Friday, September 14, 2018

God's Transforming Power Among UPGs - NTIM Edition - Sept 14, 2018


God’s Transforming Power Among UPGs - NTIM Edition – Sept 14, 2018

The reality is that Christians should live with an acute awareness that one day - probably soon - Jesus will come again to this earth and will usher in the beginning of the countdown of the earth as we know it and even more importantly will usher the beginning of the end of the time when men, women, and children all over the world will no longer have a chance to believe in Jesus and become citizens of heaven.

Since this is true, I want to plead with all of our Christian friends all over the world to not fail to pray for all of those least reached people groups mostly located in the heart of the 10-40 window who are filled with millions and millions of people who have never heard the message of our great Savior Jesus Christ.

Even in the midst of millions who still have never heard the message, God is at work drawing people to himself and transforming their lives. Please take a moment and listen to Gahn's personal testimony.

Most of you reading this know Gahn because Gahn served on our staff as our Worship Leader at Baan Athitaan Church for many years before I had the honor of marrying Gahn and the former Kim Matthews who also served in our ministry before they were married. Now God has given them an opportunity to lead a great children's ministry home under the care of YWAM called Baan Eden. We are very glad to all be a part of the same church family at Baan Athitaan Church where I have the honor of serving as Senior Pastor and to have Gahn lead us in worship from time to time.

Gahn is from one of these least reached people groups in Thailand. As a matter of fact, Gahn is from the largest unreached people group living in Thailand which also is the same unreached people group that leads the country of Thailand and is of the same ethnicity as the King of Thailand. This UPG is the group we call the Central Thai people group.
Out of the 67 million people living in Thailand, 20 - 32 million of them (if you include the "thai-chinese" from Joshua Project into the group) are from this least reached people group. The second largest unreached people group (UPG) in Thailand is the Isan people group and they make up about 18 million people. The third largest unreached people group (UPG) in Thailand is the Northern Thai (Muang) people group and they have about 7 million people here in Thailand mostly living in Northern Thailand.

There are over 80 unreached people groups living here in Thailand but these three UPGs are by far the largest and most influential in Thailand. God has given us the opportunity to be involved in seeing hundreds of Thai people from these various unreached people groups come to know Jesus over the last 19 years we have lived in Thailand. Most of them have been university students and have been the first or second persons in their entire families to become followers of Jesus. Even though we have seen God do some amazing things over the years, we feel very much like we are just now beginning to be used of God with so much more work to be done and the focus of our work is moving more in the direction of training and equipping and putting down a solid foundation for future growth with a permanent presence through our upcoming building project (which I will give an update on soon).
Please pray for these unreached peoples and for the work of NTIM, Grace Language School, and Baan Athitaan Church which are the ministries that I have the honor to lead. Please also pray for Gahn and Kim's work through Baan Eden as well. This ministry is a part of YWAM’s work in Thailand. Please also remember to pray for some awesome Canadian partners as well from Crave International. 
Remember these words from our Lord Jesus who said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38

For more information on the work that God has allowed me to lead through NTIM, please write me at pray4ntim@gmail.com or go to our website at www.gontim.org

Thanking you in advance for your prayers and for your support. "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

Please ask others to pray and forward this email to them.
Grateful and Happy to be Serving Our Awesome God in Northern Thailand for such a time as this.

Michael Johnson

P.S. AN UPDATE ON THE BUILDING PROJECT COMING SOON….




Thursday, August 16, 2018

DO NOT GROW WEARY IN DOING GOOD - NTIM Edition




8 years ago there was a large group of Chinese students that studied at Chiangrai Rachaphat University which is located just down the street from where we live. Many of these Chinese students were from very poor backgrounds and from many different unreached people groups. They were also foreigners in this land much like I too am a foreigner in this land and I knew the importance of treating them well and welcoming them to Northern Thailand. At that time 8 years ago there were some 600 or so Chinese students and at one point about a dozen of them began to come to the church and I remember after just a short time of me and a friend (Harry Brittan) teaching them the Bible in English, several of them gave their hearts to Jesus before they returned to China.

One of the "touch points" in their lives that God often uses to bring people to Jesus is their desire to study and speak English. Since these Chinese students were from poor backgrounds and were already spending all the money they had studying at a university in a foreign country, we felt the Lord would have us bless a few of them in a special way, so after counseling with our awesome Thai staff, we decided to give some of them scholarships to study with us at Grace Language School.

