Thai Tempo June/July 2017
“As I read this, I can almost believe it.”
I sat with my good friend J., silently asking God to keep opening her heart and her mind. J. has been helping me to edit the writing assignments necessary for me to finish my final, “official” level of language learning. I wrote a small series on the character of Christ, and I knew from the start that I would ask her to help me make them “sound Thai”. This assignment has been a natural way for me to share Scripture with her, and because we have built a friendship over the past two years, she is very open to talking, asking questions, and letting me know when she disagrees.
Bekah Farber, Ayuthayaa Province
Pray for :
- J. to open her heart and mind to find God, her creator and Saviour.
- Bekah in her witness to J., to be led by the Holy Spirit to say the right words at the right time.
- OMF missionaries to have good relationships with their language helpers – and may this time of teaching Thai open opportunities for the language helpers to grow in their understanding of the Creator God.
Weeping and rejoicing – all in one weekend
Saturday, June 3rd, Stacy received a phone call from one of the children in our regular Kid’s Club. Two girls that come to our house regularly, along with another girl had been riding a motorcycle and had a serious accident. Although we are keenly aware of the statistics of high rates of injuries and deaths in traffic, we were in no way prepared for the next words: “N. was killed and E. is in serious condition.” The news was shocking and we have been weeping out of our love for N. and the loss her family is experiencing. This also heightened our awareness of the vast number of people who die in this land without the opportunity to hear the Good News.
Reading John 11 we are thankful for our Lord and Saviour, who is acquainted with grief and is with us in our sorrows. We praise God that E. was released from hospital after surgery to her face and jaw, and we were able to visit her and her family.
Then, on Sunday, June 4th, just after attending the cremation ceremony for N. we spent the afternoon worshipping with the house church in Baan Dong Suan, when Grandma J. expressed that she wanted to believe and follow Jesus. After discussion among her and the local believers, we determined that if she has repented and believed in Jesus Christ, that she should receive baptism. So together with the church we were able to rejoice at the baptism and new birth of Grandma J.
Jared & Stacy Haechton, Kham Muang, Kalasin Province
- Continued healing for E.
- The families of N. and E. in their grief and shock.
- The hearts of all the children who attend Kid’s Club and that they would still be allowed to attend Kid’s Club.
- Haechtons as they support the children of the Kid’s Club and the families of E. and N.
- More opportunities for people to hear the Good News
Bangkok churches to reach out to millions without Christ
Recently a group of Thai church leaders and I gathered for two days of vision-casting and planning. Together with God’s help, we designed policies to empower church leaders from the Association of Churches in Bangkok (ACTB), which consists of thirty churches and outreaches. Most of the churches in our network are small and struggling with the lack of accountability. By God’s grace, we hope that these new initiatives will help churches gain a clearer direction, identity and support from one another.
David & Gladys Chang, Bangkok
Pray for :
- Wisdom in implementing these new initiatives to gain clearer direction, identity and support from one another.
- Those ACTB churches despite being small and some struggling to be salt and light in their communities, reaching out to the millions of people living in Bangkok not knowing Christ.
- The growth of churches – both in faith and in numbers.
- Good networking among pastors, church leaders and missionaries to encourage each other and to serve the Lord faithfully and effectively
After our home assignment, Sijmen met with the church in Manchakhiri to discuss his future role in this local church. This is the encouraging outcome: Sijmen will attend the weekly bible studies less often and only once a month he will lead the Bible study on Sunday. All the other bible studies and worship services will be led by the local believers themselves. By their own initiative they started to add into the church calender which (new) place or which church member should be visited that week, where there is no bible study group yet. We hope that in this way it will become a vital part of church life to visit and read the bible together in new places.
Moreover, Sijmen started to train five church members in evangelism and starting of new groups. The first meeting with them was inspiring for all. We pray that through these meetings with the five people they themselves would grow as leaders and through their ministry more people would be able to hear the Good News and the church would grow. At the same time Annelies helps the 12 year old Puen to grow into leading Sunday school for kids. We thank God for this development towards independence.
Sijmen & Annelies den Hartog, Manchakhiri, Khon Kaen Province
Pray for :
- Thank God for this encouraging development of the church.
- Further growth of the church – growing in trust and love to God as well as growing in numbers and being a light for the communities in that area.
- Sijmen in his mentoring the five church members – may they grow in their faith and skills and be a blessing to the people they share the Gospel with.
- Protection from the evil one for these five people as where Christians venture out, Satan tries to discourage and sow disunity.
- Puen to grow as a disciple as well as in her abilities to lead Sunday school.