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, January 25, 2007

Ministry Opportunities in Northern Thailand


Hello everyone,

We have been away from home for a long time working on visa issues with the help of Rev. Oh, national director of missions for the Korean Methodist Church and Rev. Wirot, a Thai Methodist Pastor in Li, Thailand. They have gone the "second mile" in helping us and we are deeply indebted to them. They have taken many days out of their schedules in the busiest time of the year for them to help us remain in this country. We look forward to building on this friendship and alliance and serve the Lord together. Please keep us in prayer as we go back to Northern Thailand to complete the process for obtaining one year visas. Remaining in the country is of top priority.

While in Li, Pastor Wirot drove us to a village or resettled Burmese immigrants. The government allots parcels of land for each family to build a home. The homes were all very modest, with most of them being thatched huts. Although they were very poor, they were a proud and hard-working people. Their homes and neighborhood were well-kept and very clean. Their fruit trees and gardens were well managed.
The children live too far away from school to walk there, and many cannot afford school fees, books, and lunch money. The Li Happy Methodist Church ministers to these children by providing transportation to school and back as well as providing financial assistance for school fees, books, and food assistance. Without this help of this church, these children would not be able to attend school and would be trapped in a life of poverty. We thank God for the faithful Christians in Li, Thailand! Pastor Wirot said the cost of providing these services is about $10 (U.S. Dollars) per month per child. We believe that this would be a great project for children and youth groups in your church. If your children of youth Sunday School classes or other ministries like V.B.S. would like to support a project that helps childlen in poverty, this is a great project. Please contact us at thailandumc@gmail.com if you want to send funds to help this ministry, and we will send the funds to them. Also, VIM teams are needed to conduct English classes here and to provide Bible lessons that are visual in nature.

The pictures above are from our visit there. The girl is one of the students that we help as well as pictures of other families who receive assistance through the ministries of Methodists around the world. We enjoyed their colorful clothing and unique culture.
While in Li, we enjoyed a great dinner with three Christians from the Phillipines who are helping the ministry of the Methodist church there by providing English classes and helping with Sunday School and with the church's website. They are wonderful people who love the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts. We hope to nurture our friendship with them.



The pictures you see on the right are of the children of the church ministering to us in song during the worship service (Pastor Wirot is in the background.) The members of the church helped to stamp the back of gospel tracts with the church's name and address, and then they hand these out during the week. After the worship service and a fellowship meal, the children were led in an English class where they learned through fun games and songs.

We thank you for your prayers. Nothing eternal happens without the prayers of God's people!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

GBGM meeting in Bangkok

We had a great meeting with representatives from GBGM in Bangkok. These representatives are members of the Committee to Eliminate Institutional Racism (GBGM-CEIR) and they were on an Immersion Experience touring through Southeast Asia. Church leaders from other nations in Southeast Asia came to report of their situation to this committee. It was a reminder of how wonderful we have it here in Thailand, where we enjoy a much larger degree of religious freedom than what Methodists in other nations have (We do not want to mention any nations or names, to protect the our sisters and brothers, nor do we want to mention any specifics that may place them in danger). This meeting also provided an opportunity for us to connect with other Methodist leaders in this region of the world and we are honored to make their aquaintance. One ministry that we have here in Thailand is serving as a means of connection with sisters and brothers who serve in nations where Methodists are oppressed or discriminated against. We want to stand beside them and let them know they are not alone.

This meeting also provided us with an opportunity to meet together with Dr. David Wu, who is now retired, but is still one of the most connected and knowledgable United Methodists when dealing with church issues here in Southeast Asia. An hour with Dr. Wu answered many questions we had and provided insights that we needed. We were very pleased that he agreed to be a source of wisdom and counsel for us in the future.

Many people have asked about organizing VIM (Volunteers in Mission) teams coming here to Thailand, and what needs there are. Right now we have three needs for VIM teams.

  • The greatest need we have is for teams to come to teach English. Team members would work one on one or in very small groups to tutor children and adults in English. If a VIM team came during a time when children were off from school, an English daycamp would be a great ministry.
  • Another need is for medical teams, especially health education teams.
  • A third need is for computer education classes. A team that came for this purpose would need to bring their own notebook computers and other equipment.

If you are interested in forming a VIM team, please feel free to contact us at thailandumc@gmail.com

If you are interested in sending a donation to fulfill a specific need, please look at the Thailand Wish List .

