One of my greatest joys this year was starting my Single Ladies’ Sunday School Class. It has stretched my Thai language ability, but God has given great grace. To end the year, we had a sleepover at my house with games, singing, American food, and making Christmas cookies. It was a first for many of them, and they loved taking their pictures with all my Christmas decorations.
As with many of my ladies, Dudu (pictured right) works long hours every day. Her greatest desire is to come to church each week. Although her boss rarely gives her the day off, she still wanted to participate in our Bible memory program. For our last class in December, she was allowed to come for only the fourth time since we began in September. Much to my surprise, she quoted all four months’ worth of verses one right after the other. It was humbling, to say the least.
This was our first year in Hua Hin to present the Christmas story in some of the public schools. What a joy it was to work together with our Thai staff to create an enjoyable program for the students. At each school we sang some Christmas songs, played a game, taught an English lesson, performed a short drama about the Christmas nativity, and preached the Gospel. We were able to give a Thai Bible to each school administrator and each teacher. Every student received a gift bag, which had a John and Romans, a Christmas story printout, a Bible verse bookmark, and a pack of candy. Both the first and second schools we went to were primary/junior high schools and had between 400 and 500 students each. The third school was our main high school here in Hua Hin, and they had around 2,500 students. Playing a game of Big Ball Volleyball with 2,500 students all at once, as well as teaching them an English lesson, was interesting; but they did great, and it was tons of fun. I was amazed each time as a hush came over the crowd during the drama and continued throughout the sermon. This could have only happened because of the Holy Spirit’s presence, and to the glory of God, hundreds accepted Jesus as their Saviour. Pray for us as we seek to have more opportunities to minister and have an influence in our public schools.
This year’s Christmas Banquet was our biggest one yet! We had over 400 people join us in celebrating the birth of Christ. Many of our faithful church members invited their family members, workmates, and neighbors to join in the celebration. Our people worked hard to prepare the grounds, practice the special items, cook the food, and decorate for the big event. What a special time it was of sharing the true meaning of Christmas in a land where Christmas is just another day where kids go to school and people go to work. Through the generosity of those like you who give to missions, we were able to give each person a lovely towel set as a gift—a real treat for many of them.
Thanks for the part you had in making this a great year for our ministry here in Thailand. Please pray for us daily as we seek to build on what, with the Lord’s help, we’ve been able to accomplish this year. We have great plans for 2016, and I invite you to visit us and see firsthand what the Lord is doing. I pray 2016 proves to be a great year for you too.