This summer we have seen the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of new converts and church members. While out visiting one day, Brother Chad Inman and Pi Singadt met a man who lived in a small, shack-like house out in the middle of a field. Khun Lai was given the Gospel that day and asked Jesus into his heart. Khun Lai came to church the following Sunday morning, and after the service, he shared with the pastoral staff that he wanted to take all the idols out of his house. In Khun Lai’s small shack, over half of the space was taken up by spirit houses and Buddhist idols. We took a team of men from our staff out to his house, and one by one, we removed the idols. Since then, Khun Lai, who was once living as a woman (before his conversion), has changed his hair and dress to fit the body God gave him. He made these decisions on his own from the Holy Spirit’s conviction and from learning more about the Lord at church. What a joy to see new converts changing into HIS likeness as they grow in their Christianity.
Brother Randy and Carmen Shook took a three-month furlough and returned at the end of August. We are blessed to have them serving with the team and thankful to have them back. Brother Shook teaches an adult Sunday school class, preaches various Bible studies, and trains the Sunday school teachers. Mrs. Shook is the church pianist and helps in many areas with the music ministry and outreach ministries of the church.
Miss Shari returned from her furlough on July 3 and jumped right back into several different ministries at the church. She has worked hard to master the Thai language and is teaching our Junior Church children every Sunday, directing the special-music ministry, teaching at our English language school, directing our Bible English Camp, and helping with several different ladies’ ministries. We’re excited about the start of our children’s Sunday school music program also. Miss Shari will be going into the different classes and teaching them a song, which they will sing for the adult church service on rotation. This practice time will give our children an opportunity to learn how to sing in a group and in church.
I have started studying and teaching through the Bible institute material with our two younger staff men, Star and Tan. Both young men are fluent in English, as well as Thai, and Star is also fluent in Burmese and Karen. As we go through this curriculum, we are also taking the time to have it translated for future use when we have our own Bible training center. Please pray with us as we prepare and study to train more young people for full-time Christian work.
Brother Chad has taken on the position of youth pastor at the church in Hua Hin. He and Mrs. Sarah are doing a great job building relationships and training our young people in the Word of God. They had their first youth activity in July, where they invited the church to stay after the afternoon services and play water-balloon volleyball. It was a fun time for the adults to get involved with the teens, and everyone had a blast. Brother Chad will also be the English language school director. Please pray for our language school, as we will start regular Saturday classes soon. The language school is the legal entity that allows us to stay in the country as missionaries. We continue to pray that the school will also be another way to reach our community for the Lord.
Jon and Brittany Beil, our newest team members, were able to take a month from deputation to visit the work here and spend time getting to know the people and study the language a little. They kept busy helping with building repairs, soul winning and visiting, serving in the different church ministries, and observing the cost of living and what they will need to plan for when they move here. They met and led to the Lord (with the help of a translator) three brothers, and the boys have come to church ever since. Just a few weeks after the Beils returned to America, two of the brothers also followed the Lord in baptism. How exciting it is for them to already have fruit for their labors after only visiting the ministry for a month and simply because they obeyed the command of God to go! Please continue to pray for Brother Jon and Mrs. Brittany, as they will travel for the rest of 2018 and into 2019. Lord willing, they will join us here at the end of 2019. God is good in sending us more laborers!
My children and I had the opportunity to travel back to the States for two weeks in July. I was able to attend the Missions University at FBMI, our missions agency, and Mark and Lauren attended their first Youth Conference at First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana. This trip was a great spiritual encouragement to us. We also had a chance to see and enjoy time with some of our family.
As we are raising money for land, we are reminded every week, as we look around at a full room, how desperately we need more space. We talked with the landlord who owns three of the four storefront buildings we rent, and he agreed to let us knock down a wall, which connects our auditorium and our Junior Church room. This will give us 50% extra space for the auditorium. The renovations have begun, with a small platform and space for an altar in the plans as well. We are excited to have a bit more room for growth.
In the next few months, we will be expanding our midweek Bible studies. Each Wednesday, only about 20% of our church membership is able to come to the church for prayer and Bible study. Most are unable to make it due to the time, distance, or work schedule. We will be splitting up the staff and team families into the different areas where our members live. Each area will have their own midweek Bible study in one of the member’s homes. This will allow more people to learn and grow in the Lord and have the fellowship of their church family. Each group will be learning and studying the same subject so we can grow together. The first topic we will be studying is the home/family. Would you pray for us as we spread out and reach more for HIM?
Please pray for our ministry as we continue to raise money for land! Our future vision is big, but we know that God will provide BEYOND what we could ever imagine. Also, pray as we prepare for our yearly Bible English Camp (October) and our public school Christmas programs.
Thank you for your faithful support and prayers,
Tim Shook & Team Thailand