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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Rejoice with us!

The past several weeks have been filled with joy because of your prayers.  When you pray, the Lord moves mountains here in Thailand.  Rejoice with us about all that the Lord has done.

1.  On Saturday, we received the building permits for the church construction at Fire of Glory Church in Nonthaburi.  This was miraculous for a few reasons.  The first is that the government office did not charge us extra after the first blueprints that they made were of a building that would be much to expensive for us to build.  The government architect showed grace towards Pastor Somsri and designed a second building for free.  We have never heard of this happening before and we praise God because the budget will be very tight for constructing this building.  The second miracle was that the government worker came in when the office was closed for a public holiday on Saturday, so we could have the building permits to begin construction today.  We have never heard of this happening before either.   Below is a picture of Pastor Somsri displaying the miraculous building permit.




2.  We employ 2 full-time staff members named Boy and May, who are a wonderful young Thai Christian couple married for only a few years.  They come 5 days per week to our home office to help us develop Christian education curriculum.  9 months ago, when we heard the great news that they would have their first baby together, everyone was quite excited.  Baby girl Beenah was born two weeks ago, and she is always smiling (don't tell me it is just gas, I will cover my ears and say "la,la,la,la,la" so I can't hear you).  Mother and daughter are both healthy and we will love having Beenah come to the office with her parents.  (If anyone doesn't know already, Sherri is CRAZY about babies.  When Sherri is holding a baby, she is in her happy place).  Below is a picture of Sherri with Baby Beenah.

























3.  Last Saturday, we attended a ceremony to dedicate the land for a new church building at Pradumri Nakhon Pathom Church.  Nine years ago, through the generosity of our church family at St. John's UMC of Aiken, S.C., we helped to plant this church under the leadership of Pioneer Pastors Ekerat and Da.  Ekerat and Da were sponsored by us to attend Bible College and then did a full year of internship with us to prepare for this church plant, and the Lord has worked through them.  Pradumri Nakhon Pathom church has solid leadership and they have been self-supporting for many years now.
A few months ago, they bought a house with extra land.  Half of the house is used for a parsonage for Pastors Ekerat and Da and their family, and half is used as a sanctuary for worship.  Not everyone can fit into the worship room, so many must sit outside during the worship service, but they had this problem at their old place that they rented for the last 9 years.  They begin construction this week on a two-story building that will be completed (hopefully) in the next 4 months.  Once this building is complete, they will have room to grow again.  When a church is self-sufficient, self-leading, and owns their own building, it is a church that is solid and permanent.  Praise God!  And special thanks to everyone at St. John's UMC of Aiken, S.C., for supporting this church for their first five years so they could become strong and vibrant.

Below are two pictures, the first is of Pastors Ekerat and Da back in 2009 when they first planted the church (and did not yet have children).  The second picture was taken this week at the Land Dedication ceremony.












































4.  October is Winter Break for Thai schools, and it is a time when many Thai churches baptize new believers because they have time to travel to the lake or ocean.  Usually there are a few hundred new believers receiving baptism every October at the churches planted through the Pioneer Pastor program (and even more are baptized around Easter).  We are invited to officiate at the baptism services of the churches, but it is impossible for us to make it to all of them. 

When Thai new believers are baptized, it is celebration, and they shout out "Alleluia!" and "Thank you, Jesus" as they dance and sing with hearts that overflow with joy.  There are never any dry eyes, as we all are overwhelmed by the Amazing Grace of our Lord.

Below is a picture of Sherri and I baptizing a believer from Abundant Blessing Church in Sukhothai province.  Sixteen new believers were baptized from this church on that day and it was the first time that both of us performed baptisms together (usually one of us is officiating and the other is taking pictures).

























Now for a few reminders.

A.  Many of you have asked for information on the next opportunity to serve on a mission team in Thailand.  The next team is coming to Thailand on October 11, 2019 - October 21, 2019.
If you are interested, please visit our Team Thailand website for more information > https://thailandmethodist.blogspot.com/

B.  Please remember the Thailand Methodist Mission on Giving Tuesday, November 27 and throughout the Christmas season.  We are asking for special offerings and donations to go to Blessing Home this Christmas season, because the Blessing Home Fund is depleted and we need help. 

If you are moved by the Lord to donate to the Thailand Methodist Mission, check may be sent to this address:

TMM
P.O. Box 56
Mannsville, KY 42758

OR

you may donate online through our website at  https://thailandmethodist.org/donate/

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Christmas Offering 2018, An invitation to the 2019 VIM Team, and an Update on Church Construction

This year's Christmas Offering




Every year, many churches and individuals give special Christmas offerings to Thailand Methodist Mission and each year we have a special project that we are raising funds for.  Last year was raising funds for a church building in Nonthaburi province, and we received all of the funds needed to buy land and do all of the construction.  These offerings make a huge difference, an eternal difference here in Thailand.

This year's Christmas offerings will be going towards the Blessing Home Fund.  This fund is used to operate the Blessing Home Centers, provide scholarships to Blessing Home children, and to pay for the salaries of Thai staff as well as cover any medical emergencies that the Blessing Home children have.  The Blessing Home Fund is depleted now, and we have an urgent need to build this fund back up in time for 2019.  

