Showers of blessings!

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Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in You I trust. Make me known the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” Ps.143:8
Ezekiel 34:26 [Full Chapter]
I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.

Dear family in Christ, We wish you a very Happy and Blessed Songkran (Thai New Year. May God’s blessings will be poured out on your life! Thai’s celebrate it by splashing water on each other.
God’s blessings are showered in our ministry through your prayers and support
If God opens doors, no one can close it!
Even though not all the parents support their children in coming to church, but More than fifty people came for our school closing program, where we presented a special program with our children and had chance to share the Word of God. I am so thankful for the special relationships with our students that God granted me.
God is so Amazing! He knows our needs even before we ask Him! Before starting a camp we didn’t have enough people, and I got an email, that one young lade from Germany, who was also serving in Thailand for few months, had a break for one month and would like to come and join our ministry. It was just a perfect time! We had a chance to make a day camp at our village, Mien tribe, and God opened the doors in the villages beside us.
Mong tribe, up in the mountains, More than 45-50 children were attending every day and heard the Gospel, worshiped God and learned English. It was interesting to see adults and other children, who were squeezing through the windows and door trying to see what we are doing there, while we were teaching and singing. Few times there was a man, who was holding a rock behind his back, and as soon as he saw us was saying something with a grumpy face. God protected us from all harms, and every day children heard that God is more powerful than any spirits that they are afraid of. Praise the Lord!
Next camp is going to be in the village with Northern thais, where we praying to start a cell group with teens. Please pray for God’s wisdom and guidance.
God also provided a keyboard for our church, and not only that, even a teacher, who came here for one month! God also touched one young man, who was also reading and praying for the ministry here, and he came here with his son, to help with the building project. Only God can put people from different countries in the same place, at the right time for His purpose! Thank you for praying for our protection, during cutting bamboo and also God protected us and our villagers during April’s storms, because some places got losses.
Please Pray:
1. For our camp at Baloo. And also we will celebrate Christ resurrection and would like to invite people from our tribe, so God would open their hearts and and we would share a Good news with them!
2. Protection for our building team, while they are working with bamboo and on the high places.
3. It is dry season and not enough water in our well, please pray for God to send some rains and feel our well.
4. Please pray for wisdom and God’s guidance in sharing a good news with Mien tribe and other surrounding people.

I am very thankful for your prayers, it helps me to keep going and continue to do the work God called me to do. May God richly bless you and I’ll be glad to pray for you.
Following in His steps… till Thailand, Mien tribe
Anita Miteiko

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Looking Back… (Kristina)

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A few months ago, the Lord gave us an opportunity to do two English teacher seminars. During the seminar we were able to continue forming the relationships that had been slowly building for the past two years with the teachers. We had the freedom to give out brochures to them and share the gospel with a few teachers. Two of them in particular were very open and asked questions. The Lord gave the right words in Thai to help explain the truths. One teacher said she will share the story with her children and students. She had previously stated, ”You are so kind.” This was an opportunity to share the power Christ gives to do good, and the victory over sin that belongs to His children.

 
On the last day of Saturday English school for the kids from the village, two students walked up and invited Oksana and I to visit them at their home. 20 minutes later we arrived in their village where we got to meet the families. This was the first time we got to see where our students live. We went to visit the mother of one girl at a field where she worked, farming. It was hot and the mother appeared tired as she shared her hardship of the little fruit the ground had yielded due to the dry rainy season. She offered us a melon and we went off to the other students’ house. Her family lived far out in the jungles. Her father got us coconuts from their backyard and the girls proceeded to invite us to sleepover. Our director said they could sleep over at Avoda and after much begging, the parents allowed them to come over. One girl joyfully replied,” I prayed to Jesus, and my parents let me come!” The fact that their parents let them come was a big step in building relationships. Praise the Lord!

