the occurrence and development of wonderful events that are not looked for.
We are constantly blessed by God with serendipities, which we would define a bit different from the dictionary. Serendipities are blessings that God bestows that we did not see coming that leave us in awe of the Lord’s grace and providence.
Here are some of the serendipitous blessing God has poured out upon us during the past two months.
1. “Oh, by the way, we planted a new church in Sala Lamduan in Sakaeo Province. And we built a church building too!”
These were the words of Pastor Banya of Life Center Church in Pattaya just 2 months ago as he was leading a caravan of mission team members from Kentucky to visit this new church. The members of Life Center Church have been taking special mission offerings every Sunday morning for the past several months to support mission projects like this church plant in Sakaeo province. Pastor Banya and Elder Nopadon of Life Center Church alternate weekends preaching at three locations in Sakaeo province and the first weekend of every month, the members of the church send a team to do children’s ministries and food relief efforts as well.
This new church plant, the first Christian church in Sala Lamduan county, is some of the fruit of their ministry.
2. “Oh, by the way, we opened a new Blessing Home center in Ta Phraya.”
These were the words of Pastor Banya when we went to Ta Phraya two months ago and saw this sign on the building used for the church.
Pastor Banya has trained Elders Det and Dao, a couple who he has disciple over the past three years, to lead children’s ministries and relief efforts in Ta Phraya. Now the Thailand Methodist Mission has provided scholarships to Det and Dao as they have begun studies towards their Bachelor of Ministry degrees through the Distance Learning program at Global Theological Seminary. Now, children are being helped with food assistance and Christian witness through their fruitful ministry. Starting in April 2016, scholarships and educational assistance will be provided to needy children in Ta Phraya. Our goal is to have every child in this community go to school and stay in school to high school graduation.
3. “I have good news, I started a cell group at my university! And we meet every week for Bible study, prayer and worship!”
These were the words of Kao Poat, one of the Blessing Home Isan students who has graduated from high school and is now receiving a full scholarship to earn her B.A. degree in English Studies at St. Theresa International College. The nearest church to Kao Poat is almost an hour’s drive away by bus. There is no church in the county where St. Theresa International College is located. In fact, there is no church in the whole Ongkarak district, which has a total of eleven unreached counties. Now this 18 year old Freshman college student has started the first Christian cell group in the whole district!
Kao Poat could not contain her joy about the cell group and we are very proud of her. She really made our day!
4. “Did you know that I am working together with another Thai pastor to train pastors from Laos in Biblical Studies? They are persecuted by their government and cannot receive training in Laos, so we bring them here. I teach both the New Testament Survey and Old Testament Survey classes.”
These were the words of Pastor Peak, a TMM Pioneer Pastor far in the northern region of Thailand near the border of Laos. And we had no idea that Pastor Peak was also serving as a missionary helping pastors in a foreign land.
This year, Pastor Peak graduated with his Master of Ministry degree from Global Theological Institute, the Bible college that TMM sponsors in Northern Thailand. And now he is using his education to help Laotian pastors who are starved for a Biblical education. The Laotian pastors come across the border early in the morning and study all day. Then in the evening, they go across the border back into Laos. Each course if for one to two weeks in length. Not only has Pastor Peak planted the first Christian church in his county of Fai Khwang, but also making an eternal difference in the lives of Laotian people as well.
GOD IS GOOD! May the Lord receive all the honor, praise and glory! We are greatly blessed to work with such devoted Thai Christians who sacrifice deeply to serve the Lord!