There’s much to report about the months of December and January, and I trust you will be encouraged as you read this update. In December our church had two special, church-wide events. One of those was a Father’s Day service, which is celebrated here in Thailand on December 5, in honor of the King’s birthday. On Sunday, December 7, every father in attendance was given a decorative goody bag (prepared by Miss Shari House) that had items like specialty chocolates, socks, Tiger Balm, a back scratcher, and other treats. It was a great day!
Then, on December 21, we hosted our annual Christmas Banquet. This year the banquet was held on our church property. We rented tents, tables, and chairs; and we had one of our local restaurants cater the meal. Our ladies and staff decorated everything beautifully. Bro. Scott and Kristi Mercer organized the special music; and the staff ensemble, teen choir, Karen ensemble, and Shari House all sang Christmas songs througout the evening. I gave the Christmas story, and the plan of salvation was included. We were blessed to have over 230 come for the special evening.
Our language teacher, Khun Pat, was invited by Bro. Mercer; and she surpised us by saying this when the service was finished, “I expected to see a handful of people here, maybe even up to 30 people, but I never thought it would be like this. What you are doing for these people is truly amazing.” Please pray for Khun Pat that she will see her need for salvation.
Also in attendence was a British man named David. He has come, off and on, to our Wedesday night services. He attends another church in Hua Hin, but they don’t have a service on Wednesdays, so he walks from his house, which is just down the road from our church. Missy was talking with David after the Christmas Banquet, and this is what he said, “I am in shock. When I came tonight and saw all of these people . . . and then I saw even the young adults sitting quietly, listening to the songs and the sermon, I just couldn’t believe it. Their love for the Lord is evident! If I were to attend church back home in England, I would find really little kids or eldery people. I would not see all these age groups, let alone see this kind of love and respect for God and church. I am in awe. What I have seen tonight was truly life-changing!”
Then we met on Tuesday night, the day before New Year’s Eve, for our weekly Bible study. My father (Bro. Randy Shook) and Khun Singat (one of our staff men) gave their testimonies. I asked them to share how they have learned to trust God, by faith, throughout their Christian lives. It was wonderful to hear both men share their hearts and to hear how God has increased their faith every year.
I would like to highlight one specific event in January, but I’ll have to go back to December to give you the background. Bro. Sakrapee, our Thai pastor, has been a Christian for over 20 years; and everywhere he goes he is a tremendous testimony for the Lord. In December one of his childhood friends, Chat Jain, contacted him on Facebook. He told him that he had seen his posts on Facebook and wanted to know what this whole Christian thing was about. Bro. Sakrapee was able to talk on the phone at length with Chat Jain, and before the conversation ended, he had accepted Jesus as his Saviour. Chat Jain traveled down to Hua Hin from his home province, Ubon Ratchathani, which is about eight hours northeast of Bangkok, so that he could come to a church service and get baptized. He stayed in Hua Hin for several weeks but had to return to his home due to some health issues. Just last week Bro. Sakrapee gave him a ride back to his hometown, and he was able to lead several of Chat Jain’s family members to the Lord. There is a great need for a church in Ubon Ratchthani.
God continues to give the increase, with souls saved and new members added to the church. Please pray for us as we prepare to start our Karen services at the end of February. There is a great need for laborers who will be willing to come, to work, and to train those who are ready to serve the Lord in the ministry.
We covet your prayers and value your faithful suppport. Thank you for supporting God’s work here in Thailand!
Tim Shook & Team Thailand