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Malcolm ('93) & Kerstin Gray

posted Feb 5, 2015, 3:04 PM by Faith Academy Alumni Coordinator   [ updated Feb 5, 2015, 3:04 PM by Sites Admin ]

Field Leaders (Tak)

Malcolm  & Kerstin Gray

A lot has happened since you last heard from us. You will remember that in Tak town, a fine team was forming. We had been excited about welcoming new workers, the Randall family, and getting started on an orientation programme with them. We were also preparing to welcome the Her family at the beginning of January. Rena was teaching our daughter, Amy, and the three Randall children, and preparing to accept a new student from the Her family when they arrive. We were excited to see things falling into place and all the planning come together. The whole team was adjusting to the new routine and starting to look forward to celebrating Christmas together.

And then... On the king's birthday, 5 December, Malcolm received a phone call just before 9:00 in the morning. It was a market vendor from the Tak market. The message, "Your friend has fallen. She has broken her arm. We are taking her to hospital." We jumped in the car and raced to the hospital to find Rena in the Emergency Room with two broken arms.

That incident has affected many of us.  After surgery and two weeks of hospitalisation, Rena was flown back to the UK.  The Randall family, having just arrived in Tak a month earlier and were beginning to settle into their new routine, suddenly had no options for educating their three children. On top of all the challenges of entering a new culture and starting with full-time Thai language study, this additional stress has been heavy.

The Her family, due to arrive on 5 January, suddenly had no option for educating their second daughter, and their eldest had no place to live in Chiangmai while she attended Grace International School.

As for our family, we spent the weeks before Christmas looking after Rena, and the two weeks after Christmas hurriedly preparing to send Amy to Chiangmai to live at the WEC Hostel and attend Grace International School.

For all of us, the transition has been as big as it has been sudden. We didn't have a contingency plan that covered one member having to leave, and we are all still finding our feet again in new circumstances and routines.  We would all value your continued prayers.


Amy with the hostel parents’ daughter, GIS, Chiangmai


Since 5 December, there are two events that took place that we would like to mention for which we praise the Lord. On 6 January, we celebrated the life of Wilf Overgaard, the pioneer WECer who arrived with his family and two single WECers in Thailand in 1947. He faithfully led WEC Thailand from that time until 1975 - 28 years of field leadership.Those early days were full of challenge upon challenge, yet Wilf's leadership was resolute. A wonderful role model for those of us who followed. The 6 January event was hosted by the local BFC Thai church, and the gratitude and honour demonstrated for the selfless life of Wilf, and the early pioneers, was very touching.

Then at the end of January, WEC Thailand held our annual Prayer Retreat, initiated by Wilf many years ago. We met for 4 days of prayer, which was a special time. This year, we invited the leadership from the BFC Thai churches, the BFC Karen churches, and the VTCF churches in Bangkok. Altogether about 25 national leaders joined us for the finale of our Prayer Retreat, and we prayed together, blessing each other. It was special to pray for Asia, and specifically Indonesia together with our Thai and Karen brothers and sisters. We continue to pray that the Lord would mobilise the churches in Thailand for mission, and praying for the nations is the best way to start. Praise the Lord

New Workers Orientation (Tak)

L & R Flintoff, M & K Gray 

Please pray for the Randall family as they continue learning the Thai language and adjust to Thai culture in the midst of these major changes to children's schooling. Beginning of March a family friend, Hannah, will come for two months and help teach the children. Pray for Hannah as she prepares to come. Nathan hasn't been very well. He is improving but still need a miracle of healing from God.

Praise God that Her family have arrived safely. Because of changes for their children's schooling, they have rented a house in Chiangmai for 6 months, in order provide accommodation for Rin. Soosung and Ihnyoung have just started Thai language study. Praise God they have been able to find a car. Pray for them in all the adjustments and for God's provision for all the things needed at this time.

Thank God for people in the 'pipe line'. Pray they will be able to prepare well and arrive soon and  safely in Thailand. Pray there will be even more new workers called by God for long-term service with WEC Thailand.  

WEC Hostel (Chiangmai)

A & T Charman

Pray:
- that new students would settle in really well.
- for a great last quarter for our six seniors who are graduating this year.
- that relationships between students and between us and the students would continue to be strong
- for our daughter Sian (one year old in February!), who seems unsettled at the moment and not sleeping well at night time.
- that we have some good quality time as a married couple.
- that there will be just the right hostel assistants for next school year.
- for wisdom and guidance as we're go through the applications for next year.
 

Grace International School (Chiangmai)

J & M van der Straaten, A & E May, C Steedman

This year is a time of change in our GIS community with several long-standing families moving back to their home countries following the graduation of their youngest child.  This means that we have even more openings than usual and these key positions need to be filled.  Please pray for staff for all areas of the school, both in Elementary and Secondary.  Please spread the word!  There is an extensive list of job openings on our GIS Website. See http://www.gisthailand.org/serve-at-gis/staff-needs/foreign-staff-positions/

In His amazing grace,

Malcolm and Kerstin
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