Malones in Isaan Thailand - Working amongst the unreached of Isaan

Follow the adventures of the Malones in Thailand as we work with urban and rural peoples in the Isaan area in Thailand. We aim to share the Good News of Jesus with the Isaan and mobilise for 5 teams across Isaan. Previously, we were with the poor in Samut Prakan (part of Greater Bangkok). If you would like to work with us (short or long-term) please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

28 May 2012

Struggling and enduring in language

I am  a plodder, which means I persist with something until I get it.  I have been in Thailand for almost 5 years now (broken by a 7 month break in Australia - which probably means I have only had 4 and half years exposure here).  Learning the Thai language has been a priority, but also one of the most degrading experiences in my life.

At times, learning this language has put me in such a rut that it has driven me to depression, which almost made me give up on the Overseas Mission Field after the first year or two back in 2008-09.  But God, by His abundant Grace, has allowed me to endure.  Consequently, over the last year or two, God has given me the privilege of enjoying fruit of new believers and a new church plant.  But this hasn't come without its many pains and intense struggles.

By God's Grace, He has given me opportunities over the last 12 months to teach new believers in our slum church plant, which has extended my confidence in speaking Thai.  My latest encouragement was on 27 May when I preached my first full sermon in Thai for 40 minutes at the main Thai church we hang with each Sunday morning.  Note: this is not our slum church plant, which meets on Sunday afternoon.  It is more of a traditional church, not the house church model (like in our local slum) we are seeking to obey God in building.  Although it seems quite embarrassing, I have inserted a short 1 minute video that Jen took on that day of part of the sermon that I was preaching on about dealing with Temptation (from I Corinthians 10:13).

I want this video to testify to the awesome Grace of God that has enabled me (probably the slowest and worst of all language learners) to now teach and preach in this immensely difficult language.  YES, God can do anything (Ephesians 3:20,21)!!  In preparing to come to Thailand in 2007, God gave me several personal promises if I were to obey Him and step ahead in faith.  One of these was that He would give me the Thai language.  He never promised this language to me in "5 minutes".  NOTHING has ever come naturally to me in learning Thai, but 'bit by bit' He is giving it to me.  I thank and praise God for His persistent hanging with me.  Anything is possible through Him.