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Sunday, October 10, 2010
TMM and St. John's UMC of Aiken, SC will soon open new Youth Mission Center in Nakhon Pithom
God is good! All the time!
It is our Lord who brings fruitfulness to all ministries, and it is to our God that all glory and honor belongs.
St. John's UMC of Aiken has been in a sister church relationship with Nakhon Pithom UMC, which is located west of Bangkok, for the past year. A sister church relationship is beautiful, because both sister congregations receive great blessings from each other.
Pastors Ekerat and Da of Nakhon Pithom UMC told us last month that the place next to the church was vacant and may be available for rent. They wanted to see if there was any possibility to rent it and create a new Youth Mission Center. As I sat with them in front of the church discussing this vision, I saw many children and youth passing by the church. Pastor Ekerat said that the children all live in the nearby slums, and that they walk past the church to go to the internet cafe. In the internet cafe, you see children packed in there. Usually there will be 4-5 children per computer, and one will play games while the other watches. Usually this is because only one child will have the 10 baht (33 cents) to play, but the others enjoy watching.
Pastor Ekerat said, "Pastor Mike, what if we had a mission center here for the youth. We could give free music lessons and we could have a library here too. My wife (Pastor Da) really wants the children and youth to have an opportunity to read good books. These children have no access to reading good books at this time, and it would really help them to have this opportunity. If we had this Youth Mission Center, they would come for the music lessons and the library, and we would have the chance to teach them about Jesus Christ too. They would come to the Youth Mission Center and many would follow Jesus Christ."
When I heard the vision for a Youth Mission Center from Pastors Ekerat and Da, my heart was touched and it was obviously from the Lord. So we began to make plans. When the owner of the building was contacted, we found out that someone had already rented the building, but had not yet placed a security deposit and had not yet arrived. The owner said that at the end of the month of September, if the man who wanted to rent the place did not show up, he would rent it to the church. So we all started praying that the building would be available to the church.
God answered everyone's prayers, and funds that were donated by St. John's UMC was used to pay for a full year of rent as well as the purchase of musical instruments and books and bookshelves. The library is starting out small, but we know bit by bit it will grow.
We hope in the next few weeks to be able to open the Youth Mission Center and I will have pictures then.
There is a mission team that will come from Kentucky, and this location is one of the worksites, where the team will work to paint and spruce up the building which is in rough shape.
We praise God for His great blessings. Praise the Lord!