Saturday, December 27, 2008

First Christmas party for many happy Thai Children at our Center

There was not one sad kid in a group of over 80 who joined us for our annual Christmas party.
I could say that most have never had the fun of a Christmas party with lots of singing about our Lord, a Bible message, Bible memory, group games with fellow youth, and a big meal and gifts from each child who registered. We had children register only 75 cents each assuring each gift was carefully selected (most cost more than a dollar or two) and a chance to win the big prize (a big loveable stuffed teddy bear!) costing less than 10 dollars. Our friends in the local Lions club also added some cheer by giving gift bags with a toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, soap, pencils, pens and other school supplies. We also gave each child a Christmas theme gospel message. Needless to say, it is a Christmas to remember for these children.
Recently a grandmother and a widow, who cares for Sugas, pictured below, who is one of our regular students, told us thank you for two extra KFC Chicken meals we sent home with Sugas after Sunday night church. She said she had not had supper and did not have anything to eat and was so very pleased with the delicious supper we provided for her. That sure make you understand the Christmas spirit and reminds us how good we really do have it. I have always noted that little Sugas always ate a lot and went back for seconds when we provided meals for our childrens programs. Now I know why.
When this girl won the prize Teddy Bear, there was a great round of cheers! At least someone got it!

And there was lots of delicious Thai style food -- Here Ann on of our active members and a college girl is helping serve food. And this is the seconds (and Thirds line!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Caroling! All 33 of us!

"We WISH You a Merry Christmas, We Wish YOU A Merry Christmas, We Wish You A MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year."
Left is a picture of the Nativity scene using the very popular LEGO toys. This Chrismas, for our Childrens party on Saturday, I have found a whole set of LEGO pictures representing the Nativity and have the Christmas Story for the children told using these toys. Amazing!

One of the funnest things we have done this year was our Caroling outing with our area youth. For weeks the youth have enjoyed learning and singing Christmas songs to join in with the seasonal Christmas cheer. Actually this year we are having our annual Christmas party for the kids on Saturday the 28th because Thai schools and government offices do not close in Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, on Christmas Day. We have registered a total of 100 + children for our Christmas party gift exchange. But the "Caroling Night" was in the evening and filled with lots of singing at many of their homes, we also visited Kentucky Fried Chicken at the local Lotus Shopping Mall, though a special arrangement with the manager who had studied English at our center. We sang our Christmas songs had fried chicken, french fries, sodas, and a softserve ice cream. The KFC store was really a fun stop because they special service we received and the happy shoppers who stopped to see the singers, all 33 of us singing traditional Christmas song. We also had some Northeast Thai Christmas melodies and one very pretty song from Japan. The singers were feed cookies and snacks at most of the places we went and the last stop was where the largest group of kids in our group lived where we had cookies and Hot chocolate. It was great fun and a experience many will remember for a long time, celebrating Christmas in Sawang Dandin. This Sunday we are doing a joint Christmas Service Sunday night with Santisuk Baptist Church in Sakon Nakhon Province.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Week in Sawang Dandin at the Sawang Dandin Baptist Church.

Singing O Come All Ye Faithful

Sometimes crazy and a lot of fun with our Evangelistic English Classes. These youth from neighboring villages attend and study English with us each week. We teach English and the Bible as part of the our Saturday and Sunday School program. The singing is absolutely wonderful as our youth love to sing. We use a digital projector attached to the ceiling in the auditorium of the Sawang Dandin Baptist Center (where the Sawang Dandin Baptist Church meets). This makes singing even more fun since we have interesting graphics and colorful fonts. Some times we have just the piano, other times we have guitar, a small tom-tom drum, and Thai style cymbals to make singing even more fun. Some of our songs are just fun songs in English such as "English is Fun, It's for every one, Come play with me, and my ABCs."

Many of the youth have decided to become Christians after hearing the gospel.

Today we are clearing our new lot of stumps, rocks and leveling it for our new sports field. More pictures later on that.
Why a sports field??
We would like to make it so we can have a place for teens to come and play sports and have fun as well. We are hoping in particular to draw in more boys since English seems to draw girls by a factor of three to one. I guess boys want to play sports and girls like to stay clean, out of the sun and study books.
Pray for us here and God's provision for us during these days of blessed ministry. And a big "Thank YOU!" to the ones who have a part.

Merry Christmas from the Santisuk Baptist Church!

