United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Thursday, February 09, 2017


Sherri and I are on our 11th year serving as Methodist missionaries in Thailand.  And we continue to be amazed at all the wonderful things the Lord is doing.  You pray for this mission, and then God blesses the mission in greater ways than we expected or imagined. 
We like to call these unexpected blessings “Serendipities”.  Here are some of the many Serendipities from God in 2016.

  • ·         2 new Pioneer Pastor Churches were planted in Buriram and Buengkan provinces.  We expected to plant 2 churches.  What we did NOT know was that they would outgrow their buildings so fast.  Church buildings were constructed for both of these new congregations because there was no place large enough for them in their villages.  Now there are a total of 31 Pioneer Pastor churches planted in 31 counties that were previously unreached.

New Church Building at Buengkan


  •       We expected to build one church building in 2016, the new Blessing Home TaPhraya center.  But God provided the funds to build FIVE church buildings, in Loepahan, TaPhraya, Buriram, Buengkan, and Sukhothai provinces.  These churches are self-supporting, self-leading, self-multiplying and they now have buildings, which help them to be permanent.

Bright Future Savings Group depositing savings at Blessing Home Isan

  •        Sherri piloted a new ministry called Bright Future Savings Groups at Blessing Home Ground Zero in Pattaya and Blessing Home Isan and two other churches..  This program helps women and men to meet to save money together and learn Biblical principles regarding money and also to learn how to budget and control family finances.  When we arrived in Thailand over 10 years ago, over 55% of Thai Isan farmers owned their own land.  But now only 15% of Thai Isan farmers own their own land!  The curriculum and program are in the process of development in this pilot and it has been very successful.  We have had a large number of pastors and Christian leaders contact us so they can start Bright Future Savings Groups in their churches.  The response has been wonderful!

We ask for continued prayers of the Bright Future Savings Group program.  Sherri and I believe that the Bright Future Savings programs will help families to develop their families and lift themselves out of poverty.  And as Thai churches have families that develop to become financially solid, these churches will grow and help to plant other new churches so the Gospel of Christ reaches every part of Thailand.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Most Incredible New Year's Day.

We enjoyed on an incredible New Year's Day that will forever be locked in our memory.  One of the newest Pioneer Pastor church plants is in Buengkan province, in Northeast Thailand, on the south shore of the Mekong River which serves as the border with Laos.  The cell group here in Buengkan grew rapidly into a thriving church.  

This church did not start in Buengkan, but instead started 500 miles away at God is Good Church in Ban Bueng in Chonburi province in Eastern Thailand.  There was a woman named Buasorn, who moved with her husband many years ago from Buengkan to Chonburi to work here.  It was two years ago that Buasorn became sick and went to the hospital.  She found out that she had breast cancer and that she would need chemo treatments.  Buasorn was frantic because she was afraid of suffering and death and she confided in a friend of hers, Anupa, one of the Christian leaders of God is Good Church, a Pioneer Pastor Church.  Anupa prayed over her friend Buasorn, and the Lord heard her prayers and healed Buasorn of cancer.  She did not even have to go through with the chemo treatments!  Her cancer scans came back clean again and again!

Anupa led Buasorn to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and Buasorn started to attend God is Good Church every Sunday.  Anupa would pick up Buasorn and bring her to church every Sunday because they owned only one car and Buasorn dare not take the car and leave her husband without one.  This went on for several months, and during this time Buasorn and the members of God is Good Church prayed that her husband Jaray would come to Christ.  One day, Jaray told Buasorn that they should not be a burden to Anupa anymore, and he would be willing to take Buasorn to church.  At first he would drop her off at church and then come back and pick her up.  But eventually Jaray would drive Buasorn to church and then come inside with her.  It was not long before Jaray gave his life to Christ.  When we asked Jaray why he gave his life to Christ, he said that Jesus made his wife to become a new person and he wanted a new life in Christ too.

Jaray and Anupa then shared the Gospel of Christ with his family and relatives in his home village in Buengkan, and many of them became Christians.  Pastors Peter, Nuc, and Jennifer of God is Good Church started to take turns traveling to Buengkan every other weekend to have worship, Bible study, and training there.  Members of God is Good church did outreach events there several times as well.  The new believers in Buengkan met at the village center (it is a public building that is like a picnic shelter) but they were growing too numerous to continue meeting there.  So Jaray and Buasorn donated land in the middle of the village so a church could be built.

