Friday, January 18, 2008

Miss Grace Ho, Missionary to Thailand from China

I remember as a child praying for the Country of China. We know the Lord answers prayer but always trust that though we may sometimes not see the answers now, we will all share the blessings of seeing the fruit of our prayer in the bliss of heaven. China has been under a totalitarian Communist government that has oppressed Christianity resulting in amazing church growth and we are aware of the fact that there are literally millions of Christians nationwide. While China is still a great and vast mission field, we know that God's people wherever they are will obey the Lord's great commission to preach the gospel to the "uttermost parts of the earth." Recently Fundamental Baptist churches in Hong Kong, now part of the vast nation of China, have gathered together their resources to obey the Lord and send forth a missionary to Thailand, Miss Grace Ho. Grace was born inland China and moved to Hong Kong with her family and has lived in China for many years. Grace was challenged with the need of preaching the gospel in Thailand and has joined our band of missionaries as the first Missionary of the Hong Kong Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, and is presently doing language study in Thai language. Here she is joining Gail and I in a photo at the PABWE mission retreat.

PABWE Missionary Retreat

Gail and I have served with a team of missionaries mostly from the Philippine Islands here in Thailand called the Philippine Association of Baptists for World Evangelism for 8 years as one of their fellow church planters. We were blessed to join in their annual missionary retreat to participate and fellowship with these gifted and hard working fellow missionaries. Here is a photo of the entire team here taken on the last day. Also joining the Thailand group of PABWE missionaries is the PABWE missionaries from the neighboring country of Cambodia.

Tim and Mon West

One of the blessings of being in Christian Ministry is seeing young people grow and choose Christian mates and then being a part of blessing their lives. Just after the new year, Tim and Mon West from our Santisuk Baptist Church were married with the ceremony at the College where Tim has been teaching as a English Professor. Tim West has been a big help in the work here and led Mon his wife to the Lord many years ago. As Mon grew in the Lord and was Baptized, he saw her maturity and commitment to the Lord. Early last year they were engaged and arrangements were made for this wedding. Tim and Mon will continue to live and work here and help in our ministry.

Short termer, Gary VanBuskirk

Sometime last year, we were in contact with a friend from the church I grew up with in Algonac Michigan, Algonac Baptist Church. Gary VanBuskirk was one of the many young people who was in the youth group we lead who went on after High School to study at a Christian College. Gary was a gifted young man in music and speech and was granted advanced degrees in preforming arts. He also taught at Christian schools and colleges for a number of years as well opening his own repertory theater. We had lost contact for a number of years and our renewed friendship came after Gary had suffered a number of health issues which resulted in his being on disability and unable to work full time. Gary loves the Lord and desires to work for the Lord and be a blessing.

Gail and I invited Gary to visit and consider joining our team as a volunteer working as he can in our English Evangelism ministry. Last week we were able to travel to Bangkok and pick him up at the brand new Sawanaphum International Airport and bring him back to our home where he will join us in ministry.

Gary arrived after Midnight Saturday and just 10 hours later was invited to present a solo in one of our leading fellow churches in Bangkok, the Romprakhun Baptist Church in Bangkok. He has a wonderful tenor voice and presented a familiar hymn. We traveled home the next day and we are working hard together with Miss Kaew and Gail and I to prepare for our growing ministry here where he will participate in helping us in English Evangelism.