“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Hello to our dear supporting friends and churches! Team Thailand is thriving in the work of the LORD! God has been our constant Guide since the team’s inception, and we are continually seeking His will and wisdom. I just came back from the land a few hours ago, and there is much to report.
Land Development Update
In our last Thailand Team prayer letter, I mentioned that we had an adjacent neighbor who was disputing the survey results and locations of our chinote poles (“boundary markers”). A hearing was set for May 7, and I went to the hearing with our Thai lawyer, Bro. Sakrapee Jomhong, and several binders full of pictures, documents, and a mountain of evidence in our favor. The other party in the dispute arrived 10 minutes late, with no documentation, and immediately admitted that they were in the wrong. All parties signed an affidavit stating that we all agreed to the location of the boundary poles as laid down by the Ministry of Land. Since that day, we have been moving forward with assurance and the full backing of our local government!
We are currently in the first of five phases of the land development. This first phase includes:
1. Clearing and leveling the property, which is already underway.
2. Building a temporary gravel driveway (in progress).
3. Building a perimeter wall and two gates for the entrance and exit driveways (in progress).
4. Digging one, possibly two, wells.
5. Installing solar panels and a water pump.
6. Building our first permanent structure on the land, a two-bedroom house for the security guard and his family.
7. Purchasing and installing a transformer and electric poles.
The total estimated cost of this first phase is $45,000. Praise the Lord, some of this has already been donated. We have received donations towards the well and the electrical transformer. Also, our churches here have continued to raise money for land development; we have just over $9,000 in our church’s Land Fund. With our Thailand funds and supporters’ donations, we have just over $19,000 of the $45,000 needed to complete Phase 1. Thank you to all who have donated for the land purchase and development over the past few years! If you are interested in donating specifically to this project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the FBMI offices to donate to Thailand Team Special Projects.
The second phase of development will be team-member housing, parking, and a large outdoor pavilion.
The third phase of the project will be the church auditorium, the Fellowship Hall, nurseries, and Sunday school rooms.
The fourth phase will be office and educational buildings.
The fifth phase will be future plans for a foundation and farming land to provide work opportunities for Bible college students.
Church Soul-Winning Efforts
During our several shutdowns this year, I really wanted our team to remain productive in outreach and soul winning. We have already had many opportunities to meet the physical and financial needs of our members and those who live in the cities in which we serve, and I wanted to take this project a step further.
So, we came up with a plan to get all of our adult church members engaged in this Great Commission effort, even when we could not meet together for regularly scheduled soul-winning efforts. We wrote and developed a new tract that is designed specifically to employ all the adult church members in reaching their needy, out-of-work neighbors. Since many of our church members have been out of work for months and have already received aid on several occasions, we gave them the opportunity to pass this blessing on to their unsaved friends and neighbors. The new tract is a simple invitation to those who are out of work to place a phone call and receive aid. On the tract, there is a QR code linked to a video presentation of the Gospel.
As we pass out the aid/food bags to our members, we place five “aid tracts” in each bag and encourage our members to pass on the blessings to others in need. The church members then go throughout their villages and give the “aid tracts” to their needy neighbors. The neighbors call the number on the tract and speak to one of our church staff members. The staff member takes their name, number, and address and also requests the name of the church member who gave them the “aid tract.”
An appointment is then scheduled by our church staff with the member and the new prospect. We then go to the member’s house and walk with them to their neighbor’s house. The aid/food bag is given to the new contact, and we are introduced to this complete stranger by a friendly neighbor and a much-appreciated gift.
We have seen so many miraculous conversions through this effort! In fact, it is the fastest I have ever seen new Christians bringing forth fruit. We had two ladies who trusted Christ, attended church, and were baptized, all in the first week of receiving help from our team. That Sunday morning, we passed out “aid tracts” to the adults in Sunday school, and those ladies went out that same week, passed out the cards, and led us to some of their neighbor’s houses. Brand-new Christians, in church for the first time, bringing visitors the next Sunday—Hallelujah!
The extra efforts have necessitated the start of a new bus route. Three weeks ago, the route started with 21 people in a minivan. Last Sunday, they filled the minivan and a song tau with 27 riders. Our church members have responded brilliantly, and God has blessed as we reach the poor and needy. I love Thailand, and I love working with these wonderful people!!!
Serving the King in the Kingdom of Thailand,
Bro. Tim, Mrs. Missy, Lauren, and Mark Shook
Miss Shari House
Bro. Chad, Mrs. Sarah, Harmony, Autumn, and Forest Inman
Bro. Jon, Mrs. Brittany, and Our Newest Team Member . . . Judah Beil