“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it . . . .” (Psalm 127:1) This verse has certainly been proven true throughout the ages, as God takes humanity and uses those who have simply yielded, gone, and served in His power. We are seeing God build the ministries here in ways that cause us to say, “This is ALL God!”
We rejoice in two new donations toward our Building Fund. First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, donated $10,000, and an older couple who work here in Thailand donated $800. We are very thankful for the sacrificial giving from so many as we pray and continue to give toward the future land and properties of Team Thailand. This puts our Building Fund just over 2 million Thai baht.
The older couple mentioned above, Gill and Caspar, are from Holland. They have been born-again believers for many years. Over 10 years ago, Gill and Caspar decided to move to Thailand to work with a non-profit organization that operates two retreats (in two different locations in Thailand) for ministry workers. A few years ago, our team discovered that one of the retreats was just an hour south of us. This retreat was also the location that Gill and Caspar oversee. As the years have gone by, we have used the retreat once for a staff and workers’ getaway, and several of the missionary families have used it for a family vacation.
One Sunday a year or so ago, Caspar and Gill came to our church for the first time at our the morning service. They expressed their delight in finding a church that is traditional and holds to the truths of the Bible and asked if they could get some tracts to give to those who stay at their retreat as a local-church reference. For the past year, they have come to church about once a month when they have errands to take care of in our town. Last month Caspar asked me about our building plans and wanted the Building Fund account information for donation purposes. What a blessing it was to see this month that they had so generously given $800! I was able to thank them in person when they came to church this past week. After I expressed our gratitude, Caspar replied, “It’s for the Lord’s work. We believe in what you are doing here for God and Thailand.” Praise the Lord!
We are also seeing great spiritual growth in our faithful church members. Khun Jantorn, who is partially crippled in one leg, has been coming for over a year. She recently followed the Lord in baptism. We have seen her grow since then in different areas. Two weeks ago I encouraged everyone to have a part in giving out the Gospel, and I specifically encouraged those who have physical ailments to ask God to bring people to them to whom they could witness. During our midweek service last Wednesday, Khun Jantorn raised her hand to share a praise. She shared how she had been convicted after my sermon and had begun praying for God to bring someone to her. On the same day that she was sitting in her house praying, a friend of hers stopped by to chat. She took that opportunity to share the Gospel with her and even called one of our staff men to help her pray with her friend, since it was her first time to lead someone to the Lord. This friend has come for two services and raised her hand for baptism this past Sunday.
One more story—a British man named Dexter has been coming to our church for over three years. He has a Thai wife, and they spend half of every year in Australia and the other half in Thailand. When they are in Thailand, Dexter will come to our church every Sunday. His wife Naree has been to our church many times but does not come with her husband every week. Dexter has asked us to pray for Naree these past three years. As each year has gone by, we have seen Naree soften toward the Gospel and church. In January and February, she started to come more regularly. On February 18, during the invitation, Naree raised her hand and walked forward to receive Jesus into her heart. Not only did she get saved that day, but she also got baptized. What a day of rejoicing we all had! Dexter kept saying, “I didn’t have anything to do with this. I had to talk her into coming to church this morning. I’m so surprised!” Isn’t God good?!
Please continue to pray for our team, as we are currently a bit scattered. The Inman family will return to the field on April 27, Miss Shari is currently on furlough until the beginning of July, Brother and Mrs. Randy Shook will be on furlough from June to the end of August, and the Beils are in their first year of deputation. Your faithful support and prayers make it possible for our team to continue the work God has helped us to start.
We are thrilled to serve the Lord here and watch as He builds His house.
Tim Shook & Team Thailand