A Quick Prayer for 1 Town & A Word of Encouragement
This isn’t a monthly newsletter, but consider it a snack in between meals.
I want to ask all of our partners and “extended family” to pray for the community we went into today. This community is about 30 minutes outside of the city of Chiang Rai where we live, and it is a very unique place because it is full of almost exclusively Isaan and Hmong people. Isaan people are statistically the most unreached people group in Thailand, with some putting the number of Christians at just 1%. Being the optimist that I am, I believe that number is probably higher by several factors (I’m not sure how they get these numbers or how often they update them) but the point remains that they are still very unreached with the gospel, even compared to the Northern Thai people who are the majority here in our region.
Today I had the opportunity to go with Jason, a friend and fellow missionary here who actually moved to our exact neighborhood from Kalasin, a province in the Isaan region, just a few years ago. He has a heart to do gospel outreach into this town, and this time at the school was the first step in making connections there. We went out and had coffee with the head of the school after our time there, so that bridge is already beginning to be built.
We are also planning with our friends and partners in the city of Khon Kaen right now-- which is also in Isaan-- to go and visit for about a week in July while they have a team there from America. This will be another great chance to do some outreach in Isaan. As always, thank you for those that pray for us and for Thailand. This week has been a bit discouraging because of how hard Thailand is pushing the LGBT movement at the present (no doubt because there is a strong political will to legalize same-sex marriage, as well as abortion and legalized prostitution right now). But despite the discouragement that often comes when it feels like evil is winning, I have been encouraged by this verse this week:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
No matter what we are dealing with in the present moment, we have to keep our “eye on the prize” and the promise that good is not destined to lose— but to conquer, because Jesus has already overcome the world.
“We must stop acting as if we are forever destined to be a subculture. We are destined for dominion; we should straighten up and start acting like it. Our life and worship should reflect our expectation of dominion and our increasing capacity for responsibility. We should not see ourselves as lonely outposts surrounded by an increasingly hostile world; that is to bear false witness against God. The truth is just the opposite of that. It is the devil who is on the run, it is paganism which is doomed to extinction. Christianity is ultimately the dominant culture, predestined to be the final and universal religion. The Church will fill the earth.
The great St. Augustine understood this. Referring to those who saw themselves as the last remnant of a Church which was headed for inevitable decline, he laughed: “The clouds roll with thunder, that the House of the Lord shall be built throughout the earth: and these frogs sit in their marsh and croak – We are the only Christians!”
We are the shapers of world history. God has remade us in His image for world dominion; He has poured out upon us His Spirit, with “power from on high” (Luke 24:49); He has committed to us the gospel of the Kingdom, and commissioned us to take over the world. If we trust and obey Him, there is no possibility of failure.” - David Chilton (Paradise Restored)