Sunday, 18 November 2012

Thailand: News 2012 up to November

Hi everybody.

This is Doug and Fiona Higgins in Thailand. We want to give you a short update as to what we are doing and how your partnership with us is making a difference in Thailand and beyond.

This is specifically to say thankyou to you for partnering with us over the journey and particularly in 2012. You are very special and precious people to us.

2012 has been a stretching and stressful year but God is so gracious towards us.

James turned 21 on the 1st & married Twyla Byers on the 2nd.
Ruth, who has been an awesome help to us returned to Australia to raise funds so she can come back here.
Doug & Fiona travelled to Perth for the Influencers conference and a general catch up there. We had a great time of refreshing and being ministered to.
Phase one of the Nail Poverty building project moved closer to completion. Thanks to everyone for funds, prayers and people. This project is making a difference in the community.
A time of reconnecting with Dim and everything that is still going on through the court system in Maesai. A team came in from Melbourne and helped in a number of ways in moving the Youth Hub project forward. Doug flew out to Melbourne and hit the ground running for 10 weeks of deputation, in which I was able to visit with most of our partners and cover 17,000 KM in the 10 weeks. Marc & Liz, thankyou so much for the use of the car. It was (and is) an absolute Godsend.
Doug drove from Melbourne to NW Vic, to Adelaide, to country S.A. to Canberra, to Sydney and back to NE Vic. During the time managed 105 various types of meetings and started pre reading for commencement of a Masters Degree with Harvest Bible College. Doug also managed to change beds & locations 15 times during the month. Fiona was enjoying some much-needed family time in Wangaratta and the working Thailand moved forward progressively. The fist stage of the Nail Poverty project has been completed. PTL.
Doug spent most of Sydney based in Melbourne and Sydney, traversing between the two. He also commenced a return to study after a long time our of the study loop. Thankyou so much to my hosts for looking after me extremely well. I really do appreciate this as does Fiona, knowing that in the midst of a lot of travel I am being well cared for.
In the first two weeks of May Doug travelled from Melbourne to S.E S.A. then to S.E. Vic and a quick trip to Sydney. Doug & Fiona arrived back into Thailand for a series of meetings around the subject of church planting, leadership development and outreach. We are being drawn more fully towards church planting, leadership development, and education at various levels, assisting at risk children and doing community development projects which complement these areas. There is nothing new in this, but we are redefining what this looks like.
One team in from Sydney and one in from various locations were able to work together and make a difference. The outworking was a successful dental clinic and inroads into a successful church plant. We ministered Holy Ghost style into the life of a Presbyterian church on the Thai Burma border, and according to the pastor it has breathed life into the life of the church. PTL.
A build team in assisting at Wiang Papao did a great job. The house is now (November) well on the way to completion. We prepared for the annual conference in Phuket, which is always a great time of refreshing in the life of the missionaries. It also ushered in Doug’s 2nd M.A. class. James & Twyla were heavily involved the Pan Asia conference. It is great to be working together shoulder to shoulder with your children in ministry.
We commenced August with the Pan Asia conference immediately followed by the M.A. class (Doug is a student) and the arrival for 2 weeks of Ruth to help us with the administrative bookwork. Pray for Ruth’s more permanent return to us. We also had a building team in and they did a great job in Wiang Papao.
Doug & Fiona were able to get away for a few days break before Doug flew to Perth for a week of church planting oriented meetings. It was great to be able to spend a day sitting under the wisdom of Dr Samuel Chand. We were able to take some principals and will be applying them to what we are doing in Thailand. We finished the week off with Doug attending a leaders camp in Chiang Rai and Fiona attending a women’s camp in Chiang Mai.
Early October was dedicated to administration and a team from a partner church. This was a brilliant opportunity for the team to see what we are involved in Thailand. The work appears to be quite diverse but it always points in the direction of increasing the Kingdom of God for eternity. Doug & Fiona attended a 2 week counselors course in Chiang Mai. This was a big decision for us as it was expensive and very intense. Seven of the ten presenters have at least one earned PhD in clinical psychology or a related discipline. This was a brilliant and very practical course, which will assist us into the future in many different ways.
Snakes, death and partnership departures have been the theme of November for us this year. Between Australia and Thailand there have been 3 snakes in the yard or in the house. Very scary considering the Australian brown snake and the Thai King Cobra are two of the most dangerous snakes going around. We also had the very sad news that Doug’s brother Ken lost his wife Tracy who was only 46 years of age when she died of a massive and totally unexpected heart attack. We also got the news that one of our long-standing partners has to cease partnering with us and our home church has to reduce its pledge to us as well. Please pray with us through these things as we realize that there are times of testing and pruning and that God is in control, but we are also responsible for our actions and for what we contribute in our time on earth.
We are looking forward to December. We have a team with us for part of the time and December is a time of outreach and a more intense focus on outreach and church planting. Pray that it will be a brilliant time as we pray towards seeing several hundred people added to the Kingdom of God and that sustainable churches will be planted in this time. It is also a time to reach out to villages to show them the tangible reality of Gods love.

Thankyou for partnering with us so faithfully and diligently and being willing to make a difference in Thailand and the surrounding nations.

This table reflects what has been achieved in the year October 2011 to September 2012. We work together with a number of different people and churches God has drawn us to since arriving over eleven years ago in April 2001.

Churches planted: 73
Leaders trained: 630
Children helped: 283
People or teams hosted: 163
Salvations: 750
Baptisms in water: 245
Baptisms in the Holy Spirit: 78
Development project beneficiaries: 70
Preaching/Teaching appointments 146
Major & minor projects 17
Different locations slept in 84
Kilometres driven 63,738
Various meetings attended 1019

We look forward to sending you our Christmas update shortly, but we just wanted to say a special thankyou to you for partnering with us and making a difference together in Thailand and the surrounding nations. Together we are making a difference.

Blessings to you.

Doug & Fiona Higgins.
Your missionaries in Thailand.

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