I trust everyone had a wonderful Christmas and beginning to the New Year. All December, we were quite busy. We started off with a football competition for the youth at a rented field, and later that week, we had a Christmas party/reward ceremony at our house. We were unsure if we’d be able to hold activities and Christmas celebrations throughout the month of December due to restrictions constantly changing, but we planned and invited anyway. We encouraged the youth at our church to invite their friends, and we invited those who hadn’t been to church in a while. With having to stop and start holding services a few times due to COVID, several had stopped coming. Praise the Lord, everything went as planned! Twenty-four youths came to compete. About 30 joined us for the Christmas party, where the Gospel was given. We had a wonderful time of fellowship with the youth. Relationships were rekindled and got the youth excited about church and future activities.
Everyone in our church participated in three ongoing contests throughout the month of December. I am proud of my nephew for winning the contest of memorizing the books of the Bible, as well as Psalm 23. Throughout the month, we had practices and preparation for our big Christmas church celebration on December 19. Our goal was 50, for that was the allowed number of people who could gather in a group. A handful of faithful youth, my sister’s family, Tiffany, and I made up our small team. On the 19th, we had a wonderful turnout of just under 50. Our youth choir sang some special Christmas songs, our Bible student Chaiya led us in the reading of the Christmas story, and the children in Sunday school enjoyed a Christmas lesson while I gave a Christmas message. Everyone enjoyed the games, a special traditional lunch of green curry and noodles, and receiving gifts. Our neighbor called on us once, but thankfully, the village leader’s worker was satisfied that we were up to par with the COVID standards (masks, temperature scanner, sign-in sheet, hand sanitizer, and social distancing were all in place) and didn’t make us cancel our service and activities. The gift of our Saviour was shared several times during December. A special thanks to everyone who gave a special donation to our Christmas activities and outreaches.
We welcomed the New Year with a celebration at our home with some family and friends. The first Sunday of the year, we had everyone over at our house for a special service and celebration together. We ended the evening watching a movie on the life of Job and discussed how Job trusted God even through his difficult times.
Throughout 2021, we focused on sharing the Gospel in the local communities and the villages an hour or more away from us. We went into more than 20 villages, passing out tracts and sharing the Gospel with many. We tried to return to each village and follow up a couple of times. COVID prevented us from holding group activities, such as our usual English Bible Clubs, English Camps, and regular church services; but we used the restrictions to our advantage to plant many seeds. In 2022, we are planning and praying to focus on training and discipling, so that our members and new believers will grow spiritually. We are also praying for God to bring a couple to us who have a desire to serve Christ with us. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer and supporting us.
Teerapat and Tiffany Phaisarnpiwat