Expected and Unexpected Turns

TESOL, Thailand, Translation and TB

I (Cassandra) know we're overdue for an update letter, but these last few months have been really intense.  There have been many wonderful, expected things that have happened but also some really difficult, unexpected things.

After months of working to bring TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), a training to raise up godly English teachers, to YWAM Ho Chi Minh for the first time, we started our 6 week course on September 17th with 13 students and 3 staff members representing 9 different nations!  I am a student on the school even though I have played a large administrative role at the same time.  I am absolutely loving teaching English and am excited to see how God will lead me after this school to use these newly developed skills to bless the Vietnamese people around me.

Another highlight of the season was last month when Daniel and I were able to go to Thailand for the YWAM Together conference together with about 12 other staff members from the base.  There were around 4000 YWAMers from all over the world gathered together to worship and seek God as one body.  It was a really encouraging time for us as we got to catch up with a lot of friends from around the world AND hear some really great speakers.  We were especially inspired to continue praying for North Korea and the Middle East.

Daniel has continued to work on translating the book Bring Your Eyes and See.  He only has 2 chapters left!  So he is getting close to being able to move onto the editting stage of production.  He also helped pioneer the first DTW (Discipleship Training Week) up in the highlands area of Vietnam among the tribal people.  Unfortunately, he had to drop out at the last minute because of his health...

Now for the unexpected...while we were in Thailand, Daniel started getting really sick.  As soon as we came back to Vietnam, he went to the hospital to get checked out and was eventually admitted.  They ran a lot of tests and discovered that he had bleeding in his intestines, a hemorrhoid, and active tuberculosis that had already caused lung damage.  Needless to say, he has been feeling quite terrible and has a long road to recovery ahead of him.  Because of this, we have decided to cancel the International DTS we were going to run next January.  It's really sad for us to lay this dream down at this time, but we feel that it is very important for us to focus on Daniel's health in this season.  We really appreciate your understanding and please feel free to write us with any further questions.

Also, our pastor here, Joel Watson, had a heart attack about a month ago and died after being in a coma for week.  He was only 64 and was celebrating his 40th anniversary with his amazing wife, Marie, this year.  He died one day after the 1 year anniversary of our friend, Annie, who died from a sudden brain aneurism last year.

This has been a very hard season to walk through, so we want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us through prayer, finances, encouragement, and many other things.  We are so blessed by all of you!!

Daniel & Cassandra

              DTW Students                           Moving to our new apartment  
Daniel and I at the YWAM Together conference

What's Next...

With everything that's been going on, we have had to make a lot of changes to our future plans.  After TESOL ends, I plan to start teaching English in some capacity, but I'm not sure exactly what that will look like yet.  The one thing I am sure about is that I want to start teaching English to the other YWAM staff.  Daniel will continue to translate from home, but won't be able to be involved in much else for at least a few months.  TB treatment lasts a minimum of 6 months.
Prayer Requests

* for Daniel's health
* for the church and Pastor Joel's family who are all grieving and will have to make a lot of big decisions over the next few months
* for direction and guidance as we pray about how to use English here in Vietnam
* to be able to finish translating and editing this book and then favor with a publishing agency
* for favor for Daniel's green card - we finally submitted the application and now will be waiting for many months for them to review it
My TESOL Class
Reconnecting with some of my friends from Mexico at the YWAM Together conference
Cassandra's Email:  gsprincess88@yahoo.com
Daniel's Email:          thienandoanta@yahoo.com
Website:                    www.mcii.org/ywam