It has been a busy spring (hot season for us). It has been wonderful to be back into the full swing of things and to have the country’s restrictions finally lifting. Just a few weeks ago, they decided that we no longer have to sign in, wear our masks, or take our temperatures when we go into stores, unless the store wants to continue to enforce it, and we are finally not required to wear masks when outdoors. What a joy it is to see everyone’s smiling faces at church once again.
In April, I took a week’s vacation for the first time in a very, very long time. I decided to take some of my Heavenly Treasure girls and their caretakers along with me. The Lord provided a wonderful three-bedroom, three-bathroom, huge condo in downtown Bangkok for super cheap. There were eight of us in total, and we had an absolute blast. Each day after breakfast and “family devotions,” we headed out to see some sights the girls had only ever seen on TV before. We visited the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, the summer palace in Bang Pa-In, the aquarium in Bangkok, and more. We even got to eat at a bunny café, where we played with bunnies while eating ice cream. Each night we came back to the condo for dinner and spent the evenings playing games and just enjoying each other’s company. It was a trip none of us will ever forget.
One of my responsibilities at our church is the Music Coordinator. I pick the service hymns, set the special music schedule, and practice with many of the groups. Over the years, I’ve translated a number of Christian songs and choruses from English, set many Thai Bible verses to music, and written dozens of kids’ songs. A fellow missionary contacted me recently and asked if I’d be willing to let her use my songs on their resource website for Thai national churches, pastors, and teachers. It was a blessing to participate in this much needed endeavor. The most recent music group I put together is a Girls’ Ensemble. Lauren Shook, one of our MKs on the team, is the pianist. Faith, Jang, Jip, and Ben are in my Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project, and Bua has been faithfully attending our church for a number of years. The girls sang their first special last month and did an awesome job! These girls are a joy to work with, and it is a privilege to influence the next generation of Christians.
Once again, the Lord provided a large amount of funds from outside our normal donors for the Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project right around the time the children were returning to school for the new school year in May. These funds, totaling about $4,000, were used to help over 50 of our neediest children in our church in Hua Hin and the church plant in Nong Phlap. We were able to buy them new school uniforms, scout and PE uniforms, school shoes, tennis shoes, and other school supplies. You can only imagine what it means to these children, many of whom live in glorified concrete shacks with tin roofs and dirt floors, to wear a brand-new school uniform to school or for their parents not to have this heavy expense hanging over their heads. Watch this Heavenly Treasures School Uniform video that explains a little more and lets you see all the children we were able to help. https://sharihousethailand.wixsite.com/servingjoyfully/post/heavenly-treasures-2022-school-uniforms-fees-project
June 27th marked 27 years since I went to the mission field and 28½ years since I became a missionary. Many of you have been supporting me through financial giving or through prayer support that entire time. Thank you for investing in eternity through the work the Lord has called me to do. Every soul I’ve led to Christ, every Christian I’ve taught the Bible, and every life I’ve touched in Nigeria, New Zealand, and Thailand goes on your account too. Without you, I wouldn’t have had the freedom to serve the Lord as I have had these many years. Thank you for your faith and trust in me to serve on your behalf.
Serving the Master joyfully,
Enjoying a meal with everyone on vacation
Girls’ Ensemble made up of Faith, Jang, Jip, and Ben, with Lauren Shook (team missionary) as the pianist and
New school uniforms provided for 50 of our neediest church children
Week-long vacation in downtown Bangkok with some of my Heavenly Treasure girls and their caretakers