July 2023 Newsletter
This past month has felt like a whirlwind of activity– and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet. At times, it can feel frustrating to be out of our “normal routine” for so long, but I’m grateful that we’ve had so many opportunities to serve and see fruit from our labors already. The Spirit is truly moving here in Thailand, and more so with every passing season. Here’s a recap along with some ways you can pray with us and our team--
Teams & Mission Trips
This past month, we had THREE teams come and work alongside us in some capacity or another. Two of them were from the U.S. and one large team of 40 was from South Korea. We had one team here in Chiang Rai where we live up in the north, then the next week, we went down to visit some of our partners and friends in the city of Khon Kaen in the Isaan region, and were joined by the other two teams.
I am very happy to report that this trip, despite being very exhausting (we took a 12 hour “night bus” down and back) was incredibly fruitful. We saw 3 students make professions of faith, and two of those students (both of them guys) were at church on Sunday. I was asked to translate into Thai for the sermon which was the first time I’ve ever filled that role.
After we left and were recovering from all the back pain (did I mention that we rode a 12 hour night bus? 😅), our partners in Khon Kaen had another large outreach with 280 students in attendance. Out of those 280 students, 49 of them indicated that they wanted to become Christians, and 29 indicated that they wanted to sign up to study the Bible with someone!
We had the privilege to attend two beautiful weddings this past month. For Nate and Mali’s wedding, Mary Ella was the flower girl and Liz was the emcee.
I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my father-in-law’s recent newsletter, about our thriving children’s ministry here at Baan Athitaan Church in Chiang Rai.
“This last Sunday July 16, Ja had around 40 children (grades 1-6) in Thai children’s church. She was teaching on the subject of the Kingdom of God and how Jesus instructed His disciples to not forbid the children from coming to Jesus but that the Kingdom of God welcomes the little children to come to Jesus. It was in this context that Ja felt the presence of God and felt an urge in her heart to explain the gospel and invite any of these children that wanted to accept Jesus as Savior and come into the Kingdom of God.
God was truly moving in the hearts of these children and eleven (11) of the forty (40) children repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus as their Savior. Wow. The Bible tells us that the angels in heaven rejoice over 1 person who repents and turns to Jesus. Well, it is with great joy that we share with you that not 1, not 2, not 3, but 11 children repented and turned to Jesus and had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life this past Sunday.”
It’s tempting to be skeptical when we think about kids and whether or not they truly “understand” enough to believe in the gospel, but as my father-in-law alluded to above, Jesus welcomed children, and as someone who had a spiritual transformation at the age of 11, I can’t deny that God loves to work even in the lives of young kids.
Liz stopped worked at the local international school at the end of May, so we had to say goodbye to Mary Ella’s babysitter/part-time nanny. This was a sad goodbye, because Mary Ella had really grown to love her and vice versa.
Liz and I also just had our 10 year anniversary on the 13th of July, however we are waiting for Liz’s mom to come back from her trip to America so that we can have a date and celebrate.
Finally, if you haven't seen our "daddy daughter podcast" yet, check out this video and playlist to see them all.
Unfortunately, because of our current visa circumstance, I have to leave the country and go to Laos AGAIN like I did last year. However, this time I will be able to fly, and won’t have to take a night bus again, which is a huge relief since I’m still recovering from our trip to and from Khon Kaen (did I mention that we rode a bus for 12 hours there and back?? 😂).
When I get back into Thailand, I’ll be going down to Bangkok and will be visiting a Christian organization, as well as preaching at a Thai church for their regular church service.
My friend Sprite, who I also discipled while he was a new believer in university, is thinking about going to live in Canada for a while. He’s also taking on more leadership responsibility in his church in Lampang (his hometown where he lives now).
I was contacted by a friend from high school that I haven’t talked to since I graduated. He is having some health issues and was really worried that he might possibly have cancer.
My Chinese friend is still waiting to see if he will be able to stay in Thailand. If not, he will have to flee to another region (for security reasons, I won’t say where).
Aom, who is the wife/mom of our friends & partners in Khon Kaen, had a small wreck right after we left. Thankfully her and her daughter, who was in the car with her, were okay, and she was still able to speak at their outreach event. However, they have some unexpected costs now to fix their vehicle.
Thanks for being part of the team!
Consider becoming a financial support team member so you can be a part of helping to create resources, raise up young leaders, and do "great commission work" in both English and Thai.