She asks for wisdom in witnessing to her parents, that they will see how Jesus has transformed her and be curious to know more.
With only 4 months until I return to the UK for home assignment, please pray for God to reveal His will to the staff team here as we face lots of changes next year.
Please pray for Christian students at the Nakhon Sawan Youth House (especially those whose parents are believers) to be committed in their own faith; may they grow up in Jesus Christ, loving God and not the world.

Dates
2nd
Level 3 language exam - the last formal assessment, please pray that I will be able to think, hear, read and speak Thai for 4 hours.

5th-17th Holiday in Chiang Mai with friends, please pray for God's Holy Spirit to refresh me as I read God's word to hear his voice and be renewed for this next term.

24th-1st Go! mission team to Cambodia: Sarah Craig, Waew Saeyang and myself will be visiting the fledging student groups in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Give thanks to God for raising our budget. Please pray for clear communication between 3 languages and cultures, for safety in travel and faithfulness in service. May we be a godly encouragement, learn much and pass on those lessons to others. If you would like to hear more, please email me and for visual updates please look at httpa/tcscentralthailand.wordpress.com

Thank you for all your prayers and support, wouldn't be here without you!
Caroline



November 2009

What are you searching for ?

This was the title of the outreach held at the FES Cambodia student centre in Phnom Penh. Over the past month, the core group of a dozen students and graduates had planned and prayed for this, their first organised evangelistic event. Sarah, Waew and myself were asked to help enthuse and equip Khmer students to share their faith. We were encouraged to see the eagerness of the students to learn and practise visual ways of presenting the gospel. Friends were invited to play games, sing songs, watch drama, hear testimony and a message of the lasting, indestructible hope we have in Jesus Christ. There will be a follow-up small group evangelistic bible study each Saturday lunchtime and nine people responded with interest. Please pray for the truth of God's word to change Khmer students' understanding and hearts.

We also visited the newly opened Friendship Centre in Siem Reap where a new multicultural ministry team is befriending students by teaching English and guitar, reading the Bible and eating together. Talking and praying with fellow missionaries from different countries both on holiday and our mission trip, helped me to appreciate more of God's supremacy and the privilege of cross-cultural service. Cambodia has a beautiful cultural heritage but many people's lives have been tragically broken. We observed the contrasts between rural life and a chaotic existence in the capital city, between a local Khmer congregation and an international fellowship, between the material wealth and the spiritual poverty that tourism brings. The creative energy of the Christian students and the passion of church pastors stirs us to not forget their commitment to building God's kingdom, making disciples and training up leaders.

Back in Nathan Saran, term has begun again so we pray that all who live at the Youth House will be full of grace and truth, that all who come and go through the doors will know the love of God. Our Sunday fellowship group will continue to look at John's gospel to learn more of who Jesus is and how we are to have life in his name. Please pray that the students' belief will be reflected in godly behaviour. The INTERactive student club at the Rajaphat university has brought good contacts with students of English and Chinese, we hope to reconnect with those who are interested to come to the Youth House for friendship and a weekly bible study on campus. We pray for God to open the door in 3 other places for student led 'buddy groups', an informal way to encourage Christians and introduce their friends to their need of salvation.

Personally, I am really grateful to have passed my level 3 language exam - no more last minute cramming! Thank you for your faithful praying over the past 4 years; though I will still need to discipline myself to further my language competence, I praise God for all the abilities he has given me to understand and be understood.

Dates
17-27th November -
Pre-home assignment workshop, please pray for effective preparation personally, reflecting back on my first term and planning of communications.

28th November - 'Christmas with class', an opportunity for Thai teachers of English to learn how to present fun activities and hear the meaning of the first Christmas.

Please join us in praying for Thai students, Khmer students and IFES worldwide and look at the resources available: http://www.ifesworld.org/48h/

Thanks,
remembering you too,
Caroline


December 2009

Mission moment

Each morning of the pre-home assignment workshop began with an insight to how God is at work among the nations and we responded in praise and prayer. Sent from different countries to serve in different countries, each one of us wants to see others worship and glorify God. We helped each other learn communication and presentation skills, building up expectations and planning to use new ideas. The ten days away from Nakhon Sawan was a good break for me and a successful probation period for Alison, Zo and Aun. Please continue to pray for new student workers. Alison and Zo will not be here when I return and value guidance in their next steps.

