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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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meet Pastor Tharadon of Suphanburi

Pastor Tharadon is a true pioneering pastor. In fact, when we first met him, he called himself an Evangelist, because he said God has called him to the ministry of planting new churches where there are none at the present time. That caught our attention, because that is our vision too. Tharadon has planted several churches for OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship)which he turned over to new pastors as they were able to stand on their own.

Pastor Thardone will now be planting churches for the United Methodist Church in Thailand. A few months ago, he planted a church in Suphanburi, a rural province in Western Thailand. This church is now the Suphanburi UMC. This is the He also has started a cell groups in nearby Songpinaung district, which has no church at the present time. A new church will now be planted there as well. This will be our first United Methodist circuit in Thailand. So Tharadone will be the first UM Circuit Rider here in Thailand.

God has blessed. There are now 8 United Methodist churches in Thailand.
Pradumri UMC - Chonburi
Bowin UMC - Bowin
Life Center UMC - Pattaya
Bangkok UMC - Bangkok
Almighty God UMC - Nonsomboon
Lamppost UMC - Chiang Dao
Suphanburi UMC - Suphanburi
Songpinaung UMC - Songpinaung

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Santa Clara 2009 VIM Team makes a big impact in Thailand

It has been a whirlwind week with the Santa Clara 2009 VIM team. 5 Team Members came on Tuesday early morning to serve the Thai people through the Lion’s Club Eyeglass ministry. It is a very long trip to come to Thailand, but this team was ready to work hard for the Lord.

On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the team went to Minburi in Bangkok, nearby to where Pradumri Bangkok UMC is located. We knew that many people would show up, so we chose to do the outreach at a government building rather than the church. Over 550 people received glasses that day. Every person who came and the family members who came with them were witnessed to by Thai Christians. These events would be impossible without the hard work of Thai Christians working side-by-side with the Santa Clara VIM team. Every person who came had a clear presentation of the gospel and received Christian literature. There were 52 Thai people who received Jesus Christ there in Bangkok that day. Praise the Lord! There will be follow-up with these people as well as the hope that we can water the seeds planted in everyone’s hearts on that day.

On Wednesday morning and afternoon, we went to Pluakdaeng in Rayong Province. This town is near the Bowin church. The Christians at Bowin UMC had been going out for evangelistic outreach to Pluakdaeng for several months and had a strong cell group started in the newer section of town near the large main road leading to the industrial parks nearby. But recently they discovered that a very small church (about 20 people) existed on the old part of the town. As United Methodists, we believe in working together with other Christians, so we offered to do this outreach at this church and help them to build their ministry. So we went to Pluakdaeng Unity Christian Church, which is a daughter church of a church in Rayong. There we had over 200 people receive eyeglasses and 24 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ! We hope to work cooperatively with Pluakdaeng church in the future.

On Wednesday evening, the team stayed at Rodem House in Jomtien Beach (south of Pattaya) which is a ministry to provide a place for Christian retreats and a place of rest and renewal for pastors and missionaries.

On Thursday morning, the team visited the children of Blessing Home in Pattaya. The children sang for the team. The children are very cute when they sing, because they like to sing very loud and with lots of enthusiasm. After visiting the children, we went to Bowin UMC where the team and a crew of volunteers from Pradumri First UMC of Chonburi and Bowin UMC boarded a bus to go to Almighty God UMC in the town of Nonsomboon in Northeast Thailand. We stayed overnight at a campground there with nice cabins, and then on Friday morning and afternoon, the team and the Thai Christians served at Almighty God UMC which is Pastor Nampon’s church.

Pastor Nampon and the Christians at Almighty God UMC had received strong persecution over the past several months. The hope for this mission was that it would present an opportunity to share the gospel with all who came as well as to strengthen community relations, so people see that Christians want to help their neighbors and improve conditions for all.

There were over 460 people who received glasses at Nonsomboon. But here is the great news. 130 people received Jesus as Savior and Lord! Praise the Lord!

Because of the ministry of the Santa Clara VIM team and the faithful hard work of the Thai Christians, 206 people became Christians and at least 1,800 heard the gospel of Jesus Christ in a personal and clear way (not only did those who receive glasses receive witness, but also those who came with them.) Many seeds were planted, and we know that there will even be a greater harvest in the future.

On Saturday, the team traveled back to Bowin to drop off the Thai Christians, and then went to Bangkok to see the city before going to the airport.
The Santa Clara team must be very tired, because they worked very hard all week. We are grateful to them and all of our sisters and brothers at Santa Clara KUMC for their sacrifice for the Thai people and for helping us.

There are four posts below this with pictures from the outreach. Feel free to view and download them.

Photos from Santa Clara VIM - Part 1

Photos from Santa Clara VIM - Part 2

Photos from Santa Clara VIM - Part 3

Photos from Santa Clara VIM - Part 4

Friday, September 04, 2009

UMC opens new church in Northern Thailand

Last week, Sherri and I went up to Chiang Dao, a small city in the mountains of the far northern region of Thailand. Chiang Dao is a region that contains many hill tribes (Lisu, Karen, Hmong, Akha, Muser, and others). Drs. Tanapong and Mualrerdee (picture at the top left), Bible College professors from a Bible College in Eastern Thailand, wanted to start a United Methodist church in Chiang Dao and a Bible College to serve the needs of the many hill tribe people in the region.

Drs. Tanapong and Mualrerdee participated in the Advanced Course of Study courses on United Methodist Doctrine and History before we left to go back to the States on itineration. They did not want to wait until we came back to Thailand to start the church, so they started it about 3 months ago. We knew they had planted a new United Methodist church, Lampstand UMC but did not know they had also started a Bible college (we thought this would be sometime in the future). So when we arrived there, we were very surprised to meet 21 students of the new Global Theological Institute. We had arrived early, so Drs. Tanapong and Mualrerdee were not there yet. This gave us an opportunity to get to know these students, many of whom were Lisu, Karen, and one was Hmong. They came to study because they knew they were called to be God's servants to plant new churches. They live in very primitive and crowded conditions, because more students wanted to study than what there were facilities to accomodate. But their hearts were filled with the joy of the Lord, and they were very welcoming to us. We were very impressed by the joyful sacrifice these students make on a daily basis for the Lord.

When Drs. Tanapong and Mualrerdee arrived, they were exhausted. They have worked non-stop, morning, noon, and night, for 3 months without rest. When they started the church and Bible college, they did not have any funds, so they sold their only home and used the funds to start these ministries. The funds from the sale of the house is not nearly enough to meet all of the needs. But they have given of their fishes and loaves, so that God can multiply it to feed the multitude. In the lives of Drs. Tanapong and Mualrerdee we saw New Testament faith in action. We were reminded of Acts 4:32-35

All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had. And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great favor was upon them all. There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.

What great faith! They teach the students Monday through Friday in the mornings and afternoon. On Saturday, they take the students out to evangelize (we saw the fruits of this, there were many new believers at this church as a result of this). And on Sunday, they have Sunday School and Worship, and do a Pickup ministry (transportation to the church and back home). We are praying that others will come to help them in this ministry, because it is too much for just two people. We know God will provide.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The International Motorbike Show Bangkok

Carrol Cheatwood, a friend from our home church (College Heights UMC), sent a website to us called The International Motorbike Show Bangkok.
Take a look at the slideshow. It will give a very typical look at what we see many times each day. It is amazing what can be transported on those little motorcycles. We admire the ingenuity that Thai people demonstrate on a daily basis. It shows a CAN DO spirit!