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Monday, July 23, 2018

Back to Thailand with Greenlight Gateway 2018



At the Chedi
Hello friends.   We hope you all are having a blessed summer.   We pray for you and thank you for following along what God is doing in our lives and in Thailand.

Hannah Grace and CJ

We have just gotten back from a month long visit to Thailand.  We took the Greenlight Gateway students and served as hosts for the country.

Hannah Grace had a very happy reunion with her Thai sister CJ!  Both had grown up over the past 8 months, but they picked right back up where they left off.  We feel fortunate and blessed to be able to keep up many of our friendships and treasure our Thai adopted family.


Greenlight and Thai English students in Chinatown doing an Amazing Race

 This is our 3rd year having the opportunity to host the Greenlight Gateway program through TMS-Global.  This year we took 7 college aged students from all over the country to Thailand, along with a leader who is currently a second year student at Asbury Seminary.  The trip was a blessing for the students as it gave them opportunities to be spiritually formed and hear from the Lord.  It is amazing and we get the chance to see first hand, people get out of their comfort zones and in new contexts they are often able to hear more clearly from God.  Their experiences had a lot of time with Thai nationals, many who are Buddhist.  These exchanges allowed them to learn about a culture of people much different from theirs, but also with many similarities.




Essan Lunch

Shining Jesus' love
 Each one was impacted and felt stirrings from God in their walk with him.  Most of them feel like the Lord is calling them to serve either in the US or internationally whenever the time is right.  God grew them on this trip and we are grateful for his presence.  We had challenges along the way, but the time was meaningful for everyone.


Debrief with Maggy and Andrew
Spending time with Patdy teaching at her school in Essan
                                                                            
The trip was also a blessing for the American and Thai missionaries serving in Thailand.  The group was able to bring small gifts from the US and offer them encouragement.   Each missionary unit spent time with the group sharing what life is like on the field.  Most of the students were interested in what were the hardest parts and the best parts of serving cross culturally.  Usually the differences in food and availability of food and language barriers were the common sources of stress as well as being so far from loved ones.   Encouragement came from the relationships with the Thai people and the opportunity to share the love of Christ and to get to learn and do many new things!


Time with Cheryl, CCW about to go South of Thailand to serve




Chris Barbee, Kat and Patdy with Greenlight



The Greenlight experience is designed to help students discerning a call to mission to see what living as a cross cultural worker is really like.  The trip includes some hard parts of ministry including a prayer walk through one of the slums of Bangkok.  This along with a prayer walk in the Redlight district and a visit to an orphanage were some of the most challenging parts for the group.  These experiences helped them to see the needs and burdens that exist in the culture.  Here are a few testimonies of our group participants:

This summer, to say the least, was eye opening and challenging. From having no personal space on public transportation, to eating bugs and mystery meat, to the smells of a Bangkok street, and to the fact that no one seemed to speak english, it was different and at times frustrating. In the midst of all the differences and chellenges I saw God working in the culture. He was using many different people in such a variety of ways. I think this trip really showed me God's heart for all people and his desires for us to use the gifts he has given to go and make disciples.


Fried Crickets

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 This was an experience that I was not totally expecting. I knew I had to limit my expectations about how this trip would go. I knew I would be learning about culture, about ministry, and about myself. But I didn’t really dive into dreamland of how I expected this trip to teach me. But I know I wasn’t expecting such big changes about myself or God’s call in to my life. Everyone had a different experience, for God works in a multitude of ways. But for me he opened my eyes to things I was holding in the way of Him and his call in my life: obedience, hope, and trust. There is still work to be done. But this trip as opened up a bigger chapter in my life!

In the slums praying with residents



It’s hard to put into words all this experience has meant to me. It has really been life changing. The Lord broke my heart in Thailand but He also gave me hope in Thailand. This experience has changed my perspective and I’m excited to see what doors it opens.



Offering hygiene packets and prayers
Many of the Thai people we know and love came, sometimes long distances, to see us while we were in Thailand.  We were reminded of the power of love and that when you build relationships in the name of Jesus amazing bonds are created.  Despite distance, culture and language barriers God can form beautiful friendships and community.

