Friday, November 27, 2009

Where is the Thanks in Giving and giving thanks?

I am sitting here a day after thanks giving thinking about where was I a year ago and how did I spend my Thanksgiving.

Yesterday, I spent it alone not by choice of course, but I live in Thailand and it's not a holiday here. The only American family I know left for the holidays, so no invites. So I mostly worked out, watched t.v. and read. Then for my meal I bought a can of tuna and some bread, gave thanks and had my "feast". I ate two sandwiches, and thought about leaving the rest for tomorrow. But I thought to my self that I would normally over eat at home, and gave my self permission to eat it. Given my recent financial squeeze and the circumstance, it was one of the best tuna sandwiches I ever had.

I looked into my Journal entry of last year Thanksgiving and was curious as to what I had written down to be thankful for. 11-24-08 Being alive. Being loved. Having clothes. Having food. Having a bed to sleep in. Call it being simple, or spiritual but I truly am thankful of those things. A little context behind my life up until that journal entry. August of last year I was homeless. Not in the normal way. My friend Mike and I decided to go along the Midwest sharing the vision of the ministry we were hoping to start. No car and no money. Hitch hiking a third of the trip, we would travel over 3,000 miles, visit 10 states, speak in over 10 churches, spend 37 days on the road and spend zero dollars on the whole trip. The thing I remember the most was the feeling of being homeless. The cops harassed us, people were afraid of us, people cursed us, looked at us with hate, even the church didn't help us out! All I kept thinking was about how a homeless person must feel having to deal with this. I left with more of appreciation for things things I have and better understanding of why people go to extremes to survive.

The most stressing thing on the lower class Thais is money problems. Sounds familiar. I didn't grow up with it all, but lower class American is not the same as lower class Thai. I understand a lot of their situations. I can identify with the hurt, and the things people do to get out or forget about life. This little money problem I have now is small compared with what a single mother here has to deal with. Sure I have to ration a loaf of bread, tuna and stressing about how I am gonna get a can of oatmeal to last till the end of the month but what if I had a child or two? What if your boyfriend was only good for sleeping around and beating on you? There is no ware fair check, or wic here. Jobs are scarce. the common job places you in a factory working 12 hour shifts for less than 10 dollars for the day. The poor get little to no help. And if there is it's not being advertised.

My question to my self is, Am I thankful in giving, or am I just thankful for what I get? Thanksgiving places me in worship of God in remembering what he has done for me. But I am further challenged to give with equal passion. I am a fan of James 1:27, Matthew 5:23, Proverbs 14:31, Isaiah 1:17, and my other verses that point to the fact that God has a heart for those who seem to have nothing. I am selfish in my everyday life out side of God. Have you ever heard anyone say, "I am so thankful to give." I want to give, and take the time to understand those who have nothing, and do the most hateful things to each other just to survive. AM I above them? I say no, because being a village girl, with no education, haven been raped, abused, left as someones piece of property, with two children is not reality for most of us. An inner city youth gun tucked in his jeans selling nicks and dimes on the corner, whose mom is a crack head, dad is locked up leaving him with baby sis to take care of with no hesitation to kill if someone tries to take his spot, because we don't wake up in his shoes. We don't and won't understand the lowest of lows until we put on the heart of God, and see things with Jesus' eyes and understand where they are coming from. I would rather offer life to these people than to judge it.

I believe God is thankful to give to his children. I want the Lord's heart in this action. I think to be truly thankful is to give like Jesus. Interesting something Jim Larson pointed out in one of his recent blogs. If you look at James 1:27 the part that says, "to visit orphans and widows in their distress, {and} to keep oneself unstained by the world." The word "And" is not found in the NASB, KJV, NKJV, DBY. That changes the verse a little bit don't it?

The truth offends because it's the truth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Copy cat

Here is a something interesting to know about Thai culture, they love imitating. Not to say that they are not proud of their culture or people, but with all the influences around them, I guess they can't help them selves. There is a huge popularity of Korean entertainment here. Probably more influential then the west, as far as entertainment goes. They watch Korean movies, play Korean games, and they love, love, love Korean pop music, and superstars. Again I am speaking in general.

Everyone is coping someone or something. Not just in Thailand. One reason I hear why people can't follow Jesus is that they want to own their own life. It's hard to give it to something else. Which I would agree with, sorda."I want to do what I want to do, it's my life." Or ,"only God can judge me, so I am going to do me." That last one is a hood saying.