We are coming into the Christmas season and Santisuk Baptist is the host church this year for our joint Christmas party with the Sawang Dandin Baptist Church. Mrs Thongbai is leading a Choir with traditional and Thai Christmas music. The new auditorium is big enough to hold many more and in special meetings at night, we can seat over 100 people for our Christmas meeting and other special activites, something they could not do easily before.

Some of our over 100 youth (registered students who study at our center each week) who attended the Santisuk Baptist Church last Sunday to sing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" in Thai and English.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Expanded Santisuk Baptist Church Auditorium

For months the meeting ""room," a living room in the the home of Pastor Surasit Samarom has been full and overflowing each week for the Sunday worship meeting of the Santisuk Baptist Church in Sakon Nakhon City, the capitol of Sakon Nakhon Province where I have been working with Pastor Surasit now for three years starting a church. We have seem many come to the Lord and grow spiritually there.
But there was no more room! People were sitting in nearly every space in the room, up the stairs, and on the hallway to the kitchen and entrance way.

Finally we had a plan (necessary!) to knock out the front wall, closing in the car port and tiling the floor. Well, two weeks ago the church stepped out on faith and did just that. And we are now enjoying room and a beautiful new meeting hall.

Christmas, "Our" holiday

Years ago, we were generally afraid of introducing western holidays to Thai Christians, fearing they would transfer their meaning (special days for Buddhism, or such) to Christmas. Plus we do a lot of stuff at Christmas that has nothing to do with our Lord's birth in America. While we still celebrated with our family behind closed doors, we would forgo all the merry trimmings and things.

But in recent years, it seemed to us and our fellow Christians that the world has lots of holidays, days off school, bank holidays and we have almost nothing. That is when we decided to make our Christmas celebration a little bigger and have more activities. You should see the excitement as we prepare songs from our annual Christmas parties and present exchange. Plus we have seen lots of people wanting to know about the Saviour's birth that we celebrate.

So we now make Christmas a real holiday, "Our" Christian's own holiday to preach the word, to remember the time that our Lord, became "Emmanuel" of God with man. It is also a busy time as other holidays we enjoy together, with special singing, fellowship, carolling, eating and Bible study.

May we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas from people who celebrate "our" holiday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Defence of Missionary Work and the work of Preaching

I recently read a website that makes the following claims:

They are obeying the Great Commission to "make disciples" by publishing and promoting Bibles in many languages.

That they are reaching places that traditional missionaries cannot go.

They make converts using the presentation of the Jesus Film and follow up of groups with a recorded Bible translation players using a electronic device with the Bible on a chip and solar power / crank power..

That they have started 600 + churches in unreached areas, using this electronic device with the Bible on a chip and solar power / crank power.

That the doctrine of the ones who distribute these things are from groups which do not even know or believe the gospel of grace. For example, a Roman Catholic priest when offering a Bible to a Catholic says, this book is not the final authority, the Roman Catholic Church is. A Islamic adherent will tell you that the Bible has been perverted by the translators. Jesus' disciples founded the Jerusalem Church with no complete Bibles but trained and ordained leadership who passed the Word of God orally first to people.

My comment:

The great commission is not just publishing Bibles. It IS teaching and training believers and leadership. (cp. Titus 1:5) This takes cross cultural missionaries in many cases (not just Americans, of course) it could mean a Thai Christian who is a genuine believer who reaches a Thai or an Arab Christian who is reaching a fellow Arab.

Let's look at the great commission and see if it speaks about Bibles being translated, translations being recorded and played to groups, or even movies about the translation:

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
Nope, not here....

Psalms 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Psalms 98:2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
I don't see it in Psalms either...

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Hmmm...Isaiah missed this "translation" and "reading" idea too.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
I guess Mark missed the idea too...

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Surely Luke would have spoken about it...they claim the "Jesus Film" is from the book of Luke...Nope not here either...

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Perhaps this should read...and it "shall receive power from a hand crank or solar panel and it shall be witnesses..."

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Of course God always works through the agency of his written word, which he entrusted to the people of Israel. But what happens is they "put it from" themselves. False doctrine is rampant in those who have heard some of the word but lack qualified and saved and baptized obedient believers...

Luke continues to quote Paul saying...
Acts 13.47
For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
He did not say a projector screen or a audio device...

Romans 10:15-18 tells us that there has to be the agency of a preachers...and the people of Israel heard it all but they did not understand the gospel.
18 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

Churches are planted by missionaries who learn their language, spend time making disciples and train those who are in that culture to carry on the message. This CANNOT be done by a movie nor a electronic player.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Consider the following passages which demand a saved teacher in the culture:
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Titus 1:9-10
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers...

