The mission of reaching the world for Jesus Christ is a task that is much larger than any one person, any single congregation, or even any single denomination. The mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ and bringing justice and peace to the worlk requires every Christian and every group of Christians. This is especially true for Thailand where Christians are a small minority but face a huge task. In Thailand, it is very crucial for all Christians to work cooperatively.
We try to set aside one or two days per week to connect with other ministries in Thailand so we can work cooperatively. As Christians, we need each other and we need to be connected. Yesterday we went to Bangkok Bible Seminary, an OMF (Overseas Mission Fellowship) ministry, which is the largest seminary in Thailand. We met with Dr. Manoch who leads this vital ministry and is also the president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand, a group of churches and denominations that we are seeking to connect with for cooperative ministry. Our purpose was to get information on the seminary because we know we will have people called into the ministry who already have college degrees and a seminary would provide the Master of Divinity degree which they will need for leadership in Methodism in Thailand. We were really pleased with all we saw there and look forward to the day when Thai United Methodists will begin studies there. We hope to build a cooperative relationship with Bangkok Bible College and to further connect with Phayao Bible College where United Methodists from Thailand and Laos are now studying.
We are fortunate to have met Dr. Manoch of Bangkok Bible Seminary for his wise counsel that he has developed from years of experience here in Thailand. We have found that Thai Christians are always willng to sacrifice their time and give assistance to us as we have much to learn. Our time with Dr. Manoch was very fruitful.
We also are privileged to serve as connectors across the globe, connecting churches and Christian leaders in the States with Thai Christian leaders and Thai churches. We need to connect and work together to have fruitful ministry in the task that the Lord has set before every Christian.
We have been blessed by many connections across the globe.
One connection that is a great blessing is Santa Clara Korean UMC. They have been very supporting of the Thailand Mission and now have promised to be a sister church with Bowin UMC here in Thailand, providing the financial support for Pastors Jerron and On at Bowin. Now Santa Clara KUMC has two more pastors on staff, and these two serve across the Pacific Ocean from California. The sisters and brothers at Santa Clara are also providing financial support for the new church plant that is starting in Pattaya. Santa Clara KUMC has entered the first sister church relationship and we hope many others will soon follow.
Another connection that is a blessing is with the Rocky Mount District of North Carolina. They are returning in February with a VIM team to help with the need for Christian art. In the States, we tended to take Christian art for granted because it was plentiful and easily available. Here Christian highly treasure any Christian art because it is very scarce and expensive. Most Thai Christians are very new believers, having become Christians in the past year or two. When they became Christians, they removed idols and Buddhist art from their homes, and in most homes there is no Christian symbols and art to replace it with. It is very important not to leave this void but to have these very important Christian symbols and art around their homes to remind them of who they are in Jesus Christ. We look forward to seeing our sisters and brothers from North Carolina as they connect once again with their Christian family here in Thailand.
We are very blessed to serve in this role of being connectors of God's people. God is good!