Irony? Most people who live their life for themselves are actually doing what everyone else is doing. Your not rebellious, you just doing what the majority does. Isn't a rebel's life is going against the grain, not following everyone? Yet, we all do it. At some point, or even now, what people think or say about ourselves, controls us. The "in" fashion becomes what we like. The "in" movies, or music, yup we buy the cd or dvd. I was one who didn't believe that these things controlled me. How about what people think about how a relationship works. Mostly from books and movies. It's all selfish. People use each other, or one gets abused. Or romantic fairy tales that go against the values of God. We need GOD!

There has always been that question in my mind about the religions of the world. Who do they follow? Who models what they believe in? Some of them have a model. But all of them died and their bones are worshiped. But only one died, came back to life and lived, and is still living. In fact he promised he would live inside of those who believed in him, to show us his ways. That is why we are not religious but have a living relationship.

Are Christians suppose copy someone? OH yea, that Jesus guy. The blueprint that Jesus left behind to further his kingdom, was to be a disciple, and disciple others. And all these great gifts would be passed on to us to show of his glory. Emphasis on the gift of the Holy spirit. I think God knew we would be in trouble if we had to figure it out on our own.

Recently I had a friend I made Bee, who worked at a local guesthouse, call me and ask how she could become a Christian lady monk. Weird pairing of words. But I don't know how long ago the seed was planted all I know is that God with out me even knowing, led me to water this seed. In number of conversations with me, she found out that, I did not do the things other foreigners did in Thailand. In fact I was here to help. That I love Thai people and want to help them receive life. That I wasn't here to help my self but to give my self up to people who have no clue who I am. I guess she saw Jesus in that. She came and visited the center recently with a friend to come and see how they can help out at the center. They don't know Jesus yet, but this is what Bee said of Christians, "I want to become one, because they help other people, and don't just think about themselves." That humbled me, because it's hard not to think about yourself. She is now going to help teach Art at the center, and God knows what else may happen. She has already been telling others about this new way of life, and she hasn't read the Bible yet!

I once heard someone say the you might be the only Bible someone ever reads. Man that is some pressure. But I have faith that God is sanctifying me everyday. I give it to him everyday. But let's keep it simple. If your gonna copy someone, start with the homeless guy that only did what the father told him. He took regular guys and turned them into world changers. I thank God in my case, that the bar isn't that high when Jesus covers my sins and gives me the Holy spirit.

1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full attention: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.

John 12:26
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, he will my father honor.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Journal Entry July 31 part 1

I will share a personal entry of my devotional journal. I write of what God is bringing to me, and challenging me. I will post it in two parts. Reason is it will be long if I put it in one, and also both parts speak on different points. So this is the first part. There is a lot of Jim Elliot's journal in it. May it challenge and encourage your heart.

31 July
As I have been reading, ,'Shadow of the Almighty' I questioned myself in the up lifting feeling and urgency I get from Jim Elliot's words. It is not the words of the Lord but his. Yet anything we "create" he gets the glory. AMEN.
His Journal entry on October 24, 1949 is exactly the same idea I write about here. He writes about Brainerd's diary. Speaking about Brainerd's life he writes, "I have considered Hebrews 13:7 just now, regarding the remembrance of certain ones who spake the word of God, 'consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their life and imitate their faith.'
He goes on to list others of the faith that he read about, that challenged his walk. The next entry he writes about how similar are Brainerd's thoughts to his regarding 'true and false religion'. I am recorded in saying the same about Jim Elliot in an earlier entry.
Most of what I read in Christian litereature are biographys. I try not to get caught up in this fad of current books that want the reader to reshape the church or just tell you how it's doing it all wrong, in a back door, think like me, style. I am all for challenging, in fact I say we need it. But I will take a person's true life, and true self over someones attempt to sound relevant and different, anyday.
"I see the value of Christian biography tonight". Jim Elliot wrote that in the same entry. I agree with you Jim. "O lord, let me be granted grace to'imitate their faith'. This from the man who would write four days later on October 28th,"He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose". I pray that I can be a man like Elliot, that would be a stepping stone for generations to come.

Now my point is not that I worship Jim, but that as a fatherless generation, we have men that we can be spurred on by. And in the same point we also have amazing women. Even if they are gone. Paul even urged Timothy and others to follow him as he followed Christ.
So reading about Piper, Spurgeon, has got more than just facts about people.

The next entry is all personal things I speak of and think on.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fruit in Eternity

"I trust that eternity will reveal fruit from the effort." - Jim Elliot

I will give you what God has being revealing to me, but first wanted to give you some updates on ministry here.

