We praise the Lord for the many opportunities we are given to spread the Gospel and see lives changed for His glory. We had many special Sundays this spring that brought visitors, salvations, and baptisms; but what’s exciting to see is the maturity and growth in our regular, faithful church members.
One couple in our church, Pee Nong and Ba-Blu, have been together for several years but were never married. They are both Karen and were born in Burma. Pee Nong was married before and has three daughters from her first marriage. She lived in Burma with her daughters and husband. Seven years ago, her husband died, leaving her with the responsibility of working and caring for her children by herself. Pee Nong decided to move to Thailand to have a better job with higher pay to support her family. She left her two oldest daughters with her parents.
Pee Nong met Ba-Blu after living in Thailand for about a year, and the two started a relationship and had a little girl together. During this time, she was reached by our church and started to attend the Sunday morning services regularly. She had grown up knowing about Christianity because her parents were born-again believers, but because Pee Nong was raised by her grandparents, who were Buddhist, she was not taught the truth of the Gospel or anything about Christ. She followed in her grandparents’ steps and practiced Buddhism.
When Pee Nong started coming to our church, she began to learn the truth and hope of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Pee Nong received Jesus as her Saviour in our church and began to grow in the Lord. She became a faithful and involved church member. She also started to encourage her boyfriend Ba-Blu to come to church. Ba-Blu received Jesus and began to grow in the Lord.
Just a few months ago, Pee Nong and Ba-Blu came to talk with me about getting married. They shared their desire to follow the Lord and do things the right way, starting with their relationship. Our church had a small wedding ceremony on a Wednesday night. Many of our members were able to be there and support this couple in their endeavor to start over with Christ as the head of their home. What a thrill it is for me, as their pastor, to see this young couple growing in the Lord so sweetly.
We have had several members in our church pass away in the last two months. I’ll briefly share one of these stories, as it is an example of how important it is to be a soul winner. Jantorn, one lady who passed away, was reached by our staff couple, Singad and Joom. Jantorn had many physical ailments due to diabetes and injuries due to an accident she had years ago. A mutual friend introduced Singad and Joom to Jantorn. They went to her house to meet her and gave her the Gospel that first day. Jantorn received Jesus and started to come to church regularly. She attended our church for over three years. A year after she first she came to our church, Jantorn decided she was ready to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. This was a very exciting day for all of us!
Jantorn’s health continued to worsen over the next few years. Two weeks ago, she was rushed to the hospital and never left the ER. At her funeral, Jantorn’s family gave testimonies of her love for the Lord. These unbelievers shared how they watched their sister/mother change after she heard about Jesus. They told how she would beg them to accept Jesus so that they would be with her in Heaven one day. The Gospel was clearly preached, and Jantorn’s older sister received Jesus into her heart. The power of the Gospel is the work of the Holy Spirit, in and through us, as we go forth and boldly share this Good News. There’s nothing more fulfilling!
We hosted our friends, Brian and Tammy Fisher, from one of our supporting churches, Somerset Bible Baptist Church, Somerset, New Jersey, along with two senior girls from their Christian school. Tammy and Missy were roommates in college during Missy’s freshman year, and they have stayed in touch through the years. Their visit was a wonderful time of fellowship for our family and a privilege to show them a little of the ministry and our life here.
We said many sad “Goodbyes” to my parents and our fellow team members, Brother Randy and Carmen Shook, as they retired from mission work here in Thailand. What a tremendous joy and learning opportunity it was for all of us to have this time on the field with two of the humblest servants of God. Their joyful spirits and positive testimonies brought much encouragement during my first term as team leader and pastor here in Hua Hin. Our family never imagined 11 years ago when we first came to Thailand that we would get to serve on the field with our parents. Their absence will leave a huge gap in the work and ministries here (as well as in our hearts), but we pray that the team and churches can continue in their example of loving others for Christ’s sake and staying faithful to HIM until we hear the trumpet sound . . . looking for that blessed hope.
Your prayers and support allow us to serve here. Thank you for all that you do to encourage and sustain our family.