Please encourage your local church to take up a special offering this Christmastime for the Blessing Home children.

Our blog updates are truly for the primary purpose of having as much prayer support as possible for the mission.  We focus on praise reports of what the Lord is doing here in the mission in Thailand as well as prayer requests.  But we sometimes have people ask us about how they can give to the Thailand Methodist Mission, which is a faith mission.  We do not receive budgeted apportionment funds, but instead rely on faith on the free-will offerings of individuals and churches.

If you would like to donate to the Thailand Methodist Mission, you can send a check by mail or do online giving.

Checks can be sent to:
TMM
P.O. Box 56
Mannsville, KY 42758

OR

Give online through our website at https://thailandmethodist.org/donate/


An Invitation to Come Serve on a Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Team in Thailand in 2019




WHEN: 2019 October 10, 2019 (arrives in Thailand on Oct. 11) and depart on Monday, October 21, 2019 (you will arrive back in the US on the same day, October 21, due to the “magic” of crossing the International Date Line).
COST: Cost of your flights plus $1,500 for Team fees, lodging, food, and transportation.  A $500 discount is given to all pastors coming for the first time to serve on a VIM team with the Thailand Methodist Mission. 
WHO TO CONTACT:  Rev. Dr. John Kalz will be once again leading the VIM team to Thailand.  If you are interested, please contact John via email >> kalzjd@gmail.com
WHAT ARE WE DOING: We will visit some of the new Pioneer Pastor Churches to pray with the families of new believers and those who are shut-ins.  We will have fun mini-English camps for the children. 

Update on the Fire of Glory Church Building Construction

Construction is happening at a rapid pace now.  The retainer wall (holding in 6 feet of fill dirt) is complete and the security wall is complete on three sides (the front side will be done last, so we can easily get materials into the work site).  2 small apartments for workers and 2 restroom buildings are being built.  Doors and windows are being installed on these smaller buildings this week.
We hired the local government architect to design a building for us and to make blueprints that are needed to obtain necessary building permits.  The government architect ended up designing a building that was much larger than requested, and way beyond our budget.   He said he made the building larger because it would be more beautiful with larger dimensions.  However, we cannot proceed with these blueprints.

So now we have asked for help from a friend of ours in Thailand who is a Plant Engineer for a firm that operates 5-star hotels.  He has made highly detailed sketches of a building that would be within our budget and would be a very practical design for a church building.  We will be bringing these sketches to the government architect, to have him turn them into blueprints and to proceed to obtain all of the required permits to build.  Please pray that all goes smoothly with this process.  There are some things that are not in our control and we need to be in the good graces of the local government authorities.

Once we have the new blueprints made and approved, we can begin construction on the church building.




Sunday, August 19, 2018

TMM missionaries Allie and David Houle arrive this week

God is Good!  All the Time!



We give praise to God for answered prayers.  New TMM missionaries David and Allie Houle will be arriving in Thailand in two days from now.  They will be serving at Blessing Home in Pattaya and the first year they will be doing intensive Thai language study, which is difficult and can be discouraging, so keep them in your prayers.  We have prayed for a long time for God to fill the need to have missionaries serving long term at Blessing Home in Pattaya, and God has answered those prayers.  It is necessary to have full-time, long-term missionaries on site at Blessing Home Pattaya in order to provide the after-school services and regular home visits needed to do this ministry effectively.  As the children and teens get older, it is more and more difficult to keep them in school, especially in Pattaya, where there are fast-life easy-money distractions and temptations.  We have to "up our game" to meet the challenges.  

This quarter, we had our first drop-out from high school at Blessing Home Pattaya.  We are trying to convince this Blessing Home teen to go to classes for a high-school equivalency diploma (like a GED in the States).  But as of now, this teen has not made the move to go to class.  We know we cannot win with every one of the kids but we want to do better.  

This past week we had training with the Pastor Banya and Teacher Amporn at Blessing Home Pattaya to use a new electronic curriculum to teach English and Bible with the Blessing Home kids after school and on Sundays.  2 new televisions have been mounted on the walls to the smaller classrooms and a new computer was purchased so they can use the new curriculum.  This next week will be the first week using the new curriculum, which we believe will be more helpful to the kids and fun too.

God answered prayers for the David and Allie Houle as well.  God has provided the prayer and financial support they need to serve in Thailand as career missionaries.  But in the final month before their arrival in Thailand, they had two answers to prayer.

First, David and Allie needed to sell their tiny house (yes, like the ones you see on TV shows), but they were having problems selling it.  Many people wanted to buy it, but a tiny home is considered to be an Recreational Vehicle (RV) so they could not get a standard home mortgage, and did not qualify for an RV loan.  Well, on the last week before coming to Thailand, their tiny home sold, and it sold for the price they bought it for a few years ago.  Now they are debt-free (very important for missionaries who will see a great decrease in salary).

Also, their paperwork for student visas arrived very late, but they were able to get student visas and the process went smoothly.

Thank you for your faithful daily prayers.  We see God at work through the power of prayer.