This update will be a little bit different than our regular updates. Today, I want to share some thoughts with you that I have been reflecting upon regarding what I believe is on God’s heart and how that relates to us and God’s work here in Northern Thailand.
Many of you reading this email do not get Facebook and that is fine, but those of you who do have Facebook are much more aware of what great things God has been doing in this part of His world. We have chosen to use Facebook primarily for ministry purposes so that you will better know what is going on here and how you can join God in what He is doing in this part of His world.
A couple of days ago, I shared some of these thoughts on Facebook as I do quite often but realized that many of you do not use Facebook and thought these thoughts would be a blessing and an encouragement to you. Our Great God is alive and well transforming people’s lives in Northern Thailand. Many of these new followers of Jesus are the first persons in their entire family to follow Jesus.
Words cannot express the great joy I have in my heart when I reflect upon the last 20+ years our family has lived in Thailand and the awesome experiences we have had. We have had so many opportunities to learn how to walk with God in obedience in the work He has put in our hands to do.
I want to ask that you would stop reading and take a moment and click on this video clip and watch it first. Then come back and read the rest of my comments.
Please watch the video before reading on if you can.
This video also reminds me that God is currently at work, and He will continue to be at work in reaching some of the least reached people and people groups in our world today until the Lord Jesus comes again. But at this time, in this place, at this moment, God is at work changing lives in Northern Thailand and invites ordinary people like you and me to join Him in His great work whether that is through praying, through giving, through advocacy and mobilization, through going short term, or like us….going for as long as God wants you to go.
This video reminds me of the strategic nature of teaching English through a legitimate platform like Grace Language School and how teachers and volunteers play such a vital role in being the hands and feet of Jesus. During this time this video was produced, we had a team from our home church - Shades Mountain Baptist in Birmingham, AL and another team from Hunter Street Baptist in Birmingham, AL working together with us for the glory of God.
PRAY FOR 2 VOLUNTEER TEAMS THAT ARE PREPARING TO COME IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS
Please pray for the team from our home church – Shades Mountain Baptist Church from Birmingham, AL - and the team from another partner Church in Mississippi from Gulfport named Crosspoint Church. Both of these teams will be with us in less than 2 weeks. We love volunteer teams from churches. They help us in so many tremendous ways.
This video also reminds me that God has been calling people from all over the world to join hands together with us - originally through the IMB, but after 2005 through the formation of NTIM, Grace Language School (previously the Lighthouse Language Center), and through the establishment of a new type of church in Northern Thailand called Baan Athitaan Church. God is truly transforming lives and we want to thank you for your faithful partnership with us.
This video reminds me that God is in the business of making disciples and transforming lives every day like Nong Faa and Nong Ao as the first followers of Jesus in their entire families. Both of them are from the third largest unreached people group in Thailand, the Khon Mueang, where not even 1 in 100 people know Jesus as their personal Savior. This 3rd largest unreached people group has 7 million people living in Northern Thailand.
This video was shot on March 16, 2008 - during a time of great growth and expansion of God's Kingdom here in Northern Thailand. A few years earlier, we went through a very difficult transition time of leadership and direction and great uncertainty about the future, but we had a confident faith that we were being obedient and faithful to God’s call to pour out our lives into the people here in and around ChiangRai and stay the course God had set for us. One of our life verses has been Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and HE WILL DIRECT YOUR PATHS." God has truly directed our paths.
GOD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS. We consider it a great honor that the Lord has allowed ordinary people like us to join Him in what He is doing. We are very excited about the great things our Lord is doing and will be doing in the days ahead for the expansion of His great kingdom.
As many of you reading this email know, we here at NTIM are in the process of saying to the darkness here in Northern Thailand that "God's work is here to stay." We started making that statement after we purchased land in 2017 and are currently making that statement as we have begun the construction process of a permanent multi-purpose building called the Lighthouse Learning Center. Here are a few pictures that we just taken this morning as I walked and prayed around the property.
We are still in need of raising about $300,000 USD to complete the building. We thought we might be able to be in the building before Christmas but looks like it will be the first of next year if things go with the current plan and the Lord provides us with the additional needed resources. Please pray for us as we seek to expand God’s Kingdom among the Unreached In greater ways in the days ahead and say to the darkness very clearly “God’s work is here to stay.”
Thank you for your love and partnership with us over the years. Some of you reading this have prayed for us every day since before we arrived in Thailand on January 13, 1999. This has been God's idea and vision and He deserves all the praise for the hundreds of lives that have been transformed by the cross of Jesus in this very unreached part of God’s world. We are so thankful we didn’t quit when times were difficult, but by the grace of God we have stayed the course and tried to be faithful to obey all of God's directions for our lives. May God be honored and pleased with both our lives and the work He is doing in and around Northern Thailand.
To God be the glory for the great things He has done.... and is doing.... and will do in the days ahead! Not for the glory of a man or of men, nor for the glory of an organization, but for the glory of the One who chose to leave His throne in heaven and become a man, to go to the cross and pay the ultimate penalty for the sins of all men, and then to empower His followers to go to all the unreached people groups of the world today with the message of our Savior, remembering that "all authority has been given to Jesus" and that Jesus said He will build His church "and the gates of Hell will not be able to stop it."
May God continue to be pleased to use broken vessels like us for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
Michael, for the team.
"For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake." 2 Corinthians 4:5
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 reaching some of the least reached people groups in our world today and are focused in the heart of Southeast Asia where poverty is high, educational needs are great, unreached people groups (UPGs) are all around us, and the love and message of Jesus is needed to transform lives.