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From encouragement to discouragement and back again

Recently someone asked us: “How is the church in Thailand doing? Still growing fast?” We have seen that church planting work is anything but a stable process. Where one moment you are discouraged because someone falls back into his old life, or has  so many  problems that she does not come to church anymore, the next moment you see someone’s heart open to the gospel.

In Noon Sung church there are new people coming for the first time every week, but we also miss people every week. It goes up and down a lot. Ab and Pastor Aam have visited S. a couple of times. She had been to church once. She said she had all kinds of things she put her trust in, but it didn’t give her peace and quiet. Pastor Aam suggested coming to church for the next three months and leaving other things alone for a while. The next Sunday she came to church and even brought two neighbors with her. One of these women had a sore eye. At the end of the service we prayed for this woman’s eye. When Pastor Aam and Ab visited her the following week, her eye was fine. Jesus had healed her eye and the pain in her leg, which made her walk poorly, was gone too! What a miracle! God unexpectedly opened a door here to share the gospel and several neighbors have already been to church to hear about Jesus.

We pray that the faith in this place may grow and expand this group. But we have to learn that church planting is not doable by human effort. God is going his way with people, not us – as much as we sometimes would want to. It is not our strategies that reach people’s hearts, yet God often works through them.

Pray for:

  • Praise the Lord for S and her neighbours who have come to church
  • Pray for them to encounter the Lord and to start trusting him
  • Pray for people who come to church out of curiosity what Christians do there, or because they have heard or read something about God and want to know more, or simply follow an invitation someone gave them – pray for them to hear God’s voice and start following him
  • Pray for people who don’t come to church anymore, that the Holy Spirit would keep on reminding and teaching them

Pray for missionaries in church planting to keep on serving faithfully, whether their efforts seem to be ‘succesful’ or whether they experience a time of discouragement

Written by Ab Mol

Ab Mol is an OMF missionary serving in Udon Thani, Thailand

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