During this Christmas Season, we celebrate Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary. We celebrate Jesus, our Savior, our Lord, Emmanuel. We celebrate together, across the world, in every nation, in every language. As Christians, we are one body united under one Lord. You, our sisters and brothers, are in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas Season.
Christmas in Thailand is an important time for evangelism. Each United Methodist Church has special outreach events, usually on several days in several locations. I (Mike) will be helping with the largest event which is the one on the 27th at Pradumri UMC in Chonburi. I will be an actor in the Christmas Event Drama and this is my first time memorizing lines in Thai for a play. The practice times have been very humorous because I still speak with a strong American accent and I make people chuckle as I attempt to do my lines.
One aspect of life in the United Methodist Church in Thailand is the sense of full connection between churches. Each church helps the others with these events. In this way, more can be accomplished than if one church did an event independent of the rest. This makes so much sense. If a group practices a special song, tradition Thai dance, or drama for performing at one event, it only makes sense to use this same presentation at the other churches as well. And God takes their faithfulness and makes their ministry bear fruit. We expect this year to be like the previous years, with many people becoming disciples of Christ because of these evangelistic events. The past few Sundays, we have praised God when we look around at the congregations and see people worshipping the Lord who came to Christ last year at one of the Christmas programs. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that God is blessing the ministries of the Thai United Methodists, changing lives and making an eternal difference.
One prayer request is for the Prime Minister Abhisit, the new PM of Thailand. As Missionaries, we do not ever get involved in politics, and we remain neutral. This is the law of Thailand and we respect it. But we do pray that the new Prime Minister receives wisdom from God to unite the Thai people, who are highly divided. We hear encouraging news of each side reaching out to the other side and we praise God for these incremental signs of hope.