Several students are facing difficulties: Kwang's mother has been unconscious for a week after being hit by a car. Pray for God to heal her body and mind. Khaawsooy has been accepted to study in the Netherlands. She is preparing to be baptised, pray that she will stand firm in her faith and find good fellowship in a foreign place. There are at least 5 students who profess to love Jesus as Lord but whose lives show that they love the world. Pray that they will truly repent of their wandering and wrongdoing. May we all fear God and be holy as He is holy.

Thank you for remembering us this past month, God has heard your prayers! A group of half a dozen students has begun meeting at the Rajaphat university each Friday lunchtime to read the Bible and pray for one another and their friends. One of their teachers, Dis, came to the Christmas with Class event. She talked with and listened attentively to local believers and we ask that the Lord will have mercy on her, that Dis will honour her Creator and Redeemer. This month, as you open the doors of your Advent calendar, please commit to pray for us here, each day:

3rd Central Thailand OMF day of prayer and Christmas celebration, may joy and peace abound!

7th Jonathan and Edwin arrive from Singapore for a week of student ministry alongside us.
Pray that God will inspire them to be disciplemakers, using their skills for His glory.

11-13th Evangelistic camp for students across Central Thailand. Please pray for:
1. Christian students to be excited to invite and bring their friends along
2. Finances - praise the Lord that He knows what we need before we do!
3. Cooks - we are still looking for cooks! PRAY!
4. Safety, fun and clear communication of the Gospel in every activity. There will be four bible sessions, looking at Luke's account of our Saviour's birth, a giftwrap for local children with disabilities, Christmas traditions and a carnival with a late night market and live music.

18th Nakhon Sawan church cell Christmas outreach to a small community among the rice fields.

19th Market evangelism with GO! Team from New Zealand (19 highschoolers) advertising the Billy Graham message on television, channel 5 at 5pm that night!

20th Youth House Christmas party to follow up interest from camp, may Jesus be at the centre. 21st and 22"d Carolling, all night! I will need stamina to keep smiling and follow the banter.

23rd
INTERactive Christmas at the Rajaphat, may ears hear and hearts receive the message.

24th Please pray for the opportunity to go into Niw's primary school and explain the real meaning of Christmas to his teachers and class. Please pray for him to have good friends.

25th Lunch with missionary friends/family, then Nakhon Sawan Church celebration.

26th All the churches in Nakhon Sawan province are hosting a 'party in the park' outreach and we will have a booth to distribute Free! John's gospels. May God's word go out in power.

27th Youth House student fellowship, study in John 14. Will highschoolers be willing to lead?

28th CTSM team Christmas meal -Thai and foreigners together.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!
Love and prayers, Caroline


January 2010

"We ... have come to worship him" Matthew 2:2

How your prayers were answered! Kwang's mother is slowly improving though still in intensive care. Khaawsooy and others were impacted on Christmas Day by the truth of God coming down from heaven to die our death and give us life with him in heaven. In all the activity and messiness of people problems, there were God-given moments of joy and peace, marvelling at the miraculous wonder of the incarnation: God-invisible appearing and announcing salvation. I am often reminded of the ugliness within me and I can only bow before Him who has "arrayed me in a robe of righteousness".

God graciously provided all that was needed for the Christmas camp; the gospel message was clearly and faithfully presented in drama, song and word. We were very aware of God's protection and grateful for the students' response. All the not-yet believing students from Nakhon Sawan who joined us on camp, also came to the Youth House Christmas party and brought friends. We pray on that they will accept Jesus as their Saviour and claim him as Lord of their lives. Please ask that each student at the Youth House will walk, by grace, in obedience and faith. God is teaching me that I am dispensable, I damaged my back and need to rest.

Although I still find some cultural aspects stressful, the different church gatherings served to reach out to many Thai Buddhists and give us a greater love for one another, we were filmed by a local TV company as were carolling! The big events were equally thrilling as the individual conversations when handing out tracts. We trust that all the seeds of God's word sown will be watered and that God will grow a harvest to "make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations". Isaiah 61:10-11 With lots of late nights, I especially appreciated getting away from the Youth House with a good book and escaping the city over New Year to see stars, birds, green paddy fields and silvery grasses, amazing rock formations and views, walking through forests then dipping my toes in a waterfall.

