We have many blessings to share with you all, so let’s jump into it. Some of this news has already been published through our family prayer letters and other encouraging letters from Team Thailand members, but I trust this will be a blessing to those who have not yet heard.
In our last team letter, we asked you to pray with us for our Village Bible Clubs. Again, a thank you goes out to Bro. Mark Holmes and his family for coming all the way from Nigeria for a week of training, which proved to be very helpful for our team.
The five villages in which we sponsored and operated the Bible Clubs were chosen carefully, based on the fact that faithful members of our churches live in those areas, and all have a heart to reach their neighbors with the Gospel. I believe the Holy Spirit used the Godly desires of these Thai believers to open many doors during the week of Bible Clubs.
Each village in Thailand has a leader known as the Pu Yai Ban. Pu is the word for “adult,” Yai is the word for “large,” and Ban is the word for “house.” Essentially, it means “the local village chief.” These men are well respected in Thai culture and play an important role in the day-to-day life of each community. Our church members all had good relationships with their local leaders prior to our workers going into the areas. I required that each club leader take the time to visit and get to know the Pu Yai Ban in their respected areas weeks before the Bible Clubs were scheduled to open. Our church members personally took our club leaders to meet the village chiefs in each area, and we were given much liberty to visit and operate in all areas as a result. Praise the Lord for open doors and open hearts!
Each area had wonderful blessings throughout the week, and God used this time to strengthen many church members who had never taught or led a song publicly. Ten of our teenagers helped to lead and teach in the clubs. Some taught the missionary story, some taught the Bible memory verse, some played their instruments in accompaniment to the songs, and others helped with the games. What a joy it was to see God bless the efforts of those involved and to see His hand of blessing on each faithful servant who gave the Gospel.
One Village Bible Club, led by Pastor Pong and his family, met in a local Buddhist temple! Many heard the Gospel for the first time, and they saw 22 souls saved there!
The club that Missy and I helped with was led by our Thai assistant pastor, Brother Sakrapee. Brother Chad and his three children— Harmony, Autumn, and Forest—labored with us each day. The first day of our club, we arrived in the village an hour early to find over 60 people already gathered and excited about the day. On the first morning of our club, we had over 100 in attendance. We found out later that the Pu Yai Ban had driven through the area that morning in his truck with a bullhorn, inviting everyone in the village to come to the club. The greatest blessing from this was that each one of those folks heard a clear and thorough explanation of the Gospel, and many believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that day!
During the week, 500-plus people, who had never attended church at any point in their lives, attended the Village Bible Clubs, heard Bible stories from the life of Christ, and were given a clear Gospel presentation each day. Over 200 were wonderfully saved, and we have had many visitors in church as a result of the clubs. It is our plan to host Village Bible Clubs each October during the school break as another regular outreach ministry.
Update on All Building Projects
The two houses are nearing completion. With just a few weeks of work left, we need to continue to raise funds for the next phase, which is the pavilion and Sunday school/office building. Please email or message me if you have any questions regarding this next phase. It is my hope that the church will be moved onto the land before the end of 2024, and the schools will follow in 2025.
Please pray as we continue to work with our contractor Pi Oot and his crew. Pi Oot is a born-again Christian Thai man. You may remember the story of how God brought Oot and his wife Ooan to our church in 2022. They have proven to be an answer to prayer, and God has once again proven that He will do for His children, “. . . exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
Pray with Us for Future Plans
In this section, I will briefly mention that God blessed miraculously all during the month of December. Many of you prayed for the busy Christmas season, and I can’t wait to share that wonderful news with you in the next letter!
Pray for Our Team
Our team families need your prayers and support. Many of you support Team Thailand and also individual team families, but did you know that you can support our national Thai pastors as well?! If you are interested in this opportunity, a monthly donation of $30 – $50 would be an immense blessing for these precious servants of God.
• My family – Tim, Melissa, Lauren, and Mark Shook
• The Inman family – Chad, Sarah, Harmony, Autumn, and Forest
• The House family – Shari and Evelyse
• The Jomhong family – Sakrapee, Udomlak, and El
• Pastor Pong, his wife Da, and their son Jack
• Pastor Sangad and his wife Joom
• Pastor Star and his wife Rain
• Pastor Tan and his soon-to-be wife Pim
• Damalaku, James, Joshua, Joseph, and Grace
All of these dear servants of God are faithful to work and make Team Thailand a success. Your financial support and prayers are constantly enabling our team to forge ahead and fulfill that Greatest of Commissions!
With gratitude and thanksgiving,
Tim Shook & Team Thailand