There have been a few changes on our team. Oksana and I are back in the U.S for more training. We are now looking for Gods direction for the near future. Natasha is paying off her loans with a plan to go back to Thailand as soon as she’s done. Anita is in the North of Thailand. Thank you to all who are involved in our lives!

New Adventures (Anita)

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Right now I am up north of Thailand in Chiang Rai, one of Avodas projects with three other group members. We are living among two different tribes where we are teaching and building a church building out of bamboo. I am teaching English to children and adults and have a wonderful opportunity to share the good news and invite them to church. One man is interested and asks many questions about God, as well as started to visit church.
One woman who also started visiting classes, but whose health is in critical condition is in need of prayer as well. Please pray for an opportunity to share the good news with her and form a good relationship.

 

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The Lord is softening the hearts and allowing good relationships to form with my students. Once a week I also have an opportunity to spend time with a group of teenage girls where we share what foods we can cook and teach to pray one for another.
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We are hoping now to meet up with a group of teenagers from Laos who had lived with us a year ago, but have returned to their homes. They had heard about God before and it would be great to meet up with them and encourage them to stay strong in faith. Please pray for everything to go well with their visas that we could spend a few days together.
In February, I will be opening a new visa in order to continue my stay here. Please pray for the Lord to open the hearts of the officials.
May you be blessed! I am thankful that we can continue the same work in different parts of the world!

 

Lives Changed

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 Each story is different, each story is special. We would like to take you into the lives of our students here in Avoda. Mint is a 15 year old girl who comes from the Mien tribe. Here is her story. CROPPED-P1320053

I was born in a prison in Bangkok. I lived in the prison for 7 days. My mom and dad were in prison for selling drugs. My mom is from the Luo tribe and my dad is Mien. I have two older sisters. Both of my parents were in debt and sold drugs to pay their way out. When I was seven days old, Ploy, (the wife of the missionary here) came and got me 1 week later. She brought me up north to Chiang Rai, the village she grew up in, to live with her mother. Grandmother was the only mother I knew and I called her my mum. I lived in there for 5 years and went to school for 1 year. At five years of age, Ploy came back and brought me to Avoda in Tak. I really missed my mom and cried. When I came here, there were only boys and I had no friends. In Avoda I got to learn English and hear about God.

I went to visit my dad one time in prison. That day he was in court for drugs someone put on his shelf, so I couldn’t see him. I only time I saw him was when I was small, but I don’t remember how he looks like. The two times I came to visit my mom, I couldn’t communicate with her because of the language barrier. I couldn’t speak Luo, my mom’s language. My mom called me sister. God has been good to me for bringing me to Avoda. Please pray for my family to become Christian.

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Piao is a 16 year old Galian girl with a sense of humor and sweet personality. 

I come from Burma. When I was 5 years old, I came to Thailand. My father came to Thailand to seek out a job and came back later to get my mom. They traveled through the mountains for 3 days because they did not have documents. Later I came to Thailand with my aunt. My parents settled in a small house in Tak. Their job was to take care of pigs. One time I left shopping with my mom and uncle. My dad stayed at the work place. When we returned we found that our boss accused my father of stealing. We were forced moved to a new place. My dad’s job now was burning bricks.

One day, my mom went out drunk and cheated on my dad. When my dad found out, he said to her, ”Either you go or we go.” My mom left.

One day Avoda team came and sang songs in our slums. Two of the boys invited me to Avoda church. The first time I came here, I was seven years old. The second time I came, I came to learn. In the evenings I would go back home. Sometimes my father’s friends would come over to my house and get drunk. I did not feel safe in my home. My friends Fasai would come to sleep over. One day, while we were sleeping a man came in the room. He came over to where I was sleeping and I woke up. I went to my dad but the man had already left. We stayed up all night afraid, and watched tv. Many times the man came. My dad didn’t do anything about it. I came to Ploy and asked her if I can come to live in Avoda. She allowed. Two months later my dad came to take me back home. I said no. He continued to come and I would hide. When I was 14 years old he gave me more freedom to choose for myself.

