Thai Tempo September-October 2016
After coming back from home assignment, we moved to Bangkok and rented a house near the OMF Mission Home. One evening when we came back from the market, instead of turning into the street leading towards our new home, we turned towards the OMF Mission home. Shortly afterward we realized our mistake and laughed at how deeply we were “rooted in the past” with 15 years of driving to the Mission home if we stayed in Bangkok.
As small and easily correctable as this incident is, it teaches us about the power of our habits. What about our new life in Christ? Or the things we have learned while studying God’s Word that call us to change our attitudes, thinking and doing? Do we allow God to mould us in a new way or are we following the old ways?
Ulrich & Renate Kohler, Bangkok
Please pray for :
• missionaries to change whatever God challenges us in our lives (attitudes, thinking, doing etc.)
• new believers in Thailand that they can “turn” into new ways of following the Lord, not falling back into old habits, thinking and religious practices.
• new missionaries to get to know Thai culture well and finding new, culturally accepted ways of serving the Lord.
“Is eating out missionary work?”
Eating out in Thailand is often cheaper than eating at home. But the main reason our family eats out is to get to know the people in our neighbourhood and to hopefully build up relationships with them and share the gospel with them.
Today, while eating our lunch in a new restaurant the owner gave us
a complimentary iced fruit drink for us to taste. When we had almost finished eating, she sat down at our table and started to ask us where we taught? We told her that we are not English teachers, but that we are Christians and are hoping to start a church in Maila. We chatted briefly about this and then one of the other customers approached our table and said that she had overheard that we are missionaries.
She is a Christian and lives in the town about 20min away. We were able to chat to her for a bit and be encouraged by the many ways God works to draw people to him.
Bruce & Trish Bartleet, MaiLa
Please pray for:
• these contacts would be helpful in relating to the community as well as starting a church in Mai La
• the Lord will lead missionaries to “people of peace” (who will have good influence on others) in their communities
• missionaries to find different ways to relate to people in their communities, so that they can reach people with the story of God’s grace and His love for them.
“Flexibility versus sticking it out”
As we returned to Thailand, I had been hoping to work with Mr, and Mrs.S in Don Phut (near Tha Rua) to get the church plant there going. I was ready to start a kids’ club, do some outreach, and restart the cell group. So, what do you do when the key couple decides not to move back to the town and instead stays in Bangkok?
In the meantime, another situation has come up closer to Tha Rua: the family in Ban Rom has decided to start a worship service, shifting their Thursday evening cell group to Sunday mornings. There is a huge openness in the community after the husband’s funeral was such
a witness, and it could be good to have a clear, local gathering even though it is only three kilometers from Tha Rua Church.
I was thankful that Tha Rua Church didn’t take things personally but wanted to see the Ban Rom group established, even though it would mean “losing” a few members. However, the big concern is that the family members have not been open to consistent Bible teaching.
Mr. Kai from Tha Rua has been recommending me to give them good biblical discipleship, and I know there are some family members who are open to that. However, Mrs. P (the mother) has come under the influence of some really questionable teaching and now considers herself as having the gift of prophecy.
Tim & Brenda Noble, Tha Rua
Please pray for:
• Tim as he tries to come alongside the group, and for Mrs. P to have an open heart to really listen to the Bible.
• other members of the family would be spiritually discerning and open to learning the Bible.
• Praise God for the kingdom perspective of the Tha Rua church leaders.
• As such situations are common in church planting, pray for flexibility when new opportunities arise and perseverance when things get hard – and pray for discernment to see which of those two to choose in a given situation.