5 year anniversary celebration of Grace Church
5 years ago, we worked with Pastor Peak and his wife Nam to plant a new church in Fai Kwang county, an unreached sub-district in Phayao Province.. This church is about a 14 hour drive north of where we live.
Pastor Peak and Teacher Nam humbly persevered and served by bringing the Good News of Jesus to the students at the vocational school across the street from them, and they also led a program to train Christian pastors in Laos who were unable to go to Bible college because of their restrictive governement. Pastor Peak has trained scores of Laotian pastors in courses such as Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Christian Doctrine, and other basic courses.
|Teacher Nam and Pastor Peak at the|
5 Year Anniversary Celebration
While at the celebration, we met two missionaries who serve at a training center in Phayao province and have been serving as missionaries in Thailand for 30 years now. They have been encouragers for Pastor Peak and Teacher Nam. Mike and Naomi talked about the huge "deserts" of unreached areas in Thailand, and wished most missionaries would spread out over the country to help serve these unreached areas. They were an encouragement to us to meet missionaries with the same vision as God has given to us, to bring the gospel to unreached places in Thailand and plant churches in places where there are none in the county.
We praise the Lord, He has blessed the Pioneer Pastor Program, and now there have been 38 churches planted in counties that never had a church before. God is good!
That 38th church was just planted last week in Buriram Province at Lahan Sai with Pastor Nampon and her husband Joy. This church is a 5 hour drive northeast of us in the Isan region.
Now she and her family moved out to Lahan Sai, and unreached county, 4 months ago. Pastor Nampon and Joy are Christian foster parents of Maria (formerly called Naet), who is one of our Blessing Home children who was saved from being trafficked. Maria has been in their care since she was 5 years old, and she is now 12 years old and in 7th grade. Most of our foster parents of Blessing Home children are Pioneer Pastors.
Below are picture of Maria when she began with Blessing Home at 2 years old and a picture of her now. Please pray for Maria, because she is struggling with math at school. We have hired a tutor for her to study in the afternoon three days per week to help her with her math skills.
|Maria (Naet) at two years of age|
|Maria today at 12 years of age|
Every Pioneer Pastor Church is self-sufficient. We help to provide Bible college education, training, and equipment, but we do not provide salaries for the pastors. Self-sufficient churches are permanent churches because they do not depend upon outside support to survive. Pastor Nampon's husband, Joy, will be supporting the family and ministry by selling BBQ Pork sticks and sticky rice. Your donations helped to purchase a cart, so Joy can sell his BBQ and sticky rice in several locations (morning time at the school, afternoons at two different markets).
The Pioneer Pastor Program also purchased tables, chairs, a pulpit, curtains for the walls to dampen the sound, musical instruments, a sound system, and a sign.
Pastor Somsri, who serves as our Thai Coaching Pastor, will be bringing Thai mission teams from Fire of Glory Church for evangelism events during this next year and will do visits every 6 weeks.
|Joy, Pastor Namporn, Pastor Somsri, and Pastor Warin|
|First service at Lahan Sai Church|
It was especially meaningful to us that this church was planted on August 11, because it is our 35th anniversary. I (Mike) belong to the "Married Up" club. I am married to the most Christ-like woman that I have ever met, and I am blessed WAY BEYOND what I deserve. And we are blessed to be called by God to serve together in Thailand. God is good!