United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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Send a check in the mail to: TMM P.O. Box 56 Mannsville, KY 42758 (Please make checks payable to TMM) Or give online by clicking this link: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/thametmis/

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
Click on the Logo to Visit the Website of the Thailand Methodist Mission

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nothing happens without your support in prayer and finances

We are always aware of the wonderful support we receive from so many churches and individuals. Support in prayer. Support in words of encouragement. Support in funds to enable the planting of churches and mercy ministries to be made possible. We want to express our appreciation, gratitude, and joy for all of the people who support the Thailand Initiative.

Although apportionments helps to pay the many expenses associated with sending us to Thailand (salary, rent, travel, office expenses, language education, and many other expenses), there are not funds apportioned for planting churches and mercy ministries. Each pastor who receives salary, each orphan who receives shelter, food, and education, each pastor and lay leader who is trained, each church building which is rented, each outreach program that is funded, is funded by special giving through the Advance.

Our greatest need right now is for gifts to the Thailand Initiative, Advance #00403A . We have churches and ministries that are ready to be planted, but need funds for pastor salaries and rent.

Giving to the Advance can be done in two ways, online and through your local United Methodist Church.

You can give online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate_select_project.cfm
Be sure to type in the Thailand Initiative Advance #00403A

You can also give a check to your local United Methodist Church. Please write in the Memo section: "Thailand Initiative, Advance #00403A. The church treasurer will then forward the money to the Annual Conference Treasurer, who will send it to the Advance.

Again, we thank all who have made the planting of churches and mercy ministries possible. You are making a difference!

Friday, February 15, 2008

North Carolina VIM team serves in Chonburi, Bowin, and Bangkok

Pastor David Haley led the North Carolina VIM team. They served by conducting Christian art workshops at Pradumri UMC, Bowin UMC, and Prarachagit UMC. In Thailand, Christian art is rare and expensive to the point of being unaffordable for most Thais. This VIM team brought plaster molds and showed the people how to make Christian art for their homes. They also brought woodworking tools and showed them how to make crosses too as well as several other projects. Now all three churches has the resources to make these crafts.
Thai culture places great importance on art. Most Buddhists have their homes filled with beautiful Buddhist art. When these people become Christians, they rid their homes of Buddhist idols and art, and it is important to replace these with symbols that remind them of their faith in Jesus Christ. We thank the NC VIM for helping meet this need.
They also painted the childrens room at Pradumri UMC, and the room is very beautiful now.
We praise God for all who come to minister here in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Meet our new daughter

Our son Jim is a missionary teacher at Sammuk Christian Academy in Thailand, which is very close to our house. He came here in June 2007 immediately after graduating from college to serve the Lord here. A few months before Jim arrived at Sammuk, another missionary teacher named Abby Sullivan arrived in Thailand to serve as a music teacher at the same Christian school.

These two missionaries met, became friends, and then fell in love with each other. They will be getting married in her home state of Illinois on March 14. We will all head back to the States for the wedding.

We are very happy for both of them. We love Abby and she is already a daughter to us. We look forward to meeting Abby's parents when we go to Illinois for the wedding. Her parents did a great job, because they raised a daughter who loves the Lord with all her heart and serves the Lord faithfully.

Pictures from the Historic First Annual Southeast Asia Mission Conference

Friday, February 1, 2008 was a historic moment for United Methodists as we celebrated the first historic annual Southeast Asia Mission Conference of the Thailand District. For the first time in history, 6 pastors received pastoral appointments by Bishop Goodpaster. There was a sense of awe and a humbling of spirit as we all knew that this was a great milestone in United Methodism. We are blessed beyond what words can express to be a part of what the Lord is doing here in Thailand. We thank you for making this possible.

Minutes for the Historic First Annual Southeast Asia Mission Conference

Minutes for the historic first annual meeting of the Southeast Asia Mission Conference, Thailand District.
Friday, February 01, 2008, 7:30 pm
Bishop Larry Goodpaster – presiding bishop
Chonburi, Thailand

The three Thai United Methodist churches were in attendance with over 140 participants. These three churches are:
Pradumri UMC of Chonburi, the first UMC in Thailand, with the founding pastors, Dr. Wiset and Sarah (Mui)
Pradumri Bowin UMC of Bowin, the second UMC in Thailand, which was birthed by Pradumri UMC with their pastors, Jerron and On
Prarachagit UMC of Bangkok, the third UMC in Thailand , with the founding pastors, Dang and Maow

Pastor Sarah of the host church, Pradumri UMC, gave the welcome to celebrate the first mission conference of Southeast Asia Mission (SEAM) in Thailand and also the 5th anniversary of Pradumri UMC.

Pastor Sarah prayed the opening prayer.

Pi Nao was the worship leader for the praise team. Pi Nao is one of the key leaders on the Administrative Council of Pradumri UMC and is on the regular rotation of worship leaders. He currently leads two cell groups and is training to be a lay preacher.