Things at the Well, have been going through some changes. Some changes in programs and some, in some of the women and men. There are five from the ministry up at a Bible training school. They are doing very well and some are really growing. There could be some future prophets or preachers in the group. Maybe not right away, but everything has it's processes.
As for the rest of the Women at the Well, there has been a lot of sickness going around. Fevers, and headaches are the worst of them. There has been two babies recently born from the women at the center. There are plenty of other ones also crawling around at the center. Jesus, we need some fathers!
Jim has been really challenging the men and women, to really grow and become leaders of their community. On our little Sunday gatherings, call it church, or what ever your liking, Jim has really been challenging and encouraging the women to step out in faith. To walk in the authority of Jesus in the things they do. Like telling others about Jesus, or reaching out to their families, and neighbors. To Love their neighbors has been a focus in these discussions and teachings also.

So that's a little snap shot of life at the Well. Mr. Larson has his own blog at . So if you want to hear other stories or insights you can check it out. I don't know, I think he's kinda cool;)

Personally I have been encouraged, by some new friends I have made recently. I met Add and Juup just this past week. Thai young adults, who feel personally called out to make a change in what's going on around them. They see the pain and hurts, and lost lives. They know the issues plaguing the young people. A lot of the issues are similar to what I grew up watching. Unfaithful fathers, drug addictions, gangs, prostitution, lack of education, no families, poor values, etc. Straight up like the hood! I talked to Add for some time over lunch, as he told his story, my spirit just got lifted. His talked about some of his family members being drug dealers, and having to live in a church for part of his life just got me. Man, isn't this God not incredible? How was he spared? For some reason he took to going to church. He realized the power of God and his life had been changed from there on in. Gradually being blessed with a group of believers that loved him like family, and then moving on to University. I didn't get to speak to Juup much until this pass weekend, as I spent a night in their neighborhood, and got to worship with their house church group. It was bangin! (awesome) She has a happy, affectionate spirit. She too wants to do something about the Kingdom. God raises up soldiers to win, Amen. Do we really want to do something about the lost? I once read that "We don't believe something simply by saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it where true." - Dallas Willard

I feel like God has answered my cries for friendship. For brothers and sisters to build this Kingdom on earth with. To start really loving on the inner city, working class people. Add told me that he had never met a man that reached out to prostitutes, until he met Jim. I said,"Jesus hung out and loved on women like that in his ministry." He just thought for a bit and smiled. And nodded in agreement, and let out a "Yea".

If God could take me out of Kensington, North Philly, then anything is possible through his transforming power and love. It took time, but God is so faithful! I have always felt like the hood doesn't define me, but Christ does. But God chose to raise me up in a hurting broken place. I don't speak about it to pump me up, but I glorify the father in his amazing plans. I will always remember my times playing in the fire hydrant in the summer, because we didn't have a park to swim in. Or running in the house, because a shoot out just broke out. I never thought I would ever live to see 16 years of age, let alone leave the city. Can anything good come from Nazareth? I know it. It can come out of these streets, slums, suburbs, rich communities and hoods of Bangkok too. I will trust that eternity will show fruit, so no use in sitting here and waiting for eternity, I got work to do.

"What if you where dead in sins, and Christians over looked Y'all; This is why we leave the couch and leave the comforts of our house, to show a dying world a God they probably never read about!" - Lecrae Moore (Christian Rapper)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Another visit to Cambodia

As you cross the border from Thailand to Cambodia, you are immediately convinced that you are in another country. The roads are dusty, some local is trying to rip you off, and there are tons of beggar street kids. I have seen this scene before in other countries, but it's unusual because I live in the country right next to Cambodia, and it doesn't resemble Thailand at all in a lot of ways.

I visited my friends who are working hard to fight along side other ministries against the darkness of sexual exploitation. Especially against small children. In the tiny slum of Svay Pak is where the world's pedophiles come. My friends are working to love, and disciple these young victims. If anything could help these children from the hell they face, it has to be Jesus. I helped out with the children's programs for two days, and loved it. The children remembered me from the last time I was there. "Frankie" they yell with their little cute voices. Did some hip-hop dancing while I was there. Well, these kids can throw down! They do these break dance moves that leave your mouth hanging open. I had so much fun playing with them. I feel sad that I can't stay longer. But glad that my friends are committed to stay as I am committed to Thailand. As for the rest of the area around Phnom Penh, it's just as sad. As soon as the sun falls, the brothels, and bars open up for business. And late at night the prostitutes flood the city parks, and ladyboys come out also.

It is hope that gets most of us out of the cloud of darkness that fills some of these areas of injustice. There is hope for these Southeast Asian countries in which people of being taken advantage of, and satan is taking souls. Although there are plenty of organizations out to help, there is still the need for long term workers. Especially for the locals to rise up in the name of Jesus, and take their own children from this grip of death, and tragedy. I was reminded of this as I stood a night on the way to Phnom Penh, in Siem Reip. I was shopping for a sim card, when I noticed some people's eyes fixed on the sky. I looked and saw something I have never seen in my young life. Not one full and colorful rainbow, but two! Maybe we have forgotten the reason rainbows fill the air on a rainy day. It's God reminder that he will not flood the earth once more, no matter how wicked we are. But more than that it's the hope of glory, for all who see the colorful reminder. These three remain faith, hope and love.

