One part of our ministry is ministering to Christians or contacts of friends passing through our city and heading to Myanmar or Bangkok. We are on the Thai side of the Thai-Myanmar border and the stopping point in people’s travels when going from one country to another. We often get a call requesting us to pick up a pastor visiting from Myanmar or to pick someone up on their way from Bangkok, traveling to Myanmar. Sometimes it is delivering Bibles and tracts or clothing to those passing through and have needs in their church. We try to be a blessing, but many times we are so encouraged and feel so blessed after they’ve gone. At the end of March, we got a call to pick up an older man making his way back to Myanmar. We spent two days with him before he continued on his journey. God touched his heart to give a financial gift to our church. Little did he know that we had some events planned in April, and at the time, we didn’t have the funds for the events. His gift was exactly what we needed. We praise God for His provision.
A Peek into a Church Member’s Life
Alli is a 13-year-old girl who has been attending our church for about a year and a half now. She has been trying hard to learn what pleases God. During a Sunday evening service, she understood that she shouldn’t wai (“pray”) to the altar of Buddha during the morning school assembly. (All students and teachers do this every day unless they request not to do so.) Nervously and excitedly, she decided that the next day, she would tell her teacher that she couldn’t pray to Buddha during assembly because she was a Christian. She happily messaged me the next day, saying that the teacher was okay with her not joining in prayer during assembly. About a week later, her friend told us that a different teacher had begun giving Alli a hard time about not joining in prayer during the assembly. The teacher tried pointing out that her parents were Buddhist—so how could she claim to be Christian? She also began asking her questions to see if she knew what Christians believed. Some things were questions about Catholic practices, and Alli had no idea how to answer. Discouraged, embarrassed, and worried we’d be disappointed with her, she quit coming to church and quit communicating with us for a couple of months. Every so often, Tiffany would message her and try to restore communication. Praise the Lord, the Wednesday before Resurrection Sunday, Alli got in the church truck and said, “I will come back to God.” Please pray for her to be a witness of our Saviour at school next month when the new school year begins.
This year Easter fell on the Sunday before Songkran, also known as the Water Festival or the traditional Thai New Year. Some festivities had already begun in celebration of the three-day holiday. Many send their sons, and sometimes even their daughters, to enter the temple for seven to nine days to be novice monks or nuns. People gather at the temple to watch those getting their head shaved and to see the ceremony of their becoming a monk. Besides competing with the local festivities, we had a great turnout for our Resurrection service. Our Resurrection service was held in the clearing of the woods at the end of a waterfall. Afterwards we had a baptism, ate a picnic lunch, and then cooled off in the water. It was a great start to our upcoming Summer Bible Camp planned during the Water Festival.
Summer Bible Camp
While many were going to different places to celebrate Songkran on April 13 & 14, children, youth, and young adults came to our church for a Summer Bible Camp. We praise the Lord that some who often can’t come to church because of work or because their parents won’t allow them to come to church attended the camp. Our mornings were filled with learning new songs, listening to a Bible lesson, and then participating in a group Bible study. In the afternoon, we enjoyed games and water fun. We are so proud of those who chose not to follow their family members to the temple and instead chose to come to camp at church. We took a break for a day to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary, and then rewards were given out in the following Sunday morning service.
Thank you for always remembering us in prayer.
Teerapat and Tiffany Phaisarnpiwat