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