We had a very busy December, full of practices, preparations, outreaches, and celebrations together. It was great to see everyone getting involved one way or another, whether it was donating gifts, food, or money or participating in the drama and helping in the outreaches. December 10 & 11, my pastor friend from Bangkok, Atitarn Jomhong, and his family came to encourage us and preach at our church. What a blessing it was to have them here for a visit. On the 17th, we had our first Christmas outreach in Little Phrop Phra Village. At least 200 adults, teens, and children came to the local preschool where we had the Christmas program. The original plan was to have it in a different village, but with less than a week to go and still not being able to get ahold of the village leader to confirm our coming, we went to visit Little Phrop Phra Village. We got a confirmation from him in less than five minutes, just three days before our planned program. God redirected our original plans and guided us to where He wanted us to go. In addition, the village leader happened to be an uncle of one of our church members. The village only has a couple of Christian families, and the rest are Buddhist/spirit worshipers. The Christians were so happy we came. No one had ever been to their village for a Christmas outreach before.
On the 25th, we had our own Christmas celebration at church. Some of the youth brought their older sisters, younger siblings, and/or mom. On the 30th, we had one more plan—go to a village in a jungle and pass out baskets with essentials to each home and preach a short Gospel message. Ku Cher, our connection in the village, called us a day before we planned to go to the village. He requested us to move the day to after the New Year. On the 31st, we were told that the village leader thought it best that we not come. The spirit worshipers had recently caused big problems for the couple of Christian families in the village. Spiritual warfare is all around us.
Once again, God had a better plan. God put on our hearts a rose farm, which we had often visited due to having a student who worked and lived there. We discovered that the student no longer worked there, but we still believed this is where God wanted us to go. On January 4, we went back to the rose farm and arrived there in time for their lunch break. The workers cheered and lined up behind our truck as the word spread that we were passing out bags filled with dry goods and necessities. We also passed out these bags to our church families and their neighbors. One of the workers at the rose farm told us that the young man we were looking for had gotten a job near our church. After passing out the bags, we went to visit him, and he came that night to our Wednesday evening service. Each bag contained a Burmese and Thai Gospel booklet. During Sunday pickups, one of the mothers came out of her house to tell us she had read the entire booklet already. The month we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, God showed us His power and how He is always in control. He reminded us that the plans which seem good in our eyes aren’t always the plans God sees are best for us or what He wants us to do.
On December 31, we rented out a soccer field for us to enjoy a time of fellowship together in celebration of the New Year. We told our youth to invite their friends. We started out with just the teens from our church. Not long after though, more and more youth and adults showed up until there were so many players, we had to rotate teams. Everyone had a wonderful time, and many visitors went home with Gospel booklets. One of the visitors has been coming to church faithfully and accepted Jesus as her Saviour.
We want to specially thank those who donated financially and bought gifts for our outreaches. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to share the Gospel with so many.
Teerapat and Tiffany Phaisarnpiwat