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.