Hello to all of our friends, family, supporting churches, and prayer supporters! We are always thrilled to share with you what God is doing with our team here in Thailand. Here are just a few updates regarding our ministries and churches.
International Baptist Church of Hua Hin outgrew its auditorium a few years ago in 2017. We were also renting the building next door and using that for our Junior Church services at the time. The buildings are owned by two separate individuals, so I was a bit hesitant to ask about knocking down walls. But, praise the Lord, both owners agreed to the arrangement, and three weeks later, we had increased the size of the auditorium by an additional 50%. By early 2018, we were regularly filling the new space, and it was becoming uncomfortably cramped once again. As many of you know, we have been raising funds to buy land so that God’s work can continue to expand and grow for generations.
These fundraising efforts have been ongoing since January of 2017. These last few months, so many of our friends, family, and supporting churches have responded to this need that the final funds were raised. Our team has officially, legally, and judiciously purchased 6.5 acres of prime land! The land is in the name of our Thai-limited company, Premier Language Services.
A great “Thank you” goes to Dr. Darrell Moore, Bro. Doug Kalapp, Dr. Mark Bosje, and our Thai legal advisor, Adjan Sakrapee Jomhong (Adjan means “Professor”), who had the foresight over 12 years ago to establish this legal entity, which would allow our ministry to own land free and clear.
A great “Thank you” must go out to our sending church, First Baptist Church, of Hammond, Indiana, for their sacrificial giving on behalf of our team. Pastor Wilkerson personally adopted my vision for land and made it his burden. He faithfully prayed and presented the need to the church, and many gave in direct response to his call for action. What a great blessing, as a missionary team, to be supported and sent out by a strong local church with such a long and exuberant history of preaching the Gospel to every creature!
International Baptist Church of Nong Plap has been in a time of transition since my father and mother, Pastor Randy and Carmen Shook left Thailand earlier this year. My parents served with our team for seven years and helped to start this church. My dad pastored IBCNP for three years, and the folks there love Dad and Mom Shook dearly. I have taken on some of the preaching duties this year. Along with the help of two of our faithful Karen men, Pong and Free-Star, the church has continued to grow, and many souls have been saved. It is a wonderful challenge to pastor two churches at once.
Every Tuesday evening, Star and I teach the Teaching All Nations curriculum to about 20 young people in the church. These are all between the ages of 18 and 35. Please pray that God will continue to work in the hearts of these young people as they study and train for future ministry opportunities.
Public School Christmas Programs: Every year during the month of December, missionaries have great liberty in Thailand to present the Christmas story and preach the Gospel in the local schools. This year we determined to reach into all new schools where we had never preached before.
At these schools, it is my habit to ask if any have ever heard the story of the life of Jesus Christ. This year, less than 5% of the students were able to raise their hands in answer to this question. It is hard to believe, in a country so sodden with religious traditions, that the name of Jesus Christ has not yet reached the ears of these children. There were 2,100 students and teachers who had the opportunity to hear the Gospel clearly presented to them for the first time in their lives. Most who heard received and trusted Christ as their Saviour! What a blessing to know that salvation by grace through faith, the greatest gift ever given to mankind, was freely received by so many this Christmas season.
New and Returning Team Families: The true joy and blessing of team missions is teamwork! We have the best and brightest families that serve here with Team Thailand. These families have committed to serving the LORD for a lifetime, which is far shorter than He deserves, yet all that we can humanly offer.
Miss Shari House has served the longest with Team Thailand, having arrived with our family in April of 2008. She shares many responsibilities in the ministry, including teaching English and curriculum development in our language school. She is also the church financial secretary, Junior Church director, Heavenly Treasures Orphan Project administrator, choir director, and special music coordinator. Miss Shari has always been a valuable asset to me as the team leader. She acts as a sounding board in strategic planning meetings, foreseeing potential problems and scheduling conflicts. In short, she helps to keep our team running smoothly through her gifts of communication.
Bro. Chad Inman and His Family have served on Team Thailand since June of 2008. He and his wife are faithful soul winners, and his family is a great asset to our ministry. Bro. Chad is the principal administrator of our Premier Language School. He is the assistant pastor of our church and regularly preaches and teaches the adult Sunday school class. Bro. Chad has been a great friend over the years and has always been a willing servant of God. Mrs. Sarah Inman is very gifted in the Thai language and has been a faithful soul winner and friend to our Thai people.
Bro. Jon and Brittany Beil are our team’s newest members. They completed deputation last December and arrived here on December 30, 2019. They have jumped in neck deep and are studying the Thai language, Mondays through Thursdays, in a classroom setting. On Fridays, they go out with their teacher and practice the Thai they have learned in class at the markets and in restaurants, gaining general communication experience. The Beils are taking on the very challenging responsibility of our teen ministries.
Please pray for all of our team members and for God’s protection and provision in their lives. As always, please continue to pray for my family—my dear wife Melissa and our two children, Lauren and Mark.
In God’s joyous service,
Bro. Tim Shook