Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and as I looked round my tent,
I couldn't believe all the money I'd spent
For trains and dolls, for trinkets and toys
Some for the girls and some for the boys.
I looked round once more to be sure things were right;
The kids were all in bed for the night.
I set up the track for the train I bought Ted,
The train went round twice and the battery went dead.
I put on my cap, my gloves, and my coat;
I went to Ames and over to Zayre.
You guessed it my friend, no batteries there!
As I left the store a thought came to me,
I had one in the remote of the color TV.
Well, I placed that remote in my wife's favourite chair
I was ready for Christmas with hours to spare.
When out came my wife and punched that remote
And then said to me, "The TV's broke!"
So on with the coat, the gloves, and the cap
Out in the cold about ready to snap.
I went to K-Mart and stood in that line
From 8:35 'til a quarter past nine.
As I came to the checkout, my heart leaped with glee --
There was that one lonesome battery just waiting for me.
When from my behind I seen this hand slip
And grab that battery with a real tight grip.
I wheeled around and what did I see?
This giant of a man glaring down at me.
Well, I remembered an ad I had seen on TV
Buy a Big Mac, get your batteries free.
So, I bought me a burger I didn't want...
They were out of batteries, so on with hunt.
I finally found one at ServiStar,
Paid for my purchase and made for my car.
When I entered the door of my humble shack,
My wife said, "What's this battery for I found in a sack?"
I was out there in the press, the push, and the greed
To buy me a battery I didn't even need.
At last I relaxed in my easy chair,
When this still small voice came out of somewhere.
"You're ready for Christmas with toys, tinsel, and tree
You've got it all together, but what about me?"
I fell on my knees and cried, "God, what have I done?"
I got caught up in the madness and neglected your Son.
The best gift of all you've given for free
Your Son, Jesus Christ, for sinners like me.
You sent Him to suffer the shame and the loss,
To shed his life's blood for me on the cross.
Well friend, I'll never forget I rest 'neath the sod,
The greatest of gifts is given by God.
-by Pastor Jim Kamerer

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taken By Love

He Has Made Me Glad- Words cannot even describe how wonderful these past few months have been for Josh and I. Living for Him is what it all boils down to! I’m going to do my best to condense our last few months experience into one blog entry, hopefully I cover all points =) Sorry for such a delayed post.

Such joy in the slums of Manila, Philippines.

October English Camp (Oct. 5th-23rd) – What a great success! Our English Camp was a 3 week long teaching program filled with action packed fun =) Our students learnt about different countries, dances, drama’s, and arts. Friday’s were our field trips days where we’d take our students swimming, to the zoo or an afternoon at the movies enjoyed with a bucket of lip-smacking popcorn! We had on average 16 kids attend our program. Lots of planning and long hours go into preparing for these English camps! Much thanks & credit is given to our bible college students for their help and commitment to the English Outreach Center, we couldn’t have done it without them.

Designed 2 Worship (Manila, Philippines Oct. 23rd- 28th) - Myself and a friend attended a Worship Conference in Manila, Philippines late October. What a great opportunity it was for us to learn about the importance of worship and how we can effectively set the bar! We are all designed to worship Him; God has placed inside each and every one of us the call to worship our Lord. Sincere worship takes place in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). In other words, true worship is not just a physical or mental activity; it is a spiritual exercise - an appropriate response to how God has revealed himself to us, particularly through his son Jesus. Worship involves heartfelt interaction between the human spirit and God’s Holy Spirit. True worship requires us to act in response to God's character and presence by conveying gratefulness for who He is and what He has done for us. Genuine worship requires a faith commitment and a profession that He alone is God which means that we acknowledge that He is the Lord - the Leader and supreme authority in our lives.

Tabitha and I met this bubbly girl named Cates while we were attending the conference.

