Would you like to join God in what He wants to build and in the process store up some treasure in heaven? Please consider donating to our building fund at NTIM. We are requesting that all funding from the U.S.A. or other countries outside of Thailand for this specific project be routed through NTIM. All of your donations to NTIM are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 or you may donate online at www.gontim.org
DAY 15 – “Lighting Up the Darkness BEACH HEAD Vision” - December 13, 2018
As we have shared many times before. We are seeing God’s hand at work in the heart of South East Asia changing peoples’ lives like never before. As you have joined us in this Season of Prayer these last 14 days we have tried to help you see How God is working in Northern Thailand reaching some of the least reached people in our world today. God is breaking down strongholds for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus. Jesus once said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not be able to stand against it.”
One of the places God is building his church is in Chiang Rai, Thailand, right in the heart of dozens of unreached people groups and among millions and millions of people who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
God has chosen to use a small group of people living in Chiang Rai to join God in making disciples of hundreds of Thai people, most of whom are 1st generation believers and these 1st generation believers are normally the first people in their entire families to become followers of Jesus. What started as a small group of 8 believers in the Johnson home some 17 years ago has blossomed into a growing, thriving, community church made up of people from over 23 identifiable people groups and involved in outreach - evangelistic ministries related to teaching English, caring for those affected by HIV/AIDS, caring and ministering to various children’s homes, reaching out to the community and neighboring countries, and most importantly very committed to making disciples of all the nations God brings across our path.
We have been very intentional these past 19 years of living in Thailand to focus upon language and cultural adjustments, evangelism, discipleship and building the people of God into a family. As I shared with our prayer partners and financial supporters since we began “Operation Lighting Up The Darkness” and want to repeat that again this year, the Thai people have been overlooked for far too long and we believe it is God’s time for God’s people to join Him in what He wants to do in this part of God’s World.
We have seen God use our English Language teaching platforms - first the Lighthouse Language Center (LLC) and now Grace Language School (GLS) in amazing ways to change attitudes, to change beliefs, and to change lives and to be light in a very dark place. We are truly making an impact in this part of God’s world for His Kingdom and the advancement of the gospel. However, our overhead expenses related to the rental of our property really hampers out ability to do all that God wants us to do. It is with great joy that I can share with you that God has already provided us with a small appropriate and strategically located piece of land and we are in the last phase of raising fund for the building which we would love for each of you to be a part of. We believe that it is God’s timing to now say to the darkness that “we are here to stay” through the building of a multi-purpose facility that would house our English language school, would be NTIM’s “beachhead field office,” would house offices for some of our partners in ministry, would be where Baan Athitaan Church meets each Sunday, and would be a facility that would be appropriate for housing camps, seminars, and conferences for the purpose of expanding God’s kingdom.
God has planted the “church body” in a place in Northern Thailand that is strategically located between two major universities in Chiang Rai – Mae Fah Luang University and Rajabhat University where there are approximately 30,000 students.
God has been gracious and God’s people have been gracious and donated enough money for us to buy a prime piece of land that has now been transferred into the name of NTIM’s sister foundation here in Thailand and Phase 1 of this project has been completed. Phase 2 of raising funds and planning for construction has been going on for about a year now and we are making huge progress.
We have had a couple of issues come up with our original construction plans and that has caused our cost of construction to increase a little bit from our original plans. One of those changes had to be made because of restroom space to meet new building requirements.
As of our latest changes in the building requirements, our estimated expenses for the building are right around $400,000 US Dollars. We currently have on hand around $188,000 US Dollars. We are in need of an estimated $212,000 Dollars. That is a God-sized number for us.
Apart from the Bible, one of the most influential books in my life is a book written by Henry Blackaby called Experiencing God. In this book, Blackaby helps us understand many very critical concepts and one of those critical concepts is Blackaby refers to as a “crisis of belief.” For Blackaby, a “crisis of belief” is not some emergency or traumatic event that happens to us. No, rather it is a part of an ongoing process of us continually giving ourselves over to God’s plans for our lives by trusting Him for not only the resources needed to carry out God’s will but also for believing that He can and will do through us what seems to be impossible by man.
Do we really believe that God will provide everything we need in order to carry out His will?
The idea of the “crisis of belief” is that we have come to a place in following God’s leadership where we can’t go any further with God’s supernatural intervention. Much like when the children of Israel had just be brought out of slavery in Egypt where they had been slaves for over 400 years and now the chariots and armies of Pharaoh have decided to go after them and bring them back, yet God has brought them all the way to the Red Sea with no way to cross over to the other side without some supernatural intervention. That was a crisis of belief for Moses and the children of Israel, and you and I know that God was with them but needed his people to humble themselves, turn to Him, seek His face, and ask for His provision and when they did, God parted the seas.
I believe that we are at a similar place in our ministry today. We have seen God move mightily these last 20 years and have seen hundreds of Thai people become followers of Jesus as we have tried to walk with God and honor God and join God in all that He wants us to do to reach the Thai people. Many of these Thai people are the first persons in their entire family to be followers of Jesus and most of them are from some of the least reached people groups in our world today. God truly is at work. We have sensed God’s leadership to say to the darkness that God’s work of transformation is here to stay.
We have seen God provide us with an awesome piece of land where our work among the 30,000+ university students can flourish and our platforms of Teaching English and of Soccer ministry can continue to advance the Kingdom of God. We are at that crossroads today. And we are asking God’s people to join us in seeking God’s provisions for an additional $212,000 dollars so that we can begin this building project with all the funds needed to make it a reality for the glory of God!!
We have submitted our building plans to the government and are awaiting their approval. Our desire is to begin building construction as early as January 2019 with the hopes that next Summer we can bring teams from the USA and other countries to come and help us with the final touches of the building with putting in the internal classrooms and doing all the painting for the glory of God.
Blackaby says that one of the church’s calling is to show the watching world what it looks like to follow the one true God – and to live lives that can only be explained by the fact that God is who He says He is!
Prayer Example: “Lord, we have been reminded today of how You are at work building Your church in Northern Thailand. We thank You for allowing us who have been praying to be a part of seeing young people give their heart to Jesus. We thank You for allowing us to see how You are using 1stgeneration believers to reach and disciple other 1st generation believers. We thank You for Grace Language School and how you are using them to reach out not only to Thai people but to Chinese people and Laotian people, and Burmese people and many others. We do sense that it is Your time for them to establish a more permanent beach head and to say to the forces of darkness that God’s work through NTIM is there to stay. We ask that You would open the storehouses of heaven and provide NTIM with the needed resources in money and personnel to do all that You have put in their hearts to do. Please guide them as they seek for the piece of property that can best be utilized for Your purposes in that part of Your world. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.”