This week has truly been the most affirming week of ministry we have ever had.
It began with traveling to the far north to Chiang Dao to teach at Global Theological Institute, a ministry of the Lamppost United Methodist Church of Chiang Dao. We were invited by Thai United Methodist Pastors, Drs. Tanapong and Muanrerdee, to teach a week-long block course on World Missions. We were very excited about the opportunity to help in any way we could in this newly founded Bible training center where 24 students train, most of whom are from hilltribes in the northern region of Thailand.
It was a pleasure to get to know the students, who make a great sacrifice to study at this school, which only has very primitive facilities. The students must grow their own food and also operate a store and copy shop to help keep the Seminary in operation. These students are passionate in their desire to serve the Lord Jesus and many of them have a desire to pioneer new churches.
85% of the sub-districts in Thailand have no church, so there is a great need for students like these to pioneer new churches in these unreached regions. This is the best way to reach Thai people for Jesus Christ.
After our week of teaching, we drove diagonally across Thailand to the Northeast, to Almighty God (Prajao Jaum Yota) United Methodist Church in Nonsomboon. This new church was planted by Pastor Nampon, who has had a very fruitful ministry here. This was the first baptism service at her church, and 24 people were baptized. Sherri preached that Sunday morning and Mike assisted Pastor Nampon in the baptisms. The very first baptism service at a newly planted church is always interesting because there are more candidates being baptized then there are people in the congregation to witness the baptism and sing worship songs. All 24 baptism candidates were called to the front of the church for prayer and there were only 9 or 10 people left in the seats.
When new converts are baptized, there is not a dry eye in the crowd. They have such a deep love for the Lord Jesus, that they come out of the water rejoicing and singing, many with tears of joy. And that joy is contagious, and so are the tears. Just last year, there was no church in the Nonsomboon sub-district, and now the town has been changed forever.
Pastor Nampon has become famous in the area for the power of her prayers to our Lord. People come frequently seeking her out for prayer because many have experienced healing that have entered the church for prayer. This Sunday was no exception, as an elderly woman came for healing prayer. Her daughters had taken her to the Buddhist temple in town, and offered the monk 1,000 Thai baht for payment (This would be about the amount of money this woman would spend on three weeks of food.) The Buddhist monk insisted that they would need to give 10,000 baht to receive his services. This was too much. So the elderly woman, named Pontip, convinced her two daughter to take her to Almighty God United Methodist Church because she knew Pastor Nampon would pray for her.
We prayed for Pontip, who received healing as well as she received Jesus and she allowed Pastor Nampon to remove the strings around her wrists and neck. Many Thais wear these strings when they are sick, believing that they hold their life spirit in their bodies, keeping death at bay. Cutting the strings was a symbol of full trust in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It frequently happens that people experience miracles as a result of prayer, and then they become devoted followers of Jesus. God’s power and love are what lead people to Him.
- 1. Please pray for Drs. Tanapong and Muanrerdee, who sold their home to have funds to start the Lamppost Bible Seminary on faith, not knowing where funds will come to continue the ministry. If you desire to help train students at Lamppost Bible Seminary, please give to Advance #00403A Thailand Mission Initiative online at givetomission.org
- 2. Please pray for the students at Lamppost Bible Seminary, as they study the Bible in the Thai language, which is the second language for the hilltribe students.
- 3. Please pray for Pastor Nampon and the members of Almighty God United Methodist Church. Pray for continued fruitful ministry as well as help in establishing a new economic development project.
- Pastor Nampon wants to start a copy shop to help financially support the church. We need $3000 in seed money for this project. If you can help with this project which will lead this church to be self-sufficient, please give to Advance #00403A at givetomission.org