If All My World Was Swept Away, Would You Be Enough For Me? If I Lost It All Would My Hands Be Lifed, To The God Who Gives And Takes Away? If You Take It All, This Life You've Given, Still My Heart Will Sing To You!-- Kutless, I’m Still Yours- I was also given the opportunity to see one of the major areas where typhoon Ondoy hit back on Sept. 26th,2009. The devastation in this area was heart wrenching but yet in the mist of this devastation the people remained hopeful. They lost practically everything they had but were still smiling through the midst of it all. We handed out bags of food to the families that lost basically everything. While there, I was blessed with the opportunity of meeting this one little girl name Angelica (it’s a lot prettier when she says it =) ). She’s a 10 year old girl, beautiful as all-get-out, a beautiful smile that could light up your whole world, a loving touch, heart warming eyes, a gentle voice and a welcoming hug that never wants to let go. My heart couldn’t help but run over with love for her. As I began to ask her questions I really got to know her on a personal level, I asked her various questions such as where her mom was and her response was a finger pointing towards the sky saying ‘she’s in heaven’, I asked her where her dad was, she said she didn’t really know ‘I think he’s in province’, and then I asked her if she had any brothers or sisters and she said that she didn’t have any. Angelica and I walked hand in hand around the slum-village where she lived talking, laughing, and having fun together, what a blessing children truly are! I’ve really come to the realization during these past 5 years of my life that we take so much for granted. We sometimes fail to appreciate the simplest things in our lives that bring us so much joy.

Angelica and I (Manila, Philippines October 27th, 2009)

God Let Us Be A Generation That Seeks Your Face- This past fall has been very busy for Josh in studies and responsibilities.

The students have outreach ministry every Tuesday night, where they go out and practice effective ways of ministering the gospel. Over the past 2 months the Lord has led them to a group of Burmese construction workers and their families that are camped right near the college. They have been very receptive to their visits. The students often sit with them and talk about the differences between our culture, foods, religion and so on. They love watching Mr. Bean with them at the college and playing games like musical chairs. We hope to lead many of these people to a relationship with God and get them connected with the local Thai churches here in Sriracha.

Over a few weeks ago the students and Josh just returned from a 2 week long trip from down south in Thailand. The focus of the trip was team and character building. For the first week Pastor Asamy from the Hua Hin Cornerstone Church took them in and spent most of their days working on the church property. They helped build a children’s outreach center for the church. They laid cement, roofed, landscaped and so on. The hot sun beating down on them and the incredible humidity caused them to consume litres of water and take refuge in the nearest shade often. In between those hard working days they took a day and went ministering to three secular schools and a Roman Catholic high school. The kids would assemble in their largest room and the VBCI students would put on skits that illustrate God’s love and what He has done for us. The students would explain their meaning and share the gospel with them. It was a break from class for the kids so they put in lots of laughs for them too. Josh said that when he’d look at all these kids in front of him his heart would wrench for them not because of the poverty that many of them live in but because most have never heard about Jesus Christ before and the harsh reality they will face having never been subjected to the truth. When you walk into these classrooms you will always find an idol on display and with food sacrifices in front of it. You don’t only see the demonic Buddhist oppression they live under but you can sense it in your spirit too. But praise God that this country has freedom of religion and that the schools would welcome us in to share contrary to what they teach and raise these kids on. It is definitely a miracle. This Christmas the students and some missionaries will be returning to these schools to put on a Christmas show.
The students and Josh laying down fiber glass roof shingles on the children’s center building in Hua Hin.

After a week in Hua Hin the students ventured on a long and hot train ride for 12 hrs to Nakhon Si Thammarat. For those who read are blogs and updates last year, this is the same city Josh visited in the fall of 2008. There they stayed at a Victory Church and helped relocate the church to a new building.

We are so humbled and honoured to be doing the work of God here in Thailand. Nothing that we do here would accumulate to any value if it weren’t for God and the prayers and support of our family and friends back at home. We want to thank the Asbury Free Methodist Church in Perth, Gilead Fellowship in Picton, The Healing House in Picton, The First Baptist Church in Picton and our family and friends for your continued prayers and support.

