Outreach Week 1
Our team has landed! We arrived in Bangkok just before midnight on January 1st of 2017. We greeted each other on the plane and knew in our hearts that we were in for exciting and faith-filled ride of new experiences – for sure! After breakfast and some rest we had devotions and worship time on the building rooftop. What a sweet time of singing and praising God, and feeling his presence as we thanked him for our spiritual inheritance.
The Nancy Ross Training Center (NRTC) of YWAM Bangkok is a transit center for YWAM teams coming in and going out of Thailand for outreach. We met DTS teams from Montana and Madison (USA), Belize, and Mexico. I heard an amazing story of God’s financial provision for the DTS Belize team; God has clearly called them to know him and make him known so he provided in miraculous way. What an encouragement for those in our team who are still raising funds for outreach. As of January 9th our staffers Jaron, Sarah, and I are still completing our required fees but we know that our Abba Father is already meeting our
During our temple tour on Tuesday, we saw a glimpse into the creativity and artistry of the Thai people. For me the colorful mosaic of tile and colored glass - which covered the roofs and spires - reflected the Thai’s love for color and design.
We flew northeast to Isan and currently staying at the Dongsawan Evangelical Church parsonage. We are partnering with the church’s ministries in the community: child and youth development, teaching english, house visits for prayer, preaching, and participating in the National Children’s Day celebration. We are blessed with our team interpreter, Pii Peng (older brother Peng), who will be with us for the next seven weeks.
The first house visits we made were to the homes the village and district leaders. This is a sign of respect since the team is
obviously new and foreign to the place. For the next two days we heard testimonies of how people came to know Jesus, and we were so privileged to pray for their needs and encourage them with God’s promises.
Mee Thuong (Mother Thuong) and her husband are believers. Their children are married with families but live far from home. Knowing that God lives in them gives peace in their hearts even when they are lonely for family. Mee Thuong’s legs have been painful in the last couple of years, making it harder to walk long distances. We prayed for God’s presence to keep filling their hearts, healing for her legs, and the Prince of Peace to invade their hearts.
We ate fruits from Mee Nii’s farm – tamarind, coconut, star fruit, pomelo, and apple custard. She came to know Jesus because her granddaughter Suu went to church. Although she knew that her faith was growing, she had low self-worth because she couldn’t read, which prevented her from reading her Bible. While working in the fields God spoke comfort to her and said, “You still have hears to hear me.” Now Suu reads portions of the Bible to her, and she also listens to a Christian radio station. Mee Nii has been faithfully helping to cook our meals everyday.
Yai Thiin (Grandmother Thiin) and Taa Pua (Grandfather Pua) raised their granddaughter Ai after her parents separated, left town and have second families. Yai Thiin and Taa Pua live off their small farm and are still active in church and the community. Yai Thiin used to be angry all the time but as a Christian, she has a peace “which passes all understanding” and she knows it’s because of Jesus in her life. We prayed that God would continue to provide for their family’s needs. Yaii Thiin has come to visit the team and gifted us with sticky rice from her own farm.
On our first service in Dongsawan, Nathan and I preached for 20 minutes each, which already included translation to Thai by Pii Gift. Nathan focused on the two most important commandments: loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. I transitioned to Abram belief in the character and promises of God, which was credited to him as righteousness. God has more promises for us today: to heal, forgive, comfort, teach, guide, and restore. If we believe in these promises because he is trustworthy, then we have a “right relationship” - righteousness - with God.
We are learning the languages - greetings, expressions, words for the food and drinks; culture – how not to offend, how to honor and show respect, relating in a southeast Asian context of close family ties and ways of caring and loving; and local interests and expressions of daily life – chicken boxing (rooster fighting with claws wrapped in cloth), night markets, Thai coffee carts, and many more.
Our faith is increasing through these stories because God is showcasing his glory through these people’s lives. What an honor to hear these transformations into more Christ-likeness!