We do not do that very often but we felt this was what our Lord wanted us to do at that time and we did not announce what we were doing to anyone. No one outside our team and these few Chinese young people knew anything about these scholarships because we were not doing it for the praise of men but because we genuinely sensed God wanted us to do this and join Him in what He was doing in their lives.

When they finished their studies and went back to China we thought that would be the last time we would see them but OH WHAT A JOY it was today - August 16, 2018 - when one of these former Chinese students who is now working full time in a city close to Kunming, China came back to visit us along with her 6 year old daughter, her mother, and a friend. She not only wanted to say hello and say “thank you” but she also wanted to express her gratefulness for our kindness to her and her friends 8 years ago by making a very significant donation to Grace Language School.


What a great joy it is to serve the one and only Living God in a place in the heart of the 10-40 Window where millions of people from hundreds of unreached people groups live and have very little access to the light, the love, and message of our great Savior. Yes, God has placed us, our great team of Americans, Canadians, and Thais, and this relationship intensive and influential platform called Grace Language School strategically where we can have the greatest front line impact in our world today and join God in His desire to change the world one life at a time. A special thanks to all of those who intentionally give through NTIM (www.gontim.org) which God uses to make all of this life change possible among some of the least reached people groups in our world today.

Please continue to pray for us as God gives us so much access to so many of the unreached people groups living here in this part of God's World. What a joy to see God remind us that He sees even the small good things we do in secret for His glory. In His time, he reminds us and encourages our hearts to not grow weary in doing good for the sake of the kingdom.
For those of us who are followers of Jesus, let me take this opportunity to invite you to consider joining God in what He is doing in and around Northern Thailand by becoming financial partners with us at Northern Thailand Impact Ministry. NTIM is a 501c nonprofit charitable organization 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 Unreached People Groups (UPGs) in and around Northern Thailand through education, sports, and acts of love and compassionate is what NTIM and our ministry team is all about.

If you would like to know more about what we do and how you can be involved, please write me personally at pray4ntim@gmail.com and I would be happy to share with you all that our great God is doing. May the name of the Lord be lifted high in all that we say and all that we do for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom on the earth.

Grateful and Happy to be Serving Our Awesome God in Northern Thailand for such a time as this.

From the Fields of Northern Thailand, Michael Johnson

P.S. AN UPDATE ON THE BUILDING PROJECT COMING SOON….


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How Rescuers Pulled Off the Impossible in a Treacherous Thai Cave in Northern Thailand - NTIM Edition - July 11, 2018


It is with great joy that I sit down today – July 11 – the day after the last of the 13 male soccer team members were rescued here from Chiangrai, Thailand after 18 days of being trapped in a cave. Happiness is everywhere and I have been in tears of joy many times as I think about the grace and mercy of God turning an impossible situation into a possible situation. 

I want to let you know up front that my report and my perspective on this great but very treacherous rescue operation is quite different from what you will be reading in the media these days only in the sense that they have left out the most important person in this story…and that is the gracious Lord God of Heaven.

Please understand that this incident is very close to my heart because it happened about 30 minutes from where my family and I have lived for the last 17 years of our 19 years in Thailand. As a matter of fact, I have been inside this very cave many times as well as most of my family, friends, and some of our volunteers have been there as well.

But we must not… again let me say… we must not overlook the real reason that these heroic rescuers were able to pull off this impossible rescue operation.

How were these 13 people trapped deep inside a mountain cave without food and water for 18 days able to survive and live to tell about it? Because there is a true and living God who responds to the prayers of His people and who chooses to shut the heavens long enough to keep the waters of the rainy season from stopping this rescue. Only God can do that. No man, no matter how smart or skilled or talented, can do that.


Was this rescue operation treacherous? Yes, extremely. We are saddened over one very brave and heroic Thai Navy Seal who gave his life in this operation. May our great God bless the family of the late 38 year old Retired Navy Seal Sgt. Major Saman Gunan. Please remember to pray for them as they live through the loss of this brave and courageous Thai man who gave his life for others.


Today we want to take a moment to thank all of you who personally voiced a prayer for this rescue operation. I am confident that thousands and thousands of Christians and possibly hundreds of churches all over the world were praying for this rescue operation and I want to declare that God has heard those prayers and has shown mercy to these 12 boys and their 25 year old soccer coach. Here is a picture of the 13 lives that were saved in this rescue operation. Please also remember to pray that they would have a chance to know the one true God that shut the heavens for 3 days during the rainy season so they might have life and declare the glory of God to others. Only 1 out of these 13 are followers of Jesus today, but the message of the gospel has the power to redeem.  Pray for an opening of the gospel in each of their lives.

