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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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What happens when too many show up at church for Christmas

Christmas in Thailand is so very different from in the States, where it tends to be mostly focused upon family.  Here, the focus is upon reaching out to the lost so they can find Christ.  At great personal sacrifice, the Thai Christians have Christmas outreach to everyone in their village.

At one of our newest Pioneer Pastor churches, Abundant Blessings Church in Sukhothai province, had their Christmas outreach event last week.  This also served as the Grand Opening for the new church building that was constructed.  Pastor Santi and all of the members of Abundant Blessings Church volunteered all of the labor to construct the church building, including members in their 70's and 80's!  It was a time of great celebration to worship in the new building.

The local police let Pastor Santi borrow the Police Checkpoint sign
and traffic cones for the Christmas outreach event.

Pastor Santi is a farmer who is a lay pastor who is in the midst of his Bachelor of Ministry degree studies through Global Theological Institute, the Bible college which the Thailand Methodist Mission sponsors.  He is a gifted evangelist and a diligent worker, so it was no surprise to us that this Christmas would be well attended.

We were prepared to receive 250 children and teens as well as the adults in their families.  This is a rural area, so it seems like people come out of nowhere when they show up at church.  The night of the Christmas outreach came, and we were overwhelmed with people.... instead of 250 children AND teens, we had 280 children and over 80 teens, and about 200 adults!  We have no idea how everyone was fed, but everyone had plenty to eat (the pots of food never seemed to empty).  There was a bit of concern over not having enough gifts.. but Pastor Warin of Fire of Glory church (their church sent a Thai mission team to help the church in Sukhothai) saw that we had two 4 gallon tins of cookies and snacks in our car that we had brought for a revival service the next day.  She opened the tins and her and the members of Fire of Glory church filled gift bags with the cookies and snacks so we would have enough gifts for the children.

The children were packed "like sardines" on mats at the front of the church.

There were so many people that came to the church, that a few hundred people had to sit outside and watch and listen through the open doors and windows.  We were blessed that the village chief came to give his blessing to the church.  It is always our intent to build bridges with the community leaders.

Pastor Santi preaches the Good News of Jesus Christ to all of the villagers
that came to the Christmas outreach.
For most, this was their very first time to hear the Gospel.

We want to thank you, our prayer warriors, because we know that this event had a great turnout because of your prayers.  When you pray, mountains move in Thailand!

Sherri and I wish you a Blessed Christmas and New Year!