"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Helen Keller
Letting Go... Learning to Trust “I give everyone and everything to You, Lord. I give everything and everyone to You.“ This is the prayer we are learning to pray every day thanks to John Eldredge’s "Pause" app. It is challenging us to go deeper in our experience of trusting Jesus with everything and everyone that is important to us. It's like doing a back float in a river and trusting the current (driven by the Holy Spirit) to safely carry us wherever He wants to take us... in His timing. <<First Name>>, we are learning and relearning to lay down our Isaac (the people and things that are most precious to us... even our dreams and plans for the future) and trust the God of the Universe, whose eye is on the sparrow, to take care of us and the things that lay heavy on our hearts. Are you tired of treading water? Do you want to try the back float with us?
Steve and Rebecca Barber in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thai Language Steve has been given until the end of November to intensively study Thai before taking the “baw 6”. This test will be an unbiased assessment of what level he is at. Our team leader wants everyone on our team to show continual improvement toward becoming fluent in the local language where we serve. We think this is a great idea.
Steve is now working with tutors 14 hours every week to learn to read and write Thai as well as expand his conversational skills. He spends most of the rest of his days practicing and studying. He expects to continue to study after November but will need to split his time next year between studying and his normal job duties. Rebecca is starting on this journey too, but since her job duties cannot be completely set aside, her goal is to study and take the test in November 2023. Please pray that our old brains will become sponges and remember everything we are learning!
Favorite new Thai word: ผิดหวัง (pronounced: pitwang) means disappoint. It is a compound word made up of “mistake” + “hope”. Mistaken hope = disappointment. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? Sometimes Thai uses compound words like this that make so much sense, it makes learning the language a little bit easier. Thank You, Jesus!
Above Left: A verse poster Rebecca made. Above Right: Steve preaching.
Ministry Since returning to Thailand last November, we have been walking alongside Pastor Siripawn and attending Chiang Mai Church of the Nazarene. After covid, it was a bit hard to get people used to coming back to church. We have been praying and brainstorming with her about how to re-energize her congregation.
The celebration when we finished studying Philippians.
Thai people love to have fun and Pastor Siripawn longs to see her church members grow in understanding and maturity. What better way to grow than to get into the Word? So in August, we began preaching through the book of Philippians. We encouraged everyone to read the same chapter every day for 1 week and then Steve preached on that chapter. We had a quiz each week before the sermon (complete with prizes!), and Rebecca created posters to help us memorize verses each week. On Sunday, 18 September, we wrapped up the series with a little party after the service, complete with cake from Rebecca and a special meal by the church chef, Saijai.
We are Coming Back! It is hard to believe, but our next home assignment will be May - August 2023. We will also be at the Asia Pacific booth during General Assembly next year. Please come say hi!
We would love to connect with you while we are in the States. Please email us or use the Deputation Scheduling site to request a date. We’d love to speak to a group you are a part of or share coffee or a meal with you, <<First Name>> and catch up on a one-on-one level. We'd love to reconnect!