During this Christmas season, the greatest gift we can give is the gift of the Gospel. God allowed our team to go into three different local public schools this year. We prepared a program with fun games, songs, an English lesson, and a Christmas play about the birth of Jesus. At the end, the salvation message was given by our Thai pastor, Sakrapee Jomhong. We observed just over 3,200 students receive the Christmas story, and many raised their hands, publicly stating that they had prayed and asked Jesus into their hearts. Please pray as we follow up with the schools and the young people who trusted Christ. Our plan is to get back into these schools several more times this next year. An Easter program is in the works, and this would just give us more opportunities to teach about the Lord.
Our church had its annual Christmas Banquet. There were 411 in attendance. Many of our members and staff brought visitors who accepted Christ after seeing the Christmas play and hearing the Gospel. There were 48 people in total who accepted Jesus as their Saviour. The spirit was contagious as our staff, Karen members, and Burmese members each sang specials. We pray each year that God will use this banquet as a shining beacon of light for HIS story.
Our Laotian church members cooked a meal for Brother Sakrapee (our Thai pastor) and I one evening while we were making church visits. We soon realized that they were struggling to make ends meet. They had caught a bat and a bird, and that is what was for dinner, with a side of sticky rice and veggies. Their job at the pineapple factory is frequently inconsistent, leaving them with negative funds for daily needs. Despite their great trials, they come faithfully to church every week and give sacrificially.
The Wednesday before Christmas, I decided to have our
midweek prayer meeting in their village. Our church bought each family group (5 families come faithfully) a 5-pound bag of rice, a carton of 30 eggs, oil, fish sauce, sausages, and a tin of Christmas cookies. Each family was also given a floor mattress, because they were sleeping on a thin covering on top of a concrete floor. We sang Christmas songs, folks gave testimonies, and we had a time of prayer. We can testify that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. God has given us so much, and we are required to give back that much more!
We are blessed to serve in a country where we can share the gift of Jesus every day. Missy and I have seen 7 people accept Jesus this month in our personal soul winning. God allowed me to see a young man named Gahn get saved while out visiting. Gahn came the following Sunday to church and brought two of his friends. His friends got saved, and all three were baptized.
Lauren and Mark enjoy visiting with us several times a week. Below is a picture of Lauren visiting her Sunday school friend, Bonus.
Our family enjoyed a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for your extra gifts of money and Christmas packages to help make our holidays so much more enjoyable!
We love you and are so thankful for all that you do to allow us this amazing opportunity to serve as missionaries here in Thailand. We pray for you often!