At age 15 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and got baptized. I have a good relationship with my dad now because God helps me. I go to visit him often. When I tried to share the gospel with my dad, he didn’t accept. He said he knows everything. Please pray for my father to understand the gospel and for us to continue having a good relationship. I thank God that Jesus protected me in every bad situation. If it wasn’t for God and His plans, I would not be in Avoda.

 

“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.”

Isaiah 65:18

 

 

 

 

 

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As we approach the Thailand embassy in New York to get my Visa fixed, we notice two policeman standing by the doors. There was an error with my Visa and I had problems when i resent it. The plan was to get my Visa fixed the same day of my flight. As my friends and I curiously look up at the police officers, we were told that it was a Thai holiday and that the embassy was closed. My visa wasn’t fixed fixed and I had an international flight coming up in just a few hours. As we prayerfully turned back around, God gave peace in my heart and allowed me to fully trust in Him. Instead of being worried like I usually am, God was teaching me to put my whole trust in Him and to know that He is in control. Before I stepped on the plane, I prayed that God would send me someone that I could witness to in English, hopefully. As I kept that thought in the back of my head, I stepped on the plane that was filled with Asians. I have not seen one american yet but curiously sat in my seat, awaiting that one person that would sit next to me. At a distance, I saw an american guy approaching closer and closer. Doubt approached me and I thought out of all the seats on this plane, I doubt that this guy will be the one to sit beside me. As the young man approached my isle, he looked down at his ticket and confirmed with me that the window seat beside mine is his. Wow! Nothing is impossible for God. As I had doubt in my head, God had a different plan. God showed me that nothing is too impossible for Him! As the sweaty, tired young man plopped himself down next to me, I knew that this was what God had in store. Minutes later, we were talking away. Our “where are you going to” conversation led to “if you were to die tonight, where would you go?” It was a difficult conversation, but God was right there leading me through it.

The plane flight went by very smoothly filled with lots of naps, music and delicious food. The prayers increased as we entered Thailand. As I was standing in line to get my passport checked, thoughts were running through my head. If only they don’t notice that my sisters visa is in my passport. I approach the man and hand him over my passport. As I was filled with God’s amazing peace and trust, I heard the stamp slam down a few times on my passport. As I looked up, I had the biggest smile on my face! Again, God was showing me that nothing is impossible for Him. The man didn’t notice the error on my visa! Praise God!

God treated my sister, Kristina, her friend and I to a lovely, beautiful vacation down at Krabi. With beautiful cliffs to clear, blue water, this was a wonderful start to my summer. Vacation went by very blessed and I was excited to start this new journey here in Thailand with some fun in the sun. As we pack our bags, we head to a dry and very hot, deserted town in Tak. As we go through the gates of Avoda, I get welcomed by many of our students with smiles and greetings. As I approach my new home where I will be living, I was impressed at how huge and nice our wooden cabin was. We even have a separate bathroom! I was expecting to live in a slum sort of falling apart house made out of scrap and branches, but this was just very unexpecting. God allowed very easy and safe transition to the living conditions and food. The people here are very nice and always have a smile on their face. One thing I knew I had to practice was smiling. As week by week goes by, I started figuring out my role here more and more. I began teaching in public schools twice a week. In one school, I get to work with teenagers and the other elementary. I am happy that I have a variety of students I can work with. At the end of the school day, I am amazed that I have just taught English to about 200 student!

