English Camp 
Monday, September 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
This weekend was something of a climax to my time here as Mindy and I held an English camp at the Chiang Klang mission compound. It was an extremely fun time as we had wonderful opportunities to share the gospel, to teach English and play some games. We had around 25 teenagers from Chiang Klang and from Pua all of whom came from non-Christian backgrounds and many from villages that are totally un-reached with the gospel.

On the Friday evening we had 5 of the teenagers from the Friday night club come and perform a mime which they have been practicing with Mindy for several months. I had seen them in rehearsals and was a little sceptical about how it would work out but they did an amazing job and were totally in time with the music. It showed us being tempted by Satan into drunkenness and sexual immorality, us trying to get to God but being unable to and then Jesus dying on the cross so we can come to God. It was tremendously powerful and there was a short explanation as well. I also shared a short testimony and then we played a game involving the leaders hiding around the compound (I found a home in a mango tree) and then the teenagers running around finding us and asking questions in English. Friday night I camped out in the church with the boys and was rather disappointed when they all wanted to go to bed at 1am, I was well up for staying up all night.

Saturday saw 2 English classes from me, a short explanation of “Two ways to live” in Thai from me and some small group time to discuss what we had been learning about Jesus. It was amazing to see how open each person was to the gospel. As we were eating lunch one girl asked me “What do I need to do to be saved?” Later that afternoon in the small group time Mindy had a chance to answer that question and she became a Christian. During the afternoon 4 others also accepted Christ for the first time and others said they wanted to but would talk to their parents first. This obviously is fantastic news and extremely exciting for everyone here. There was a tremendous sense of the Holy Spirit at work opening hearts and minds, something which Mindy says she has never experienced before in her 6 years in Thailand. All 5 of these new Christians are from Pua, one of whom has been coming to Friday night club for some time so this will be extremely exciting for all those who come to Friday night club. They all know each other from school and many from the Friday night club had been advertising and coercing their friends to go.

I asked you to pray that those who came would have an open heart to the gospel and God has been faithful in answering that prayer. We also had fantastic weather, enough energy for the games and no behaviour problems whatsoever. It was so obvious how God was at work this weekend and a tremendous way to finish my time here. This morning one of the girls who didn’t become a Christian at the camp came to church so let’s pray for more to come to know Jesus over the next few weeks.

  |  permalink   |  related link

The Power of Native Language 
Monday, September 8, 2008, 06:12 PM
“Utterly amazed they asked “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?” Acts 2:7-8

When we read verses like these it is easy to feel a little jealous of the power the Holy Spirit gave the apostles on that day of Pentecost. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Holy Spirit would just enable us to speak the language of those around us? One of my fears and prayers before I came was that God might enable me to communicate in Thai, not fluently but that I would at least be motivated to make an effort to learn. God has certainly answered my prayers and your prayers for me too as he has enabled me to communicate at a basic level but far above what I imagined 3 months ago.

God in his goodness has not only enabled me to communicate on a basic level but also to explain the gospel on a basic level in Thai. It was a goal I set myself when I arrived. As I sat on the plane from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, I sat next to a Thai girl to my right and to the right of her a missionary to India. As I sat, tired after an overnight flight from London I realised that this missionary was making a valiant effort to explain the gospel with this Thai girl who clearly had very little English. I desperately wanted to help out and translate before remembering that being able to say “hello” and “how much does this cost?” wasn’t going to help much. Half way through my time here I mentioned this to Mindy and asked her to help me translate a very simple explanation of “Two ways to live”. To my surprise I realised I knew most of the words for it and that it may actually be possible. Today was the day I unveiled this to my Thai hosts, Nok and Saman, who until now had no idea I was learning this. As it happened Saman’s friend was also in the restaurant and got chatting to Saman, before I knew it I was asked to explain the gospel to this friend. Rather terrified, I agreed and although it came out rather broken he seemed to understand. He said afterwards he wants to know more, although it seems he has heard the gospel several times before. I am amazed at how God has allowed me to learn this and I hope he gives me opportunities to use this with Thai students in Southampton and who knows, may on the plane home as well.

The day of Pentecost shows us what can happen when people hear the gospel in their own language, 3000 people became Christians! There are still many people in this world who don’t have the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language, lets pray that God would provide a way for those to hear and respond so that his Great Commission may be fulfilled and we will be with people from every nation, tribe and language on that last day!

  |  permalink   |  related link

Monday, September 8, 2008, 02:43 PM

Mon seen here washing a rather reluctant cat

I’ve already introduced you to a few of my friends and the people I live with and here is another. Mon has become a good friend while I’ve been here despite having little in common. She is a Bible college student and is spending her 10 month placement helping Nok and Saman with the girls. She is originally from the Chiang Rai area in the far north of Thailand and is from the Lahu hill tribe. This means that her first language is Lahu (a completely different language to Thai) and Thai her second and she has very little English although she enjoys trying.

As I sat chatting with her the other day I managed to find the words in Thai to ask her what she wants to do after Bible college, she replied “I want to go back to my people and share the gospel with them”. She told me that many people in her village call themselves Christians but very few really live out their faith. This seems to be quite a sad trend in many of the places in Thailand where the gospel originally spread 50 or 60 years ago. Many people will call themselves Christians because they come from a Christian home or village but few truly believe. As Peter says in 2 Peter “they are short-sighted and blind and have forgotten that they have been cleansed from their past sins”, it is a continual reminder that if we reminding ourselves of what Jesus has done soon our faith will die.

It has been refreshing to get to know Mon, a young Thai lady with a lot of enthusiasm to share her faith in a gentle and quiet way but I’m sure a very effective way. I have certainly seen this summer that you really can see the Holy Spirit in someone even if you can’t understand much of what they are saying. The Lord has blessed me with such people this summer which has been a great encouragement and has helped me to grow as a Christian.

  |  permalink   |  related link

State of Emergency 
Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 11:34 AM
You may have heard as I have this morning about a "State of Emergency" in Bangkok after a riot last night. It would be fair to say that Thailand's political situation is quite fragile at the moment and this could well be the start of some changes but life is certainly not affected in these parts. I imagine that the press coverage of this is slightly exaggerated and I guess life in Bangkok isn't any different for most people today than it was yesterday. Do pray for the government situation, since the last government change in 2006 it has become increasingly difficult to obtain visas for missionaries and another change in government may well add to the current difficulties.
  |  permalink   |  related link

Jungle Adventure with the Jungle Kid 
Monday, August 25, 2008, 06:42 PM
“Mindy, you’re really quite at home here aren’t you?” A beaming smile on Mindy’s face confirmed my thoughts as we enjoyed watching some of the youth from Pua church splashing around. For Mindy trekking up a river in the jungle was quite a normal thing, “the kind of thing you do with your dad on a Saturday when you grow up in Papua New Guinea” she explained. For the youth from Pua church and I it was quite a new experience but a lot of fun for all us. It has rained a lot here recently so the river was quite full and at times it was hard staying on our feet as we waded through the river climbing slimy rocks and avoiding huge spider webs. A risk assessor would have had a field day but the smiles and joy on the faces of the 9 youth who had come with us told how much they enjoyed this. There does seem to be a complete lack of parents and children doing fun things here and a general lack of relationship in general so these opportunities come quite rarely. It was also a good opportunity for me to build closer relationships with the boys, this can be hard when there is a lack of common language but activities like this really help.

  |  permalink   |  related link

Back Next