We wrote this newsletter last week, but have been too busy to release it until now. Thank you for waiting and enjoy!

Remember Why You're Here

(written by Terence)
I was asked to participate in a tournament in downtown Bangkok with Pong, a teammate that we’ve been praying for. Pong had the same desire as me to grow. He wanted to partner with me in the strongest district in Bangkok. So I grabbed the opportunity not to just to compete but to share life with Pong.  

When we arrived on the court, I noticed that there were many pairs that were partners for years. This was Pong and mine’s second time competing in any tournament. We were invisible.  We were the underdogs. But that was okay for me. I find that it’s more fun to compete when you have nothing to lose. I was confident that we were going to go far in the competition, so I was excited. I had a win-streak in the past few weeks with our local team. I was feeling the best I've felt in years. I was getting back in shape, and I had an added bonus of experience and inspiration of having my two beautiful girls cheering me on. 

Pong and I started winning. Some matches were easy, some were more difficult. I guess my face showed my frustration when I or Pong would mess up because Ingrid would get my attention on the court and smile as a cue. When there were water breaks, she would whisper in my ear, “Remember why you are here.” I’d get my head together, and we would win the game. We ended up as the number one in our bracket. We passed through Top 32, then Top 16, Top 8… we were unstoppable! 

As we were preparing for the semi-final match, I saw our opponents fight their previous matches. They were not very strong, but their defense and chemistry made them stand out. They were very cocky and trash-talkers. As we started our game, I wanted to teach them a lesson in humility. I gave 110% power in my smash, but they would return it with ease. I tried to break their defense, but instead it was I who was broken. I felt the responsibility to win was on my shoulders. I did my best. Pong did his best. In the end, our best was not enough. In my entire badminton career, I had never in my life felt so demoralized.

I gave myself so many excuses. If only I had more time to train with my teammate.… Maybe if I had my old partner back in the Philippines.… I should have re-stringed my racket… Then I thought back to Ingrid’s words: Remember why you are here. 

I am so used to shutting up trash talkers with my actions. This was the first time in my life that I tried my hardest and still could not do anything. It was a learning experience. I am not who I used to be. I am no longer the proud Terence I was back in the day. I now know I should focus more on others than myself. I’m not weaker. I’m older. I’m wiser. I’m humble enough to accept a defeat.

I am used to winning on the court so I could win others outside of the court. When you’re good at something, people take you seriously. It was my platform for ministry. I win championships to win others to Christ. That is not the case anymore. It’s a new chapter in my life. There’s a new way of getting people’s attention and that is humility, accepting defeat, admitting wrongs, and passing on my knowledge. As I cheered up Pong and laughed off our loss, I realized: perhaps I can win others through losing, too. 

Your Biggest Asset on the Field

(written by Ingrid)
Badminton courts do not have air conditioning, fans are limited, and there are little to no windows. The reason for this is because the shuttlecock is very light and any slight wind can tamper the game. So badminton courts are made to keep as little wind as possible, and in the Thai heat… and can get very, very, hot. 

While Terence was playing, I had to care for a teething 7-month-old in an oven with hundreds of other people. The water in the court wasn’t working so all bathrooms were out of order. Reilee would get fussy from the heat, lack of naps, and teething pain. She would scream, cry, whine, and I could feel everyone at the court looking at me. She leaked on her clothes THREE times. I couldn’t drive anywhere. My shoulders cannot carry Reilee for long without intense pain. I was stuck until Terence was done. 

The only thing I could do was carry Reilee and walk around the courts trying to calm her and breathe on her neck to cool her down. On our walks, we met Pa Dot, an elderly mother supporting her children in the tournament. We met Pi Mu, another mother to a young competitor. We met Pi Rep, a female referee who could only sing “Baby Shark.” We met a Thai family who used to live in Las Vegas. We met a homosexual athlete and his friends. We met the transgender champion from the year before. We met the court owner who let us stay in his air-conditioned office for as long as we wanted. 

Reilee would be whining until one of our new Thai friends would pop out and say “Cha-eh!” (Thai version of Peek-a-boo!) Reilee would give the biggest smile. I would offer if they would want to carry her (and give my shoulders a break). Reilee would laugh and play with them while I talked to their friends and family in my broken Thai. I was able to introduce my family and a bit of why we were in Thailand through Reilee’s outgoing nature. 

I remembered something from the Mission Strategy Training in Singapore back in 2018. The speaker showed us a beautiful photograph of a mother and a baby in a Creative Access Area. He pointed to the baby and said, “This is your biggest asset on the mission field.” Everyone was silent and looked at the cute baby in the photo processing what he said. I’ll never forget what missionary Luke Cole did after that. He raised his hand and quietly asked,

“Where can I get an Asian baby?” 

Everyone laughed, but it stuck with me. Seeing Reilee despite being tired, hot, and in pain, was able to serve the Thai through a simple smile. She paved the way for an introvert like me to start a conversation with people. Reilee has truly been the biggest asset to our ministry. We thank God for giving us an Asian baby.

Taking a Sabbath

We are now teachers of CIC. Terence is teaching Communicating Christ and Ingrid is teaching Survey of the Bible. Even though the course begins in August, we need to finish our lesson plans, recordings, and creating assignments and tests before then. We will be teaching Asian-Americans in the Metro New York District. 

We were also training teachers on how to teach an online class. After six weeks, our teachers were able to create a short lesson, record themselves, edit and publish their own videos. We are so proud of them! It takes the load off of Terence being the only video editor. He's edited over 60 videos in four months. 

Terence was also asked to speak for our church’s anniversary service. 

It has been very busy with our work, language study, badminton ministry, and taking care of baby girl. Actually, we both got sick. We realized we were in desperate need of a sabbath. We decided that after the badminton tournament, we would stay in a hotel nearby (since we lived over an hour away and we were tired). The hotel had a buy one night, get a second night free, so we were able to spend a whole day resting in a hotel and pool with no gadgets, no emails, no lesson plans, no studio… it was a breath of fresh air. We wish it could have been longer, but we needed to return to work as soon as possible. Until next time!

Prayer Requests

Work Balance: We are thankful that Terence does not have any more videos to edit for a while (except for his own classes). Please pray for us as we try to finish our classes as soon as possible so we can begin other projects for CIC and the Field.

Visas: Although our visas are fine, there are many missionaries who are stuck either in their home country or their assigned country. Visas and work permits expire and sometimes, you need to renew them outside of the country. Since everything is on lockdown, renewing visas, returning home, or returning to their country of assignment has been a nightmare for many of our brothers and sisters. Please keep them in prayer.

Language Study: In the one short month that we've had a tutor, we have grown so much in our language study. Terence is able to have simple conversations and read paragraphs. Ingrid is getting more confident in speaking and writing. We are so thankful for our teacher, Kru Aong!

Church Building: Our home church here in Thailand just celebrated 22 years of being a church! Praise God! They are currently meeting in a house, but are looking for a permanent home. They've saved money for years and now they are looking for a place. Please be in prayer that Oikos Church of the Nazarene will find a building to call home.

2021: As of now, all Home Assignments for all missionaries are canceled until the end of the year. Our Home Assignment is scheduled for 2021, but we pray that we can go home next summer. 

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100/22 Chaiyapruek Village 1,
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Lam Pla Thew, Lat Krabang,
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