Been reading a book written by the man who wrote,"Terrify No More", Gary A. Haugen. A book that is well known in the fight for the victims of sex trafficking, It documents a bust done in Svay pak. That's right the same place I just told you about. Well, he wrote another book called,"Just Courage". I love it when people challenge me. I am not done with the book, but one thing is clear, God is all about JUSTICE! But the sad fact is to do the real hard, dangerous work, it takes some courage. Courage our soft little Christian world, wants little to do with. We have fear. There is one plan to reach these hard areas of the world where spreading the gospel into hostile countries, or rescuing a child out of a brothel, or coming face to face with war zones, can mean harm, persecution, and sacrifice beyond our comfort. The plan is us. Not just us of course. God ultimately holds the cards. Jesus did his thing, dieing for the sins of the world, resurrecting, and sending his Holy Spirit. But who's job is it to physically do the rescuing? We are the hands and feet.

There is tons of scripture pointing to the responsibility of God's children to up hold justice, and mercy. A few Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 61:1, Proverbs 14:31, Proverbs 18:5, Micah 6:8, Matthew 23:23. But none of it can be fully understood, without our minds and hearts being like God's. What I mean by saying that, is that the source, of all these acts of courageousness, justice and mercy, is his love in being in relationship with him. So don't get me wrong, working against these things are what I am all about. But, to do things just for the cause erases Jesus from the picture. I have seen people with my own eyes, get hammered just by the emotional toll working in this world of sexual exploitation, and they haven't had time to face the spiritual warfare aspect of it! One of my favorite writers, Oswald Chambers of course, says it like this,"Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to him, not what we do for him".

Let's keep fighting my brothers and sisters. I am not into hiding my light under fear. Fear is just a word.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I cried in a mall

It's funny when and where God can and will speak to you. Even the fact that he speaks to us can captivate me. With all the planning we tend to do, the thing we can't plan for, is how we will respond when God calls us out. Jonah ran away. Abram packed up his stuff and went. Moses made excuses. Paul laid down his accomplishments, and body. It's the story Jesus tells us about the house on sandy ground and the storm comes. It's the parable he tells us about the seed that falls on the thorns. Will our foundation lack real relationship and trust in God? Will the worries of this world get us? When we finally learn to listen to God, do we actually carry out what he says? When we find out how much we have to give up, do we want it anymore?

I didn't know what I was getting into when I stepped out of my box, and help lead a group teenagers, and college students to Africa. Never gone further then Texas up to that point, and yet God wanted this ghetto kid who grew up eating cheese whiz sandwiches, playing baseball in the middle of the street, playing in a fire hydrants in the summer time cause we had no pools, to lead. My next step was to quit my job, sell my truck and give away my dog. A year later and 4 trips to Africa brought me to another decision.

There was a group of some crazy missionary friends that wanted to form a group to reach the unreached places of the world. Dangerous corners where darkness claims the territory and peoples hearts. And God called this hood kid who, had no father to raise him, lived on welfare, stared into death at the end of a gun, to join these people. And so I hitched hiked to Kansas City, to go to a church plant school, with no money.

I end up in the country landscape of Thailand starring at rice fields. Again with a decision. Do I stay or do I go home. Let me tell you what kept me grounded in all those instances of my life, and how it led to living here. It started with a God who loved me enough to die and resurrect for my sins, Amen. This God called me out. So I faced God several times with this idea that he wanted to turn the world upside down for him and wants me to be a part in it. I got on my knees and said "Lord if i can't give up all that I have right now for you, then why do I say I believe. I am ready." Months later when God spoke to me to go, and there I was facing the fire. But each time I choose, I did it cause that is what he requires of me. Because I love him.

All this takes me to 2 weeks ago. I was coming back from taking care of some business at the US embassy, when I decided to take a break and get something to eat. I stepped into this nice little mall. I stopped at a book store just to browse. I found the South Asia book section. Books on, brothels in Singapore, prostitutes in Pattaya, Thailand, lady boys in Thailand, the poor in Burma, War and depression in Cambodia. Images filled my head like I had downloaded them off of itunes or something. I walked out and headed towards the Burger King. As I walked each women working in the place reminded me of all the broken, empty, torn hearts that I see everyday. Each man reminded me, of generations lost of fathers and killed off in wars. I cried in that mall. I wept hard inside. As people sipped up their Starbucks, I was trying not to break down in sorrow.