2Peter 2:1-2 tells us that not just any person can be a teacher...
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Paul told us that there would be people unable to know what is true.
2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

God is calling men and women to preach his Word.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In a previous post, I mentioned how our camp pictures disappeared. Well I was digging around a CD which had some utilities on it and there was a program (about my 10th try at trying to recover the SD RAM from the camera after one of the teens accidentally deleted the whole camp set). Well before my eyes, there it was popping one picture at a time into the camera.
So these pictures are "Redeemed" in a real sence. Now I can share them with you.

Thirty two campers from Sawang Dandin and Santisuk Baptist Churches at LIFE camp

At least most of us!

Even Miss Kaew was a teacher helper (and she is pretty good in English having worked as a fellow teacher with us for 5 years) teaching children of campers.

Don's class of High Schoolers at English Camp. Work and fun.
Gail Teaching -- starting out with just 7 on how to teach English.
Super Class! Ending up with nearly 30 after many heard about her subject matter Gail was teaching to her students.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Naval Captain, Sailor, Pastor and Spiritual Father

A recent guest coming through our center was a retired Naval Captain for the US Navy who had been serving in Thailand in the past. Duane is now not only a Pastor in USA, but also the "spiritual father" of some of the local young people here. Pastor Duane Harper and his wife, Dianne came up to meet an unofficial "adopted" Thai daughter he and his wife met here many years ago. At that time, they were involved in visiting a Baptist church planting ministry in Bangkok and met a beautician, the mother of Miss Nut, now one our our teens.
As Duane told the story, Miss Nut's mom kindly invited Duane and Dianne to Sawang Dandin a few years ago and the grand mother welcomed them into their family as not only friends but family (a Thai form of artificial kinship). For Duane and Dianne this was a chance to show the Lord's love to an unsaved family and they took prayerful opportunity to join as a "Dad and Mom" for Miss Nut. Now her spiritual Dad as well, to their delight.
Duane and his wife met little Miss Nut, then a fourth grade girl and encouraged her to pursue a good education offering to help her and then brought her to us for help in English Classes. After they introduced her to us, then they returned to USA and continued in their ministry, praying faithfully for Nut and her family. In successive visits, they helped out with her needs and continued to encourage her to study well and again brought her to us. Nut was saved in classes earlier this year.

Since Nut's village was a long drive from our home, we asked Nut to consider bringing fellow villagers when we go and pick her up to make the drive worthwhile. Soon that trip to pick up just one little girl grew in numbers as Nut invited friends to fill a entire van load of children. Soon I had so many from her village grouping that I decided to hire a local truck in her village to help bring that group of youth saving me a lot of travel time each time we opened the doors for special classes. One by one, Nut and many of her friends grew in understanding, as they not only studied English, but the Bible, became Christians. She has recently passed her 14th birthday and continues to grow spiritually. Amazingly Nut and her friends have on their own with a little help from us, bought their own Bibles, memorized many key passages of Scripture, and have shared their faith with others. Many of their friends have also come to the Lord. This is a picture of Nut and some friends at a English Camp (From left, Nut's Best friend, Oom, also a new Christian, Miss Nut, Miss Aoh, Miss Kunya an adult helper, Miss Ann-- baptized in May, and Kristen Caynor, a MK who is an age mate).

How delighted Pastor Duane and his wife were when they met Nut this time and heard from her own mouth, "I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior." Last Saturday, we had a lot of fun with our growing English Classes with Pastor Duane and Diane helping out with not only English Classes but the music since Diane is a wonderful Piano player.

I invited them to share in our Saturday Bible time/English Classes and also asked if he would preach for our two Church services on Sunday here in Sawang Dandin and also at Santisuk Baptist Church, through my translation into Thai. It was a wonderful time studying from John 1. 1-14 and Joshua 6.1-6 together. The passage in Joshua was preached at the Santisuk Baptist Church and focused on the confidence in the Lord the Lord's people had to have to be victorious over Jerico and an application to our lives today as we face difficulties.

The Harper family are sweet servants of the Lord and blessed with a gift of encouragement. They unfortunately had limited time (as many pastors do since they are on "personal vacation" here) but we really appreciated the gift of encouragement and ministry they shared here. We were exhausted as drivers and counsellors at camps, for two camps in a row so we also welcomed the ministry help they offered.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Day at camp.

