God is good! We appreciate your prayers, especially for Anthony. The Lord is healing him and he is getting better by the day. The sore throat, ear ache, and congestion are going away. In fact, we all feel pretty good now.
We want to share the good news of Jesus Christ throughout Thailand, and the place we have decided to start is in our own neighborhood (Acts 1:8 – Our neighborhood in Thailand is our new Jerusalem). We started an English class on Tuesday nights and we had 7 neighbors here. We use the Bible and words of faith to help teach English, so many good discussions took place and we were able to plant some seeds of faith. We pray that the Lord will open their minds and hearts to the message of Jesus Christ. Word got around the village (i.e. “subdivision”) that we are conducting an English class, and since Tuesday we have had several people ask if they could join. It is our hope that this class will turn into a Bible study, and we ask for your prayers for the Lord to work through this ministry to reach our neighbors for Christ.
On Wednesday, we went to Macro (it is Thailand’s version of Sam’s or Costco) and bought a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and some art supplies to make Chrismons (tree decorations in the shape of ancient Christian symbols.) On Wednesday evening, the neighbors saw Anthony putting up the Christmas tree and they all came over to participate. Our house was packed with people standing around the Christmas tree, fluffing up the branches. They asked about what we do for Christmas, and it gave another opportunity to witness. The people here are very open to hearing about the Lord.
The next night (Thursday), the neighbors saw Anthony and Sherri cutting out the templates for the Chrismons, so they all came over again and packed out our house. When they saw what we were doing, they went home and brought over their own scissors, Exacto knives and cutting boards and helped to make the templates. Again, we had many opportunities to witness as they asked what each symbol meant. They inquired about the Alpha & Omega symbol, and we told them about Jesus and what the Bible means when it calls Him the Beginning and the End. They inquired about the Lamb, and we were able to talk about Jesus being the final sacrifice for sin that we may be saved and have eternal life. Each symbol was an opportunity to tell them about the Lord.
Tonight will be very quiet around here. Most of the neighbors are traveling up to the Northwest region of Thailand to go to the International Flower Expo at Chiang Mai. They invited us to go with them, but we had to decline because we have a VIM team coming from Singapore. The Singapore Methodists have a lay missionary at this church for one year. His name is Mr. Boon and he is a wonderful man with a heart for evangelism. He has helped to start and build up several new cell groups and many new “preaching points”. His pastor and members of his church will be here with us for the next several days. His pastor will preach on Sunday morning, and then we will all go to minister to the rural congregation at Bauwin on Monday. On Tuesday, the VIM team will leave us to do ministry in Chiang Mai at another church where they have sent a missionary.
Dr. Wiseth (pronounced “Vee-seth”), the founder of God Purpose Church, told us that Mr. Boon and the some of the church members have discovered another village where many Christians live. There is no church anywhere near there, and they have requested that a pastor be sent to them so that they can form a church. Dr. Wiseth brought it to our attention, because they do not have the resources to send anyone there and he said they really need a full-time pastor. Please pray that this need can be met soon.
We have begun to learn the Thai alphabet so we can learn to read and write. Being illiterate here is worse than not speaking the language. We will be thrilled when we can sing Thai hymns and can read signs. Being illiterate here has a truly comical side to it. We go to the market to buy food, and we cannot tell what we are buying. For instance, I thought I had bought milk, but it turned out to be something with an unrecognizable taste. So now I end up looking for a picture of a cow on a bottle and buy it, even if there are other bottles that are a lower price.
God is good! He takes care of our needs and gives us serendipitous moments to remind us of how much He loves us! When we went to Macro, we did our once-a-month large shopping. We packed out a large flatbed cart and purchased the items at the checkout. We knew we would then have to find a taxi (a pickup truck with benches in the back) to haul our groceries and other items home. Right now, hiring a taxi is tricky because we don’t speak much Thai and we have to communicate where we are going and then haggle on a price. We prayed that the Lord would help us in this endeavor, that is simple for Thai people but not so simple for us. As we were exiting the building, we came across a friend, Boon-see, who owns a furniture store down the road. She offered us a ride back to our house. We praise God who is our Provider and our Help. The Lord displayed His love for us through the love of a friend.
May the Lord Bless You and Your Church
Mike, Sherri, and Anthony Morrissey