By God’s grace and mercy, even during a time when places and cities have been shut down and curfews put in place, we had many opportunities to reach out to people. At times, I feel like we are busier now than we were before the lockdown. We became creative in reaching out to people. From April to mid-June, an evening curfew was set, and the few places that were still open closed early. The prime minister changed the rules weekly, and sometimes daily, as to what was allowed. Many precautions were taken, and we thank God that only a couple of cases of COVID-19 were known in our area. We had to temporarily discontinue holding services at our church building, but that did not keep us from worshiping. Every Sunday morning, we had two to three families who lived near us over to our house for worship service and fellowship, and we held the services live on Facebook. We also used social media to reach out to the people who attend our church. About every couple of weeks, we were able to visit all the families who attend our church and bring them a care package of food. During those visits, we got to pray and encourage the families and at times meet the parents of the young people who attend our church. We praise God that I had several opportunities to share the Gospel, and two parents and an older sibling trusted Christ during one of the visits. Relationships with the families became stronger, and people who had not come in quite a while were ready to come back to church once church would be open. Tiffany began teaching English online to some local children, and I began to experiment with video makers and social media to record singing and preaching. This wasn’t how we had planned to spend our summer (hot season), but the downtime gave us a chance to refresh and grow closer to God.
Praises and Blessings
We are so thankful and amazed at everyone’s generosity during this crisis. Awhile back, we asked for prayer and perhaps donations for hymnbooks for our church. In May, Calvary Baptist Church donated money for us to be able to purchase 35 hymnals. We are waiting for them, as the place that prints the hymnals closed due to COVID-19. Also, First Baptist Church of Hammond gave us a large donation to be used to reach out to families in need. We were usually only able to take care packages to about 9 families, but with this donation, we were able to visit around 35 families. They were given a care package of some essentials and food, as well as a booklet that clearly explained about salvation. Some of these families have someone who attends or had attended our church, while others were neighbors or friends of our church people. What a joyful time it was to help meet these people’s physical needs and, at the same time, share with them the love of our Saviour.
At the beginning of this month, we began holding split services—Sunday morning service in MaeKu, where our church is, and evening services at our home for those who live in Maesot. In July, we plan to start holding regular services with everyone together. Not gathering together for so long had many missing church. Our first service back in MaeKu was full even without the couple of families in MaeSot. This may bring about a need in the future of having to find a new place to meet. A special prayer request that has been on our hearts since we started our ministry is that God would bring a couple to help serve in our church with us. We get stretched thin and cannot do all that is needed without help. Please pray with us that our church may reach out to more people and be able to do more for Christ’s sake.
Teerapat and Tiffany Phaisarnpiwat