To all my friends, family, and partners in ministry, please take a moment and read this prayer request and then we would ask that you pray for me in a special way as I finish preparing to share God’s Word with our church family here in Northern Thailand on the subject of “sanctifying Christ as Lord in our hearts” from 1 Peter 3:15-16. The whole passage reads this way, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.”
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the new year and I deeply desire to be more intentional in this new year to join God in what He is doing here in people’s lives in and around Northern Thailand where there is great darkness regarding the knowledge of God. But even in the midst of millions who have never heard the message of Jesus Christ, God is at work transforming peoples’ lives and equipping them to join God in His great work of redemption and transformation.
As I am writing this prayer request, I have taken a short break from my preparation of the message I will share this Sunday from God’s Word. We want to ask you to go before the throne of grace on our behalf and on behalf of all of those here in Chiangrai, Thailand who will gather together as Baan Athitaan Church family this Sunday. Our church family and the “audience” that will be hearing this message is a very culturally diverse group of people from many different ethnic people groups and countries. We can identify over 23 different people and language groups that make up our church family, most of them from UPGs here in Northern Thailand. Many of the people in our church family are the first persons in their entire families to become followers of Jesus.
These new followers of Jesus need to know what it means to “sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts.”
There are many - do I dare say “all” = in our church who struggle with the pressure they get from trying to live a God honoring life in the midst of a community where 99% of the people do not know Jesus as their personal Savior and who live out a very different set of values and priorities in their lives and who come from a very different religious framework of thinking than we who call ourselves “followers of Jesus.”
Since we are deeply committed to being a “community church,” welcoming everyone in our community into the family of God, we also have a good number of missionaries and expats who are involved in various ministries in Chaingrai who love Thai people and want to be a part of helping them grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. They also need to be encouraged and strengthened as well to “sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts” and to be encouraged to continue to improve their walk with God and their partnership with God in His work in Thailand and in neighboring countries.
I share all this background to help you know how to better pray for us because we really believe the Bible when it says, “the effective prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.” We also believe that part of our role before God is to encourage, invite, and provide opportunities for you to join God in what He wants to do in this part of His world.
God is doing some amazing things here in Chiangrai and using your prayers, your donations, your missionaries, and many, many different people... but we, specifically as a Baan Athitaan Church family, desire to honor God and join Him in what He is doing in this part of His world.
Please also remember to pray for my translator this Sunday whom we all know here as Nong “Bas” Marut Thapthimthed Bas. He is currently a student from Mae Fah Luang University and is from the largest unreached people group in Thailand, the Central Thai people. He is the first person in his entire family to become a follower of Jesus. We have been intentionally mentoring and investing our lives in him for over 2 years now and he loves the Lord deeply and has become one of our most respected and capable translators we have ever had.
He has now grown to the place where we ask him to translate for our services about two times a month. He does not get paid for this but sees this as one of the ways he serves God and use his gifting and abilities to honor God and serve his church family. This is what we call “natural Christian leadership training.” Please remember to pray for this godly young man named “Bas” who will be translating for me this Sunday.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for us and for God’s work in and through Baan Athitaan Church.
Until all the people living in and around Northern Thailand have a chance to become followers of the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ.
“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 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, unreached people groups (UPGs) are all around us, 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.