I AM NOT A MISSIONARY. I AM NOT AN OIL AND GAS LANDMAN. I AM A RANSOMED ONE OF CHRIST DISGUISED AS A (WHATEVER I MAY BE DOING AT THE TIME). CHRIST IS PRIMARY. FOUNDATIONAL. ESSENCE. IDENTITY. LIFE. MISSIONARY, (OR ANY OTHER “JOB”), IS SIMPLY A DISGUISE.
My story that I would like to tell then, is not really about me – it’s about Christ. In fact, the only place where my star shines in this story is in my failures, my half-heartedness, my failures, my fears and my sins. Thank God though – my story is not dependent on my faithfulness, but on the faithfulness of Christ Himself.
To put it very simply – “I broke God’s law. Jesus paid my fine. My God saved me.” This became real for me in a powerful way after my sophomore year in college at the University of Arkansas. Christ rescued me. I became active with Campus Crusade for Christ, sharing my faith with my fraternity brothers, and then felt led to make my first trip overseas to a larger East Asian country in the summer of 2000. After graduating in August of ’01, I moved to Thailand with 8 others through Crusade for about 2 years, starting a college ministry on a couple of university campuses in Bangkok. God gave me a heart for overseas ministry where I had nothing. He provided both the power and desire to do His will, neither came from me. I made another extended trip to Thailand to partner with Crusade once again in ’06, and I’ve managed a bottled water company, (’03-’05), and worked in the oil and gas business, (’06-’09), in the meantime.
In April of ’09, I finished my work in petroleum for at least a season, and June of ’09 saw me arrive in Thailand once more to volunteer with Campus Crusade for Christ, and local Thai churches. I’ve been here preaching the Cross of Christ, discipling young men, and building up church leaders ever since.
MY VISION IS SIMPLE – IT’S TO SEE THE REAL AND LIVING CHRIST WORSHIPPED IN PLACES WHERE HE ISN’T BEING WORSHIPPED NOW…
through both going – teaching, preaching, loving, living – and coming back to America to do the same where opportunities arise, while raising up others to go as well – (as a “regular” person. I’m not a mission’s staff person, a seminary grad, or anything like that). Specifically for me, in large part that focuses on Southeast Asia, notably Thailand, where the vast majority of people have heard the name of Jesus, but don’t have a clue about Him other than that.
I wish I could say my story is singular – one of singular heart and purpose – but it’s not. This vision and all sounds great, but how much more could be done through me if I was even remotely close to totally surrendered to Him? My half of the story is filled with sin, failure, unbelief, feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and fraud. But the key to my story is not in hiding or denying those things from Him, or in spite of those things, but in bolding bringing my sin to Him and trusting Him to forgive me, cleanse me, make me right, and work through me in spite of the greatness of my sin SO THAT He may alone be glorified.
The future? As far as I can tell, I’ll spend a lifetime going back and forth – Thailand & America. I’ll be here in Thailand until I’m told to go back to America. I’ll be there until I’m told to come back to Thailand. I’ll work some here and there in “secular” jobs. I’ll “volunteer” some with churches and missions. But life should look much the same either way. Life is about worshipping Christ and seeing Him worshipped – the where’s and with who’s and how’s are simply details and disguises along the way.
I CHANGE THE WORLD ONE PERSON AT A TIME BY TEACHING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
1. God is the One True God – Great and Holy Creator, Just and Righteous Judge, and Loving and Gracious Father.
2. You and I when judged by our Maker’s standard are sinful, evil, disobedient, ungrateful, breakers of the Holy Creator’s Law.
3. Each one of us deserves judgment, wrath, disgust, hell – in short, justice for our lifetime of trangsressions of the law of the Righteous Judge.
4. God, in His great love and grace as Creator Father, has satisifed His own holiness and justice by crushing His own beloved, perfect Son – God Himself – Jesus, in our place on the cross, and through Jesus’ victorious life, death, and resurrection, the payment for our sin has been paid in full.
5. Therefore, you and I are both commanded and graciously called to return to our Creator, Judge, & Father God in humble repentance and dependent, trust-filled faith – receiving new life to walk in a way honoring to our Creator, Father, & Lord – and in humble appreciation for His most precious sacrifice for you and me.
6. Finally, when you and I are born again and in repentance and faith turn to the One True God at the Cross, it is God Himself who gives new life from the inside out – resulting in a new heart for God, for walking in His ways, and for loving others – and a continuance in walking with Christ for a lifetime, not guaranteed by our performance, or lack thereof, but by the faithfulness and power of our Holy Creator, Righteous Judge, and Loving Father God.
I TRY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ EXAMPLE.
1. “IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, WHO HAS THE GREATEST HEART OF LOVE FOR SEEING THE WORLD SAVED AND CHANGED BY GOD?”
