December 28-January1 – Our team took a little vacation to Elephant Island, (Ko Chang). The universities were closed for the new year holiday and we took the opportunity for some rest and relaxation at the beach. Ko Chang is a beautiful island with about 70% tropical rainforest about 5 hours away from Bangkok, our home. We trekked in the jungle, went fishing in the sea, and just had a good time before returning to Bangkok.
December 24-25 – Our two-day outreach at Kasetsart University was held during this time. We had many activities in one of the main common aread of campus, where likely a thousand or more students pass through every day. We had Christmas games, a cake walk, free video games for students — all to have the chance to hand out gospel materials to them and to invite them to our Christmas party on Christmas night, also at Kasetsart. This time of the year is great for being able to talk quickly with students about the gospel upon a first meeting. Most students are interested to celebrate Christmas with Americans and to know more about it. We took advantage of the opportunity and many had a chance to hear the gospel. There were a few that indicated decisions to receive Christ and several more who indicated that they were wanting to know more about Christ. We will follow-up with them soon and trust the Lord with His working in their lives each step of the way.
December 22-23 – Our church had the opportunity to sing Christmas carols and hand out gospel materials at the main station of the Bangkok Sky Train System! On these two days, members of our church sang, performed skits, and passed out Christian literature to the masses of people that passed through the Siam station of the BTS. We praise God for this new opportunity to share openly with mass numbers of Thais. It just marks another way that God is opening up this country to the gospel. Many heard the story of Christ and we pray that it will be a seed planted that God will bring to maturity of true saving faith sometime later in life.
December 19 – The Thailand Christian Prisoner Concert was held on this night. It marked a time of celebration of God’s work in the lives of over 2000 prisoners over the last couple of years! A good friend of ours, with whom we attend church, is a volunteer with this prison ministry. This ministry enters into the prisons and shares the gospel of Christ with the prisoners. The ministry was begun over 30 years ago by Jack Martin and his wife, with not much visible fruit. Then, over the past couple of years, God has been well-pleased to bring about awakening to the prisons of Thailand . These prisoners formed a choir to sing of God’s praises and they have become famous in Thailand and their story is being told all over the world now. They form the largest prisoner choir in the world. This concert was so special and was truly a display of God’s power as the Thai government, which has offered no help to this ministry over the years, has recently become a big supporter of the ministry. It has been clear in prisoner behavior and rehabilitation that these prisoners becoming Christians has changed them. The government doesn’t understand it all, but loves the results. Several high-ranking governmental officials were on-hand at the concert. We praise God for this huge breakthrough as many heard the gospel at the concert, as well as many more through the radio, and on television broadcasts. I wish I could convey more in this short space what a amazing miracle from God all of this is. I can’t do it justice. I must simply say that God is moving and working even when we think He is not. For thirty years, people were laboring in this ministry with not much seen, but God had a plan and purpose all along to bring forth a tremendous harvest. He’s not finished yet.
November – With November came the opening of the new semester at Kasetsart University and at Bangkok University. We have been back on campus daily ministering to students and building relationships with them. There have been so many exciting things that the Lord has done this past month. We have seen Him pursuing Thai people, using many different means to bring them to Himself. There are several that we would like to tell you about here. An amazing story that we still haven’t figured out completely: one Saturday a guy named Wut showed up at the Stint girl’s house. He told Laura that he had gotten her phone number from a friend of his at Bangkok University. Laura still has no idea who this friend is, and we still have no idea how he got her phone number. His intentions were to have American friends and to learn some English. As we talked a few minutes after meeting for the first time, we came to find out that he was very interested in learning more about God. He told us how he “liked” Jesus for a long time, but didn’t know how to really know Christ. A Thai staff friend, Din, who was at our house at the time, immediately began sharing the gospel with him. I have never seen anyone so ready to receive Christ upon a first meeting. It was so, so clear of God drawing Him to Himself and working in His life for a long time. God simply spoke through us to finish the work of giving Wut new life. We praise God.
December – December is a very busy month as Christmas is obviously a tremendous opportunity for sharing about the birth, death, and risen life of our Lord. Please pray for all of the activities that are coming up. There is a Christmas party on the 12th at Thammassat University which we will be joining. Also, there will be several other parties at Kasetsart on the 25th and our church Christmas party on the 22nd. Our church will be doing an outreach at the main station of the Bangkok sky train railway line. This is a tremendous opportunity as thousands and thousands walk though this area every day. Many of these will have the chance to hear the gospel. We will be sharing the gospel with many this month and we pray that God would be pleased to produce harvest during this time! Please join us in prayer.
