Yesterday when I opened up my Facebook, a “memory” post came up that lead me down the path of reflecting on the first few years of our lives in Thailand. Our family spent the first two years in Thailand in Bangkok learning the primary language of Central Thai, learning a very different culture and lifestyle, learning how to adjust and help our children adjust to this “new world” we were living in and most importantly, learning how to continue to walk with God in this new setting and live out a life of obedience to His leadership to join Him in His great work of redemption among the various unreached people groups represented as “Thai Citizens.”
I really don’t want this update to be long but did want to share with all of you on our email listing some of what I shared with our friends on Facebook yesterday. Basically here is what I shared with them and want to share with you today.
Thinking about our first years in Chiang Rai 16 years ago after spending 2 years in Bangkok and realizing just how teaching English has truly built bridges to the hearts of the people in Northern Thailand, we moved our family up to the most Northern province in Thailand called Chiang Rai which is the heart of the Khon Muang unreached people group (upg) and in the midst of dozens of other unreached people groups with connections into Laos, Myanmar, and China.
We moved to Chiang Rai with a “vision” and “mission” from God to establish a platform of teaching English as a means to bless the community and provide a natural avenue to begin the process of planting a church which would start as a house church but that would not stay a house church but our hope was that it would have the blessing of God upon it and grow into a purpose driven, community type church that would embrace all cultures and peoples living in and around Northern Thailand and would be a church that God was pleased to use to evangelize, reach, disciple, and train people from some of the least reached people groups in our world today. What a joy is has been for all of us here who have joined God in this work to see him use ordinary people like you and me to make a tremendous difference in advancing the kingdom of our Lord Jesus in this great country and beyond.
This is KunKru Peatie when she was a teenager studying at the Lighthouse Language Center which for all practical purposes has now become Grace Language School.
Nong Peat was the first person to be led to the Lord and baptized through the ministry of our language school and was a part of the beginnings of what we now call Baan Athitaan Church. I am not sure who that young person is baptizing her. :)
Since this time we have seen hundreds of young people give their lives to Jesus, most of whom like Peat are the 1st person in their entire family to become a follower of Jesus and like Peat who are from one of the least reached people groups in the entire world today, the Khon Muang being 6-7 million strong and less that ½ of 1% followers of Jesus.
I am so grateful for the hundreds of people who have come out from various parts of the world to help us in this great work. I am also very excited about what God has in store in the days ahead. My prayer today "Lord, we are yours and are ready, willing, able, and planning to continue to be about your business. Help us to walk humbly with you, to do the right things, and to love kindness like Your Word tell us in Micah 6;8. Help us to honor You and to be good "moons" letting the light from the "sun-Son" shine through us to light up the darkness and point the lost to the One and only true and living God. Here we are, Lord in Northern Thailand where You have sent us! and we are staying as long as You want us to stay because You are Good and we want to obey You and bring honor to Your name and advance Your kingdom through loving the Thai people like You love them."
Please remember to pray for us and for the millions of Thai people who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior. Please also remember that this month to pray for all the Thai people as they say good bye to their beloved King who passed away 1 year ago October 13. Pray that they would bring closure to a very important chapter in their lives. May their experience of living under such a humble and benevolent man provide an opportunity for them to come to know the ultimate King of Heaven, Jesus Christ.
Your Servants to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,
Michael for the team
Financial support can be given through NTIM....
Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM), P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 USA Main Website: www.gontim.org
NTIM is a non-profit 501(c)(3)charitable organization based in the USA. We are committed to connecting people in need with people who care and are focused in the heart of Southeast Asia where poverty is high, education is low, needs are great, darkness is everywhere, and the love and message of Jesus is needed to transform lives.
Reaching, Teaching, Discipling, Equipping, Training, and Serving People in God’s World through acts of love and compassionate is what NTIM and our ministry team is all about.