Sunday Srv. 10:00am
Post Falls, Idaho 83854
Located just East of Wal-Mart, Click on the map icon below.
It has been a long time since I was trapped in a place because of too much
snow. It was the winter of 1961 when I walked out of the army barracks to
the parking lot and saw nothing but a sea of white. Up to that time, it was
the most snowfall in Boston’s history. I had no idea that somewhere under
the multi mounds of snow was my car. Traveling anywhere was not an option.
This year in Washington D. C. was, as the saying goes in Thailand, “same,
same, but different”. Same trap, different snow. For four days after the
Breakfast we waited for a break and were finally able to fly out at 7:00AM
on Tuesday, just five hours before the airport was to close again. We made
it to the airport in time, but only after having to remove our shuttle van
from a snow bank. It took us 15 minutes of push, pull and rock. Our driver
was snow-challenged, to say the least.
While the National Prayer Breakfast is much the same each year, seeing
friends and making new ones from around the world and hearing about what God
is doing, is always a blessing. This year was not different in that regard.
But it was different in what I came away with. President Obama shared, as
each President before him has done. He was decidedly more intense than his
presentation last year when he had been in office only a month. He is
learning what every new President learns….there is nothing easy in
The keynote speaker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, was quite
amazing. She was gentle, vulnerable, caring, challenging and refreshingly
warm. When she walked away from the podium, I clearly had a sense of her
that I never had before. She spoke of “…a bi-partisan group of women who
prayed for me.” – at a time of great difficulty as the First Lady. A
bi-partisan group with different political views, different social groups,
different economic levels, different life experiences. She continued to
speak of that luncheon and that group of women and how their impact on her
still resonates today. They gave her a book with prayers and words of
encouragement. It is one of her most treasured gifts from her days at the
White House. Whatever your political persuasion, God looks at our heart and
uses our brokenness to reach others. It is difficult to judge others when we
ourselves are so needy and wounded. The older I become, the more the Lord
shows me, how riddled I am with things that displease Him. Surely His
unconditional love and grace keeps all of us moving day by day.
A long time overseas attendee said it best, “For the past 18 years I have
had the honor and good fortune to witness her progress from First Lady to
Senator to the Secretary of State….. I cannot but marvel at Mrs. Clinton’s
becoming warmer, more open and accommodating.
Her messages of faith-based love and understanding to friends and to those
of differing opinions, her sympathy and compassion for the poor and needy,
her humility before God and man, her eagerness to listen to the small quiet
voice of the Lord – all resonated with those in attendance. Her powerful
speech caused her listeners to think anew how “to do all the good we can”
which she so eloquently urged us all to do.”
Pray for Thailand. By the time you read this, the Red Shirt gathering to
bring down the present government, in order to bring the former Prime
Minister back into power, will be in progress. Regardless of who wins,
Thailand will need your prayers continually.
There is much for which to be grateful. New opportunities within the
Cambodian and Indonesian government are opening up. An arm of the Thai
government was very pleased with the visit of Joe Marshall from San
Francisco. Joe’s work among juveniles and urban youth in the U.S. and Africa
is widely known. Kristina partners with him and is on his national board.
Plans are already underway for his return next year.
Thanks, as always, for your continued prayers and support.
Home of New Beginnings
From three feet of snow to 90 degrees. It does make your head spin ---- and
your feet swell! It doesn’t take much cold weather for us to realize we are
no longer prepared for it. I am grateful to friends who are willing to loan
their warm clothes for our foray to D. C. each year. The few extra days
there were actually a gift. We were hotel-bound and totally held hostage by
the beauty of the blanket of white, despite what we thought was pressing.
Nothing to do but talk and read and enjoy the rest.
While it is always an enormous joy to see friends and family, to connect,
catch up and enjoy the taste of American food again, our greatest joy is in
sharing time with our daughter, Kristina. This time we were able to
celebrate her completion of a Masters Degree in Urban Studies from Eastern
University in Pennsylvania. She has completed intensives on campus two weeks
each semester and enjoyed on-line classes the remainder of the time. We were
excited to know the significant contribution she has made in East Palo Alto
as well as in her course work, being the only one with stories that span her
twenty years experience in an urban setting.
Ten days before we returned to Bangkok, Ann, my Thai partner, called to let
me know that Beginnings was burglarized. At least two thieves came in the
middle of the night and left with about $2000 worth of items. They carried
off about $200 in cash as well as finished products and many, many yards of
silk and Jim Thompson silk and cotton. All of the cheaper fabrics were left
behind. They also took small tools. Our large commercial cook pots are
missing and were probably used as carriers. One of our girls had saved for
months to purchase a guitar and it was taken as well. Besides the items
stolen, there was also significant vandalism.
After much conversation we determined we needed to spend another $1000 in
repair, re-keying, replacing screen doors and securing the outside wall
along the alley. The cost of this event was not in our budget!
Even more importantly the girls have lost the sense of safety they have
always had at Beginnings. It takes the girls a long time to relax once they
have left their former work and it is difficult to see them tense again. The
thieves were on all four floors in both units. The girls are locking their
bedroom doors at night and some are pushing furniture in front. Pray they
will once again feel safe.
While that attack from the Enemy continues to be difficult, God has
continued to encourage us in many ways. We have invited a 15 year old to
join our family. Like most when they arrive, she is quiet, overwhelmed and
frightened. We also have two other young women who are considering joining
us. Pray for these three. The others are 20 and 34. Two of our girls who
have been with us for nearly a year are attending baptism class and are
growing rapidly in their spiritual walk. All of our residents (except our
new one) have decided to follow Jesus. His promise of unconditional love is
irresistible. They systematically devour His word several hours a day. Leena
takes them through basic Bible understanding and gives them homework. They
are nearly insatiable. It is so exciting to see their entire countenance
change as they learn more of His grace.
Roy mentioned the Red Shirts (pro-Thaksin, the former ousted Prime Minister)
rally happening this weekend. I can’t imagine protestors in America dressing
alike. They are, obviously, disgruntled by the current government and have
pledged to rally until this government collapses. Billed as the million-man
march, they are now conceding there are about 100,000. There is the usual
saber-rattling, and noise, threats and false claims of victory. All vehicles
have been checked for weapons, though the police did not confiscate the
fermented fish or the bags of rotted garbage. The event is probably
somewhere in the back pages of the U. S. newspaper. I want you to be assured
that we are safe. Our church has been cancelled and we are not near the site
of the rally, though traffic will certainly be affected.
The greatest notice of the protest and noise, comes because we have gladly
welcomed a very pregnant YWAM missionary couple to stay with us during this
time. They arrived yesterday. Her due date was two days ago and the roads
from their apartment to their hospital are all closed. Babies tend not to
care about the local news so we all thought it better for them to stay here.
How fun to be part of this! In the midst of all chaos, noise and protest,
isn’t it just like God to bring new life, peace and joy ---- and certainly a
Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support! These stories,
these victories, are yours, too.
Roy and Bonita Thompson