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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Moving Forward





Blessings to each of you from the Attaways!

We are hoping you all are doing well and wanted to update you on our time back in the US so far.
We returned in November and were blessed to spend happy reunions with family and friends we have missed being with for the past 4 years.

Hannah Grace and her brothers
Hannah Grace with Ashley and her boyfriend Zach
Blessed to be with our parents
With Aunt Carolyn



Meeting our new nephew
Family Gathering

We feel blessed and fortunate to have had the chance to meet new nephews, spend time with our parents and especially time with our children; Sidney, Ashley and Noah.  Being together in our home at Christmas was a precious time for us, along with the chance to experience snow for the first time in 5 years.
Snow!



Colombia, South America



Several life-giving opportunities we have had was the chance to go to Colombia, South America where we met with other cross cultural workers from the Americas in order to get to know them and to create the space for chances to meet with people who are called to serve the Lord on the mission field.  Hannah Grace was able to be with other MKs (Missionary Kids) which is beneficial for her since these are other kids who "get what life is like" living overseas.

With Missionary friends
Lip Sync Battle

   
Debrief in Colorado

 Our sending agency TMS-Global also required us to do a debrief upon returning to the US.  This was a 5 day experience in Colorado which gave us a chance to be with others who are experiencing many of the same emotions after serving overseas.  We have left our future open to the Lord's call on our lives, but we feel like this season the Lord has asked us to return to the US.  We are being obedient to him and believe our work with helping others hear the call of the Lord on their lives, to join Him in his mission in the world is where he wants us to be.  Already the Lord has affirmed this journey for us by the connections we have made and the people he is putting in our path.  Our prayer is that through our work and witness many more will hear the call of God on their own lives and serve him wherever he leads.  We will be visiting churches, universities and sharing life with individuals who are feeling called.

Beautiful country, but very cold!

Small group at DAR Debrief
Although we feel confirmation from the Lord that we are following his leading it has still been difficult being so far away from our Thai friends and that we also now call family.  We are grateful for the internet and are able to talk with many of them daily.  Hannah Grace is still best friends with CJ and we believe their friendship will be for a lifetime.

Hannah Grace and CJ

As part of our new role as mobilizers we will be taking 7 college students from the US to Thailand for the month of June this year.  This will be our third year hosting students in Thailand and we look forward to being able to see all of our Thai friends and encouraging their walks with the Lord.  God has been gracious in these past experiences in allowing the students to hear from him so please join us in prayer that this summer will be transformative for the ones on a journey of discernment to serve in missions.


Last Year's Greenlight Gateway participants
One participant who has decided to come serve 2 years in Thailand!

Greenlight group at A Day Care in a Slum in Bangkok
P'Todd with a Thai student

Hannah Grace sharing love

We have had many chances to speak to individuals and churches about the Lord's work in Thailand and across the world.  It has been our joy and privilege to share how the Kingdom of God is growing.  We want to have time with each of you who are interested, to catch up on your life and to share about this journey that many of you have been part of.  We could not have and still could not continue to serve in ministry without your prayers and financial support.  Thank you so very much.  We pray the Lord will bless you richly as you bless us.

Prayer Requests

The academic camp in Thailand is staring March 15, lasting for 3 weeks this year.  Please join us in prayer for the staff and students as they have an opportunity to learn and most importantly hear about Jesus.  We will be sending out the names of students in the next week so that you can be praying specifically for each one.

Please pray for our families and especially our parents.

Pray for our transition back and especially for Hannah Grace and for deep friendships here in America.

Pray for our work here in America and for our hearts as we grieve being away from our loved ones across the world.

Please pray for our continued support so we can continue to be in ministry.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

A New Season


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Sawasdee (Hello) from the Attaways,


Blessing to each of you.  There have been many praises over the past few months in ministry in Thailand.   God is good and he is faithful.  We were able to continue to have students come to our home on Tuesdays for English Club.  There were 6 new students who came regularly and joined our regular group  We enjoyed being able to spend time with them.  Our days included snacks, cooking, music, games, lots of laughter and sharing.  This gave the students a chance to speak English in a comfortable, loving environment.  "Teaching" English in this conversational/relational method produced fruit and deep relationships which we believe is a great model for others to follow.  Pam's brother Tommy was able to come for a short visit and was able to meet and share life with our students.