Here are some of the kids after breakfast just before we travel 10 hours home. From Left to right, Miss Nut, Miss Oom, and Miss Michelle a tent maker school teacher from the Philippines and one of the encouragers for these kids. LIFE Camp this year was a special blessing with 550 campers and nearly one hundred decisions for Christ. We took three van loads to camp 10 hours from our churches to a mountain resort in Nakhon Nayok. We baptized Mr. Boss (his nickname) in a river near the mountain campground. Boss was saved at our Santisuk Baptist Church a number of months ago. Sadly we lost all of our digital pictures when one of the teens borrowed our camera to take a few pictures--perhaps she pushed the wrong button? But we have had a wonderful time at camp. God provided miraculously for our expenses this year, in spite of the poor economy and many pressures on our bank book. All of the camp expenses this were provided through a special gift for our ministry. Two local High school Junior men, Isara and Satit (twins) who went to the camp were among the 96 campers saved this year. They attended both churches here this last Sunday, this time as brothers and born again Christians. All in all this has been a blessed school break here.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Heart for Service - Mike Bosley

One of our supporting churches, Carleton Community Baptist Church, has a member who corresponds with us and, of course, has been involved in prayer and support of the ministry here, Mike Bosley. Mike is an Electronic Engineer and travels to Asia regularly on business with his company and asked if he could swing by on a side trip. We invited him to participate in our Light Camp this year as guest speaker. For Mike it was an opportunity to see a ministry he and his church have supported and actually get a chance to get involved first hand. He already loved Thai food and was looking forward to this side trip. He brought lots of small gifts (like coffee for us!) and sweets for the kids. But the real blessing was sharing his life and heart with us through translation into the local language. He spoke in English (after all it is an English Camp!) and I translated for Mike.

Brother Mike, I am sure, was amazed with the way the Lord has had his hand on our ministry here. Even the little things that happened while he was here show the wonderful power of the Lord displayed on His work here. As Mike shared the simple and profound message of the Gospel here, many first time campers heard the clear message of salvation for the first time. We praise the Lord how he is working among the people here.

English Camp a great sucess - Thank goodness for Back Ups?!

Our 2008 Light Camp Staff as follows:
Miss June, Gail, Miss Kaew, Mike Bosley (our guest speaker) , JoyLynn, Michelle, Me (Don Craft), Miss Kanya, and Tangmo.

We finished our English Camp entitled, "Light Camp" on Tuesday, but for our center, the blessing will be an on going boost to our overall ministry. One special event was the first real service opportunity for Miss Kanya, a lady from our Santisuk church who was baptized last year, who now has a great desire to serve the Lord here. (second from right).

Certainly we had a number of set backs as we started. For example:

On the Friday morning before the camp, a hard drive which had much of the Power points and lessons to be used in the camp, died! It simply refused to turn on! That failure took some recent data. Fortunately I had back ups of other materials done recently on another hard disk so we were able to recover and go ahead with no other difficulties and other things went well.

We plan ahead but we can never anticipate what may happen as the school term ends and some schools in the area extended classes a few days to make up for lost class days to meet annual minimum teaching days requirements.

One village where we had a number of new prospective students had a village merit making on the first day of our camp. Most of these children went with their families to the merit ceremonies.

Our septic system for the youth center was taxed to the limit by constant rains and lots of girls some of whom spent the nights for our camp (we always have more girls than boys for classes) and our youth center sewer backed up late one evening. We were forced to re-opened a bathroom we had "retired" off my office which was being used for storage and that helped us get through the camp. I was unsure how long it would take to find a "honey wagon" to clean out the full sewer.

But there was an amazing resolution to the problem early the next day while picking up some children for youth camp, we were almost home when I spotted a "honey wagon" traveling into our city. They were being stopped at a police check, so we flagged them down and told them to follow us to the center. They saw the van load of local kids and only charged us about 8 dollars for the clean out and everything was back to normal again with no interruption to our camp! How wonderful it is when the Lord provides for our needs in big and little things. Now we know we need to extend our sewer some with a first hand test -- so I visited with our builder and we now have a plan for doubling our capacity.

In spite of these things we had a full house each day. It was almost like we had a different group each day for Camp.

On the positive side, one of our college aged Christians asked us if her mother could come and help with housekeeping for family income. That mom saw our center and invited three children the first days, seven the second day and twenty four the final day of camp from her village. Our van was packed.

On the final evening of our camp, a young lady who was a friend of some of the eleventh grade girls and a former LIFE camper stopped by and together with one of our volunteer teachers, Miss Kanya, arranged a plan to send fifteen more girls to the annual LIFE camp next week -- this took a lot of phone calls but because the host church of LIFE camp reopened registration to fill up at the last minute, we are able to send this whole group. How we praise the Lord for Miss Kanya.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Light Camp next week!

