Monday, 4 November 2013

Thailand: Doug and Fiona Higgins' Capacity News November 2013

Higgins' Capacity News November 2013

Mae Ramat 

In mid-November we will be speaking at a pastors seminar, through our association with Thailand Assemblies of God (TAG), in Mae Ramat. Pastor Nujira Khamphone, who has been working in the area since 2006, invited us to speak along with another long-term worker, Mr. Dan Klepel.

In December 2012 Ps. Nujira formally registered the Empowering Dreams Foundation to provide a platform for the work she’s been doing. She has had a long association with TAG and currently she oversees a child care centre/nursery, personally cares for a number of at-risk girls and is involved in the TAG church. She is highly respected by the people and government officials in Mae Ramat.

During September & October we spent time ministering with Ps. Nujira in the schools, the church and several other places. We are excited about what she is doing in Mae Ramat and we will be exploring further opportunities to assist her & the local church in the coming months.
Ps. Nujira (centre) with some of the girls she assists. Source:Supplied

Current Opportunities

Ps. Nujira has a heart to establish a non-denominational pastors fraternal/association in Mae Ramat. The purpose for this is to provide a local network to support, encourage and unify pastors in the region. It will not be gender-exclusive, though the majority of pastors are men.
The seminar we are teaching at is one step to help facilitate this.

About Mae Ramat

Mae Ramat is a city in close proximity to the Mae Sot refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border. Many people in this area are ‘stateless’; that is, they have no formal documentation and are not recognised as citizens by any country. The drive is over 300kms from Chiang Mai and will take us 5 hours.

The people in Mae Ramat are often vulnerable because of their situation, and the need for local pastors to provide assistance to their community is critical. Many people experience broken relationships, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, crime involvement and separation of parents due to the location of available work. Jesus, shown through the local church, is the hope for these people.
Journey from Chiang Mai to Mae Ramat. Map courtesy of Google Maps

Upcoming Events

We have a team joining us from Western Australia for nearly 3 weeks in early November. We will be traveling to Mae Sot, Mae Ramat, Om Koi, Wiang Hang, Phayao, and around Chiang Mai.

Christmas!! Yes, it's only a few weeks away now... it is a very important time for Christians in Thailand as it is often the busiest period with many opportunities to present the Gospel message.

Overseas travel for James & Twyla (mid-Dec to early Feb), Doug & Fiona (mid-Jan to early Apr).

Prayer Needs

* We believe that we are entering a new season of our work here in Thailand. Please be praying for wisdom, direction and clarity as we continue to serve God and the local people here.

* Upcoming team & opportunities that will arise from the trips in November. It's a packed agenda, so the health of us all is important.  Also be praying for God to be known & experienced amongst the local people; that they may be encouraged & inspired to follow/keep following Him.

Australia Trip 2014

Doug & Fiona will be in Australia for approximately 10 weeks visiting their family & supporters. They will be in WA from January 18 - 27, and then the East Coast from January 28 until early April.

This year, they are hoping to meet supporters & pastors in a group setting while they are in Australia.
They want to say thank you personally to you but are not able to spend all their time driving!!  :)

Please email Doug as soon as possible (click here) if you are interested in catching up with them.
For those who didn't know already, James & Twyla welcomed their first child, Narelle, in July.They are adjusting well & enjoying being parents... though Narelle is growing up very quickly.

Narelle is officially an Australian citizen receiving her passport this week; in time for her first overseas trip in mid-December to visit Twyla's family in the USA & also to see James' family in Australia.

James continues to support us by producing high-quality visual media. He is also teaching English on a Friday afternoon as part of his visa requirements. Their work permits are due to be renewed the day after they arrive back in Thailand in February. Please pray that this is a smooth process and there are no issues.
Ruth has re-joined us for 5 months in October and will stay until early March. She is planning on spending this time with us each year. Please be praying for this ongoing arrangement with her employer in Australia & also for her time with us as she assists with the admin side of what we do.

In the month that she's been here, she's been busy getting the financials up to date, helping us with our strategic plan for 2014-15 and is in the process of updating our information manual. She will also be traveling with us during November, when the team is here.

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