About 2 weeks after construction of a church building began on the land, Jaray became ill and entered the hospital, he quickly deteriorated and became bed-ridden.  At first we prayed for healing, and then it became evident that his time to be with the Lord was coming soon.  So we started praying that the Lord would allow Jaray to live long enough to have the church building completed and to have a Grand Opening Worship Service.  God answered our prayers.

So on New Year's Day, we had a Grand Opening Service for God is Good Buengkan Church (they took the name of their mother church).  The members of the church went to Jaray's house and they carried him in his bed to the church and placed him at the front.  His wife, Buasorn, as well as his sisters took turns caring for him.  He constantly needed to be moved and turned (for comfort as well as to prevent sores), and they had to use a suction device with they inserted into a stoma in his neck to remove fluid from his lungs.  He also had an oxygen tube connected to him at all times.

We have been privileged to celebrate many Grand Openings of new church buildings, but this was the only time we have had a man in his last days reclining in a bed at the front of the church.  We were honored to celebrate together with Jaray and Buasorn.  They planted the first Christian church in their county, and they have already seen many lives transformed by Christ.  We know these new Christians because Sherri baptized many of them last year.  They are filled with joy and a passionate love for Jesus that first generation Christians have in abundance.  

As you see from pictures, the church is Red with a white stripe in the middle.  I showed them a picture of the "striped tomato car" from Starsky and Hutch (a TV show from the 70's), and told them that I will call this the Striped Tomato Church.

We were overwhelmed with joy this New Year's Day, and filled with the wonderful satisfaction that one more county that never had a Christian church throughout history is now being reached with the Gospel of Christ.  And this county will never be the same.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What happens when too many show up at church for Christmas

Christmas in Thailand is so very different from in the States, where it tends to be mostly focused upon family.  Here, the focus is upon reaching out to the lost so they can find Christ.  At great personal sacrifice, the Thai Christians have Christmas outreach to everyone in their village.

At one of our newest Pioneer Pastor churches, Abundant Blessings Church in Sukhothai province, had their Christmas outreach event last week.  This also served as the Grand Opening for the new church building that was constructed.  Pastor Santi and all of the members of Abundant Blessings Church volunteered all of the labor to construct the church building, including members in their 70's and 80's!  It was a time of great celebration to worship in the new building.

The local police let Pastor Santi borrow the Police Checkpoint sign
and traffic cones for the Christmas outreach event.

Pastor Santi is a farmer who is a lay pastor who is in the midst of his Bachelor of Ministry degree studies through Global Theological Institute, the Bible college which the Thailand Methodist Mission sponsors.  He is a gifted evangelist and a diligent worker, so it was no surprise to us that this Christmas would be well attended.

We were prepared to receive 250 children and teens as well as the adults in their families.  This is a rural area, so it seems like people come out of nowhere when they show up at church.  The night of the Christmas outreach came, and we were overwhelmed with people.... instead of 250 children AND teens, we had 280 children and over 80 teens, and about 200 adults!  We have no idea how everyone was fed, but everyone had plenty to eat (the pots of food never seemed to empty).  There was a bit of concern over not having enough gifts.. but Pastor Warin of Fire of Glory church (their church sent a Thai mission team to help the church in Sukhothai) saw that we had two 4 gallon tins of cookies and snacks in our car that we had brought for a revival service the next day.  She opened the tins and her and the members of Fire of Glory church filled gift bags with the cookies and snacks so we would have enough gifts for the children.

The children were packed "like sardines" on mats at the front of the church.

There were so many people that came to the church, that a few hundred people had to sit outside and watch and listen through the open doors and windows.  We were blessed that the village chief came to give his blessing to the church.  It is always our intent to build bridges with the community leaders.

Pastor Santi preaches the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of the villagers
that came to the Christmas outreach.
For most, this was their very first time to hear the Gospel.

We want to thank you, our prayer warriors, because we know that this event had a great turnout because of your prayers.  When you pray, mountains move in Thailand!

Sherri and I wish you a Blessed Christmas and New Year!