With each new year, we look back and reflect on God’s goodness and great work in the previous year. This January was no exception. God has stretched our faith, and even more excitingly, He has grown the faith of the Thai Christians whom we serve. This year marks our 9th year as missionaries and 6½ years on the field. We love the country to which God has called us, and it is always a thrill to see His hand at work here with Team Thailand.
In preparation for Cowboy Sunday (a celebration of the Thai holiday, Children’s Day), our staff and team passed out flyers in local villages and at three public schools near the church. We rented four horses, a bounce house, trampolines, and games. Everyone who came had free hot dogs and ice cream after the service. God blessed in a tremendous way. Many new families came with their children, and we had 20 young people receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
One of our favorite things is to have church members in our home for a meal and fellowship. One evening in January, we hosted our Thai pastor, his family, and some of our newer church members, Pi Suri and Pi Nim, for dinner. About 10 months ago, the Lord led Pi Suri to our church in a unique way! She and her close friend, Pi Nim, had been Christians for just a few months. The church they were attending was teaching false doctrine, and these baby Christians were seeking the truth. Pi Suri asked God to show her where to go. One night in a dream, a man told Pi Suri that she should get up the next morning, which happened to be Sunday, and drive south. The next day Pi Suri and her friend got up and drove south towards the city of Hua Hin. When they reached our city, they asked several people if they knew of a church in the area. Two different individuals gave the ladies directions to our church. They have been coming faithfully ever since and have brought many of their friends and family members to church as well. These ladies now fill up two pickup trucks every Sunday morning with folks from their city and drive almost 45 minutes to come to our Bible-preaching church. Amen! These dear ladies live in the city of Cha-Am. The Devil has a stronghold in that city. Spirit worship and spiritual oppression are very prevalent in that area. God has given us a vision to start a church in this city soon.
Lauren’s first convert, Pen, decided to get baptized. It was a special day for Lauren to watch Pen and her cousin, Fa, listen to the Holy Spirit and follow Him in baptism. We are thankful for Lauren’s heart for lost souls.
In February, we had a special Valentine’s Sunday. Each couple had their picture taken and received a Lindt chocolate bar. Most of our members do not get to have their pictures taken professionally, so this time each year is especially fun for them.
Our team is starting a new church plant in Nong Plap, an area about 40 minutes from our church. We have members who drive from Nong Plap or ride a truck to church every Sunday. Most of these members are unable to come to Sunday night or Wednesday night services because of work and the distance. There will be services on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. The first service will be Sunday evening, March 5. My father, Pastor Randy Shook, will be pastoring this church plant, along with the help of our Ajan Sakrapee (our Thai Pastor) and Khun Star (one of our young men who is training for the ministry). Please pray for God’s power on these men and for the Gospel to be received.
Tim Shook and Family