Dear Brethren,

I hope and pray that the New Year is bringing you many blessings. We hope and pray that God is blessing you as you work for Him. God continues to bless my family and the work here. One way that He blesses me is by all of you who are a part of this work with you love, prayers, and support.

On New Year’s Eve the congregation here always has a party. It is always a lot of fun. This year an elephant came down our street. We let all the kids feed it bananas. This particular elephant lives in a field about half a mile from our house. At our party we eat and then have a devotional. After that we play games and shot off fireworks. The Thai people exchange gifts on New Years. It is a wonderful time that is enjoyed by all. After we welcome the New Year, everyone goes home. The congregation here has another tradition. On New Years Day we all meet at my house at six a.m. We have a prayer together and then we go on an overnight trip together. This year we went to the little town of Pai. We took the food that was left from New Year’s Eve with us. We slept in tents. It was a lot of fun. Being together for that time gets our year started off right. I wish every one of you could come and meet the wonderful people of the congregation here. It would be a blessing for you and for them.

While we were in Pai, I met a man and his wife who live in Chiang Mai. We talked to them about the church and what we are doing in Thailand. We hope that we will be able to make further contact with them, but have been unable to till now. We take every opportunity to teach people about the God’s word and the beauty of His church.

We had another opportunity come our way. At the school where I teach, I found out that there was a boy living in one of the storage closets. Really he lives in 1/3 of a storage closet. He has just enough room for a bed. The school lets him live there and gives him free lunch Monday to Friday. His name is Brassert. He is 14 years old. His mother and father are dead. He was living with his brother, but now his brother is in jail. He has no one and nothing. He is just now learning to read. He helps one of the teachers and gets 100 baht a week to eat the rest of his meals and buy anything he needs for his personal use. 100 baht is about 3 dollars. That hundred baht is not enough to buy food for the week, little less anything else. I found this out at the end of December. So I asked him what he was doing on New Year’s Eve. He said he would stay at the school alone. I told him I would pick him up and he could come to the party the church was having. He came to the party and was shy at first, but everyone was very kind to him. He ate six plates of food and then he had a sad look on his face and said, “I can’t eat anymore.” One of the ladies asked him if he would like to go on the trip with us. He said yes. So he went with us. I took him back to the school on Sunday after worship. Now I pick him up on Friday evening after school and he spends the weekends with us. We help him with his homework and teach him the Bible. On the way to my house the other day he told me that he trusts me and that the only time he is happy is when he is at our home. I truly hope that he will obey the gospel. It truly is his only hope in life.

Our attendance continues to remain strong. We are going to have to buy some more chairs. We have enough chairs for our members, but not too many extras. The good news is that we have been having more visitors. There have been some Sundays when we did not have enough seats for everyone. These are kind of problems that we like to have.

Toward the end of January, we went to the home of some relatives of one of our members and had a worship service. We have decided that once a month we will go and have a worship service with brethren in our area. We are focusing especially on brethren who because of age or health cannot go to worship. We find that both we and the people we go to visit and worship with are encouraged from this fellowship together.

On a personal note… I was in the hospital for two days last month. I got some kind of infection in my intestines. I do not know exactly how I got it, but I may have eaten something that was not good. I am doing better now. I could not eat anything solid for nearly two weeks. On the bright side I lost some weight. It was not a way that I would recommend to others.

Shaphan our son turned 18 on January 28th. It is hard to believe how grown up our children are getting. Miles began studying at the Culinary Arts School of Chiang Mai! He brings home some wonderful food!! He also gets to practice at home to! He is truly on his way to becoming a great chef! Bekah continues to grow and blossom. We are so blessed to have wonderful Christian children.

Once again, may God bless you as you work for Him,

Michael