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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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Life on the road

Much of our life is spent on the road.   All of Thailand is our parish, so travelling to visit the churches we have planted and working in cities and villages where we will plant churches in the future is a constant part of life.  So we spend a lot of time in our little Kia Picanto car.  Mike is always getting teased about being a big man trying to fit into a sub-compact vehicle.  But it really is a good car and it really serves us well.

This is a map of Thailand superimposed on a map of the USA.  You can see we have extensive territory to cover.  It takes much longer to get from one place to another also, because there is much traffic and the roads are not as developed as in the States.

And then when we get back to the States, we spend most of our time on the road visiting supporting churches.  The Kentucky Annual Conference has been very generous to us, loaning us a Ford Taurus to use most every time we have come back to the States for itineration.  We spend large amounts of time in that vehicle as well.  We really feel like modern day Methodist circuit riders.  We have just exchanged cars for horses.

Since coming back to Thailand, we have been on the road quite a bit, and will be for the foreseeable future.  When coming back, we made it a priority to visit the pioneering pastors and churches that we have been privileged to help start.  It is important to encourage the pastors and members, because Christians are very isolated in Thailand and face much pressure.

While visiting the churches, we find ways to help the churches the pastors to make their members and churches stronger.  In Mai Ya, Pastors Jerron and On had to quickly move to another house.  They had been living in Jerron's sister's home, while she lived overseas, but she came back to Thailand unexpectedly and they needed to find a new place.  They have now rented a place on the main road (great location) and are using this new location as their parsonage and as a new church building.  The picture below is at the new church building on their first Sunday worshipping at this new location.

Our focus in on planting self-sustaining churches in counties (sub-districts) that have no church of any type whatsover.  So we help the pastors to start businesses that will support their families and ministries.  Pastor Jerron has a barber shop, and his wife, Pastor On approached us about starting a noodle soup restaurant at the market in town, which is a great location.  We worked together with Pastor On to create a business plan and TMM gave a grant to open this restaurant, which will soon be in operation.  Next time we are visiting there, we will take pictures of this new economic development project.
This is the leadership team of the Mai Ya church which was planted in August of last year.  

Please remember to pray for us as we travel and work in the outer provinces.  Please also pray for the Pioneering Pastors and their congregations, who face many challenges.  Your prayers make a difference.
Also please remember TMM this summer with your generosity.  We always experience a summer slump in giving, but our monthly needs for the ministries here continue.

Below are some pictures from some of our church visits.  If these do not show up in your email, then please visit our blog at msmorrissey.blogspot.com

Pastor Amnat of Pradumri Bowin church preaches in the new building the church purchased last year.  Bowin was the first church we helped to plant in Thailand and it is a great pleasure to visit here, where we have many friends.

Somchai is Mike's friend and we are always very happy to see each other.  Somchai is a strong leader at the Bowin church.  Earlier in the week, Sonchai, who is a truck mechanic, hurt his hand and had it bandaged.  When Mike saw the bandage, he decided he had to wrap his hand in tissue so he could look like his friend for this photo.

This is a worship service at Nakhon Pathom church.  The room is very small, but does not have a front entrance wall.  Instead it has an overhead door (like a garage).  They open up the overhead door and some people sit inside, but most sit outside under the overhang, which is behind this photo.  

Pastors Ekerat and Da have effective children's ministries at the church's Youth Development Center.  The children come on weekdays to learn music, to enjoy reading books, and Bible clubs.  This focus on children and youth is seen on Sunday mornings.  Nakhon Pathom church has three Sunday School classes for children and youth.