How does this all connect? Did God show Abram the land that he would give his offspring? Did God give a detailed plan of the things that would test the heart of David? Job know because he obeyed, he would lose it all? If we are only concerned with God then we understand why we have to do things to some degree. Psalms 25:12 "Him shall he teach in the way he chooses". But what is certain we should Believe, not just know about it, Believe! Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but things that are revealed belong to us and our children forever...".

I don't write this being the example of faith, I think some of you know me to well to claim that, but to say, Yes to God is a step closer to finding out who he meant for you to be. To share his heart for the world. I am an apostle to South East Asia! I cry out for these people.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal

Monday, May 25, 2009

A good Word, God's heart in ME

Even though I am young, I come to truly believe that over the past years the revelation of; my Heart being good because Christ is in me, and the central point of the kingdom of God is a true relationship with Jesus Christ, are ground breaking truths. We all know that Frank! Know with your head or know with your Heart?

If you could go to the concordance of your Bible and look up all the functions of the heart you probably would be refreshed severely. Notice that the Heart has eyes(Eph.1:18), gets circumcised(Rom.2:29), makes music(Eph.5:19), is where our spirits dwell(1Cor.1:22), we believe with it(Rom.10:9), our desires are there(Matt.6:21), God's laws are written on it(Heb.10:16), love with it(Dt.6:5), so on and so on. So where does God go when he wants to know what really is going on with you, and not your usual "I am doing good" answer on Sunday mourning? Your Heart!(1Sam.16:7) Not only did he create it, and knows it(Lk.16:15), but he pimped it out! Now how about those ideas of our Hearts being evil, and dark, and deceitful, and blah blah blah. A trick of the enemy my brothers and sisters. Last time I checked I am a child of God. God removed that Heart and gave me a new one. We don't function like that. And the pure in heart, cleanse my heart, creating in me a new heart, songs make no sense if we don't believe that our hearts have been truly changed for the good. Before you start thumbing trough your Bible looking for an argument, stop an see what your doing. Are you fighting this to say that your heart is wicked? What team are you on? Gotcha! That devil been lying to you again. I can go on and on, but just wanted to make the point that as a follower in Christ your Heart does not function in the ways of the world; it belongs to God. Sure we lend it out, to our flesh sometimes, or completely ignore it and let the enemy borrow it, but God is sovereign! To borrow an analogy from Mr. John Eldredge, if our bodies are God's temples, then consider the Heart as the Holy of Hollies. I have a Good heart!

The other issue I had is this follow Jesus thing. Man there are so many things to follow when you come into the Christian world. Now do I serve my local church, or go overseas? Do I get my seminary degree, or go to a training course? Do I wear a tie, or rock my fitted(wear my baseball cap)? Too much noise I came to find out. As the Lord tended to my heart, I began to spend intimate time with him, and soon discovered that if I don't get right with you Lord, I am just working for other Christians. Which in it's self is not bad at all. It was suppose to be a lot simpler than where it has come. He said, "seek first the kingdom of God", ok I will do that but in the mean time, I got these bills to pay. He said, "ask and I will give the nations to you", that's cool but I got this 10 year plan where I have a wife, kids, and swimming pool. He said, "don't worry about your life", good idea first I need to get all my life goals reached, and enough money to get started on not worrying. Jesus did not say that any person who takes no thought about his life is blessed-no, he is a fool! That last sentence Oswald Chambers said. Nothing wrong with those things, they just made everything about following Jesus noisy. As my heart grew for the things on God's heart, it became clear that one of the first things I had to start doing is placing him in the center. The most important thing, and everything else second. I mean like way in the distance for me, like Michael Phelps distance. Where second place feels like seventh. This is a hard discipline to learn. The rest of Matthew 6:33 talks about all these other things shall be added. Things like, calling, God's will, job, how many kids do I have. Tell me how are you suppose to do that when you are busy chasing the answer, and not after God who has the answer? Remember what Jesus said ,would choke the word out of us, in the parable of the seeds? The devil right? Wrong! He said "the worries of this world".

Did David have a heart after God? Yes! Did he do all those stupid things, after or before he gave his heart to God? Point is he followed God, and his heart was God's. Imagine what the world would be if Christians believed that God gave them a good heart, and that Jesus lived in them, and they followed Jesus' words. We have it. A mentor of mine Jim Bailey once said,"he is with you always, the kingdom of God is that close".

Friday, May 15, 2009

My dreams and meeting U and Kay

I had a dream last night and this is the way it went.