Please keep us in your prayers that the Lord leads us, provides for us and continues to use us. Pray for the kids of Thailand and that God makes a huge impact on the ones we minister to. We look forward to keeping you updated on what is happening with Bekah and I here in Thailand. Please feel free to e-mail us if you would like to get in contact.

“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Philemon 1:3

If you feel led to give into our calling then we encourage you to partner with us and to become a monthly supporter by giving through Gilead Fellowship Church or with A&D World Missions. Tax receipts are made through both parties.
To get in contact with Gilead Fellowship:

Gilead Fellowship
Box 99, Bloomfield, ON
K0K 1G0
Or call

Make check payable to: Gilead Fellowship Church, on the memo line write; Josh and Rebekah Baker Missions Thailand.

God Bless,
Bekah & Josh.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're At It Again!

Hey Friends!

Gosh it feels good to be back! Josh and I are both thrilled to be back serving here, this being our last year. It’s hard to believe that this is my 5th year and Josh his 2nd, time sure does not take it’s time that’s for certain.

Josh and I had an amazing summer back in Canada which made the goodbyes exceptionally tough on us. We were both incredibly blessed with great jobs at Wesley Acres. It was really hard for us to resign, we both thoroughly enjoyed our experience, the staff was exceptional and the relationships irreplaceable. Unfortunately 3 months was just not long enough for us, nevertheless we made the best out of what time we had. Whether it was working, visiting friends and family, eating good ol’ Canadian cuisine or simply enjoying each other’s company over a cup of Tim Hortons coffee, we, from top to bottom, enjoyed our time on Canadian soil.

We both want to thank our home churches for allowing us the opportunity to share our hearts about Thailand. Because of you investing in us you enable us to accomplish what God has laid out before us, thank you for answering the call.

Thailand is currently in its rainy season which makes the days somewhat cool and the night’s cooler. Rain poses a tad bit of a challenge when your only mode of transportation is a motorcycle but thank the good Lord for rain suits, goggles and umbrellas.

On September 26th Typhoon Ondoy hit Manila (Philippines) and left 80% of the city under water. An estimated 300,000 people are left homeless and misplaced due to the flooding and 246 found dead. Please keep the Philippines in your prayers. If you feel led to give into this cause you can do so through contacting A&D World Missions Canada Box 26010,Lethbridge AB, T1H 6H4 or by telephone at 1-800-958-3352. Our God is a God who provides!

The month of October has a lot in store for us. Beginning October 5th the English Center will be hosting an English Kids Camp called “All Around The World In Just 3 Weeks”. I and my sidekick Nittaya have been busily preparing for the camp with help from the group of girls that we mentor. Please pray for a good attendance and that lives will be touched for His glory.

Josh is busy being a student! He just finished studying the book of Romans and is now currently in a worship class taught by Pastor Terry Purvis. Nearing the end of this month (October 27th ish) Josh will be heading on his south trip for 2 weeks and myself and a friend, will be heading to Manila, Philippines on October 23rd for a Worship Conference. We are both very excited to be used for His glory!!

I just want to thank one and all for your love, support, and prayers. God is always faithful and sufficient.

Love Ya’ll!
Bekah & Josh.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Less Than Two Months To Go.

Less than two months to go and my wife and I will be walking on Canadian soil again. It’s an exciting thought for us to be coming home but we are happy be serving God’s purpose here in Thailand.

My wife has been working very hard over the past year running the English school. On top of her afterschool English classes with her kids she also attends 2 government schools throughout the week teaching students. A few months ago a door opened for her to teach English at our local city hall to city workers. My wife immediately saw this as another opportunity to develop relationships and share the love of Christ to these people. As my wife remains faithful to her responsibility here God is faithful to her by giving her more doors to share the gospel. My wife and her English department has been a big factor in making our name known in the community. As our reputation grows in the community the more opportunities we have to evangelize our faith.

