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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Friday, May 24, 2013

Baptisms and lives changed by the Lord through self-sufficient churches

When we think about how many lives have been transformed by Jesus Christ through the ministries of the Thai pastors we work with, we are truly humbled.  These pioneer pastors labor for the Lord in very difficult contexts, and God has blessed their work.

A few weeks ago, we visited Pastors Jerron and On, who planted a new church at Mai Ya two years ago.  It is very common that a pioneer pastor will plant one church, and then will plant another one nearby in the first two years.  This is because they are hard at work planting new cell groups (you may call them Bible studies), and sometimes these new cell groups become new churches.

Pastors Jerron and On and their two beautiful children on the roof of their new church at Phayamengrai.

Pastors Jerron and On planted two new cell groups in a county north of Mai Ya, called Phayamengrai.  These cell groups actually speak two different languages, Isan and Lanna, but they will be coming together to form a new church in the city of Phayamengrai that will employ the national Thai language in worship.  Pastors Jerron and On have moved to Phayamengrai where they have rented a building to use as their home, and for their noodle soup restaurant, and for the church as well.  It is a large facility that is located on the main road.  They will conduct worship services at Phayamengrai on Sunday mornings and at Mai Ya on Saturday evenings.

Pastors Jerron and On have now planted three churches in unreached areas of Thailand as well as planted a daughter church at Nonsomboon.  It is an honor to serve together with them.

On May 26, they will have an opening service for the new church at Phayamengrai as well as a baptism service for new believers at both of their churches.  We are very disappointed that we will be unable to participate in this wonderful time of blessing.  We had the privilege of praying for the ten new believers who will be baptized.   Please pray for these new believers that they will grow strong in Christ and hold strong against the great pressures against them.

Prayers of dedication are offered for some of the new believers who will be baptized this month at Mai Ya and Phayamengrai churches.

In April, a new church was planted by two couples in an unreached precinct of Lamphun, a mid-size city with a rapidly growing population.  Pastors Rattana, Ann, and Keng have formed a team to pioneer a new church.  TMM has helped them to form business plans and given grants to start a new chothing business and a restaurant.  This helps them to be self-sufficient from day one.  April is a difficult month to start a new business because of the Songkran water festival.  People go back to their rural hometowns for vacation and when they return they are broke.  But it is the best month to move if you have children, like Rattana and Ann do, because it is summer break.  Well, they had one more obstacle, a huge one.  Just a week or two after opening the clothing store and restaurant which will support their ministries, their road was under heavy construction, so no one can park within a block of their businesses.  Please pray that this road will be finished soon and that their businesses will thrive.  Their families and their ministries are depending upon this.

Pastor Keng, Pastors Ann and Rattana with their two children, a new believer at Lamphun church.

Road construction has made it impossible for people to park near the clothing store and restaurant.  This is hurting their businesses, which their families depend upon.  Please pray that construction will be completed soon.

Pastor Keng at his restaurant that TMM helped him to start to support his family and ministry.

Now for a personal prayer request.  Mike's mother, Lois Morrissey, has stage four pancreatic cancer and is suffering greatly. The cancer has spread throughout her digestive system and she is in a lot of pain.  Lois has also has severe arthritis of the spine, joints, feet, and hands, which disfigure her and causes great suffering.  Her pain now is overwhelming and she needs constant assistance.  We are now back in the States for a brief time to help give what assistance and comfort that we can do.  We will also be visiting some churches while we are here.  Please, please pray for Lois and also for Mike's Dad (Mike Sr.) who needs strength and comfort at this time.