I was on a bike just enjoying the moment and my surroundings. A women came my way also riding a bike. As we crossed paths she clumsily ran into me. I thought at least she did. We exchanged words and basically I argued that she was going the wrong way and should watch where she is going, and she disagreed. We went our separate ways. I followed her with my eyes and saw that she was provocatively dressed, her make up was running off and She looked worn out. She looked like a prostitute. She ran right into what looked like a closed garaged door. All I could think was, "does this women have any clue where she is going"? I continued riding and after some minutes our paths crossed again. She saw me coming and I saw her. But still she ran into me again. Again I scolded her about her lack of "direction". Again I just stood still as she took off again, kind of looking disgruntled. She rode right into another closed door. Again I shook my head in amazement, at the lack of control this women had. She turned the bike and started again after running into this closed door, but ran into a railing, lost her balance and fell over the railing, and proceeded to fall down to her... I don't know. I was too horrified in the dream to look to see what had happened to the woman. I woke up at that point. My heart raced...

The last two nights I have been out to the bars doing outreach with visiting short term groups. I plan on going tonight also. I connected with these two teen girls the other night, although they say they are older. I introduced Jim to them last night so that he can share with them further the heart of the ministry and just overall know more about them. I am think they are about 16 and have been working there for a week. For the sake of prayer, and keeping their identity, I will call them U and Kay. They come from the Northeast area of Thailand as most, and have no other way of making money, so they think. They seem real lost about why they are there, but also open to what we had to say. I am really praying for these two girls, as well as others we are building relationships with in the bars. But we just remember that God timing is perfect, and can only wait for him to become their Lord. Some times the girls have come out in waves into the ministry and sometimes there is a dry spell. Right now it is a dry season, but we have faith that God never sleeps!

One thing that gets to me is the inappropriate touching these women go through. Granted some of them have grown use to the fact that it comes with the job. But I know they don't like it. Doesn't it get me angry? Righteously angry! Men who lack any kind of respect for God's precious daughters. You know what is TRUTH; Christ died for them all.

Pray for U and Kay, and for the Lords time and heart to be before us. Pray for outreach tonight as I go out with another group tonight.

What do you think of that dream? I want to let you know that God doesn't give me dreams often, but when I ask for it, man he gives them to me! It spoke to me on various levels, but would love to hear from my brothers and sisters.

With Love

Sunday, May 10, 2009


One of the ways the bible records Jesus did outreach, was house visitation. Thailand culture is welcoming to this so it's not a big idea. In different African I experience the same kind of treatment. And most of the time, it ended up in just sharing life over a meal. The same case as in Thailand. Middle eastern culture is said to be very much the same. A welcoming home, with a meal. So we read in scripture that Jesus would encounter the same. In fact it seemed like a lot of things were done over some kind of get together. The first miracle, meals with tax collectors, the 5,000 fed, the last supper, and so on and so forth. Is there something to this visiting someone's house thing? 

I have been going out with Jim more and more to do visits with former Well students, who went away for different reasons, and most not good. One of them is a bright, pretty 19 old girl who is working at a local bar, and is a heavy alcoholic. First we caught up with her while she was out working the bar. She seemed kind of open to coming back. Then Jim and I returned a couple days later to an apartment she was at. Not the most promising site, as I entered the room, it just smelled like cigarettes, beer and body oder, and her alone with four other guys. So Jim talked for a while, while I just sat and scoped out the place. They seemed so bored. When people here have no jobs, motivation or anything to live for, they just sleep eat and drink. She was unwilling to come back or cut any other deal to get her back to her feet. Sad, but sometimes you have to just let God deal with people the hard way.

The same day we first visited that girl, we also attempted to visit two other former Well students. I say attempt because both times we went, they were passed out. This drug that is popular here is called BAYA, and is described as a crystal meth type drug. They are both strung out on it. But the same day we returned to visit the other girl, we stopped by to visit these girls again. this time they were awake in their little 6x8 room, with no money. One of the girls is 21 and pregnant. The other is a 15 year old cute girl, that Jim had met two years ago working the bars. She was thirteen working at a bar, trying to entertain grown men! We sat with them over a meal Jim bought, and just talked. Jim was catching up with them, and I talked told them a bit of my testimony as Jim translated. It was a good visit though. I think they felt the sincere Love, that we honestly care about them. Both seemed open to coming back to the ministry and trying it out again. Lord knows he has better plan, than just sleeping and getting high.

Pray that these three girls will be kept safe from the traps of the enemy. Pray especially for the 19 year old, whose heart is closed to GOD's Love.