2. “AND – IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, WHO IS THE SMARTEST PERSON TO HAVE EVER LIVED?”
3. “SO, THEN, IF JESUS HAS THE GREATEST HEART OF LOVE FOR SEEING THE WORLD SAVED BY GOD AND IF HE IS ALSO THE SMARTEST PERSON WHO HAS EVER LIVED, THEN THE LOGICAL QUESTION IS – HOW DID JESUS DO IT?
Reproducing Discipleship – sharing life, serving others, & teaching truth – one person at a time – empowering them to do the same.
SO, I INVEST MOST OF MY TIME WITH SMALL GROUPS…
– Living alongside, working with, and helping to disciple the disciple-makers – Thai staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, and other disciple-makers at local churches. Impacting those who are impacting their country.
– Leading Bible study each week for the guys I work with – as well as the young ladies of Thailand CCC who serve with us – about 25 people every week.
– Teaching and encouraging them through the Scriptures to know and love Jesus more, to know the Gospel and preach it boldly and faithfully, fearing God, not men, and to walk with Jesus for a lifetime.
BUT I HOPE TO REACH THE ENTIRE COUNTRY…
– Helping the people I work with as they also disciple others – going along with them in campus and community ministry.
– Equipping them and the Thai Christian community as a whole by writing and teaching Bible studies, creating evangelistic materials, videos, animations, & apps – all to spread the truth of the One True God and The Gospel of the Cross of Christ throughout the country.
No, I’m not in Taiwan. Thailand is actually a different place altogether. And no, we don’t speak Chinese. Thai people speak Thai, (ok some speak Chinese too – they’re called immigrants from China. (I hear these questions every time I go back home, and I find it quite hilarious every time). In fact, I’m hesitant to put the real answers here – that may stop the fun and confusion!
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THAILAND:
Percent Christian: About Half of 1%
Current (Very Generous) Estimate of Believers: About 400,000
Other Religions: Buddhist 95% Muslim 4%
Monthly salary needed for Thai ministers of the gospel: About $500/person
Good plate of food on university campus: $1
Thailand is the largest Buddhist country in the world. Buddhism here is far different from the Buddhism of Hollyood though. It’s a fatalistic viewpoint on life that says who you are in this life is based on what you did in your previous life. There’s no hope of escape from sin, karma, and death. The best you can hope for is to be a decent person to your fellow man, and hope to receive good things in return. A personal God, sin against a higher power, judgment, atonement, salvation, grace – all are COMPLETELY FOREIGN concepts to a normal Thai. Please understand – these things are far from just even being thought about and disagreed upon – even to consider the possibility of such things is often completely absent from a Thai mind.
“YOU ARE EITHER CALLED TO GO DOWN INTO THE WELL OR HOLD THE ROPE FOR THOSE WHO GO DOWN – EITHER WAY, THERE WILL BE SCARS ON YOUR HANDS.”
Stay informed with what God is doing, not what we are doing. And wherever God is moving – get on board and go with Him. That’s what we have done, and we hope you will join us. Follow Him, and as He leads, then follow us…
WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS.
If God leads you to pray for Thailand, for us, and for these ministries here, then do it – faithfully and specifically. Follow our news and prayer updates on social media and pray as God leads. The easiest way to hear from us on prayer requests is to follow us through whatever way you want – website, email, facebook, twitter, etc. Thank you so much!
For the first several years of ministry here, I was able to give away 100% of what was given to me, and pass it all along to those who had financial needs…
I was blessed with a great job in the States from ’06-’09 which allowed me to give generously, and save purposefully, setting aside a portion of that income for use here in Thailand upon my return. When I quit my job in ’09 and returned to Thailand, although I was called crazy by many for leaving such a great gig, I was able to use those set-aside funds for about 5 years or so. I was also supported fully by two sending churches during that time, but didn’t need any of the money, so I gave it all away each month to about 20 of the Thai brothers and sisters I serve alongside. As my bank account dwindled, I began, with their urging and full blessing, to use as much of their giving as needed for personal support.
Now, as our ministries have grown, we have financial needs for our ministries, our ministry partners that we invest in, and… with a wife and a little baby, financial needs for our own little family…
We are active in many different aspects of ministry – partially supporting many Thai ministers of the Gospel monthly, developing apps and websites, publishing Bible studies, investing in small groups, investing in one-on-one disciple-making, etc. We are delighted whenever God sends someone along who would like to partner with us in all these many things that God is doing here.
We are a bit strange though. We graciously reject any gift over $200. We would truly prefer to have a big team of partners, each giving only $100 or $200 a year, so we can build a group of committed brothers and sisters who will pray with us, and walk alongside us in God’s work.
If you would like to be a part of our team, please contact us. And, Thanks! God Bless!