The last couple of months have been exciting to say the least. For starters, the military launched a coup in Thailand late in May charging instability and corruption. Thankfully it has been a non-violent event with most Thais taking it in stride (it’s happened many times before). But some of the consequences have been life changing. Thousands of immigrants and migrant workers have fled the country and some arrested. Some border crossings have closed and many in this group are concerned about their freedoms. This affects many in area of our ministry too. Yet all this is just a reminder that the Kingdom of Thailand, including the rest of the world, has many limitations, divisions, and uncertainties. Where then do we go to find our personal and community strength and refuge? To whom shall we turn? The answer requires us to look beyond the things of man and put our trust in the incorruptible.
“The time has come,” Jesus said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” – Mark 1:15 (NIV)
Ministry Highlights from around Chiang Mai
As I said, there has been a lot of excitement here. We recently had 3 Shan and Pa-oh baptisms at our local church in Chiang Mai. This included our dear friend Nuan who became a Christian over a year ago and recently decided to take the next step in her walk with Jesus. This was particularly special for us as Nuan was one of the first people we ministered to and since then we have connected with on a much deeper level. Praise God!
The same day as the baptisms, our friend Dawk-aw brought her mother, Dtaeng, to the church for the first time. She asked us to share the gospel with her mom and after a lengthy discussion, we had the joy of seeing her Dtaeng decide to follow Christ. In fact, 2 weeks ago as we were following-up there was a similar opportunity to share the gospel with her son, Panya, and he received Jesus too!
At our last bible study in Saraphi, some of the members brought their friend, Gift, to attend for the first time. And in what clearly turned into a divine gathering, as we were teaching on making disciples and Acts 2:42, Gift called upon the Lord. Praise God for changed lives!
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29 (NASB)
Obviously, the Great Commission isn’t just about sharing the gospel, having a decision and moving on. Rather, it involves living anew unto Christ, being and making life-long disciples. In fact, most of our time is spent in bible studies, fellowship and prayer with all the new disciples from the past 2 years. Below are a few recent occurrences of this Acts 2:42 life.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” – Acts 2:42 (NIV)
Grace House Ministry
A lot has been happening at Grace House lately too since my last update. The recent hot days ‘forced’ us to enjoy the waterfall and refreshing locally grown watermelon. It was difficult to do, trust me. In addition, school has started back up and the kids are excited to be learning once again. Their days are filled with activities and they enjoy seeing all their friends again too. Their nights typically include learning songs, doing devotions and finishing any homework.
This month we also celebrated Children’s Day, where we were greatly blessed to see our kids perform in front of the whole church. They really worked hard and we definitely have some talented actors and dancers on our hands.
There was also much progress on construction projects. One involved the construction of a set of water tanks near the children home, which is to provide a steady supply of water to the home and garden. Water is more of a problem than one would think being in the jungle. But during the dry season which lasts a few months, we simply have very little access to water near the border with Burma. But we are now entering into the rainy season again and with it a fresh opportunity to grow our own food.
The other project was several fish ponds and tanks where we are currently raising 300 fish. This is clearly a wonderful blessing as we seek to sustain a source of protein for the kids that we can raise ourselves.
Unfortunately, not all news is good. With the increased rains come more and more mosquitoes and the viruses they carry. One of our kids is currently recovering from malaria and a few others are feeling ill. Please join us in praying for healing and protection.
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)