Yesterday, a number of prospective students came and registered for our English "Light Camp" as we get closer to the first day of classes. We are delighted and trust the Lord that these will be days of continual blessing here in Sawang Dandin. Our "regular" students have been inviting their friends as well as the promotion that we expect when we placed posters in the local schools.

Our Saturday English class had 47 students enrolled. Even our Wednesday Bible/prayer meeting class has been full. We had 37 for prayer meeting.

We are excited and anticipate a good showing for our Camp in spite of the fact that many of the local schools have not officially closed for the mid-term break (each October).

In two weeks, we will be taking two van loads to LIFE camp in Nakhon Nayok. Registration for Life camp has been closed for two weeks and we filled up our quota quickly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Posters (English and Thai Version) of our Light Camp in Sawang Dandin

Light Camp is coming here in Sawang Dandin just under two weeks (October 5-7). We have called our camps "Light Camp" since the name of the District we live in means, "Land of Light." We will also be participating in another camp in just three weeks. We have lined up some volunteers to help out, including Electronic Engineer, Mike Bosley from one of our supporting Churches back in Michigan. He will be traveling from here to China where he will be working. Other help will be from Bangkok, Short termer, Miss JoyLynn Barger, and Miss Michelle Garcia a Filipino teaching in Bangkok. Perhaps other teachers will join us to help teach for the camp.

Here are our promotional posters. We are planning a combined English/Counsellor Training camp (that is English for prospects and Counsellor Training for those who want to share their faith). Please join us in prayer for the work here. The first is English. If you have trouble reading the second one, it is in Thai Language.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Children's English Classes and other Fun

One of the great opportunities in Thailand is the need to excel in English to be able to get a good education. This is one of our small groups who meet during the week for special classes. Each meeting ends with a Bible study.

As we get to know children, we try to make our Church their home as well. For example, we make birthdays special times, like this birthday for Muk one of our cute 8 year olds. Gail and I both trusted the Lord when we were 8, so we know this is an important time in these children's lives. At the center, they regularly hear the Gospel, study the Bible chronologically, sing Gospel songs, and memorize scripture.

We now have a growing group of children who like to spend free time at our home. Some have also begun piano study with Gail. Mr Sompon, a boy scout, is now a growing Christian and is learning to play the piano. Across from him is a neighbor girl, Miss Nat, one who has invited many of her friends from her school to our center to study English with us. Nat has also placed her faith in Christ. Recently she won inter-school competitions in English, giving her more "steam" to invite friends to our center where they too can study English and the Bible.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A few pictures around the auditorium during the dedication.

It is hard to explain the wonderful feeling when you see so many people together whom you love and have had a ministry among. We had a small delegation from our former ministry in Nakhon Phanom, including one man whom I had trained for leadership now 78 years old and his family (including 4 sisters) as well as others from there.

We also had many of the fellow Pastors of the Rom Prakhun Fundamental Baptist Church Fellowship. Each one took about 5 minutes to share a word of blessing.

The singing was wonderful and the message from the word was a blessing.

What a wonderful time we have here with our fellow Christians!

This is a picture of just some of the Thai sweets prepared for our 135 or so guests. I am sorry that I cannot report on how good they were as they were gone before I got to one. But we had other treats -- of fellowship and sharing our hearts with all of our guest.

Here, Gail is welcoming the first of our guests at 4 AM in morning. Many battled monsoon rains driving many hundreds of miles to participate in the Church Building and Property dedication.

We praise the Lord that our property presently is completely finished, paid for, and tax free. The only expenses for the facility are our phone and Internet, and electricity (we have a well!).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Report of Dedication Service

Gail and I are just getting home after sending our co-workers to the airport in Udonthani.

Today was the conclusion of truly a wonderful couple of days together with the fellow ABWE Thailand Team members in many ways as they also helped set the warm atmosphere for our Church Building and Property Dedication service. Many of them helped over the past few months in our evangelistic English classes and were a special addition to the event. Rick and Lisa Caynor's two teen age children are age mates with a lot of our English students and now great friends getting together. Truly lifelong friends now saved with a different spiritual status since they first came up and many of these young people who first came to study English here during the days of Evangelistic English classes, were not believers but now are saved, regularly attending our classes and publicly professing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

As scheduled, we had our regular quarterly team meeting together on the day before the dedication with a great atmosphere of fellowship and encouragement and challenge. Later after adjourning the meeting , we had a relaxing evening, preparing the Church center, sharing meals together including lunch at KFC with not only a 20 percent discount on all the food, but lots of free food from the KFC manager and staff who have studied English with Caynors and us during the Summer ministries here. They were delighted to see the Caynors again at KFC as well. Daily rain for over a month and a heavy rain all night before did not dampen the spirits for our meeting.

