Happy New Year from Thailand! On December 30, we celebrated our one-year anniversary of arriving on the field! Our first year here would not have been possible without the Lord sustaining us through your faithful prayers and support. Though 2020 was an unusual year for everyone, it was a year of growth and blessings while adjusting to our new life and ministry. We are excited to see what the Lord has planned for all of us this coming year.
These past two months have been exciting and busy. Many people have come to church, trusted Christ, and continued to come to church every week. During the month of December, we were able to have a special Christmas teen activity that was our biggest to date. Thirty teenagers came to the activity to play games, eat a lot of food, and hear about the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Saviour. For most, it was their first time to hear the Christmas story, and they all listened with respect and attention.
It was also exciting to finish the last book of the first discipleship level in teen class last month. Together we have gone through the Salvation, Eternal Security, Baptism, and Word of God discipleship books. Several of the teenagers took the books home and returned the quiz in each book on their own. Recently, more of the teenagers have started attending Wednesday evening services, and three new teenage girls asked to be baptized after the Wednesday night service. There is great potential in the teenagers, but they must choose to follow Christ. Please pray for the many who come from broken homes and need the Lord’s direction in their lives. They are the future Christian leaders for Thailand, and we feel a great responsibility to teach them the truth of God’s Word.
The Sunday before Christmas, the churches in Hua Hin and Nong Plop had a special Christmas Sunday, where we were able to give bags of rice to every visitor. We bought 35 candy bars for gifts for the teenage class, thinking that would be plenty, as our previous record attendance was 25. That morning, 47 teenagers showed up to class! We had to run out and buy some more treats for everyone. We also had many more adult and child visitors than planned and ran out of bags of rice and toys for the children. Many first-time guests came to church, heard the Gospel clearly for the first time, and chose to accept Christ. To God be the glory!
After ending the year on such a high note, we have had the somewhat discouraging news of new restrictions being imposed again by the government, due to a second wave of the virus in Thailand. We have been blessed over the past many months with many fewer restrictions than other countries, and we are thankful for the spiritual and numerical growth that the Lord has allowed us to have during the latter part of 2020. He alone knows what the next weeks and months hold, so we will leave the future in His hands.
By the time I send out our next prayer letter, we will have another member of the family, Lord willing! Brittany will give birth to little Judah here in Hua Hin sometime in February. Please pray for a safe delivery and healthy baby.
In His service,
Jonathan and Brittany Beil