I am reminded of what the Holy Bible says in James 5:16, “…The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

During the rescue operation, representatives of NTIM and Baan Athitaan Church were able to take some donations given through NTIM and provide food and supplies to the rescue workers and to help in some small ways for the glory of God.

For those of us who are followers of Jesus, let me take this opportunity to invite you to consider joining God in what He is doing in and around Northern Thailand by becoming partners with us at Northern Thailand Impact Ministry. NTIM is a 501c nonprofit charitable organization 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.

If you would like to know more about what we do and how you can be involved, please write me personally at pray4ntim@gmail.com and I would be happy to share with you all that our great God is doing just 30 minutes South of where this rescue operation happed this week. May the name of our great God be lifted high in all that we say and all that we do for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom on the earth.

Please remember to pray for our team in Chiangrai, Thailand.

From the Fields of Northern Thailand, Michael Johnson.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Joining God In His Work of Redemption in Thailand Through Teaching English - June 18, 2018


God is using English in mighty ways to reach the hearts of young people and build His church in one of the most beautiful places on God's green earth. Northern Thailand is very beautiful, yet it is one of the most needy places in God’s world today when it comes to issues of “lostness.” Northern Thailand if filled with dozens of some of the least reached people groups in our world today. Millions of people live here and more than 99 out of ever 100 persons do not have a personal relationship with Jesus and many of them have never even heard the gospel message.

Even in the midst of millions of people who have never heard, God is using NTIM, Grace Language School (GLS), Baan Athitaan Church, and many of our partners to make a significant impact in people’s lives. Because we have a legitimate English language platform whose ultimate purpose it to glorify God and expand His kingdom, God has given us great access to people through the educational system here in Thailand and great favor with the government of Thailand.

Today, June 18, as I write this prayer request, Grace Language School along with a team of volunteers from California Baptist University, have gone into an elementary school South of the city of Chiangrai where we are doing what we call an “ENGLISH FUN DAY CAMP” for about 100 5th graders.  In the next few days we will be doing 4 “English Fun Day Camps” and 1 “Explorer English Camp” in our community.

Our English language platform has been in Northern Thailand for 17 years now, first in the form of The Lighthouse Language Center and now in the form of Grace Language School. We have been very intentional about maintaining a platform of integrity of teaching English that has become recognized as one of the best English language schools in Northern Thailand.

Over these last 17 years we have lived in Thailand, God has blessed us with some of the best teachers and volunteers in the world who have responded to God’s call to join Him in His great work of redemption for the Thai people.

Since we have been here for a long time, we now have relationships with teachers all over Northern Thailand that were once students of ours at Grace Language School and that opens doors for us to go just about anywhere we sense the Lord wants us to go. And we have so much fun doing it. Just watch this clip from today.





We have been planning and preparing for this day for quite some time. It is such great joy that we have a team of 9 volunteers from the USA from California Baptist University as well as one Summer volunteer (Thank you Amy) from my home church (Shades Mountain Baptist) in Birmingham, AL to join our team here to lead this English Fun Day.  
Our reason for the existence of GLS is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to be the light of Christ in a place where some of the least reached people groups in the whole world live with very little knowledge of Jesus Christ. But God has called us here to build bridges to them so that they might have the chance to hear the message of love and forgiveness that can be found in Jesus Christ.



It takes a lot of time and resources to build relationships of genuine trust with people but we are thankful to God for allowing us to be a small part of His plans to draw people to the cross and to a personal relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for praying for us as reach into our community and teach English with integrity.

Thank you for praying for us as we seek to lead others to Jesus and disciple them. Thank you for coming on mission trips to help with God’s work.

Thank you for giving through NTIM so that we can serve here and insure that the gospel reaches into some of the least reached people groups in our world today.

Thank you for sharing with others about out work and being an advocate for us and for being an advocate for the unreached people groups that we are targeting.

Our ministry with children, young people, and university students has continued to grow and blossom and we are in need of some additional resources to help us teach English with excellence. Would you please pray that God would provide us with additional resources that would be used for reaching the nations for Jesus and expanding the kingdom of God in Northern Thailand?

Your Servant to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,


Michael for the team

P.S. An Update on Land & Building Coming Soon….
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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.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

THANK YOU - Update from Northern Thailand - May 30, 2018




Today is one of those days when I have been reflecting on the goodness of God as He has expressed that goodness through what we call “partners in the ministry.” Let me give you a brief picture of our work first and then let me speak to various areas in which we want to say thank you.