December came and went all too quickly, now I find myself needing to get ready for my first home assignment. I will be in the UK for 9 months, reconnecting with family and friends at church, visiting prayer supporters and mobilising people at conferences to be involved in God's mission. I very much hope to meet up with you and as many partners as possible so I will give more details and dates when I am back. If you would like to host an 'open house', inviting friends to hear of what God is doing amongst students in Central Thailand or for me to come and speak with a small group at your church, please get in touch. The diary is filling up fast! Please pray that I will be wise in my use of time.

January dates
9-10th -
Teaching English to graduates at the University of Central Thailand. Please pray for creativity in planning and flexibility in presenting. I would like 2 or 3 others to help me, if possible.

11-14th - CTSM staff team meeting. Please pray for God's wisdom as we consider who, where and what for the next academic year. May the students take more of a leading initiative.

20th - OMF prayer and INTERactive. I will need to sort stuff and pack this week too.

23rd Youth House on the Road event at the University of Central Thailand, students from four different provinces coming together for a sports day, testimonies and evangelistic message.

24th Leave Nakhon Sawan to renew visa. May I finish well and have good farewells.

27th Arrive in the UK and travel to Wolverhampton. Safe journeys and happy landings!

Thank you for all your faithful support, very excited to see you soon,

love Caroline



February 2010

`Home assignment'

Zo, who I first knew as a student in Lopburi, has been a Trained 2 Serve apprentice working in Nakhon Sawan since May 2008. We have learnt much from one another; however this term, Zo's attitude towards the students and his study modules changed. He was therefore asked by our team leadership to return home. Relationships in Thai society are all important and, all too often, once one person 'loses face' they cut off previous ties rather than seeking and granting forgiveness. There was much hurtful tension during our staff days and after. We ask God to minister grace and humility to Zo and all the team. Please pray for Aun (Thai, in his first year of the Trained 2 Serve programme) and Alison (OMF associate) who now lead and look after the students at the Youth House. May they communicate well and support one another in love.

We give thanks for the combined Youth House on the Road event, giving Nakhon Sawan students the opportunity to organize, host and lead activities, both small group bible studies and sport games. This is the last month of the academic year before exams, so the challenge now is to draw alongside the `visitors' so that they become 'regulars'. There will be one more evangelistic party at the Youth House to celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day on 14th February.

Please pray that, during the 3 month vacation, students will both want to read the bible, using a `quiet time' guide we hope to produce, and help serve on a short-term mission.

Now back in Britain for my first home assignment and various things seem strange - hedgerows, chimneys and brick homes. My body is adjusting to the sub-zero temperatures and a slower pace, for the moment. This coming month I am based at my parents in Wolverhampton then I will be near the Herts/Bucks border. I am grateful to friends giving me a bed to sleep in and a car to drive round. My mobile phone number is 07917 656597, please do get in touch, my email is as before: clringrose@omf.net

Please pray for our LORD to lead me in preparing seminars and presentations to different audiences. I long to mobilize more involvement in mission, especially amongst Thai students!

Dates
10th
:Speaking to kids club and youth group in Wrexham

12-14th:OMF UK England and Wales Under 30s conference - Enter their lives: change yours at Hebron Hall, Dinas Powys, Cardiff www.omf.org.uk/under30s

15-18th: Visiting my new nephew and other family members

19th-22nd: OMF Ireland Under 35s conference: A Life Less Ordinary at Whitepark Bay Youth, Hostel, Ballintoy, County Antrim

27th: OICCU Prayer Partners Day in Oxford

28th: St Mary's church in Maidenhead

Sneak preview: Chain Reaction
OMF annual conference, S-7 `h March, The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. Discover how OMF workers encourage Asian churches to plant churches that plant churches that plant... Rev Christopher Ash (Director of the Cornhill Training Course) will lead the main bible readings in John 17. There will be prayer times, a kid's programme and interactive seminars to experience Cambodia, China, Thailand and more. Also, come and meet the new OMF UK National Directors, Peter and Christine Rowan. For further information, please look at www.omf.org.uk/chainreaction or phone Emma Howden, 01732 887299. See you there!

Thank you for your interest and support,
bye for now

love and prayers,
Caroline


27th November 2010 married at St Mary's Church, Chesham - Dr James Timothy Steer and Caroline Lucy Ringrose.