United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Friday, October 31, 2008

God is looking after us!

Every Friday, we make the trip to Bangkok for language school. We take the elevated tollway, because it is safer and faster than the pothole ridden lower street that is jammed with cars, trucks, and many motorcycles.
This last Friday Anthony, Sherri, and I went out to the car to go to Bangkok and Sherri stopped and told me to look at the rear passenger side tire. There was a bulge in the sidewall of the tire, and normally it would not be noticeable because it is well shaded under the carport. But that day, the way the car was parked, it was not all the way under the carport as usual. So the tire was in the sunlight and God also provided some extra help so we would spot this. Our bedroom airconditioner was dripping water, which flowed sideways down the roof (not the usual place), and it was dripping exactly on the bulge of the tire sidewall. Sherri said it was the dripping water which called her attention to it.
We praised God for showing this to us, because the tire would have probably blown out on us while we were driving at a fast pace on the tollway. The tollway is about 6 stories high, making tire blowouts even more dangerous than a regular expressway.
God is good and He protects us and looks after us. Praise be to Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Experiencing Holy Moments with the UM Pastors and Interns

One of the privileges we enjoy is having training/prayer/fellowship meetings with the pastors, church staff, and interns of the United Methodist Churches in Thailand. The fellowship is truly sweet and much growth in Christ happens at these meetings. Growth in Christ sometimes takes the form of spiritual healing of old wounds, or receiving support for a current challenge, or learning new ministry skills, or praising God in unity together. We share joys and sorrows, triumphs and losses as a spiritual family. Even though we come to serve as missionaries, we find ourselves being blessed in greater measure than what we give to others. These meetings which we have twice per month are a time of refreshing for us and we praise God for being able to serve the Lord together with our Thai Christian family.

This past weekend, we took Kaek "Peter", one of three Thai United Methodist students at Phayao Bible College, back to school. He hauled his luggage plus a huge parcel of used clothes that the students will sell at market for scholarship money for students who are in need. Kaek is a leader among student and a great recruiter for United Methodists as well. Kaek and his wife Nuc, our very close friends as well. We rely on their help and mercy on a regular basis, and they are very patient with us and always kind and gentle.

At Phayao, we stayed with Jamie and Holle Wollin, who will be teaching at Phayao Bible College as missionary professors. They extended their warm hospitality to us and Anthony and to our granddaughter Madeline, who came with us to visit the Wollin's son, Thomas, who is the same age as her. They are good buddies and play wonderfully together. We wish they could live close together, but unfortunately, Phayao is about a 12-14 hour drive from us.

Today, Pastor Nampon went back to Sern Saeng in Northeast Thailand to plant a new United Methodist Church. She will be doing visitation and planting cell groups over the next several months. She will then combine several cell groups to form a church. I (Mike) will be going up to Sern Saeng to visit with Pastor Nampon in two weeks. We will meet with the community leaders to introduce ourselves and our intentions of ministering to the people of Sern Saeng. We must have good relations with the community leaders and this is the first step. We also must have good relations with the other churches in the region, so we will meet with the pastor and church leaders of the closest church to the area Pastor Nampon is serving. The closest church is 13 kilometers away, in a different sub-district. We hope to have a spirit of unity and cooperation with the believers at this church. Please pray for Pastor Nampon as she serves the Lord as a pioneer church planter. Pray that she will enjoy the good graces of the community, the community leaders, and other churches in the district.

Monday, October 06, 2008

God's Power was at work at the United Methodist Camp Meeting 2008

Pradumri UMC hosted the annual camp meeting this year, and all three United Methodist Congregations celebrated in unity together. It is a great blessing to see Christians worship and minister together in one accord. This was the first time that members of Life Center UMC of Pattaya participated in the annual camp meeting.

Members of Pradumri UMC stayed overnight in their own homes, but the members of Bowin and Life Center UM churches camped out overnight at Pradumri church on Friday and Saturday night.

Dr. Somsak was the featured speaker at camp and as always, he preached with great power. Also, the interns and Bible college students from UM churches led Bible Studies and worship times.

At camp meeting, there is a lot of fun activities and games for adults and children. Our granddaughter Madeline had the opportunity to play with the Thai children at the camp meeting, and she looked forward to going each day.
We have had the privilege of having Debbie Sullivan visit us (pictured below at Nong Nooch Garden sitting on an elephant). Debbie is the mother of our daughter-in-love Abby, who is truly a wonderful young woman (our son Jim is blessed and so are we!) It has been wonderful to get to know Debbie. She will be here for about a month, so she has had time to do many things, and she came to Pradumri UMC this past Sunday during church camp. Debbie, Abby, and our son Jim enjoyed worshipping together with the Thai Christians. Khun Nung of Pradumri UMC translated the sermon for them. We appreciated this tremendously, because it was an act of sacrifice for him. Khun Nung brought his younger sister to church, and he has been praying for many months for her to come to Christ. By being with us, he could not sit next to his sister during the service. We did not know this until after the sermon was finished.
As always, worship at Pradumri is passionate, with fervent singing, hands raised in praise, smiles beaming with joy, colorful flags celebrating our awesome Lord, and hearts lifting prayers to God Almighty. At this service, 10 people gave their lives to the Lord. One of those people was Khun Nung's sister! We praise the Lord for He works miracles here every week as people come to Christ and become disciples. After worship, everyone had lunch and then headed out to the reservoir for a Baptism service.
36 people were baptized this past Sunday. One of those Baptized was a man who we have been praying for over 2 years (even before we arrived as missionaries here). His name is Khun Aik and he is in the red shirt praying. Khun Aik is the husband of one of the leaders of Pradumri UMC called Pi Jeem. Pi Jeem is a dynamic hard-working leader who leads mission cell groups. She was one of the key leaders in planting the church at Bowin. Her husband, Khun Aik, received Christ 2 months ago, and the Lord is working in his life. Now the whole family believes in Christ, Praise the Lord! Pi Jeem was one of the 36 people baptized this past Sunday, and we praise God for answering our prayers.
As missionaries, we are blessed to witness the power of God at work with the Thai Christians. We see His hand at work and it strenghthens our faith and gives us joy. And we know that this happens because you are praying for us constantly. Your prayers make the difference. Thank you!