Greetings from the warm jungles of Thailand, where the weather forecast is rarely correct—just be ready for anything. The ministries here continue on with the Lord’s strength. Since our team leader returned to the States in early August for church meetings, my Sundays are shared with both the Hua Hin church and the Nong Phlap church (preaching at each church every other week). In week two, we hosted a group of visitors from our sending church, First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. They were very encouraging to us and the Christians here. Their visit included a trip to the local safari and a combined Wednesday night church service, complete with watermelon and ice cream after the service. Dr. Mark Bosje preached a helpful sermon to a crowd of 114 people. My wife Sarah organized a children’s music special incorporating memorized Bible verses. The next morning, we went out soul winning, and several of the visitors excitedly led someone to Jesus. Overall, blessings did abound. For the next few months, I will run the staff meetings and prayer meetings for both churches until our team leader returns. With all of the adjustments this month, my mind has seemingly been running hard to make sure everything is covered. People here are so encouraging, and I just thank the Lord for helpful team members and generous church members. We really have a lot to thank the Lord for.
In week three, we attended the wedding of Dudu (the bride), one of our former church members. Dudu and Thurot were married at a church closer to their home, out west of our church locations. Thurot, the husband, was recently saved and baptized at our Nong Phlap church, and the newlyweds desire to follow the Lord in raising a Godly family. I had the honor of giving Bible helps on marriage, encouraging the new couple, and praying for their union. On the way home. we passed a huge, granddaddy wild elephant standing on the edge of the road. He looked like a wall as my headlights lit up his light-colored skin. It was a quick, “Hi and bye”!
On a Tuesday, we went to an area that, without Google maps, I’m not sure we would ever go there. The road is right off the bypass, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. After parking the truck, we began canvassing the area with tracts, John & Romans, and giving the Gospel. About three houses down, Star and I saw a family sitting outside in front of their house: Mom, Dad, a 16-year-old son, and a 2-year- old son with a mental disability. The little boy, Augaat, had jaundice as a baby, which unfortunately led to brain deterioration. You could sense the struggle the family has had as we watched the boy lay and move around in a specially built platform area. All was quiet as I gave the Gospel, and the family was happily saved. The mom, Sow, was a little emotional, as she often felt like there was just no help in sight for her son. The saving power of Jesus was now in her and her family—help had arrived! It was such a good day!
The following week, we were out on a Wednesday morning. This area was also more remote, further out from Nong Phlap. We found Choon, a 93-year-old man, cleaning up his house. Quite frail and slower to move, he was ready to hear what we had to say to him. As we neared finishing the Gospel, he fell asleep. I was hopeful he would get saved, but he was so happy and relaxed, he dozed off. A short time later, we saw an 81-year-old woman named Duen place her trust in Jesus as she openly accepted the Gospel. She had spent most of her life right there in that country area. As we walked back towards the truck, we stopped at Choon’s house again. A younger man was there; it was his son Chuen. Chuen was very interested and intrigued by what we had to say, especially since he knew we had been talking to his dad. He wondered why we would want to talk to his dad. Chuen sincerely asked Jesus for forgiveness of sins and a home in Heaven. After further talks, Dad walked back into the room. Chuen told us that his dad had good and bad windows of understanding. He was unable to read or talk very much, but his hearing was good. Dad had already heard us give part or all of the Gospel twice. Dad humbly sat down and, after review, prayed and was saved. Upon completion, he wiped a tear from his eye. The father and the son now had received the greatest gift in the world. Praise the Lord!