Some of Our Teammates in Thailand

Some of the people we work with. From top to bottom Andrew from Newfoundland, will be teaching English in Takua Pa, South Thailand. Andrew is also a musician, loves ice cream and a good guy to watch the World Cup with; Next pic:Oum is our children's pastor. Oum will be one of our first Thai cross-cultural missionaries when she goes to Nepal later this year; Next pic: Ly-Mei, is Cavelle's full-time assistant heading up ERDO projects in the south. She is incredibly organized and efficient. She also has a weakness for mashed potatoes. Next pic: Tim, Yoke and Nuch from New Generation Ministry. Tim works with youth, Yoke with Campus. Nuch is our former Campus Intern and now works with Cavelle assisting with her embassy work. All three have been to Canada.


So what's Cavelle up to?

So what's Cavelle up to? I mean besides chasing after Matthew, being pregnant with another and trying to make sure Peter says on the straight and narrow. Well, she balances a few things: on behalf of ERDO--Emergency, Relief and Development Overseas--the humanitarian arm of the PAOC, Cavelle continues to oversee staff and projects in Thailand. This includes the monthly sponsorship of 70 tsunami-impacted children in two schools, the set-up and operating of a daycare on Phi Phi Island, and responding to new disasters, like the recent flooding and mudslide in northern Thailand that buried dozens of people and left 100,000 people homeless.

As well Cavelle sits on the Board of the Jaisamarn Foundation. This is a foundation linked to our local church. Their current project is building a senior's residential complex for the elderly on land donated to the church outside of Bangkok. Cavelle is involved in helping to raise over 1 million CAD budget for the project, as well as assist with the project oversight.

Finally, Cavelle is one of the key people fronting the Canadian government's effort to support peace and reconciliation in the deep south of Thailand. While the situation is not one that gets a lot of press in Canada, an on-going insurgency by separatist forces in the predominantly Muslim south of Thailand, has led to the deaths of about 1400 people in the last 18 months, most at the hands of the police and terrorist groups. Cavelle is busy travelling to the area on a regular basis and working with local groups and concerned citizens to come up with ideas to help those living in the area. The issues are complex; the majority Muslims in the area feel ostracized by the Thai government and treated as second class citizens; many do not speak the Thai language but speak a Malay dialect; corruption among government officials is epidemic; poverty is rampant and basic needs among the people such as clean water and access to medical care is lacking; hundreds of Muslim people have been apprehended under Thai military law and locked up in local detention centres without access to legal assistance and due process (and many would argue without evidence to support their crime); still hundreds others have disappeared without any knowledge of what has happened to them. There are no easy solutions to these difficulties but Cavelle is working with many local people to try to organize community based responses and implement local solutions.

What's interesting is that Cavelle has the opportunity to meet some the most significant Islamic leaders in Thailand. As a traditional missionary this would never happen. Very few of these individuals have ever met a Christian. Any opinion of Christianity would largely be shaped by their view of Western military action in the Middle East. So while Cavelle is not going to get on a soapbox and preach to these leaders, her life does speak about the kindness and grace of God. Please pray for Cavelle as she builds bridges with the people of Thailand's deep south.


Bangkok Celebrations

These are a couple of beautiful pictures of the Grand Palace area of Bangkok during the historic 60th anniversary of the King's ascension to the this month.



This New Year’s was as unique as we’ve ever had. First of all, as a family we didn’t celebrate together. Instead, I (Peter) took Cavelle’s brother, Roger and niece, Deanne along a short ministry trip with about 25 Thai young people to the far north of Thailand. The destination was two extremely remote hill tribe villages in Mae Hong Song a mountainous province bordering Burma. One of our churches has been working with these communities for some time now, and they asked if we could help them out.

The first lacked running water, electricity and, of course, the beloved Starbucks that most of our city kids have come to know and love. Everyone lived in basic bamboo huts. The temperature was cold--+5º C overnight, but warm hearts welcomed us. This Karen village was 100% Christian. We enjoyed an evening of worship, songs, some games sharing from the Word and prayer. By morning we were back on the road to the next village, a few kilometres away if we were to hike, but hours by vehicle. This community had Catholic roots, but few had ever come to a place of putting their trust in Christ. We walked around the village introduced ourselves, and invited the community to an evening outreach. Much of the community came that night unsure of what to expect, but by the evenings close about 20 stood to indicate their desire to turn from their old life and put their complete trust in Jesus Christ.


In the middle of March we brought a team of eight Vanguard College students and staff to Takua Pa, the region hardest hit by the tsunami. The team had two objectives: one, to serve the local church by ministry at the church by conduct an English camp at the local high school where a small group of students have put their trust in Christ This camp was another step in strengthening the relationship between the church and school and. The second objective was to assist local missionaries (and members of our church in the south) in building access bridges to a remote Burmese village in the jungle. The bridges will lead to a new ‘tree house’ school for a community that has no access to education. They endured lots of heat and torrential rain in completing construction on a bridge, but the fruit was not just a bridge--on the final day of their ministry a gentleman from Ban Nam Khem, a family member of another new convert decided to put his trust in Christ.


Every Thursday I met with our initial group of Campus Missionary Interns. Yoke is already a Campus Pastor, Oun is a full-time university student, and Nud has dedicated a year to service and ministry training.Each week the interns have homework related to a program of study called “Bible-Centred Leadership” by Bobby Clinton. We talk about specific Campus ministry issues; personal mentorship issues, and explored the differences between Western and Thai university students. We also had guests: Ian and Heather Clemons from Michigan, former Campus Ministers at MiT in Boston; Pastor Mark Running from Alberta and Daniel Sauve from St. Fancis Xavier in Nova Scotia. These provided for ‘roundtable’ opportunities where our guests could become orientated to nature of Campus Ministry in Thailand and share the vision as well. At the same time our interns were encouraged by the testimony of our guests as they shared about what God did in their lives during the university years. During the week Yoke, Nud and Oun are busy on campus meeting students and leading small groups. Just this past week we had the fun experience of baptising two students in our bathtub!


Two big developments have happened since we last wrote. The first is, well, how should we say…Cavelle is pregnant! We are looking forward to Matthew having a sibling by early September. The first fours months of the pregnancy were very difficult for Cavelle. She was very sick much of the time, but it seems that the worst has passed. Knowing that another child is on the way we realized that we needed to do something about our housing. Our home was large enough, but with the living spaced spread over several lessons and 47 stairs, we had trouble imagining what it would be like to chase Matthew up and down the stairs with another child in tow. We also were spending 2-3 hours a day in traffic as much of our life is downtown. So after a lot of prayer and looking at lots of different options we decided on a smaller, but modern two bedroom apartment downtown close to the subway, our office, Matthew’s nursery and the church. We are thrilled with the place. The name of the street means cool weather, and really, with all the trees it feels about 5º cooler than our former location, and for a pregnant person that’s a nice benefit. We are two hundred metres from our office which we have set up in another apartment nearby. This apartment will also be home to a new face in Bangkok. Melissa George is coming from BC to work with us for the next two years as a Missionary in Training.

As for Matthew, well he is a very busy, excitable little boy. He is learning new words, love to kiss ‘good night’ and very happy with his lot life. One of his favourite things is to swim. He loves to jump into the deep end, but only if someone is there to catch him. We have a lovely city park nearby with a great play area for kids, so he’s delighted about that. He also enjoys his mornings in nursery school and of course Winnie-the-Pooh and Barney are faithful friends.



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