This weekend, God Purpose Church hosted our second VIM team. The team was from Singapore and consisted of three young couples with their children. As a team, we visited a school on Monday morning that is near our rural congregation. It was a middle school with around 1200 students. We had about 200 students that we helped to teach English through games and songs. The children on the team did a wonderful job of singing songs to the Thai children. Sherri, Anthony, and I have been invited to help teach English on a regular basis at this school, and we may volunteer a few days per week, to make connections with the people in the area.
After our school program, we went for lunch and then went to a village that has over 100 families and many of them are Christian. The Christians there have asked that we start a church there, but at the moment, we do not have the people or resources to send anyone there, and this area really needs a full-time Christian worker to pastor the people. Please pray that the Lord will send for workers and the resources needed to support those workers for planting churches in Thailand. There are many Christians who are stranded in areas without any church near them.
We visited in many homes and had a good time praying with the people there. The people in the area range from very poor to absolutely destitute, with most being the latter. Being the heavy man I am, I had to watch where I stepped in their homes because many of the floor boards were broken and could not support my weight (or anyone who weighed more than 100 lbs.). As I visited people in their homes, I looked around and realized that most Americans have garages that are larger and in much, much better shape than their homes. We build houses for our cars that these people could only dream of having as a house to live in with a large family. Most of the people we visited were elderly women and men. The younger adults were all working at a nearby factory. It astounded me that a household could have 2 or 3 adults working full-time at the factory and still just barely eek out a living. Anthony was especially touched by visiting with these people. We believe all youth need to go on a mission trip to gain perspective on how truly blessed we are.
On Monday night, some team members presented a teaching session on cell group ministry. We were excited about the presentation, because no one does cell group ministry better than Asian Methodists, like those in Singapore and Korea. Asian Methodists have the largest Methodist churches in the world and are tremendously effective at evangelism, discipleship, and mission work. The team did a great job of teaching cell group ministry and we hope God Purpose Church adopts this Cell Group structure.
We enjoyed the fellowship with the VIM team from Singapore, and we hope to visit with them in January. In January, we will need to leave Thailand briefly to re-apply for a new visa. We are hoping to go to Singapore to renew our visas at the Thai embassy there. It would be a blessing to be with our sisters and brothers in Christ there. We need your prayers concerning visa issues. There is a very long and complicated process that we need to pursue to obtain one year worker visas (these are the longest term visas available). We will not describe the whole process here, but it will probably take several months to complete the process, and we will only be able to have 90 day visas until this process is finalized.
Ohhh! We almost forgot about Sunday night. Every so often, all the Protestant churches in the region come together for a time or worship through singing. It was God Purpose Church’s time to host the event, and there were seven churches that participated. It was a time of joyous singing and we were blessed to see each of the church members praying for each of the other churches and also praying for each other as individuals.
If you have prayer requests, please e-mail us at email@example.com and we would be honored to pray for you. Nothing of eternal significance ever happens without prayer.
And with prayer, all things are possible through Jesus Christ!