Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in Sawang Dandin, 2007

For weeks our Santisuk Baptist Church has been preparing our Christmas Cantata, composed of arrangements of traditional Christmas music from western culture and Asian melodies, under the direction of Mrs. Thongbai, a member. Tonight we sang for the Sawang Dandin Baptist Church Christmas program. Few choirs in our part of the country can sing in harmony with just a piano. It was lovely and well appreciated by those who attend, we will also sing in two other churches here in the area.

We nearly filled our new auditorium tonight with over 160 attending our Annual Christmas program, held on Sunday, December 23, 2007.
The partially finished youth center provided extra dining room plus two "just finished" in time bathrooms. We had three programs actually, a youth party at 5 PM, followed by a buffet dinner, and then the Adult Christmas program.
The children worked for weeks on the Christmas pagent that they presented for the Adults -- it was part of the commication of the Gospel to many of the parents, and helped the children understand more about the birth of Jesus the Savior.

Pray for the lives of many who attended including the parents and friends joined in the meeting.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

English Evangelism Classes Saturday December 22

Our youth ministry is growing each time we meet in our new church. Gail tells me we had 54 students today. Many of the kids stayed their entire Saturday, playing board games, learning piano, reading books and so on. Tonight as we were eating supper 8 more showed up and a about 20 minutes later, a couple of parents dropped in to see our new house and center (bringing their daughter who is also just “goofing around” tonight.
The Youth Center building will be used for the first time for our Christmas party. Two additional bathrooms will make everyone more comfortable and the additional classroom space will also be very useful. There are still a few more items to finish yet but praise the Lord for the provision of the new building at a time when we need it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Preparations for Christmas

Our local kids are preparing a Nativity Play, and here they are singing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" the close of their program for our Christmas Party, Sunday, December 23, 2007.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday School in our new Church Center

Nearly 40 children are enrolled for our Sunday School Classes now. One advantage of our new center location is it is "off" the main road, and in the center of a community with lots of children. It is a safe walk (or bicycle ride) for most of the children who attend our new center's Sunday School classes. Though our new center is very roomy, we already can use the expanded "youth center" facility which is still being remodeled and expanded. After it is finished, we can divide up our classes into more groups.

Another advantage I have found for the new center is our offices are connected to the building used as our church. When I need a few more pages printed off or something, I only have to step into my office to get it. How the Lord has blessed us with the new center.

One of the favorite things our "kids" like to do is coloring the line drawings from the Bible they are studying. I have lots of coloring book materials related to the Bible stories being taught.

The smiling third grader on the left Miss Tim, is one of our newest believers, and she recently saved enough money to buy her own complete Bible.

Right now, in these few weeks before Christmas, we are preparing for our annual Christmas Party. The children are all excited about participation in a nativity play about the first Christmas written by our single co-worker Miss Kaew, here leading in the explanation of the play to the children.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Sign Sawang Dandin Baptist Church and Baptist Gospel Center

"Kris-ta-jak Baep-tis"
God has blessed us with a very accessable and quiet location away from the noise of the main temple and traffic noise. As you can see, we have ample parking and room to expand in the future.
Here is our sign, right on a curve of the road, and very visible from a long ways, clearly identifying our new Baptist Church Center at our new location. In this picture, we are in the "Dry season" and the grass is pretty much "scrub" as it is everywhere here in North east Thailand.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Kitchen Work - Mom Gail's Pad

One of Gail's gifts for our Church center is decorating and here is our Christmas tree all part of our holiday here. We used to think, let's not introduce our holidays here, but Thai are already selling and buying the lights and trees to celebrate Christmas -- not knowing the reason. We use this interest to identify with something they are very interested in and preach the gospel. Thai people have lots of holidays too. So this gives our Thai Christians (and some of them are youth) a time to celebrate our Lord and feel like they have something special no one else has, and we do! You should see the eyes of the small children light up as they look at the sparkling decorations in delight!

Here is our nearly finished kitchen with new granite counter tops. Part of our ministry here is entertaining and now that this is our "Church Home" we need the new remodeled kitchen for our church. It is off the multi-purpose church auditorium in an "L" or "7" configuration depending where you are standing. Making it very accessible and useful for our special meetings. Gail and I are feeling more blessed this Christmas than we can remember. Thanks for joining us in praising the Lord for his goodness.