There are an estimated 74 languages spoken in Thailand. Thai is the national language of Thailand, and most widely spoken, but even it varies by region. Like Chinese, Thai is a tonal language. It has five tones—meaning that words or syllables with similar sounds have a completely different definition depending on the use of high, low, rising, falling, or level/mid tone or pitch. Sounds challenging, right? I encourage you to consider this as we prepare to study Thai. Thai is the natural bridge between most of the tribal dialects, and because of this, we will spend intensive hours, months, years, learning it well. Language is a challenge our family will face daily for many years before it becomes natural, and it’s an area we would definitely value your prayers toward.
Did you know the official name of Bangkok is Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit? Have fun trying that one out. It has 167 letters and 40 syllables (a Guinness book record for a city name). It means “The Great City, the Residence of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Capital of the World Endowed with Nine Precious Gems, the Happy City.” Long names in Thailand are fairly common, adding to the challenge of befriending natives. Because of this, most Thais actually adopt a simple nickname. Thank goodness!
Hard to believe 2020 is just over a month away. In January we head to Florida for three weeks to tackle the first two (of many) seminary courses Cru offers new staff—Bible Study Methods and Intro to Christian Theology. The availability of Seminary courses for staff was a huge part of why we chose to partner with Cru. We are excited for what we will learn during these classes and how it will help us be more effective at sharing the gospel and discipling new believers in Thailand, as well as giving us even more of a foundation for our own walk with the Lord.
That being said, we know it will still be challenging—especially with our littles in tow. While there will be childcare during class time, there is currently none arranged during personal study and reading times—which is an estimated 3-6 additional reading hours each day. We know this will likely be a demanding and exhausting several weeks, but we trust the Father knew in advance and will equip us for this time.
NEW PRAYER CARD
In December we will not be sending a standard e-newsletter. Instead, we plan to mail out a brand new prayer card—hot off the press at the end of this month. If we’ve already met with you in person, chances are that we have your mailing address; otherwise, if you’d like to receive our updated prayer card in the mail, please hit reply and include your mailing address. Not sure if we have your address? Just send it our way and we’ll confirm.
Thank you so much for all of your encouragement, financial contributions, and prayers. We absolutely could not do this without each of your involvement!