It is an incredible challenge and blessing to continue serving our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ here in the Kingdom of Thailand. Each year brings new opportunities and blessings. One of our greatest joys is to serve together with the national men who have been carefully trained in our ministry. In this prayer update, I will attempt to share with you some snapshots of the individuals who work in our churches and of the integral part these national servants of God play in the growth and continuation of the ministry, which you so faithfully support.
Thai National Pastors
Our church plant, the International Baptist Church of Nong Phlap, is now fully autonomous and independent. This church continues to see steady growth through the leadership of Pastor Pong and Pastor Star. These national pastors are graciously supported monthly by the First Baptist Church of Hammond and are a very worthy consideration for any church or ministry that would be interested in supporting godly national pastors. Here is a brief update on the labors of these two faithful servants of God:
International Baptist Church of Nong Phlap is pastored by Pong Sirichanokmak. Pastor Pong is a Thai national of Karen descent, who began working for Team Thailand as a gardener 12 years ago.
Pong’s dedication to the Lord is evidenced through his faithful preaching, teaching, and soul winning each week. Pong is very attentive to the needs and development of our church members, as a good shepherd should be, and also connects well with prospective church members. One such example was Wanrot, a carpenter who is building a house in the village of one of our faithful church members. After visiting our members, Pong stopped by to preach the Gospel to Wanrot. Wanrot was very receptive and joyfully trusted Christ as his Saviour!
Freestar Chuchat began working with Team Thailand as a translator in 2017. Star is a faithful assistant pastor at International Baptist Church of Nong Phlap. He helps Pastor Pong in many areas, although Star’s primary focus is soul winning and canvassing. Star spends an average of 15 hours per week in Great Commission efforts.
Star gives the Gospel in person, as well as online through our church page, which is watched regularly by many in Thailand and Myanmar. In fact, if you have any Karen people in your city, feel free to use this link, Gospel Presentation in the S’gaw Karen Language, to view a very clear and concise Gospel presentation by Bro. Star in the S’gaw Karen language.
While canvassing, Star met a Karen couple, Boongtong (husband) and Latdawaan (wife). They have been married many years, but the husband has struggled with alcohol addiction for a long time now. God’s plan and timing are perfect, as always, and Boongtong “happened” to be sober that day. Bro. Star carefully shared the Gospel message with them, and both were sweetly saved. Please pray that these new believers will attend church, be baptized, and grow in the Lord.
These two faithful men are dedicated servants of God and are worthy recipients of your prayer and support. If you or anyone you know would be interested in providing monthly support for these men and their families, please contact Dr. Mark Bosje at FBMI or email me at Tim.Shook@fbmi.org.
IN OTHER NEWS
Update on the Heavenly Treasures Project
The Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project was started several years ago by our team member, Miss Shari House, for the purpose of helping two orphans who were living with an elderly, invalid caretaker. All three had been saved through our soul-winning efforts and had been faithfully attending church for several years. Our goal was to be able to provide the two girls with three meals a day, pay for their school uniforms and school fees, and pay their transportation costs to and from school each day. This would enable them to stay in school and stay with their caretaker instead of dropping out of school and being sent away. The Lord continued to provide sponsors for the Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project, and we were able to take on seven more children over the years, giving us a total of nine children who are provided for on a daily basis. The project also pays for 220 pounds of rice each month for 50 children living at a Christian orphanage in a town about 40 minutes away from us.
Thailand’s summer school break falls between the months of April and May. At the beginning of May, students are required to purchase their school uniform set for the new school year. Each set includes three regular uniforms, a gym uniform, a scout uniform, school shoes, tennis shoes, a school bag, school supplies, and several other miscellaneous items. The cost of these uniform sets can be anywhere from 3,000 baht to 7,000 baht ($100 – $250). With the average working man’s salary set at approximately $400 a month, this expense is a huge struggle for our families, especially for those that have more than one child.
Every year for the past several years, the Lord has brought in some large donations from unexpected places for the Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project right around this time. We have been able to use these donations to buy school uniform sets for our faithful church children in both our Hua Hin church and our Nong Phlap church. This year was no exception. On Valentine’s Day, the project received a donation from a family in New Zealand, that had never donated before, for approximately $3,300. Then, just this past Sunday, another $500 came in unexpectedly from a couple in Indiana. These two donations will help us buy uniform sets and pay the school fees for 50 of our neediest children. Praise the Lord!
We have continued to see unprecedented amounts of rainfall, even though this would normally be considered the dry season. Indeed, as I write this letter on May 11, we have seen rain every day for the last 10 days. This has slowed progress to a degree, but there is still plenty of good news. The surveyors from the Provincial Roadways Office came to the property last month and approved the plans for the canal drainage system and driveways. Our plan moving forward is to build the permanent drainage systems so floodwaters can flow properly to the city canal south of our property and to build gravel driveways (temporary surface) to provide safe access to the property during the rest of the building phases. The permanent driveways will be completed near the end of the entire construction project.
A generous donation of $6,000 was made recently through a friend of Dr. Ray Young for security lighting along the perimeter wall. These lights are solar-powered, easy to install, and will provide additional security for the property. A hearty “Thank you” to this friend and to all who have given to the land/building project over the past three years!
God continues to bless our citywide canvasing project. This involves a three-step process. On Tuesdays, we go door to door and leave a packet of information. The packet includes Gospel tracts, a John and Romans, and an invitation card. On Thursdays, we go soul winning in the same areas. Then our Saturdays are spent visiting bus routes and following up on those who have been reached earlier in the week. Some fruit of this project is a teenage boy named Han. He was saved and has been faithful to church ever since. Please pray that Han will soon be baptized.
Special Easter Sunday
We had a wonderful Resurrection Sunday, with over 230 in attendance in Hua Hin and Nong Phlap. Each of the children received a bag of candy, and all the adults received more practical gifts, such as umbrellas, towels, blankets, etc.
Serving the King in the Kingdom of Thailand,