How many Bibles do you have lying around your house today? How many Bibles have you owned in your lifetime as an American-born Christian? Romans 10:14-17 says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” These verses describe the importance of teachers, preachers, and God’s Word.
On a daily basis, we are reminded that the people of Thailand have been without God’s Word for too long. The evidence is in the spread of disease, loose lifestyles, and the way grotesque sin is eagerly accepted as normal. However, there are believers in Thailand who love God and who are eager to read His Word. The main problem often is that they don’t own a Bible.
A week ago two of our staff men and I drove to Don Singkorn, an area on the border of Burma, where we met with a Karen pastor, Bro. Siko. He pastors a church of about 35 members in a very small town. Karen, Burmese, and Thai people attend the services every week. They are eager to know God and what He wants them to learn, but they do not have any Bibles from which to study. With the help of missionary Bob Bowen and BEAMS, we were able bring to them Thai, Burmese, and Karen Bibles, along with songbooks for their services. Our church was also to buy them chairs for their meeting room. They were previously using mats on the floor. What a privilege it is to be used of God to give His Word and be a blessing to other believers so they can grow in faith! Please pray for Pastor Siko.
This month we celebrated Mother’s Day. Thailand honors all the mothers on the day of the Queen’s birthday, August 12. Our church had a special day the Sunday before Mother’s Day, August 10. We had 33 mothers in attendance, and several were first-time visitors. We gave each mother a gift certificate for 100 baht (a little over US$3) to a hair salon. This would allow them receive one service for free: a pedicure, manicure, or hairstyle/cut. Orchid plants were given to three special mothers; the winners were the oldest mother in church, the mother with the most children, and the mother who had been a mother the longest. Each mother was also given a flower by the children and honored in a traditional Thai way. It was a sweet service! Since then, God has been gracious in bringing several of the visiting mothers back to church.
We continue to see souls saved and baptized as God adds to the church weekly. The team has started working through a discipleship program, and we are preparing to have it translated into Thai and Karen in the near future. It is our desire to preach, teach, win souls, and see them follow Christ in baptism; but we also want to train our people for His work. Please pray for us as we diligently study to achieve this goal, for His glory. Thank you for your investment in our ministries!
Tim Shook & Team Thailand