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A letter from Esther Wakeman in Thailand

August 2013

Greetings from Thailand.

Experiencing God's love through collage

Honest prayer makes room for God’s healing touch
The new school year at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, began in June. We start each day with morning worship, which is attended by a small faithful group of staff. On Wednesdays we are studying the Sermon on the Mount with the help of Dr. Bob Batzinger, one of our international teachers (computer science). Bob uses down-to-earth illustrations to help us understand what Jesus is calling us to do. One morning we considered his teaching on forgiveness. One of the people who came that morning had been struggling with anger and resentment toward a colleague. She felt unappreciated and unfairly treated. She knew she must forgive, but she knew she couldn't. She prayed honestly giving her dilemma to God. Several days later as she drove to work God spoke deeply to her heart and showed her some things that freed her to forgive. She was finally able to forgive from the heart. She told us that she has never experienced God's help and love as really as that morning. I love it when God’s love flows into deep places in our hearts, freeing us to live more as we are called to. Please pray that we will have a real revival at Payap. There are many of us with hurts and resentments that we need to forgive!                                                                

Partner with Payap through prayer and recruiting!

  • We still need a president as we face considerable challenges; we need to be able to discern God’s vision for us, and pursue it together. Please pray for the incoming board to find the right leader.
  • Please pray for and help us recruit lecturers for our International College (teaching in English). We need people with doctorates in Business Administration and in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and people with master's degrees in Hotel and Tourism Management. Our salaries are Thai scale, so we are looking for retired teachers (who have pensions to combine with what we offer) or newly minted degree holders who may find it difficult to get a teaching job but would be willing to come and gain experience with us at minimal remuneration. If you think of anyone, please invite them to consider coming to Chiang Mai for a wonderful adventure. Have them contact me.


Pradit of CCI as Likay clown.

CCI Dance and Drama Team grieving, and planning a U.S.A. tour for March and April 2014
Some of you heard from me when I was in the U.S. last March and April that Uncle Toad (Pradit) of CCI (Christian Communications Institute—Thai Dance and Drama troupe) was battling cancer. He passed away in July; his clown picture at the funeral reminded us of his amazing gift of humor and hope as we celebrated his life transformed by God’s love. Please pray for his family and the CCI team as they grieve. CCI's work continues, of course, and we are planning a U.S.A. tour in churches for next March and April (2014). We'll begin in California, arriving around March 10. We will go on to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, returning to Thailand mid-April. Please contact me if your church would like to invite us to come or if you would like more information.

Four conferences in four weeks this summer, with great family visits sandwiched in between
Rob and I enjoyed a month in the U.S. attending three mission conferences and “Thrive Training,” in which we developed greater emotional capacity—developing our joy “muscles” through stories of gratitude and dancing! Dr. Jim Wilder and friends at Shepherd’s House have a great deal of wisdom to share with the church through The Life Model and their new book, Joy Starts Here. I highly commend these resources (more info available at for growing spiritually and emotionally mature disciples of Jesus—what the church needs to do and the world needs to see us do!

It was great to see many of you this summer. We hope we can visit many more next spring. May God bless you as the summer ends and we move toward fall. I am grateful for your care, and I hope that you will continue to support me through your commitment to prayer, partnering through recruiting, and financial gifts, so that together we can share the good news of God’s love through Christ in Thailand. Let me know how I can be praying for you.


The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 195
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