I pray that the Lord has blessed you and your church in reaching others for Christ. In May, we were able to present our ministry to several new churches, and we praise God for those who were able to take us on for support. At the end of May, we were able to fly to Thailand for four weeks for our survey trip, thanks to my home church and Pastor Goddard providing the funds for our tickets and several other churches giving towards our trip’s expenses. We have many stories of how the Lord worked during our trip, and though we don’t have room to share them all in this letter, our hearts are full and readier than ever to return to Thailand and continue the work!
During our visit, we had the opportunity to understand a little bit more of Thailand’s culture. Between the wild animals, interesting food, extremely humid weather, and crazy traffic, we got to experience something new every day! My first opportunity to drive on the opposite side of the road made for a very interesting experience! Although we had a great time learning more of Thailand’s culture, the best part was having many opportunities to go out witnessing. We were able to witness through a translator and personally see 11 people put their faith in Christ during our time there; several of these came to church for their very first time! What an encouragement to see firsthand the work the Lord is doing in Thailand! Please pray for these precious souls to continue to attend church and grow in the Lord.
Being the newest family of Team Thailand, we enjoyed working together with the other team members and being a part of some of the new ministries. The Chad Inman family finished their deputation this April and just took over the teenage ministry. We were able to spend several days painting the new teen building, as well as promoting the new teen classes and activities while out visiting. It was exciting to see young people come to church for the first time in their lives and trust Christ for salvation! Please pray that the teen department will continue to grow numerically and spiritually!
Probably the most distinct element of the Thai culture is the presence of Buddhism and spirit worship. To see a spirit house outside a Thai home is as common as seeing a tree in someone’s yard in America. As I looked at them as I passed by their homes, I knew I must stay motivated in telling the lost about Christ. One Saturday we went to a house (more so a hut) to see a man who had only been saved a few weeks. We drove over an hour through the country to get there, then walked single file down a path between rice fields and coconut trees. About a quarter mile down this path, we came to a hut on stilts. I walked up the wobbly stairs to look into his small home to see half of it filled with idols, paintings, incense, and many other articles used to worship evil spirits. This man trusted Christ and realized that all his idols were wrong and asked us to get rid of them. Pastor Tim Shook prayed with the group. Then we proceeded to remove all of the articles. It took many trips back and forth to the truck to remove the idols. We loaded up two trucks’ worth of materials, probably most of his earthly possessions. What an awesome moment in a new believer’s life to witness! It’s amazing to see firsthand the difference the Gospel will make in a person’s life.
Thank you to all our supporting pastors and churches. Not a week goes by that we don’t think about you and your love and support for us. Please pray for our upcoming meetings in July and August; pray that God will continue to fill our schedule for 2019. Please pray also for Team Thailand and International Baptist Church to be able to raise the remaining money to purchase land for bigger facilities and a future Bible college. We count it a privilege to serve the Lord and partner with you.
In His service,
Jon and Brittany Beil