Bekah has also been pouring a large portion of her time into preparing for a month long English camp for kids. This is an all day camp where kids take part in games, crafts, art, sing & dance that are oriented to teaching kids English. There is all time where the basics of English is taught. This camp started on March 30th and continues up until April 24th.

As for me, I have been keeping pretty busy with the Bible school. We have just one more class to go and my first year of school is finished. We just completed a very good course on leadership that imparted a lot of practical wisdom in me about being a leader. I have aslobeen occupied with filming and editing for Continuum, which is the TV show that this ministry produces to show on the miracle channel. Continuum’s purpose is to mobilize believers into the Great Commission by showing a lot of what this ministry does as far as outreach and the impacts it has made. If you are interested in watching the show it airs on the miracle channel on Tuesday nights around 6 or 6:30 pm. You can also watch them on you tube. Just search for ‘continuum media’ in the youtube search bar. My wife and I are shown in some of the episodes in relation to what we have been doing.

Back in February, I traveled down south with the students on our annual jungle trip. This is the first time I have ever got to experience what it’s like to be camping in the Thai wilderness, where you are surrounded by hoards of bamboo trees, exotic birds making sounds you never heard before, scorpions, spiders as big as your hand, funny looking frogs and 3rd world villages without a foundation of the gospel. 3 years ago I would have never imagined myself making a tent out of bamboo or hiking through several kilometers of jungle and rivers to find a village.

Over the course of our trip we visited 3 villages spending a few days in each village. Believe it or not but all of these villages had a church but after spending some time to get to know the area we realized there were hardly any believers. The pastors were very welcoming to our unexpected arrival. These villages had a church and a pastor but there was no body because of the lack of outreaching and discipleship. And one pastor can’t do it by themselves. It just revealed to me that these villages may have been witnessed to a generation or 2 ago but there has been no solid follow up in teaching of the word. Don’t be quick to believe statements you hear like ‘most of the world has been evangelized to’ or ‘the world is already reached’ because those are based on false statistics that many people have come to Christ. Even saying the sinners prayer doesn’t necessicarily mean a person is saved. Billy Graham has even shared that 1 out of 10 people that come up at an alter call during one of his conferences will actually stay committed to serving God. That’s why we need to preach the true convicting gospel and as well following through with teaching of the word and building a foundation in new believers.

The villagers lived very simple lives. Just walking through it made me think I was back in time 200 years because all of the houses were made out of bamboo. There was hardly any electricity (just a few solar powered lights) and everybody bathes, drinks, and washes their clothes in the nearby river.

We (the students) took advantage of their time by playing with the kids and organizing services involving puppet shows, singing, preaching and praying and laying hands on the children and adults. We came home knowing that we were able to plant seeds of love and truth into those people. But we all knew in our hearts that these people needed more than just a few days of our time. The world needs more equipped believers that are willing to leave their comfortable lives at home and go into these villages and build a strong foundation of believers that will stand fast and grow in the generations to come. We need more John Wesley’s in our generation.

So that is what has been going on in our lives over the past few months. Please keep us in your prayers for our safety here and that lives would be changed here as we minister. May God Bless and keep you :)

-Josh & Bekah

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saved to Serve

Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified Bible)

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Ephesians 2:10 makes it very clear that we were Made and Saved to Serve God. We were put on earth to make a contribution. You and I were not created to take up space, to just eat and breathe. We were made to contribute not consume, not to get the most out of life but to give the most with our lives; not to take from life but to add value to life.

Ephesians 2:10 sheds light on the fact that we were created to do good deeds; verse 9 explains that we were not saved by good works, but for good works. The Bible’s main word for "doing good works" is service, serving; and we serve out of thankfulness.

I hope this post comes as an encouragement to you :)

God Bless,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

It takes just a little time to give your hand...

