The VIM team from Santa Clara Valley KUMC served faithfully here in Thailand for 5 days by giving free eyeglasses and free portraits.
And God took the faithfulness of this VIM team and combined it with the fervent faith of Thai Christians to be a part of a miracle here.
The miracle was God opening many doors.
The first two days, the team served at Life Center UMC in Pattaya, where we have a new building. This new building houses the church and also Blessing Home, the ministry for orphans and street children in Pattaya. Just before the team arrived, Blessing Home increased its capacity to 20 children. So this ministry is growing quickly, because the need is so great.
At Pattaya, over 160 people were served and we had about 40 people who received Jesus as Savior and Lord! Pastor Banya of Life Center UMC will be overseeing followup on these new believers.
Bangsaray was a place where God miraculously opened doors.
Khun Nuc of Pradumri UMC helped to connect us with Khun Songop, who is the community leader of Bangsaray. She is in the bottom picture in the green shirt sitting next to Sherri. Pastor Sarah of Pradumri UMC is in the back row to the far right. The rest are friends of Khun Songop who helped with registering people for the outreach event.
Khun Songop is a kind-hearted leader who takes care of her people and loves them. There were no buildings large enough to do the outreach other than the Buddhist temple, so she opened the door for us to do the outreach inside the Buddhist temple at Bangsaray. We were pleasantly surprised at this open door.
Over 350 people were served in the two days we were at Bangsaray! Most of them were seniors, and that is because there are relatively few adults aged 20-60 here. AIDS has killed off most of the middle generation leaving just children and older adults. We were glad the VIM team could provide help to these seniors. But here is the best part! 150 people received Jesus Christ as Savior! The response was overwhelming! Everyone that came received personal teaching about Jesus Christ and also received a Gideon Bible (thank you Gideons!) and Christian literature.
The abbot and monks of the temple also came. They received eyeglasses, portraits, and also were taught about Jesus Christ. Our God is God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth!
We are now going to have a meeting with the United Methodist Pastors to determine the best way to do followup on these 150 new believers. Bowin UMC has a cell group here, but we need to have someone serve here full time.
On the final day, the VIM team hosted 30 orphans and street children from Blessing Home Children's Ministry in Pattaya to go to the zoo and have lunch also. Most of these children have never been more than a mile or two away from the slums of Pattaya, so this was a trip they will remember for years to come. The children were very excited and had a lot of fun. We thank the VIM team for bringing joy into the lives of these children.
Our God opens doors. Our God opens hearts. Our God changes lives! Blessed be the name of our Lord!