Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Newest Opportunity

Last week I posted on FB one of the most awesome opportunities I have had in Thailand, possible ever, in the service of our Lord. Now don't get me wrong we have been blessed to serve in many ways but after reflecting and again hearing the continued reports and the report of a dear brother that is partnering, IT IS AWESOME! Let me explain....About two years ago I received a phone call from a brother here on the Island (Phuket) regarding Pakistani in Bangkok. He had heard stories regarding asylum seekers and their dire situation, he wanted to help but did not know what to do. I also living in Phuket and avoiding Bangkok like the plague, had very little to go on. Only stories of scammers looking for the next do-gooder to take advantage of. Not something I was interested in but together we committed this thing to the Lord. Several times over the next year or so we would talk about this situation but really had nothing to go on. A few months back some Pakistani began filtering into the church with stories, legit stories, personal stories, of the situation there in Bangkok. So bad that some young girls have even turned to prostitution for food. Now this is serious, these are our brothers and sisters suffering to the extent of prostitution. Shortly after this my friend and I were eating and he had a contact, something to go on, if I could contact her. At which point I shared the information I had gained over the last few months. If we could only find these girls etc. No information, no location, nothing to go on. As we prayed and began to actively attempt to make contacts to locate these girls, family after family began to make themselves known, we are hungry, without work and need help. My friend committed to donate, ship, and store, 5 tons of fish per month to feed these people, if we could get a program set up...screeching halt! Now we have the need, the resource to meet the need but no way to distribute the resource... PRAYER! Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have the means to help and no ability to do so? Praise be to God who's love never fails, within a few weeks the Lord brought another Pakistani that would be able to get this whole thing going. It would take about 3 months of prayer, visits and countless hours on the phone to put something like this together. We have 1 ton of fish to deliver in about 6-8 hours before it defrosts and begins to spoil, fish does not keep well if not frozen. Last Monday I had the opportunity to meet the first shipment of fish and distribute to over 400 families, roughly 1500 people received fish. I must stop to explain just how awesome this is; this project has been in prayer for close to 2 years, the majority of people that received the fish were not even in Thailand when the Lord began this project. Every step of the way has totally been by His doing. My friend has the resource no contact or information, I have the information and time, but no contact no resource, the last person our Pakistani sister, has no resource all contact. The Lord in His perfect timing brought us all together to meet these people when they are at their absolute worst, and with FISH no less. Not only were we able to meet the physical need of these roughly 400 families but we were also able to meet their spiritual needs, with an encouraging Bible message about just how much God loves them, and how HE has worked all this out for them.

To top it all of I was also blessed with the opportunity to partner in one of the Pakistani church's community outreach to Muslims. This feeding ministry has made a way for around 75 Muslim Pakistani to hear the Gospel and personally experience the Love of God. For me it just doesn't get much better than that, Both physical and spiritual needs, AND preaching the Gospel. To truly explain how awesome this is would take more words than any of my dear readers could bear. God and His Love are truly, truly Amazing.

We are asking for prayer for this ministry. It is draining to say the least. Even as great as this is it only scratches the surface of the problem, not even a dent. There are currently over 15,000 Pakistani in and around Bangkok, weekly we can only reach upwards of 2000. This trip requires 24 hours on a bus travel back and forth. The actual distribution lasts about 12 hours. Being poured out in every stop and being stretched in every way possible. The lack of ability to help everyone in and of itself is difficult, add minimal sleep, sun, exhaustion, both physical and spiritual, little food as there just is not time to sit around, and believe me you are drained! Currently there are three of us, two American missionaries and one Pakistani/Missionary/etc. The two Americans take turns every other week and the Pakistani every week. Please keep us in Prayer, We truly yearn for your prayers. There is Duke, Tirza and myself. That is our number one request. Although I do not want to I must, this program costs about $300 a week to run. This covers all travel, distribution costs. Currently we split the costs according to week but we are trying to get partners in financing this work. As you remember us in prayer please prayerfully consider this secondary need. Thank you God bless
Loaded and ready to go

Ready to hand out

One of 6 such lists

distribution to the needy

One location of distribution/crowd gathered 

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Year New Start

We are now in the second month of the New Year, so far so good. This year has brought about some unexpected but welcomed changes, and this is where I will start. Upon the completion of the last year some of the leadership and members of the fellowship felt the need to go another direction, although this greatly saddens our hearts we welcome the change. The Lord is so good and always in control. This change has allowed us to focus more on the things we feel the Lord is calling us to do, share the Gospel and Make disciples. More on that to follow. With the change we really went to the Lord in prayer and have decided to go ahead with a new name of the fellowship, New Beginnings Calvary Chapel Patong has officially opened for ministry as of last Saturday. We have been awaiting the proper paperwork and it arrived! Praise God.

Gospel and discipleship. Currently we have the two studies mentioned in the last post, Burmese and Pakistani going and staying steady. Some of our Pakistani brothers have moved away but other than that doing great. One of the Pakistani was a teacher for many years and has taken on the project of translating some study materials, beginning with the book of James, "A faith that is real". Which is a study guide Inductive style study. We are currently in lesson 4. In the Burmese study we are working our way from the Gospel to application of the new life we have in Christ. For the most part this study is growing as well, attendance fluctuates greatly but on the general upward trend.

Recently a local Nepali church began a home fellowship here in our area and we have been attending weekly to assist with teaching and just to support any way that we can. There are now 3 fellowships like this, and the members try to attend all three, they have expressed the desire to combine them into a day of church with worship in all the languages. Not sure what that would look like or how the Lord might have that play out, just an expression from some that attend? This added fellowship and ministry has been a true blessing

University ministry has just come to a break, we can go and teach 3-5 weeks between the beginning of the class and the exams at the end. We were blessed with the opportunity to teach one class 3 weeks straight, this allowed for some real relationship building and on March 7th we will do a one day English "camp" with these same students along with those that we have been able to meet over the last two semesters, this will not be a university event and we have much more freedom to share our faith. Please pray for this. There is one particular Thai man we have been ministering to for some time and are starting to see some real interest in Biblical concepts, we are very excited about this.

Over the last two months we have had the opportunity to share the gospel weekly, if not more. The different smaller groups that we have been able to take part in has allowed for a much more personal time of fellowship where we can really break down the word and its meanings, moving very slowly gleaning from the Word of God.

We have been approved to host up to 3 World Race teams a year and are excited about this, it was and is such a blessing to have young adults fired up about the Gospel to come and serve the Lord here in Patong. March is our second such opportunity Also lift this up in prayer for us please.

The kids are back in school and doing great! We began a "new" program this year and it is a much easier system, more difficult for the kids as there is alot of work but much better structure. We are really happy with it. Last week Joey had dengue fever, again, this is his third time but praise God he is fine and furthermore only one more type to get until he is immune. Other than that we have had no serious health issues this year.

Please pray for us, spiritual growth, more opportunities to share the gospel and go deep into the word for discipleship, we would like to begin some leadership training please pray the Lord would allow this, as always please pray for our family, health and provision, and lastly but certainly not least, March 27th I will fly to the states for one month, Pastor Eric Johansen and family will travel down and fill in for me, please lift this time up to the Lord for us 
Group photo after English service

Worship practice with Pastor Josh from Samar, Philippines

Although blurry, open air worship at Patong Beach

God bless you from New Beginnings Calvary Chapel Patong