Pam with her girls


Todd with his student
Hannah Grace meeting old school friends and family
Our friend Oil flew in from Chiang Mai (8 hours away) to see us
Hannah Grace and Aim
Students now at Universities in Bangkok who came to see us at church

Graysen starting his ministry

 Since working in mobilization we have been blessed with the chance to walk alongside some really wonderful people the Lord is calling to missions.  One in particular is Graysen (pictured above), who arrived to start his term with TMS serving out of the Muang Thai church in Bangkok.  It was a great joy to see him on that side of the world and to be there his first Sunday to introduce him to our students and friends from the church. He will now be able to share life and his passion of discipleship which the Lord has called him to among the least reached in Thailand


Hannah Grace and a 3 day old goat in Nong Phok

Again we are so grateful for you and for your prayers for us and for the Thai people.  We were in Thailand while the young boys were trapped in the cave.  Knowing that so many people in the world were praying for them and for the country was an incredible gift to us and to the Thai people.  We join you in celebration that all were rescued.  We are sure the Lord is moving there and look forward to what he will continue to do in this land that he loves.

Todd and Life
Prayer Requests:

Please pray for the most recent Greenlight group as they continue to process all they learned this summer and seek the Lord's direction in their life.

Pray for us as we begin to plan for next summer and begin training with potential hosts around the world to expand this program.

Please continue to pray for our adjustment to America and for our work here expanding God's kingdom through mobilization and sharing our lives with people.

Please pray for the Thai people and for the ongoing ministry there.  Pray the Lord will raise up more Thai nationals to serve in ministry and let the Western missionaries there work to empower the Thai believers.

Please pray for our children and our parents.

Please pray for continued resources and financial support so we can continue to serve in ministry.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

What we've been up to

Blessings everyone.  We wanted to give you an update on what we have been up to and to invite you to join us in prayer for this season.

Our US based mission work with TMS-Global has been life giving.  We have been able to connect with people who are discerning a call to serve in missions.  Having just gone through the process we are blessed to be able to share with them first hand experiences and pray with them and for them.  As it turns out two of the young adults we have been walking alongside are being called to serve in Thailand!  God is good and we do see he has a plan for us to continue to expand his kingdom and invite others to join him in his mission around the world.




We have had many opportunities to speak at churches and groups since being home.  It is always a joy and privilege to share about what the Lord is doing in Thailand and around the world.  If it wasn't for your support and prayers we would not have had the opportunity to serve and to continue to serve in mobilizing other's to hear and discern the Lord's call in their own life.  We know not everyone is called to serve internationally, but we are all called to join Jesus in his mission and make disciples.  We believe the Lord can use us in expanding his kingdom.  "Thank you" doesn't seem like enough to express the deep gratitude we feel towards you.  We pray the Lord has blessed you in the journey and that you feel a part of this kingdom work.



We have been blessed to reconnect with family and friends and enjoyed the many conveniences of home, but we also miss our Thai friends and now family to us.  Fortunately with the internet we are able to keep up with them and continue to be part of their lives.

Greenlight Gateway 2016 with our Thai leaders 

We will be the hosts for the Greenlight Gateway program in Thailand again this year.  For the past 2 years we have hosted students discerning a call to mission in Thailand for a 4 week experience.  This year we will again be hosts, but we will be traveling with them!  We will take 7 University students and one leader who is in Seminary at Asbury June 7 through July 6.  It will be wonderful for us to get back to Thailand and see everyone as well as the opportunity to walk with these young adults as they are getting out of their comfort zone and hearing from the Lord.  Please pray for our trip and that God uses it for his glory.






Greenlight Gateway Participants 2017 -Worship

TMS has a new mailing address for donations:
 TMS Global, PO Box 936559, Atlanta, GA 31193-6559
Attaway (3018) is our account number.  Thank you again for your faithfulness.



Prayer Requests

For our upcoming trip to Thailand and for God to speak clearly to the participants discerning a call to serve.
For Thailand and the current ministries and those who serve there.  For the Thai people to open their hearts to Jesus and know him personally as their Lord and Savior.
For our family in the US and our parents.
For protection from spiritual warfare.
For ministry in the US and for the Lord to continue to provide the resources for us to continue his work here.
For Hannah Grace and her school options for next year.

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.