An Unscheduled Covid Break
After the holidays we started back strong and hit the ground running on the first of two Bible Doctrine courses. Everyone was excited and ready to get back to our regular schedule…and then Covid came in hard. One student after another came down with the virus and we promptly closed down the school and were visited by local officials who told us we had to quarantine for 10 days. No coming in or going out. Our off campus students could not attend class and our on campus students were all too sick to do much studying. I assigned everyone a book to read while we were stuck at home. They read Tortured for Christ and wrote a 7 page book report on it while we waited to open back up. The government sent a group of doctors and nurses out to give us medicine and check on us. They even sprayed the entire property with disinfectant. We were grateful that they allowed us to self quarantine as we were a little worried they might require us to all go stay in a government quarantine facility for 10 days! It was a little discouraging to have to take another two week break from class after only being back at it for two weeks, but the Lord provided some unique opportunities during our period of quarantine and allowed me the time to read some great books and prepare for upcoming class modules.
In my last letter I talked a lot about books we are hoping to have translated in the near future. Since my last letter, Brittany and I have had some encouraging zoom meetings with leaders from several Christian publishing companies back in America. We have two more scheduled over the next couple of weeks and look forward to seeing what the Lord will bring about through our discussions. One of our greatest needs in being able to grow this part of the ministry here is a full time translator. After calculating the cost to translate, it really makes more sense financially to have a full time translator on staff that can work on projects as we are ready. We have an interpreter who works with me all day to interpret for Bible class but ideally we need a dedicated translator who can work full time on book and article translations. With our current budget, I believe we can afford to hire someone to do this but we need to make sure we find someone qualified to translate accurately so please pray with us about this need!
Despite having Covid during the week of their midterm exams, our two older kids finished up their midterms and actually did pretty well considering how terrible they felt. The upside to having covid during exam week was that there was no daily class so they were able to sleep…a lot, which is really about all they were able to do. They are both feeling back to normal now and I’m thankful to report that the two littles never got the virus.
New Website is Ready
Brittany has our new website up and running. She tells me it isn’t finished and she still has some things to add but it is functioning and all of our ministry updates can be found by clicking “Ministry updates” in the top left-hand corner of the home page. The website is mostly in Thai because it was designed to be used by the people here but you can still take a look around and see what projects we are working on and how you can be praying for the work here in Thailand. The new web address is www.GBBIChiangMai.com
Also, please remember that photos and current updates can always be seen on our Facebook Pages (Matthew Villandry and Brittany Villandry) or our school Page (Grace Baptist Bible Institute). Our website also has a link to our instagram accounts where you can see LOTS of photos and short videos that may give you a better glimpse into what we do on a day to day basis here in Chiang Mai!
As always, I want to thank each of you who have given towards the Lord’s work here in Thailand!
For HIS Glory,