Sherri Morrissey introduced K. Nittaya, the translator for the conference and gave the missionary greeting to the conference. SM said that this is a historical event that we will all remember. She said words of honor concerning Pastors Sarah and Wiset, the founding pastors of Pradumri UMC and the inviting pastors for the UMC in Thailand. SM also introduced Bishop Goodpaster, the presiding bishop and gave gifts to the special guests.

Bishop Goodpaster was given a plaque picturing Thai children, to remind him to pray for the children of Thailand.

SM introduced Dr. David Wu, Rev. Jong Sung Kim, Dr. Patrick Friday, and gave Thai handcrafted gifts to them.

Pi Nao led the recitation of the Apostles Creed.

Pi Nao led congregational singing in the contemporary style that Thai Christians of all ages love. Some of the songs were translations of English language worship songs, but most were Praise songs that are originated in Thailand.

Pi Nao prayed often between songs, which is also typical of Thai worship.

Bishop Goodpaster gave a greeting to Thai United Methodists. Bishop Goodpaster introduced the concept of annual conferencing to Thai United Methodists. Annual Conferencing is at the center of how we structure and function as United Methodists. Bishop Goodpaster stated that they have already had the Mission Conferences in the Vietnam and Laos districts.

Bishop Goodpaster said that the United Methodist Church is 14 million believers in 126 countries, with Thailand being number 126 to join.

Bishop Goodpaster appointed the pastors and prayed for each of them. Each pastor received a certificate of assignment as a Mission Pastor. Each pastor received the title of Mission Pastor, which will be used for this first year until we can have a certification process that is fully approved in place to certify local pastors.

Bishop informed Thai United Methodists that the next step is that he would form a Board of Ordained Ministry (Board of Ordained Ministry), which is a group of pastors already ordained, that would help to set up the credentialing process for United Methodist pastors in SEAM. The Bishop will work with Rev. Jong Sung Kim to form the BOM which will interview pastors next year to recommend them as Local Pastors to the next SEAM conference. The goal is to have the BOM be made up of Thai United Methodists, but it will take a few years to get there.

God has already been working here in Thailand in a great way. Bishop Goodpaster called on the pastors to give Pastor’s Reports.

Pastor’s Report of Pradumri UMC by Pastor Sarah
The church is now 6 years old. It started in their home with 3 families.
This grew into a large cell group, so they moved to a building owned by Pastors Sarah and Wiset. When they moved, Pastor Wiset stopped preaching at different churches on Sunday mornings as an evangelist and followed God’s vision to start a church.
All in the church are new believers.
Mission Cell Groups were also started in the surrounding cities of Bangsaray, Pattaya, and Bowin.
Pastor Sarah leads the church administration and Pastor Wiset does most of the preaching. Many strong leaders now do the ministry.
Patrick Friday and his wife first came to visit Pradumri from America. After that, they had contact with UMC for a two year process.
At the beginning of the process, they had 100 members and were all crowded at the church and could not invite more. So they moved to their present location which is much larger.
God provided this new building to rent at a very reasonable price.
The upstairs floors have apartments for church members and staff and a good parking lot and great location on the main street, Sukumwit Road.
They then gave birth to Bowin UMC
The members of the two churches still miss each other, so they meet for special joint worship services often.
They will soon open another church in Bangkok.
Over 600 people have come to Christ through the ministry of this church.
Many receive Christ every week.
They pray that the sanctuary will fill up again and trust that God will work to make it so.

Pastor’s Report of Pradumri Bowin UMC by Pastor Jerron
May 6, 2006, this church opened (it has been 9 months now)
30 members from Bowin moved from Pradumri UMC to start this church.
The church is growing and has 70 members now.
They concentrate on Bible teaching so it will be their foundation.
Pastors Jerron and On have learned much from Pradumri church.

They have cell groups, a Friday night prayer meeting, Sunday School and Sunday morning Service, Sunday fellowship dinner, children’s ministries, and evangelism ministries.

Many members at Bowin had large problems which God miraculously helped. So now they are strong believers in Christ.

They are now having cell groups that meet in homes. 2 cells meet in homes and one in a factory. The cell groups are entry points into the church for many people.

The 3 goals of the church
1. Solid Bible Teaching
2. Multiplying Cell Groups for Discipleship and Evangelism
3. Developing Strong Leaders

Mike and Sherri Morrissey are starting economic development programs to lift members permanently out of poverty.

