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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Week We Received A Lesson on "The Connection"

We have had a great and fantastic two weeks!

Two weeks ago, we hired a new member of the Thailand Mission Team. Meet Nittaya, who is our assistant. She is an incredibly gifted young woman who comes from Victory Church in Sriracha. Nittaya is fluent in English (she spent 3 years in high school in Canada) and Thai is her native language. She will be doing translating training materials and curriculum for pastors and church leaders as well as helping in other translating needs such as VIM teams and meetings. We are very blessed to have her on board. Her translation services came in handy when Bishop Jung (Northern Illinois Conference), and Drs. Elaine and Philip Amerson (Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary) came to Thailand last week on an exploratory visit to find ways to work with each other to provide theological education to United Methodist pastors and church leaders in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
Bishop Jung and the Amersons went to Bangsaray to have dinner and fellowship with our cell group members there. While there, Bishop Jung was able to pray for healing for a man who had cancer and was very near death and Sherri had the privilege of praying with that man to receive Christ! Bishop Jung's sincere love was experienced by all in the cell group. Next, we visited Pastors Jerron and On at the Bowin Church and Dr. Elaine was used by the Lord to be a source of encouragement for this young couple in ministry.
Bishop Jung and the Amersons also met with Dr. Somsak of Phayao Bible College, who is a tremendous source of wisdom on Christian education and church ministry in Thailand. On Sunday, Bishop Jung preached while Pastor Sarah translated, and they were a great duo for the Lord. Bishop Mawia of Burma was able to join us for worship at Pradumri, and it was a privilege to have him with us. Please pray for the people of Burma, especially our UM sisters and brothers there.
Over the course of 4 days, Bishop Jung and Drs. Philip and Elaine Amerson gave us a lesson on "The Connection". They are helping us to connect with people from all over United Methodism that have a connection to the people of Thailand. We have many pages of notes from our meetings, with many names of people we will be contacting that can help. Our UM connection is a beautiful relationship. Bishop Jung extended an invitation to us to participate in the Korean United Methodist Mission Conference in Chicago at the end of October. Sherri will be attending this event.
While Sherri is back in the states, she will also attend the Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Conference United Methodist Women. Last year we could not attend because we were leaving for Thailand, so it is a serendipitous opportunity for Sherri to be there this year. The United Methodist Women of Kentucky are our prayer warriors and supporters. They are a blessing to us and the people of Thailand!
Well, it is getting close to the one year mark, and that means we must apply for another one year work visa. Please pray that all goes well and smooth in this process. We must be able to remain in Thailand to do our work here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Welcoming a Team of Veterans

This week we went to the Awana Hotel in Bangkok to welcome Lorna Jost, Administrator of VIM for the North Central Jurisdiction and eleven Conference VIM Coordinators. They were on their way for a VIM project in Cambodia and they had a day to spend with us to hear about the needs for volunteers here in Thailand. We also had time to see the Royal Palace, take a boat ride on the Chayo Phraya River, and see the Jade Museum (which was really just a tourist trap to sell jewelry and coffee).
It was wonderful to connect with these veterans who have led VIM teams for many years and in numerous places around the world. Having them here was an education for us too. They gave us many ideas to use and helped to give us a better perspective on how to host VIM teams most effectively. One of my seminary professors used to say, "One hour with a scholar is worth 1000 hours in the card catalog of the library". Well one hour with these well experienced servants of God was a tremendous help to us, and we hope to see them again, bringing volunteer teams with them.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Seeing Better, Seeing Jesus Better

We are so grateful to the members of the Santa Clara KUMC Summer of 2007 Mission Team to Thailand, and the entire Santa Clara church family! The team arrived in Bangkok on Monday at 11:55 pm. After many hours of flying, there was still a ride to the hotel in ChonBuri; then, sorting through baggage to reconsolidate items needed for the Eyeglass Ministry they would carry out in Bowin, Pattaya, and in ChonBuri. Early Tuesday morning, the team drove to Bowin. "Plans" were that there'd be an hour for worship & final details to be worked out. Of course, "plans" sometimes change! By the time the team arrived at Bowin, rows of seats were filled with people waiting for an eye exam. A team huddle for prayer, and everyone 'jumped in!' After a full day of seeing people, fitting them for eye-glasses, taking family photos, twisting balloons for delighted children, and presenting the gospel, the team was finally able to breathe! One of the great blessings was seeing an elderly widow (who was thought by many to be blind) wearing her new glasses and reading aloud the Scripture passage painted on the wall at Bowin UMC: Phil. 1:21... "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain." We all give praise to God! Day 2 at Bowin went smoother; Day 3 at Pattaya was non-stop. There the team helped us build connections with Christian leaders within the area, which will be important as Pattaya is a UM church planting location for the near future. The team did their last service day at Pradumri UMC in ChonBuri. (These pictures were taken at Pradumri). Throughout the preparation time and while the team served in Thailand, our prayer was that many people would not only "see better," but that they would see Jesus better. Prayers were answered, as many seeds were planted, and numerous decisions were made for Christ. Each of the churches celebrated as people made professions of faith on Sunday. Please pray for these new believers - that they will grow strong in faith and in faith-sharing!