                                                                                

Several years ago God have us a vision of opening a coffee shop where students could come to practice English and have a safe, comfortable environment where we could build relationships with them.  Doors never opened for us to pursue this in Roi Et, but we continued to believe it was something the Lord had put on our hearts.  When the Greenlight gateway students 2 years ago came to Thailand our Thai teammate Kat asked if we could go to the community Nong Phok where a Christian couple had left their comfortable life in Bangkok to move to the small rural community to build a coffee shop in front of an existing church.  The church has struggled for years and only had 5 members.  The couple hoped to build the shop for sustainability and to grow the church.  We took the American group to the shop, unfinished at that time, to pray over the space and ministry.  God laid on our hearts that this is the area we were to invest in.  We asked if we could come one day a week to teach English classes and hopefully grow business and the opportunity for people to hear the Good News.  The community was 1 hour and 20 minutes from our home, but we knew it was something the Lord was calling us to.  We took some of the Roi Et students for a "mission" day and cleaned the church so the doors could be reopened.  Last December we took the Roi Et team and drama team to the Nong Phok church for Christmas, over 150 community members were present.  For the next year we, our family, went weekly to teach students, encourage the Thai couple living there and to share our lives with the people in the community.   Todd and Hannah Grace taught the younger students with as many as 40 kids showing up.  Pam spent time with high schoolers, teaching them and encouraging them.


The Lord has blessed these efforts and the church membership is slowly growing.  Kids come to the shop each week to learn English and be loved on.  The Thai couple offers food, love and encouragement to the students and their families.  They recently told us when they started the shop they had prayed for the Lord to help them start ministry, they weren't sure how to do it.  That was around the time the Lord put on our hearts to go and help there.  God is faithful.   A missionary couple who recently went to Thailand to serve in the Northern area has now felt the Lord speak to them to move to this community Nong Phok and work there in full time ministry, pouring into the Thai people and sharing the Good News.



Ministry at Banon English Learning Center also has been fruitful.  The people in the village live with little resources, but they seem to live contently.  The community takes care of each other and share rice with one another.  We have been so blessed to be part of this community and pray for the light and love of Jesus to pour over it.  In the village many of the children come to the English Learning center to learn english and also study the word of God and experience the love of Jesus in a caring faith community.









Praise to God for the baptism of three Thai girls.  One was Patdy, our Thai teammate who we have worked alongside for 4 years.  She has loved Jesus for three years and has been following him, but she had been worried about talking to her parents about her faith.  Patdy asked for prayer for her mom's heart when she shared the news.  God had softened her parent's hearts.  Although they are Buddhist they affirmed Patdy and said they already knew she had been following a different faith.  They supported her decision to be baptized and follow Jesus.  This was a great blessing and relief for Patdy.  Please continue to pray for Patdy and her family as she bears witness to them about the freedom of life in Christ.





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For the past year we have been in prayer and discernment about how we can best serve him.  He put on both of our hearts, at different times, we were needed to return to the US for a season.  Although we have adjusted to living in Thailand and are involved in fruitful ministry we could not ignore the nudges we were feeling from the Lord. 





 Several months later we learned that both of our dads faced serious health problems.  We have learned a great deal from the Thai people, one thing being honoring our parents.  We decided that we needed to return home at least for now.  We will spend this time in the US, helping with our family and their needs.  TMS-Global has asked us to work with them in the area of mobilization, helping in the discernment process as people are being called to serve Jesus.  We have already been involved in this work during our term in Thailand so we visualize this as a continuation and opportunity to help more laborers who are called to bring the name of Jesus to the world.   Our work in mobilization with TMS-Global will give us the chance to continue serve in ministry and mission, but we will continue to have to raise our own support to do this work.  We are so grateful for God using you to provide for our needs while on the field and we are praying we will continue to get what we need to do his work in the US.






We have had a season of goodbyes for now that has been beautiful, but also very hard. We have developed close relationships with our Thai teammates and friends so leaving is never easy.  We are grateful for the seeds that have been planted and are expecting the Lord to continue to tend to their hearts.  We are blessed to share that in each of the ministries we have been involved with, there is now new missionaries coming or already there to fill in the gaps.  We continue to support them and walk alongside them in their serving Jesus in Thailand.





Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for the people of Thailand, for the ministry there and the new laborers going to the field.
Please pray for our family during this transition and that God will continue to use us to expand his kingdom on earth.
Pray for our hearts and the hearts of our Thai friends.
Pray for our parents and that our time with them is valuable and glorifying to God.
Please pray for our continued financial provision so we can continue to serve in ministry and mobilization.