There is something about community living. Sharing in each other's life experiences. Taking the time out of our life to give it to others for the sake of Christ. I like it a lot. Be encouraged to open your home, or visit someone, and have church right there. Maybe bring over a bucket of chicken, or some tacos. So get over feeling like your invading someone's space. Or intruding. That's just a western thinking pattern. Let's get Kingdom minded and Love. Follow Jesus.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A little taste of Philly and praises

This past Sunday I helped out with the worship team in a International Church near by. I used to play percussion at my church back home in Philly. Shout out to CCC! After the service, I mingled around and spokemet to some nice guys. I met one guy who's dad was born in Philly! So my new friend George, is an EAGLES fan! He bleeds green like me. Also a PHILLIES fan to add. World Champs! At a time where I am really missing some comforts, God has really blessed me with a connection. I don't know where it will go, but It also turns out that he George also has a heart to bring together believers in my age range. You know the type that is not married, out of college life. So I hope this will be a good way to start connecting with more people.

The other day after running around taking care of some errands, I stopped to get something to eat. I saw a burger and pizza sign. I was such in a mood for a burger. After sitting down for just a few minutes, I ordered my burger, and the owner of the place came out to chat. His name is Stanley and he is Canadian. But he had spent enough time in the states where he didn't really have an accent. He said he had just opened, and that he was tired of eating lousy American food here and wanted to make real stuff. Then he said something, that sounded beautiful to my ears. He said he had a friend from West Chester, which is just outside of Philly, who made CHEESE STEAKS. He said he was thinking about trying to make them part of the menu. Is God great. He knows how to treat his children.

Apart from Cheese steaks and, having a nice little restaurant, I enjoyed Stanley's company. We had interesting conversations about missions, and the Christian faith. But maybe God has a bigger plan. I know what you Philadelphians are thinking, a bigger plan than having CHEESE STEAKS? Yea, bigger than that. I felt like it won't be the last we talk about Christ over a good burger.

Some ministry news as well. One of the guys who was part of the Well ministry was recently released from jail. Praise HIM! He is back working at the Well. He has one of the women at the Well pregnant, so we pray that God has a plan for him, and for him to receive Christ as his savior. Today Jim, and I talked of starting a new ministry, that would allow the men who come to the ministry and do something other than card making. So Jim thought, maybe come general construction business, or landscaping to start. It would also be a discipleship tool to teach the men some integrity in the ways of Jesus. More importantly, just love them like brothers. So it's just brain storming, but God is the one we want to glorify in the end. Pray for these kind of ideas to reach out to the men in Thailand. For the men to become fathers to their children, and to fight for their families, and become God fearing husbands. AMEN!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bar outreach and following Jesus

Jim and I, and a friend went into the bars the other night, for outreach. I might have explained what I mean by bar outreach in an email several months back, but allow me to describe it for you.

Southeast Asia is very well known for it's sex tourism. The way it looks in Bangkok is nothing short of a human rental system. It's like your neighborhood Blockbuster. Big illuminated sign out front. You can go in and check out the merchandise in HD. Then after browsing around, you can check one out. You know rent one out for a couple of days, or just a night. If you don't like what you see, or liked what you tried out, you can go to the next store next door, or down the street. I hope you followed all the analogies I used with out being too vivid. It is a degrading, distasteful, money making line of business. The bar areas are in dead end streets with various, "message parlors, bars, and hotels". But some are just out right Go-Go bars. Loud music is common. Neon lights flash and women hang out front half naked at times, sitting there waiting for customers. Not all women have sex with customers. Some just entertain them. Some are real pushy, while others are quite sweet. They have people working the doors trying to pitch their bar to you. There are also plenty of Ladyboy bars in these areas also. They seem to be the more aggressive ones. Often I don't get by a Ladyboy bar without getting physically touched. A Ladyboy is what a transvestite or, very feminized man is called in Thailand. It's very common in Thailand, and well excepted in society. You really have to do a double take and convince your self that they are men. They can look very convincing as women. A regular sin bin of drugs, sex, and whatever else they can think of. So we go in these bar areas with Jesus living in us.

This was my third time doing outreach in the bars. We made our rounds to some of the women who Jim knows and checked up on them. We also met some new ones. I met Nan, as Jim was talking with another women he knows who works in a bar. She was very nice and open to talk. And, most are since they make a living doing it. But I sensed the Spirit just guide me in conversation just making small talk. At this point in being here, 3 months, I can carry a small conversation pretty well in Thai. She told me, she was from Surin, a town not that from from where I stayed out in Buriram province. She asked what I was doing here in Bangkok. Very quickly I sense she knew I wasn't there for what most men are there for. Which is not bad. Love is a powerful tool. Let the light shine in dark places, my brothers and sisters! After a short while of talking, I introduced her to Jim, who can speak and understand a good amount of Thai. He got deeper with her, and found out she had no children, and was working in the bar cause she needed a job. Jim gave her the info for the Well, and left her an open door to come.