Pastor’s Report of Prarachagit UMC by Pastor Dang
Pastor Dang gave greetings to Bishop G and Pastors Sarah and Wiset
He invited his members to stand. 21 people came to this conference from his church in Bangkok.
He appreciates the opportunity to be United Methodist. He first learned about John Wesley in Bible College and later became interested in becoming United Methodist when they understood that we have Wesleyan theology.
His church began one year and 3 months ago on Nawamin Road in Bangkok. They faced many obstacles and problems and had to be bi-vocational, which limited their ministry. Now they can be full time because they receive support.
They have 21 adults that worship there with many children as well.
They are now multiplying cell groups, having 2 cell groups, one in the church and 1 a home. They also have a Thursday night prayer meeting.
He prays that United Methodists can work in unity of purpose.
They want their members to have opportunities to serve God.
They hope to start new music ministry and youth ministries this year.

Pastor Sarah gave a concluding report thanking each church for reporting what God is doing in their midst and invites people to give personal testimonies of how they have been blessed by God.

Khun Lek, a leader at Pradumri UMC is the first to testify.
Lek has been a Christian for 3 years.
Before he was a Christian, He was a businessman, selling cars and rice. But then his business started failing and his family relationships became broken.
He started going to the sauna, where he met Dr. Wiset, who evangelized there. He hated Dr. Wiset and wished he would stop talking about Jesus. One day he asked Dr. Wiset what he does, and he said that he prays for everyone that comes to the fitness center. Dr. Wiset explained the power of prayer and encouraged him to pray and read the Bible. He started reading the Bible and going often to the sauna to ask questions of Dr. Wiset. Dr. Wiset led him to receive Christ and he started coming to Pradumri UMC.

Khun Nuc, one of the key leaders and cell leaders at Pradumri gave her testimony.
She is the first Christian in her family.
Before Christ she was a successful businessperson who was only interested in making money.
She was also a strong Buddhist and leader at her temple.
She met her husband, Peter who was a Christian and he evangelized to her for 2 years.
He was a member of Hope of Bangkok Church. He kept inviting her to church and eventually she decided to go.
She started a business in Pattaya but had problems, so she moved to Chonburi. So she started going to the cell group at Pastor Sarah’s house at the urging of her husband Peter. She didn’t want to go but wanted to please her husband, so she attended.

She went to the Christmas party at the church and Dr. Somsak of Phayao Bible College preached. He gave his testimony without saying it was his own. Dr. Somsak had problems with drugs before Christ, and when he received Jesus, the Lord changed his life. She was inspired by his testimony to receive Christ.

When she received Christ, she received peace and joy and transformation.
God has helped her and Peter to overcome problems together that almost led to a divorce.
Now Peter is training to be a UM pastor at Phayao Bible College.

God blessed them with land to build an apartment building with a store on the first floor. This new business allowed them to leave their previous business and be in Chonburi every Sunday so they could become deeply involved in the life of the church.

Nuc now is in charge of taking care of new believers at Pradumri UMC.

Dr. Wiset gave thanks that many people have come to Christ. He introduced Missionary Boonchio of Singapore Methodists who was sent to help Pradumri UMC. He thanked God for the new cell group at Suwannabhumi.

On the screen was a picture of K. Dam with a very sick woman, who is just skin and bones, suffering from terminal cancer. The Singapore Methodist prayed for her (picture shown of this) and then she received healing. Now a new picture of the same woman in much better health is shown. God is doing miraculous things.

Bishop Goodpaster gave thanks for the testimonies and praised God for His miraculous work in Thailand.

His message is about how we are about to move forward.
As we seek to plant churches in Thailand, we must keep in mind the picture of the church in the Book of Acts.

God used his beginning church to reach the whole world with the gospel of Jesus.

Bishop G reads from Acts 2:42-
He prays that will be the model of the UMC in Thailand.
1. We have to be grounded in the Bible and read it constantly. John Wesley said we are to be “men of one book”, the Bible. The Bible teaches us how to serve God.
2. We have to be a community that cares for each other and serves others because we care and want them to know the Lord.
3. We must be a house of prayer, a people devoted to constant prayer.
When we pray, God will do great things.
4. We focus on Jesus. If we build a church for any other reason, we have not built a church. It is all about Jesus.

“Day by day, God added to the numbers who believed.”
God gives the faith, but God uses us to give the word.

Following the sermon, Bishop Goodpaster presented certificates of special recognition to Pastors Dr. Wiset and Pastor Sarah as the first appointed UM pastors in Thailand. All in the assembly clapped in appreciation for their faithful and fruitful service to the Lord.

Bishop Goodpaster appointed the pastors, credentialed them as Mission Pastors, and prayed for them, and gave each pastor a certificate declaring each to be a United Methodist Mission Pastor in the Southeast Asia Mission.

Bishop Goodpaster called forward Pastor Selah and his wife, who are presently serving at Pradumri UMC and will soon plant a new church in Bangkok near the Airport. He prayed for them as they prepare to open a new United Methodist Church in Bangkok in April.

The Bishop gave blessings to all who came.

Sherri Tabaka-Morrissey gave the benediction.

The Conference was followed by refreshments as is the custom of Methodists everywhere and in particular Thai United Methodists.