As Tuesday approached, I knew that soon I would be surrounded by my little students, who eagerly try to get a hold of my hand and put their little arms beside mine to see how white I am. As they stare in shock, they wonder how a person could be so white. You may think how is it possible to teach in a complete different country with an unfamiliar language. The first week was a little difficult, but as weeks went by, I was constantly being taught by my students and we found  amazing ways to communicate. The more I am around my students, the greater my desire is to learn Thai. I am also involved in our “We love you club” as a couple of us staff go out to the village and spend the precious time with children. From Bible stories to singing songs, God gives us the opportunity to gently witness to these buddhist children once a week. Some of these children come to our saturday school that I am also involved in. I also teach English here to about 60 children. I am filled with so much joy and the children melt my heart more and more each time. The happiest moment I have had here so far was when I was going through a giving up kind of feeling moment. The day was going by a little rough and I felt like I wanted to just give up. Nothing was turning out right. As I enter the classroom I notice that the students are making colorful, handmade cards. As I approached a little closer, I noticed that a lot of them were making cards for me! From I love you Oksana to teacher Oksana, I was filled with so much joy as each child patiently awaited in line to hand in their sparkly, colorful creation into my hands. God was showing me that these students need me. Not only to learn english. But so much more. To show them love and give them the attention that they are lacking very much in their lives. God was renewing my thoughts and was showing me a greater purpose of being here. As I wake up each day, I know that it is a new day to serve God in all that I do. And it’s not even about works. It’s all about Christ and who He is.  Even when I fail or may want to give up, Jesus is always here to refill me with joy and pick me up and help me to keep moving forward. As days go by and turn into weeks, I am bonding with my students more and more each time. Students in school and our students here in Avoda. The girls and I have a special bonding time when we hang around the kitchen and happily cook. From making powdered sugar, fluffy pancakes to churros, the girls excitedly await to devour this American snack. From sleeping on the floor in the girls cabin, I was awakened many times at night with the realization of how hard the floor really was. As morning slowly crept up, I was awakened by a pain in my back, promising myself that I will never be back to sleep with the girls again. A couple days later, I was back at the floor again. This time it wasn’t as bad. Now I have slept on the floor about ten times already and crazy to say, I love it! I love the floor more than my bed. Well I guess it never hurts to try something new and really try it out. Also, the more time I spend with our girls here in Avoda, the more they keep asking me, “How long are you going to be here for? When are you leaving? If you leave, who will bake with us and make us dessert.” My plane flight says that I am supposed to be here till November. As I prayerfully reconsidered with God, God showed me that I need to stay here longer. I have always wanted to be involved in full time mission work, not just a few short weeks of missions and back home to my life, but I wanted something more. Something where God could really use me to impact children’s lives and really be commited to being there for them. As I look at my plane ticket, I happily crumble it up and throw it in the trash. My heart is here and my life is here already. I am willing to stay here as long as God wants me here. It’s not the location but the heart. Are you ready to serve God wherever He puts you, even from your own home? How can you be an encouragement to those around you? How can you spread Christ’s love and share it with those that are perishing?

Daily battle with the chickens

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It is exciting to have wild life in Avoda. It is nice to see our cows walk by, grazing on trees and whatever is left of the grass after the dry season. Mother hens with their chicks, pecking the ground,looking for food. Small wild pigs running around, chasing each other for that one fish head. However, with a zoo come a few minor challenges. Keeping certain animals or birds out of the kitchen has become a skill one needs to learn here.

Keeping the floor of our kitchen clean for longer then half a day is a great endeavor. The chickens keep getting in, looking for food, leaving after themselves chicken messes.They fly in through the bars of our kitchen wall, climb in through the little slits between the floor and surrounding fence and sneak in when someone accidentally leaves the gate open. Our walls are not chicken proof. I don’t know if you can even call them walls. Anyways, putting up a net around the bars of our “wall” didn’t cut it. The little chicklets fly in anyway! They stand on whatever object is outside and take off. If they can fly into a tree, nothing can stop them!

The one joy I get when a chicken does get in is seeing San our coworker running after the chickens, grabbing them and sending them back on their way.

The not so fun part is having to clean the kitchen floor 3 times in 2 days! This time, I did not have the honor of doing that, but allowed the boys to take on that privilege…

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