Your could say the weather was actually "cooperating." In fact, monsoon rains made it almost cold all day making the meeting in our not air conditioned auditorium very comfortable. Our center was looking as pretty as ever since we have had enough rain to have a American institution, rarely found in Thailand, a green and lush lawn surrounding the Church property.

Our day started early with people trickling in from 4AM to 10 AM for the meeting. We cooked lots of rice soup for breakfast and had lots of good Thai food for lunch with plenty of fruit and Thai snacks donated by guests for the meeting.

Our "Building and Property Dedication" meeting included many presentations of the gospel in our "5 minutes per pastor" blessing time. Afterwards, one gentleman, Mr Kert, who came with BMM missionary, Eddy Weber, hoping to visit family locally, not only trusted the Lord after counseling with Pastor Soontorn from the Rom Prakhun Baptist Church in north Bangkok, but he also made a public profession of faith during the lunch hour. Those who were not saved including parents of English students, neighbors, and other friends, most certainly received a challenge to trust the Lord through these events.

Perhaps this was the ministry here's finest moment as Rev. Arturo C. Inion, the founder of the work here, now doing church planting in Bangkok suburbs and teaching in the Romprakhun Baptist Bible Seminary, brought the message for a group of 127 plus people (we had a dozen who sat outside the building on the entry who were not counted) who joined with the growing church group here. Fellow pastor, of the Suntisuk Baptist Church, Pastor Surasit Samarom, was the meeting leader and was like many others, brought to tears of joy witnessing this special event that the Lord had brought to fruition this day.

Other highlights included a meaningful Thai ballet created and done by our English students as they sang and preformed for the packed out center. The Thai ballet form presented is almost like sign language for the deaf, and not "dancing" at all, but a beautiful visual representation of the message of the song being sung, using hands to communicate, and includes picturesque actions such worship of the Lord on the throne, and bowing in prayer, based upon Psalms 19:1-2, and Revelation 7:15.

I had produced a movie detailing the 9 months of fire recovery and blessing of the Lord concluding with the precious verse, Isaiah 61:3, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."

We have a beautiful place of ministry here now, completed, dedicated, and very useful in the church planting and soul winning ministry we are giving our lives for.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

August 12 Church and Property Dedication

This the Sawang Danding Baptist Church. It is comprised of three buildings: The main building with a large church auditorium space with attached kitchen and a small apartment (used by us presently) which will be classrooms and offices in the future church. Behind the church building is the youth building another roomy building with additional Bathrooms, and rooms for classrooms and /or housing for church workers. There is a storage room and garage as well. Additionally there is a two bedroom parsonage as the third building out back.
It is totally amazing to me to realize that the Lord would bless us so much in just one year space of time. Just one year ago, perhaps the most devastating thing that ever happened to us was the fire that destroyed the second story of the house we were renting. (be sure to look at "older posts" to see the whole story in the blog).

We were able to purchase the property and completely rebuild it into a wonderful Church auditorium and youth center as well as a separate parsonage building (housing Miss Kaew Petchompoo and her mother presently). Because we were building it to our "specs" we were able to build in
features that make this a excellent facility
for ministry here.

And truly we have seen the growth as we opened up for full ministry use of all our our facilities for the Thai school break, from March - Mid May.

Already many have found Christ Jesus as savior in our new buildings. God has had his hand of blessing on this place.

In just two months we hope to have a church building and property dedcation, introducing a new fellow church building to the members of the Romprakhun Fundamental Baptist Church fellowship.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A view of the Youth building and Parsonage

Off the back of the Church property is the "parsonage" building, the present home of Miss Kaew Petchompoo and her mother who is our co-worker in the work among children and women here.
Right next to the Parsonage is the Youth center, a roomy building for the youth of our church. Here there is room enough for a ping pong table, board games, extra bathrooms, two rooms used for classrooms and dorm rooms. To the right is the garage. I also have a radio tower which has a FM broadcast for Christian music and programming in Thai here.

Inside our lovely auditorium is room for many different activities involved with our outreach here including our worship services, teaching English, Bible Studies, or banquets and so on.