November – Pray that God would use the various activities that we feel led into to the praise of His glory. We have been able to see God grow the collegiate fellowship at our church. Students from four universities join together on Wednesday nights to praise God and pray together. It has been a tremendous blessing to be a part of this growing movement in partnership with our church. We take our student friends there – Christian and non-Christian alike and it has been a good time. Also, we have students socials every month. Last month, we held a karaoke party for students to get to know each other and us in a relaxed atmosphere. At the end of the month, the Thammassat team put on an evangelistic party and invited many campuses to join with them. There were almost 200 students there and was a success.
October 12-16 – Most of the Stint team spent 5 days in Pattaya for Thailand CCC’s annual Leadership Training Institute. About 70 students from Bangkok and Northeastern Thailand attended this year’s LTI camp in Pattaya. At the camp, these students received training in evangelism, as well as fundamental teaching about walking with the Lord. Many of the students who attended the camp were new believers, some of whom had only been Christians for about 2 weeks! Four Kasetsart University and two Bangkok University students came to LTI with us. One student from Kasetsart shared her testimony in a large group meeting at LTI, and she challenged the fellow students at the camp not to be ashamed of sharing the gospel. On the last afternoon of the camp, students and staff dispersed through markets in Pattaya in order to share about Christ and pass out magazines, cassette tapes and vcd’s about Christ. During that afternoon, students and staff shared the gospel with 167 people, and 41 people indicated that they prayed to receive Christ!! It was very encouraging for most of the team to see Christ in these new believers, and to see the Lord use them as His ambassadors. There was also one non-Christian student who came to LTI and who came to know the Lord at the camp. Although 7 of the team members attended LTI, Jordan and Matt stayed behind in Bangkok because the week before LTI Jordan was in the hospital. Even though the doctor was never able to diagnose Jordan’s illness, he needed to stay in the hospital for 4 nights due to a very high fever. Jordan has returned home, and is feeling much better. Thank you for your prayers for him.
October – Please pray for us as the next semester will soon begin in Thailand. Please pray that in the upcoming semester, the Lord will use students at Kasetsart and Bangkok University as His ambassadors to their friends, family and fellow students. As you pray for the believers at Kasetsart and Bangkok University, please pray that their eyes would be opened to see Christ more clearly and that they may know Him as all to them. Please also pray for our team that we would grow in dependence upon the Spirit as we trust Christ to minister to others through us. We hope to start a weekly fellowship meeting at Kasetsart University. Please pray that many students would be able to join this meeting, that they would invite their non-Christian friends, and the Lord would use this time to bring many to know Him and to grow believers as they fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
September 23-29 – The team joined the Thai staff in committing this week to fasting, praying and spending focused time in the Word. Some team members read through the New Testament this week, while others focused on reading and studying the Old Testament in depth. All of us were thankful for the opportunity to spend a week with such concentrated time in the Word and we all learned a lot as the Lord was revealing Himself to us through His Word.
September 7 – We have just finished our first couple of weeks on campus as a new team. We have seen the Lord continue to move in the lives of students. We have been following up with students who were befriended by the short-term summer g roups of Arkansas and Louisiana students, as well as meeting new students. The Lord has provided in allowing our new team to continue in friendships that the summer team began. We have been sharing the gospel and doing exploratory Bible studies, as well as follow-up with new believers. This past week, Jordan saw one of his student-friends at Kasetsart University receive Christ. This particular student has been our friend for many months and had heard the gospel before. The Lord moved through Jordan’s faithful friendship with him and finally brought him to faith. Also, our team is really flourishing. The adjustment has been smooth for those who are new to Thailand. Aside from a few difficulties with the food every now and then in the experimental stages, everything has been really great for the new members of the Thailand team. God has used us who have been here during this past year in helping the others with their adjustments, and He has used the new Stinters and their excitement in boosting our excitement for His plans for the students of Thailand.
August 7-18 – Jordan, Laura, and Matt made their way back to Los Angeles for a two-week Stint briefing conference where the new team was joined together for the first time! Our new team of nine was very excited to finally come together. You can can to know all of the new team by visiting the Meet Us page on our website. These two weeks were a time of team-building and preparation for the year ahead. The Lord spoke to us and showed us how it was His perfect plan that each person be brought to join our team. He has truly gifted each one of us differently and prepared us to minister to one another and the Thai people in many different ways. We praise Him for the unity of the body of Christ that He has made true of all believers. We trust Him for the experience of that reality. This conference was also a great time to see and hear about what God is doing in other parts of the world as well. There were about 150 recent-graduates, staff, and some students who were preparing for a year of ministry overseas just like our team. We had the chance to join with these who will go to countries in Asia, South America, Europe, as well as Mexico, New Zealand, and other places. God is truly a God for all the peoples of the world, and He is making Himself known to people everywhere. We are thankful to be allowed to join with Him in what He is doing.