With the start of each new year, we are given the opportunity to look back at the previous year, 2017, with joy and gratefulness to our God for victories and lives changed for His glory. We especially praise God for souls saved and baptized. There’s nothing more exciting than to see a person turn from the world, accept Christ as his Saviour, and begin to grow in Him.
We finished 2017 with a special Christmas service on Sunday, December 17. Since our space is limited and we no longer have access to the land behind our rented buildings, we only promoted this day to our regular members. God blessed with a crowd of 310 and 25 first-time visitors! What a wonderful day of sharing the real meaning of Christmas through the sermons and lessons, singing carols, and reading the Christmas story. Each person who came received the gift of a towel set, and we shared a delicious lunch together as a church family.
As mentioned in previous prayer letters, our church and team are raising money to buy land and build facilities for a Bible college, language school, and church. Our church members have committed to give and are giving faithfully, above and beyond, each week to this cause. We rejoice in their sacrifice to further the cause of Christ. This past year our church members donated over $20,000 to this cause! Churches in the States are getting involved, and total donations are nearing $60,000. This is nearly one-third of our goal.
My family and I took a 13-week furlough to the States to raise awareness for this cause last September through November. We were in 21 churches in 17 states during those 13 weeks. We had 7 churches commit to give to our Building Fund while we were in America. So far, 5 of those minisitries have given! Recently several other churches have also sent funds. We would like to say “Thank you!” to those churches: Lighthouse Baptist Church, Ludington, Michigan; Freedom Baptist Church, Rural Hall, North Carolina; Faith Baptist Church, Milwaulkee, Wisconsin; Sierra View Baptist, Reno, Nevada; Maranatha Baptist Church, Jacksonville, North Carolina; and Bailey’s Grove Baptist Church, Asheboro, North Carolina.
The giving through our team members, church families, and those who support us in America have made this season of our ministry one of faith, growing, and thankfulness. We look forward to seeing how God will provide for this tremendous need and opportunity in the days ahead!
The team is also excited to announce that the Chad Iman family have purchased their return tickets back to Thailand after traveling to raise support the last two years. They will be flying back on April 27. What a reunion that will be for all of us! We ask that you continue to pray for the remainder of their support to come in over these next few months and for their safety as they finish up their travels.
Also, please pray for our newest team members, Jon and Brittany Beil, as they started deputation this past fall. We look forward to having them here. If you are looking for a godly, hardworking, soul-conscious missionary couple, please consider supporting the Beil family.
May God bless you in this new year. We are thankful for your prayers and support for Team Thailand. The field is white, the souls are ready, and there is much work to be done!
Tim Shook and Team Thailand