Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

As we were preparing to celebrate the rising of the Son, I almost sent a monk to meet his maker. That is how we started Resurrection Sunday. Praise the Lord I missed the man by about two feet, but it sure makes for an attention getter on Easter Sunday. So long story short, I was cut off but a monk and his driver while I was on the way to pick up some members. After sliding and going off the road I was able to avoid an accident, by the grace of God. One member in the back of the truck hit her face on the cab and got a black eye but that is the extent of the encounter. Easter services  were held at the beach and consisted of a message from 1 Corinthians 15, communion, a baptism, and food and fellowship afterwards. I was able to teach with an interpreter, one of the ladies that helped with the IC team made the trip back to assist and Pastor Ehkaw taught in Burmese. We baptized one new believer and then enjoyed some food. Thank you Lord for defeating sin and death for us.

About two weeks ago we were blessed again with the opportunity to be Tsunami evacuees. Wow what a blessing... NOT! After a large earthquake off the coast of Sumatra we were evacuated for about five hours. Really no big deal except three of our children were in Phuket. When we finally got someone on the phone our worry really began, they were at the beach?? Well that is the first message we got but after some more investigation they were "at the beach" on a 150 ft cliff overlooking the bay or something. They had planned on doing some swimming but instead headed up the hill to look out over the sea, as soon as they arrived in the parking area they received the warning and were not allowed to leave for the next 4 hours. Thank you Lord for your perfect guidance and protection. After we were at ease with the kids situation all we had to do was wait and wait and wait... about 5 hours we were given the all clear and returned home. Again thank you for your protection Lord.

Last week Joey and Jacob were given the chance to attend a kids day camp. They had a wonderful time at the CDC participating in games and having fellowship with other kids their age. This week Tyler and Marissa will get to do a "VBS" for three days. What we get a break?? YES! Our kids will be blessed beyond measure as they are taught the word and get to meet new friends from around the neighborhood. Oh yeah they will be missed also.

We now have a lady that comes to every service and helps with worship and most importantly with teaching the word. I prepare my notes in English, email them to one of three ladies depending on what day of the week it is for, they get translated into Thai and then we read them during service. Not exactly the best way to teach, being locked into notes, but the word is taught and it makes me that much more diligent making sure I include everything I want to the first time. We have been working together now for about three weeks and we are getting the feel for each other and I am figuring out the length and stuff like that. This lady, P Pla, is very devoted to helping here at the church she comes to each service including the Bible reading every other Monday, and also comes Saturday with all notes from the week before. She asks all kinds of questions trying to figure out how to say things herself and also adding to her very limited English vocabulary. Her devotion is a huge blessing and a real encouragement.

Pastor Ehkaw went to Myanmar for about 10 days, giving his two Sunday teachings to me. That makes three each Sunday for two weeks. Really that would not be much but for the first service I have to get up at around 5:30 and drive to the first one, mornings are not my friend. This week was the first week and it went really good, had a few bumps but went real well. I even got to take a nap between Thai service and Burmese. Much needed rest. Good time of stretching and growth for myself and the family.

I think I said more than I planned already so I will cut this post off. If I think of more I will post again soon.
Following are some pictures of Easter service.

Prayer requests:

Continued outreach opportunities
Followup opportunities with interpreter
Possible new cell group
Bible reading class twice a month
Commitment to the gospel
Faith in the church
Safe travel for the Burmese members traveling back to Thailand
Health there are many sick members (we are doing rather well)
Steadfastness to the word and diligence in study 
Finances for furlough in August

Thursday, April 5, 2012

International Commision

From March 24 to April 2 we had a team of mostly Americans here in the Pang Nga area. There were about 30 of them total and about ten churches were involved. We had 8 here at CCBNK, 4 for each team. What a blessing it was to have some help going out sharing the Gospel in the neighborhood. The plan was to have each church member pray for and share the Gospel with ten of their friends or family, something that had been worked on for about five months. In the transfer of leadership this part was overlooked and about 10 days before the team arrived I was informed of the whole thing. It was so cool to see the hand of the Lord as He pulled it all together and challenged the church members to get active in their faith. Wednesday prior to the teams arrival at Bible study each member was convinced that sharing their faith was not possible and they would not be able to participate. Monday, the first day of ministry was a huge blessing as we visited a member and encouraged her to join in the days ministry, sharing with her neighbors. After not much reluctance we began our day with her mother and some other family members, by the end of the day she was translating into her native tongue, from Thai to Moken. Each and every church member was able to go with the team and share with their friends and neighbors.
Most of the ministry turned out to be to people that had left the church here for one reason or another, each with a clear Gospel message and a strong invitation to return to fellowship and to seek the Lord. We had a ministry of restoration. There were many who had never heard the Gospel before also and several who were seriously considering eternity when we left them. The following Sunday we had two new ladies join for service, Thank You Jesus.
I was blessed by the four people I had, as they were so flexible to a new style of evangelism and also having that restoration ministry. Thank you IC team.

On another note, as a family we are all doing good. Ministry is really taking off and I am busy almost everyday now. I have house visits two days a week, have just started helping a near by church in their prison ministry, and also will start a Bible reading "study" in the next week or so. There are several women who cannot read, and during this time we will gather and read the Word so they get the chance to hear the word. It will be read in Thai by a lady that is helping us. After moving twice and getting settled again, just before the team arrived the kids are finally back in the swing of things. All of our health is doing really good with nothing to complain about lately.

God is so good and faithful, His grace and mercies are fresh everyday. Thank you for your prayers and support. Check back often, and love to hear from you.

Our new address is Joseph Nelson Box7, Tambon Bang Muang, Ampur Takuapa, Pang Nga Thailand 82190