Donate to our mission

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:

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some Good News, Some Bad News, Joy and Disappointment

Wow, we have been away from home for two weeks and so many things have happened that we do not know where to begin. We have much good news and some bad news, so we will just mix it up.

First, the good news is that our family is safe even though there are mass protests happening all across Bangkok province. We are located in Chonburi province which is about an hour drive away from it all. We thank all who contacted us out of concern.
However, the bad news is that Thai society is grossly polarized and there seems to be no good solution to the problem. Please pray for the unity of the Thai people, that this nation will not fall into civil war.
The second piece of good news is that a fifth UMC opened up in Thailand in Minburi, which is in Bangkok province. We had an opening service two weeks ago, and the building was packed. Pastor Sarah of the First UMC in Thailand (pictured with her daughter, Dr. Kate and Kate's fiance) preached at this historic event and consecrated Pastor Sila and his wife in this new church called Pradumri Bangkok UMC.

Now for some disappointing news. Jamie and Holle Wollin, who are Volunteer Missionaries at Phayao Bible College, will be heading back to the States and will come again next year after completing their seminary degrees. (Originally, the Wollins were going to complete their final coursework via internet from Thailand). The primary 'glitch' involved securing their visas. Because we do not yet have foundation status, we are dependent on the agency Phayao Bible College is affiliated with to obtain the visas. This did not happen within the time permitted. We then explored several other possibilities for keeping them in the country, one of which would work well. The good option was for them to serve with Muang Thai Foundation teaching English in their ministries in Northeast Thailand, but there were concerns as to whether there'd be adequate time and internet service available for them to complete their online studies with Asbury Theological Seminary. Other factors then arose. After much prayer and being guided by the Scriptures, the Wollins have determined it is best to return to Asbury at this time, complete their work, and then come back to serve at Phayao. This would solve many problems and give a fresh start. Please pray for the Wollins as they have many transitions. We will miss them greatly and can't wait for them to come back.

Some good news is that we met with Bishop Goodpaster and Rev. Jong Sung Kim to discuss the new General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) process for educating and credentialing pastors in Southeast Asia. We now have a set approved process and we will now be busy forming a Course of Study training center for Thai UM pastors and leaders.
We also spent several days at a United Methodist Asia Missionary Gathering in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
We had a wonderful time connecting with fellow missionaries. It was great fellowship but also a great source of knowledge, because we were able to find people who have done aspects of our ministries, and was able to give us wise advice and resources.

Today, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. There will be no turkey because we got back from Cambodia too late to defrost it. So we will have chicken instead. But we could eat bologne sandwiches for all we care, because we have all three sons, two daughter-in-laws, two grandchildren, and one young man (Allen Metcalf, who we consider to be our fourth son) is all with us to celebrate together. We know that we will have our family here for only a brief time, as they will all leave to go to college, graduate school, or seminary next year. God has blessed us with a wonderful family and we are soaking it all in while we can.
May the Lord bless you and remember to give God thanks for all He does.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Worship at Khok Noi....

This may seem like an odd aray of pictures. Let me explain. The location is Khok Noi - a city in Korat, the gateway to the northeast of Thailand. The purpose of the trip was to join Pastor Nampawn in the first worship service of the new congregation at Khok Noi. ("Mighty God Church" would be the best way of translating the church's name). Prior to the Sunday service, we did a full day of visiting churches in the extended regions, and visiting the government officials of Khok Noi. While there was no church in Khok Noi, cultural politeness requires Christian leaders to connect with churches in other towns or cities to say "We are here. We look forward to serving alongside of you. We want to have good relations with you." Meeting the government officials, particularly the "village chief" is vitally important as well. By this we show our respect, creating the foundation for good working relations in the future. It also brings a measure of protection to Christians in the community if there are misunderstandings as to why a church is forming.
The group photo was taken on Sunday, prior to worship. The child in the basket is the son of a Christian who lives in the community. Please pray for the child's family, as there is much tension over issues of faith. The photo of Sherri and two women includes pastor Nampawn and the woman who has opened her house-building for cell groups to meet in and for the beginning of worship services. She is 73 years old, and recently lost her husband. We were told that when pastor Nampawn officiated at the funeral it was the first Christian funeral in the community, and that folks from throughout the area came "to watch." The photo of a woman weaving slender grass stalks is to introduce you to a neighbor who lives across the street from where the church is meeting. Please remember her in prayer too, as her family thinks she is "crazy" for believing in Jesus. The young woman (Nawng) gave testimony to the many ways Jesus helps her in daily living. The weekend was filled with blessings. It was also filled with reminders of the cost of following Christ in areas where the gospel has not yet been received.