I missed writing our last prayer letter because of everything happening lately, sorry about that! So this update is going to be a little longer than normal.
Visas Finally Processed!! – Departure Plans
We finally heard back about our visas! After months and months of waiting on our visa to be processed, our visas have finally been approved by Thai Immigration! This is what we have been waiting on since the travel restrictions were first put in place!
We were going to have to travel to the Thai Embassy in Los Angeles to pick up our passports, but that is closed due to Covid, so we have to do that by mail. 35 documents later, including new plane tickets and new medical insurance that covers Covid in Thailand, I was able to get that into the mail, and we should have that back in just a couple of weeks!
We rescheduled our flights (that were canceled last year) for September 23. That is a few weeks away still, but that should give us time to get our passports back and finish the remaining plans for our arrival in Thailand, and give us time to help some more with Lori’s dad before we leave.
Lori’s Dad on Ventilator
An added complication as we get ready to go is that Lori’s dad has contracted Covid and has been in ICU on the ventilator for over a month an a half now. This has added quite a bit of stress to our last days in the States, especially for Lori.
We became the point person with the hospital for the family, and with the responsibility to give direction for his care, it seems like we have been on the phone with the hospital for a solid month. It is more exhausting than I expected it to be, as those of you who have had to deal with something like this will know, but we praise the Lord that he is making some progress!
The current prayer requests for him are 1) that he would be able to come off of the ventilator (that he has been on for 1.5 months), and 2) that there would be healing for a nerve complication that is causing some paralysis throughout his body.
This is especially tough for the family, who recently lost 4 family members (including Lori’s mom) in a car wreck. Please join us in prayer for his recovery!
Thailand Locked Down as Covid Spikes
Covid is at its worst in Thailand right now, and the country is locked down harder than it ever has been. (It is surprising that this is the time when our visas finally came thru in the middle of all of this.)
The lockdown country-wide, especially in Bangkok, makes it more difficult to do ministry, and are back to online services due to gathering restrictions. But in the meantime, some of the church leaders have been able to take advantage of the time by attending some Bible classes at a school across town, and gathering in smaller groups, so we are grateful for those opportunities.
As cases mount, bodies have even been found lying in the streets, and they are
setting up makeshift hospitals. And now protests have started against the government, so pray for Thailand right now, and so many who need the hope of the Gospel in the face of seemingly hopeless times for so many!
Family Life – School at Midnight Soon
The girls are registered for school in Bangkok, but they will be starting online this year. So, in a few days our 3 girls will be starting their first night shifts for K, 1st, and 4th grades, doing school online with their classmates in Bangkok. So they will be up till midnight with all of their other classmates! It kind of works out for us though, because we will be getting there a few days after school starts, and then will be stuck in quarantine for 2 weeks until we are allowed to get out and about the city. So online school is all we could do! Should be interesting!
Last month, we also had to move from the missions house that we were staying in due to another family coming in.
So, the past month++ has been a bit of a whirlwind with 1) the ICU 2) getting our final visa steps completed, 3) getting the girls enrolled in school across the world 4) moving!
But even so, between all of that we are glad to be able to make some progress toward Thailand! Thank you for praying!
Yours for the Gospel in Thailand,
Philip and Lori Bassham
(Claire, Grace, Emma)