At the close of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, I pause to thank the Lord for the privilege to work with a team of missionaries who stand united, as our focus is Christ and our service is for eternity. “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) Team Thailand consists of some of the greatest servants of Christ I have ever had the privilege to work alongside, and what a blessing it is to call these missionaries my friends.
December is one of the busiest months for our team, as we share the Christmas story in the public schools. This year was no exception. We had the opportunity to be in seven schools. Several of these schools are those some of our regular church children attend. Some of our church members volunteered this year to help in the program, whether in the play or as support staff. It’s always a blessing to see our team, staff, and church folks come together to spread the Gospel in this special way. These programs consisted of our team teaching an English lesson with vocabulary words from the Christmas story; for example: gift, Jesus, wisemen, shepherds, angel, and star. We played games with the students and included the teachers and staff as well. The Christmas drama told why Jesus was sent to earth, and the actors showed what happened when He came and was born in Bethlehem. After the drama, Adjan Sakrapee preached the Gospel. There is a great need. Many have heard of Christmas, but most have never heard the name of Jesus. As a result, this year alone, we were able to share the Good News with over 3,000 students and faculty. Many placed their trust in Him when the invitation was given. After the programs, we had several folks testify to one of our staff or team members that they had never heard the truth but were so thankful to know now. Please pray as we follow up with these schools. It is our hope that we can leave an open door to have more influence in the months ahead. A lady who is a cook at one of the schools has started coming to our church every Sunday. She was already a believer but had been looking for a church to attend. God is so good.
As we have done every year since the start of our team, we shared a special Christmas Sunday with our church family. This year the auditorium was filled beyond capacity; many people had invited their family and friends to come. In our last service of the day, we presented the Christmas drama, and the Gospel story was given once again. We had folks accept Jesus as their Saviour, and we had many who heard the truth for the first time. The adults were given a pillow, and the children were given stuffed animals. Our church cook and staff member Pi Dah, along with the help of several other members, made five different dishes, and we had fruit for dessert. It was a wonderful day spent with the family of God.
We are looking forward to a great new year. We started off our year with a visit from one of our missionaries, Brother K___. He and his wife (and two boys) are missionaries to L___ (their home country). Our church was blessed to hear a personal report of what the Lord is doing in their ministries one Wednesday evening before the Bible study. We enjoyed several days of fellowship with them, as they took a short time of rest here in Hua Hin.
Dr. Bob Bowen and Brother Curtis Hall from B.E.S.T. Missions (the Bible distribution ministry which supplies our Thai Bibles and materials for our church) were in Thailand and came down to Hua Hin to check on our supplies and visit our church and team. We always enjoy having these men visit. Brother Hall preached the Sunday school hour, and Dr. Bowen preached the main morning service. After Dr. Bowen preached (his sermon was “How to Have a Better Year: Have a Better Walk With God”), one lady told my wife that she was so excited to use what was preached to help her read through her Bible and have a better year. She said, “Those are things I CAN do. I want God to help me have a better year in Him.” This lady has only been a Christian for a year. It sure is exciting to see the Holy Spirit work in the hearts of His children.
Nearly every week since the auditorium expansion, we have visitors come and then return in the following weeks. The room is full, with not much more space to add extra chairs. We are praying, giving, saving, and trusting that this year will be the year our ministry can purchase land and build the buildings we need to teach and train more for His service.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. The work is HIS, the cause is great, the need is greater, and all the glory belongs to Christ.
Tim Shook and Team Thailand