This may look like a senseless ministry environment. How could anything good come from that place? But once again we serve a God who rewrites the book on impossible everyday. In fact The women I helped serve out in Buriram, for my first three months here, came out of one of these same bars. She had worked in one for 4 years. Jim reached her, God did the work, and now she is serving the Lord full force out in her village. There are several women in the Well, with the same story, or with even worse cases. The ministry I help with Jim and his wife, is called the Well, because of the testimony of the women at the well in John 4. Jesus met her there. Where she was. He showed her love, spoke truth to her and showed his true self to her. She ran to her village, and testified about him. Pray for these outreaches.

" Only by walking with God can we hope to find the path that leads to life. That is what it means to be a disciple. After all-aren't we "followers of Christ"? Then by all means, let's actually follow him. Not ideas about him. Not just principles. HIM."
- John Eldredge
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. That is all I can try to do with my life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Getting real

Well, for those of you who know me, know that I value real hearts, and real relationships. So starting life here has been hard. Because I want to be personal with everyone. But with a language barrier, it makes it hard to do so. Also the cultural barrier as well. Not only as an American, but a Hispanic American. So what I have been feeling lately is a bit of loneliness. Weird you might think. I have a great host family who encourages me. I work in an environment where there are tons of loving people. Yet, I feel by myself at times. It's the starting a new life, in a new place I guess. No one really knowing who I am. No friendships with any kind of history. God has been hitting me hard in this area, in my times alone with him. At times I feel really sad. I anticipate the day when I can have a family of my own and not be alone anymore. But there will be times when I will feel alone in those times too. But, there is the side of me, let's call it the Holy Spirit, who knows to well, that God can work through me very well in my loneliness and singleness.

I know that all this will take time, and it's perfectly normal to feel lost in the beginning. After all, God works best with those who don't feel like they know it all. I think he calls it being humbled.

There are some financial needs coming that I need to address. I have found a motorbike to purchase for transportation. I am getting ready to enroll in a language school, to learn Thai formally. I have started to learn with a tutor two days a week. Also starting to come up with ministries with the men and women in the area. So pray on it. But if you know that you heart is connecting with the ministry here and want to support it, just email me. God Bless

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dancing Machine

The past two days where my first with, the Well. I enjoyed just being around the women and children. I walked around and had small talk with most of the students there. There are few men there. But I hope and pray, that GOD is moving in these men, and that I can be a light to them. Wednesdays and Thursdays, are days that they learn English, and have small group Bible studies. I have been asked to help out in the English classes. I don't remember liking English in school, but it's a different thing when you know the some of the women's stories, and look into the eyes of the children. Jesus does wonders for the heart. So here I am, Mr. Frank, English teacher.

Jim and I have been talking about some ministry ideas for the local Thai people. One of the ideas, was to teach Hip Hop. Now, I love to dance, but don't consider my self good enough to be an instructor. "Become all things to man", the apostle Paul's famous words. But more importantly to me, is the presence of the Holy Spirit filling me up with courage, and equipping me. God is so good. Today was the first day of classes. They loved it! I just started with some basic moves. They started out very shy, but soon enough, we were all dancing a little routine I made up. Jim thought it would be a good idea to include a little Thai traditional dance moves to the mix. So I mixed it in with some old school Tut moves. Jim asked them how often do the want to practice; "Tuk wan", transliteration for "everyday!" Good thing the Thai people love the urban culture. God knew what he was doing when he placed me in the hood. Pray that God can really use this to give them joy, and confidence.

Pray for these opportunities to reach out to these broken hearts, and fill them with everlasting life. I hope you think twice when you hear the loud bass coming from a speaker, and rap yelling at your ear. God made all things, including HIP HOP.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Some thoughts

It's official, I am staying in Bangkok indefinitely. I must say that this decision is a hard one, but I have been elected and chosen.

So I have been sending emails about what was going through my mind, and the things I saw and was experiencing in my time here. I felt the strongest impression about a month into staying here that this could be home. It's easy to plug oneself in any situation out of a need basis. "There is hunger in this country I need to feed them!""There is a shortage of hospitals in this town, I need to help them!""There are children in brothels becoming sex slaves, I need to rescue them!" All these examples are cause for action, but what action? Long term or short term aid has been something of an enigma for me. Both has it's upsides. But how about the monkey and the fish situation? You know the story of the monkey thinking that he had helped the fish, because he thought he had rescued it out of the struggling waters. Then when he put it on the ground, the monkey thought it was happy to be rescued, because it seemed to flop around with joy. When in actuality it killed the fish in its "good intentions." I am not here for good intentions. I want to come along side what the Lord is already doing here. My heart is to share his heart and plan for the lost here. To further disciple the believers here. To look in the eyes of the broken hearted and tell them what Jesus sees in them.

Your fellow brother in Christ,
Francisco Santiago III