Information on how to financially support the mission in Thailand is available at this link.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stranded Christians

After our Cell Group meeting on Monday night, we were approached by two of our friends at church, Kajad and Man. They were both very excited and they told us that both of their parents and a few other family members have received Jesus as their Savior and Lord. We wish you could see the joy on their faces as they told us this good news. And then, a look of resignation came over their faces as they told us that there are no churches anywhere near where either of their parents live and that they do not have transportation to drive to another region to find a church. They said that their loved ones would never have the chance to grow in Christ because there was no one there to teach them and nurture their faith. We are praying for their parents and that the Lord will help to plant good churches in their towns soon.

This problem of “Stranded Christians” is the largest problem the churches in Thailand face. Thai Christians are zealous in sharing their faith, and there are many who give their lives to the Lord. But a very large percentage of those who believe in Jesus Christ live in areas where there are no churches. So these Christians never receive teaching and nurture to grow in their faith, and eventually their faith dwindles. Please pray for the stranded Christians of Thailand.

On Tuesday evening, we had a wonderful meeting with Dr. Wiseth and Sara, the pastors and founders of God Purpose Church. They have a heart for reaching out to others with the good news of Jesus Christ and helping the poor of Thailand in the name of Jesus. We are beginning to make plans to recruit a pastor for the second congregation at Bo Win, a poor rural congregation. Funds have been received to place a pastor at this location. We praise God for these funds, because they allow for a pastor to be appointed to serve this rural church.

We will be visiting several Bible Colleges in Thailand next month. The purpose of the visit is two-fold. First, we want to find the best options available for training pastors and discover approximately how much a scholarship would cost. Second, we want to find godly, gifted women and men who are Wesleyan in theology, to recruit for planting churches. The possibilities are endless here, because the need for new churches is so great.

We purchased a digital camera, so we will be able to take more pictures to post on the blog. We will also be putting together a PowerPoint presentation to be made available to churches through this blog. We will be working on this for the next several weeks.

We have a big praise. We are beginning to learn how to read Thai script, and what seemed like a huge mountain to climb is beginning to get easier. The one who reads the best out of all of us is Anthony. Everyone kept telling us that he would pick up the language faster than we would, and they are right. He is a whiz at learning to read Thai. Thai is difficult to read because for several reasons. First, the words all run together so there are no spaces between words. Second, Thai script is read from left-to-right, but not really. The vowels can be before, after, above, below, before and after, above and after, below and after, or be missing altogether. And many of the same symbols that are used in forming the various vowels, so the same symbol can be used to form different sounds. As complicated as it is, Anthony gets it! We thank you for your prayers for our language studies and request your continued prayer.

May the Lord Bless You!
Mike, Sherri, and Anthony

Thursday, January 04, 2007

On a humorous note =)








On our day off this week, we went to a place I call Monkey Hill, it is a tall hill by the ocean that has thousands of monkeys that everyone comes to feed bananas and peanuts. Anthony was able to feed all of the monkeys some bananas, including one that looks like his father.


Back in our home state of Kentucky, people worry about hitting a deer in the road. Here, we pass elephants walking along the road almost every week.


On our days off, we enjoy going down to the oceanfront and enjoying the beauty of the Thailand coast. The pictures we take with Anthony's camera phone cannot capture the majesty of this area.

This has been a very slow week because most people at church are on holiday. New Years Week is the most popular time of the year for Thai people to go on vacation or take time to visit family. Cell group meetings have been cancelled for the week. We did not have language study classes this week, because our tutor is on vacation and our language school teacher had to cancel (she was away from Bangkok, visiting her parents, and she could not get a flight home because they were all being cancelled because of bomb threats.) We used our time this week to catch up on our Thai language studies and to take care of correspondence and paperwork that had accumulated around Christmastime. We praise God having a week where life slowed down a bit!
We have a Rev. Randy Day, the General Secretary of GBGM. We are honored that he would take time out of his busy schedule to be with us. We will also be meeting with Dr. David Wu, who has "retired" (we think he is as busy as ever) from GBGM but is serving on a special commission. We, and all UM missionaries in southeast Asia are deeply indebted to Dr. David Wu for his fruitful ministry that has empowered missions in this region.
One of our neighbors was over the house when a couple from our church came over. Soon, the couple, Mr. Man and Mrs. Mim, started to witness to our neighbor. We were pleased at Man & Mim's eagerness to witness and we believe this couple is one of several at the church that is called to ministry and would do well as pastors. They led our neighbor through the Scriptures and then our neighbor prayed to ask Jesus into her heart. After she prayed, we all held hands and prayed together with her and gave her a Bible with instructions to read the gospels. We don't know how much she actually understood, but we do know that a seed has been planted, not only with her but with her whole family. We do believe that our neighbor and her mother will probably read the Bible and we pray that God will continue to nurture her. Please pray for our neighbors. They are wonderful people and we want to share Jesus with them.










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