Hey Ya’ll! I suppose it’s about that time for Josh and I to be updating our blog once again EH!

Josh and I had a wonderful Christmas- Outreach week! December 23rd we went into the local prison here and painted one large cell (there are 4 in total). First we had to scrub all the grunge off the cell walls, clean the prison bars, and last clean the screens, that of which were very filthy, that were attached to windows.

Scrubbing down the walls before painting.

While we all took turns cleaning the cell and painting it, those of us that weren’t occupied with a task, took the time to minister to the inmates, we sang songs and brought in food and water. Harley, a young man enrolled here in VBCI, is a qualified electrician, so we had Harley rewiring in new fans and lights in the hall way between the cells. Ministering in the prison here was a good awakening for me. My eyes were significantly opened to God’s heart breaking for His people. My heart ached to see those that were confined behind those prison bars. Men, women and even children were held captive. The majority of the people that were imprisoned there were not Thailand citizens; they were illegal immigrants working in Thailand from neighbouring countries. Out of desperation, these illegal immigrants will work dishonestly to earn so little to feed their families just so they can survive. The problem with this illegal situation is that when it comes to “pay day” instead of their superior paying them their wages earned, they will, instead, get turned in to the authorities. The fact is that in Thailand’s eyes, these illegal immigrants are taking work away from their native people; so as a result, they are held captive and then later released back to their own country. It’s crushing to see children behind bars because of their parents’ poverty-stricken choice to work illegitimately.

I can recall witnessing one event in the jail when tears were streaming down the faces of the women in the cell waiting for their names to be called off a list by the officer so that they could be released and sent back to their country, and sadly not one name was called. Of course I had no idea what all the commotion was about because I can’t speak the language or understand it all that well yet and neither can some of the others in our group so we had someone translate for us to find out what was going on and so this was one woman’s response: “The officer in charge had told us that if we paid 100baht by Friday that we could go home and so when they came to read off the list of names that were going to be released our names never got called.” I later found out as well that the last day for release is on Friday and so therefore they would remain in the prison until Monday, this helped me better understand the dilemma the woman were in and not forgetting to mention that they have already been in there for 3 weeks now. My heart broke for those women; I wanted so desperately to take them all home with me! The ministry that Josh and I work with here has developed an outreach that reaches out to this prison, they will go in and minister the gospel, feed the inmates and give them water, and encourage and uplift them weekly; this outreach gained us the open door to go into the prison Christmas break and bless. Since most of the inmates are from neighbouring countries, meals become an issue.

Not enough room for everyone to sleep all at once.

The authorities in charge don’t feed the prisoners, so if the inmates don’t have local friends or family in the area, sometimes they will go days without eating. There’s a scripture in Matthew 25 about Jesus telling us a story and nearer to the end of the chapter He comes to say “Whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me.” I want to be the one that answers unto God on the day of judgement saying “For when you were hungry I gave you something to eat, when you were thirsty I gave you something to drink, when you were a stranger I invited you in, when you needed clothes I clothed you, when you were sick I looked after you, and when you were in prison I came to visit you!”

Our outreach team.

On December 25th our outreach team went to a local government school to feed the children. We ended up having a lot leftover so we brought the remaining food to the prison. December 26th was our Hospital outreach for the sick children. We preformed a puppet show in Thai, had some clowns clowning around while handing out balloons to the children. We made a snowman craft with the kids and to finish sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and blew out His birthday candles on the yummy cupcakes I made. To end our outreach week we lastly went to a Youth Detention Center on December 27th. Our ‘ONE WAY’ youth group has a band that preformed at the Detention Center. We also brought food in to feed the youth.

There are needs everywhere and all it takes is just a little time to give your hand.

Josh and I shared a beautiful Christmas this year giving the greatest gift of all! I hope this blog blesses you all this month. Josh and I really enjoy bringing you updates on what God is doing with us here in Thailand. We have some busy months ahead of us so more will be to come. Thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers!

God Bless,