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March 2013 Newsletter – Thai Summer Mission

Hey Everyone,

It’s Sunday morning for me and I’m on the way out the door to church.  Then, right after lunch, about 50 of us – (49 Thai, and 1 “Farang”) – will be on the road to that green place on the map – Petchabun, Thailand – for Thai Summer Mission 2013.  

What is Thai Summer Mission? (and why do you call it summer  – this is spring?)

Well, it’s summer here.  That was easy.  Summer Mission is when we, (ministry staff), get together with our students and GO to share the Gospel with our actions and our words.  We’ll be working with local churches and breaking up into small groups to go into villages and live with people, show the Goodness of God in tangible ways of service, and share the Goodness of God in the Gospel of Christ – and then teach those who respond.

Where (and what) is Petchabun?
It’s a province about 4 hours from Bangkok, Thailand – (remember, I’m not in Taiwan).  Here’s some numbers on Petchabun:

จังหวัด – เพชรบูรณ์
Province – Phetchabun
ประชากร   Population 990,807
จำนวนคริสเตียน   Total Christians 4,865
จำนวนคริสตจักร   Total Churches 50
ร้อยละของคริสเตียน   % Christian 0.49

There’s the story.  About a MILLION people – 5,000 Christians, and about 50 churches.  To put that in perspective percentage-wise – that’s about like Arkansas having only 1,500 Christians and 150 churches.

This is pretty much the national average for Thailand.  This is why we’re going.  This is why we do what we do.  We’re not about changing cultures or religions – we want to see God honored as we serve people and see lives changed as they encounter the life-giving and life-changing God through the Gospel of Christ.

What can YOU do?
– That we would follow God and do what He has prepared, listen to Him, love Him, and trust Him.  Help where we should help.  Serve.  Share.  Love People.  Teach Truth.
– For our student leaders as they lead small teams.  These are the guys who my guys mentor.  This is their time to step up and lead their teams.
– For me as I lead the 1 Day Training on God’s Heart, Our Role, and the Harvest Fields – on Monday before going out.
Our Group of Leaders

Summer Mission Teams

The last 2 plus months have been non-stop – literally. Waves of college students have flowed in and out of Thailand – and provided a big boost of excitement for us and for the campus ministries here. Korean-Americans from California and elsewhere, and the personal highlight for me – the Arkansas Razorback team from home.

Since the end of May, and through the first part of August, I did not take a day to rest – at all. Crazy times. As one team left, another 3 came. As those 3 were still here, another team was added to the mix.

Being the only American guy in the campus ministry here – my knack for speaking English comes in pretty handy during these summer mission times as I find myself translating in every situation. In meetings, in orientations, in evangelistic events, in one-on-one witnessing – all the time. It’s great – and it seems to never get old for me – constantly pretending that I can’t speak Thai, and then revealing my secret to the utter shock of all Thai people around. Great fun.

Again, the personal highlight for me was the Arkansas team – seeing these students come from home was just so encouraging for me. It was great to talk about home, about Razorback football, people and places around Fayetteville – so fun. Seeing these students in the same place that I was in seeking God’s will about 10 years ago was awesome. How encouraging to meet them and to see them step out in faith in a strange land, with strange food, a strange language – and to see them grow in their relationship with Christ. They helped me to grow with Christ as well through their example of faith. Thanks, team!

Take a look at some pictures from the last couple of months…

Prayer for Summer Mission Teams

Please Pray:

In June and July we’ll have several teams of American students here with us – from Arkansas, (Go Hogs!!!), New York, California, and who knows where else. Short-term teams are great for coming in and meeting a lot of students, both those who are interested in learning more about God, and those who just like foreigners. Would you please pray for these teams, that God would use them to draw many university students in – so that we (the Thai ministry teams) could follow up in teaching His Word and trusting Him to grant repentance and faith to some.