Technical Difficulties and Updates
I need to apologize to all of you, especially our new readers from the recent issue of Foursquare's Missions Advance magazine (see article here), for the current state of the Vernon Journal. We recently had some server changes which have required some coding updates on all of our pages, and a complete overhaul of our news feeds on the right side of the page. Unfortunately, I just do not have the time right now to completely update all of the pages on the site (the entire site has needed design and code changes for some time), but I have been able to get our ministry blog (Journey Notes), our prayer and praise blog and our personal blogs (Lori's, Abi's and Mine) up on crutches for the time being.
As for the rest of the site, our info, media updates, partner pages and the upcoming Mae Salong Project pages, they will not be updated for a little while. We are heading back to the village today and will not be back in Chiang Rai for any significant amount of time until the end of the month.
We are also waiting for some developments from the server over at Foursquare Missions which will allow us to begin receiving online contributions toward our ministry. As these features become available over the next months our site will be updated accordingly.
Here are our current updates...
We are planning on building a new home in our village in Mae Salong: This was actually not our idea, and was difficult at first, but as we have thought more about it we are getting very excited about the prospect. The village leaders want to move us away from the center of the village and use our current house as the village home for cooking, hosting and storing things as needed. Actually, our home has always been used for these purposes, but now that we have a growing family they want us to move to a home with a little less foot traffic.
We are hoping that we will get an internet connection in our new home: We still will have a bamboo house and grass roof, but because of the proximity to the Chinese town of Mae Salong we might be able to put DSL into our new hut. It's still just an idea and there are a few development issues that might stand in our way, but if we are able to set up an office with full internet connectivity in our new home it will allow us to more effectively communicate with all of you as we spend more and more time in the village compiling the data we collect from the Mae Salong Project.
Visa Travel: After we receive our 1-year visas at the end of this month we will have to travel to Bangkok to apply for a 1-year visa for Abigail. If we cannot get this visa in Bangkok we will have to travel to Singapore to purchase a visa there. We are planning on traveling to Singapore at the end of April anyway, but would love to have all our visa issues worked out before that trip.
School Break Plans: School break has begun in Thailand and will continue through the beginning of June. Other than our visa needs and ministry travel plans (we have some exciting developments in the works that we will update you on if they work out) we have some plans to minister in our village as we build our new home and settle in again for the year.
Around the Thai new year we will treat our entire village for stomach worms (ourselves included). Although we will all be sick for a few days, the village is really looking forward to this medication as they understand that when the stomach worms are dead, the food (and therefore, the money) goes much further for the family.
We will also be "teaching english" through some sign language videos that John donated for the deaf family in the village. This way the kids will all learn sign language while learning english words and will be able to communicate with the deaf children as they are learning to sign.
Thanks for your patience with us as we deal with the site changes and please keep our energy and health in your prayers as we enter these very busy months.