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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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Training Pioneer Christian Workers in Sagaew Province

This weekend, we had the second half of our Children’s Church Seminar and Workshop in Northeast, Thailand in Wattana Nakhon, in Sagaew Province.   Blessing of God Church hosted the workshop, and the church is well named, because we were blessed by these front line workers for the Kingdom of God.  Blessing of God church is the only church not only in their sub-district but also in the district as a whole (the area would equal 3 counties in Kentucky) so it is quite isolated from other Christians.  They are true pioneers and we were glad to help with this training.

The children's teacher from Blessing of God church captivated the children with the story of David and Goliath.
On the first day, we did in-house workshops, where the teachers practiced using the Felt Kits and making lesson plans.  We divided up into two teams, and each practiced on a group of church kids that was comprised of the children and grandchildren of the teachers.  As always, there is something that hits my funny bone and makes me laugh uncontrollably.  Team B was the first to teach.  When they came to the section where they were asking the children questions on the lesson, they would reward the children with a one baht coin (worth about 3.5 cents).  The children were happy to receive the coins and they enjoyed the lesson.  Then Team A gets up, and they decide to take an offering.  It was funny seeing the looks on the kids faces when they had to give back the coins they had just won.  I just couldn’t stop laughing.  (Don’t worry about these kids, they were pampered this weekend).

The children at the community center had fun at the Bible Club.  Bible clubs are similar to VBS, except we bring the ministry to the community rather than having it at the church.
After the practice lessons, both teams joined up to put together a special children’s outreach event in a community about 5 miles away.   We pulled up to a simple building that serves as a community center and there were already 20 children there.  I was pleased and knew this would be a good outreach.  And then 2 minutes later, up pull 3 motorcycles packed with kids (and driven by children also – with 4 children per motorcycle).  Then another 2 minutes, more children came.  Soon we had a group of over 40 children.  The teachers from the Children’s Church Seminar and Workshop put on a great time of games, Bible lessons, Bible memory verses, songs, puppet dramas, and activities.

Some of the church children helped with the Puppet Drama which introduced the story of David and Goliath.  In Thai culture, older children help to teach the younger children.
We were also pleased to meet the community leaders who came to give their blessing to the event.  We all thanked them for their support and prayed for God’s blessing on them and their families.  In Thailand, it is very important to connect with the community leaders.  Thai culture places a high value on respect for elders, so we try to always have good relationships with the community leaders and work together with them to help people.

Pastor Prapru introduces the sub-district magistrate and two village chiefs.  Pastor Prapru has been very intentional about having good relations with the local leadership, who now know that Christian are here to do good and to be helpful.  These leaders have been very helpful too, in getting the word out about the Bible Club and allowing us to use the community center for free.
At the end of the special children’s outreach event, every child received a healthy meal, and snacks, and a gift.  Then Pastor Prapru of the Blessing of God Church told the children they would be back there every Saturday to do a Bible Club for the children.  Pastor Prapru said that she and her church members were very encouraged to receive the training and the teaching resources, and that they were eager to have this ministry in this community, where there is not yet a church.  Again, Pastor Prapru is being a pioneer, bringing the gospel to one more sub-district that does not yet have a church.

It is a great honor to work with Thai pioneers.  They are brave, hard-working, Christian leaders with great perseverance.  These Thai Christian pioneers make great sacrifices, many times selling everything they have so that they can plant a church in an unreached area of Thailand.  When we are with them, we know we are standing on holy ground.

The children all enjoyed a nutritious meal, and a snack, and received school supplies as gifts.