As many of you know if you have been friends on Facebook with us for any length of time, God has allowed the Johnson family to be a part of His plan to take the message of Jesus into some of the least reached people groups in our world today that are living in the heart of the area in and around Northern Thailand. Over the 19 years we have lived here in Thailand, we have seen hundreds of people from this part of God’s world become the first or second persons in their entire family to become a follower of Jesus. Less than 1 person in every 100 people in this part of God’s world know Jesus as their personal Savior yet even amongst millions and millions of people who have yet to hear the gospel clearly even for the first time, God is doing something amazing in our day by allowing us to be a part of Him reaching into some of the least reached peoples and seeing people give their hearts to Jesus and begin this transformation process of what we call “discipleship.”



We could share so much about what God is doing but today we want to be clear and say a special thank you to a group of partners in ministry. We have one group of “partners in ministry” that live here and work alongside us every day as we seek to advance the Kingdom of God here on the field. We are so grateful for the Thai and Western partners God has given us as partners who work the fields of God’s harvest every day and pour out their lives so that God will be honored and His kingdom expanded. But today we want to say a special thank you to another group of partners in ministry that are also very critical to God’s Work getting done here. These are the partners in ministry that support us through finances, prayers, advocacy, and encouragement. To this group of “partners in ministry” we want to say a special thank you today.

If you have ever sent in a donation to NTIM on our behalf to support our work, we want to say THANK YOU. We promise to be good stewards of what you have entrusted to us.

If you are one of those people who sends in a donation to NTIM from time to time on our behalf, we also want to say THANK YOU and to say to you we promise to be good stewards of these resources.

If you are one of those people who sends in a donation to NTIM every month to assure God’s work is supported on a regular basis, we want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU and we also want to say that we promise to be good stewards of these resources.

If you have ever prayed for us and asked God’s blessings on the work of NTIM, we want to say THANK YOU.

If you are one of those people who prays for us from time to time, we want to say THANK YOU.

If you are one of those people who really understands that we are living and serving God in enemy territory and prays for us every single day that we might be the salt and light of Jesus among the nations, we want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU.


IMPORTANT UPDATE ON LAND & BUILDING PROJECT COMING SOON! 

To learn more about our work, please see our website at www.gontim.org  or write me personally at pray4ntim@gmail.com

Friday, February 2, 2018

TRAINING FUTURE THAI TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AT RAJABHAT UNIVERSITY – Update Feb 2, 2018

As I sit down to write this update this morning, I am sitting in my office at Grace Language School praising God and thanking God for the awesome opportunity that God has placed before us.

Most of you know that God has given our ministry great access to schools, universities, and other educational institutions as a result of our English language school we call Grace Language School. Grace Language School originally started as the Lighthouse Language Center some 17 years ago when we were serving with the International Mission Board. Grace Language School is a language school registered with the Ministry of Education of Thailand and owned and operated by NTIM’s sister foundation in Thailand called Channel of Blessing Foundation. 
Not only does Grace Language School teach hundreds of students every year on our own rented campus, but Grace Language School (GLS) reaches out into the community to other schools and universities sometimes at our initiative and sometimes at their initiative.

Yesterday one of the professors from Rajabhat University came and asked us to provide an all-day training seminar next week on the subject of “Teaching and Learning Activities In the 21st Century.” We are very excited about this opportunity to build bridges to the hearts of not only about 160 university student who will become Thai national teachers of English when they graduate but this is also a great opportunity to continue to build good relationships with the English Faculty and administration of Rajabhat University and help meet their English language needs. Currently we are planning to have 6 or 7 native English speakers from the USA and Canada as well as all of our Thai staff to be involved in providing this training.

WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS: We are excited for this opportunity and want to ask you to join us as we join God in what He is doing to provide access to the hearts of people. I am reminded of a passage from Habakkuk 1:5 that says, "Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days-- You would not believe if you were told.” God is truly using teaching English as one of those super-highways to get the message to the hearts of some of the least reached peoples in our world today. Here is one of my favorite pictures.
This picture was taken around April 2015 and was my level 5 class that I taught at GLS. When this picture was taken, the only believer in the picture was me. But as our team worked together to build good relationships with people, God was at work in the hearts of these 4 students and within a few months after this picture was taken, two students in this picture gave their hearts to Jesus and became the first persons in their entire families to become followers of Jesus.

I won’t take the time to tell you their stories at this point but wanted to give you just a glimpse of how God is using Grace Language School to reach some of the least reached people groups in our world today.  We believe that this opportunity that just presented itself to us is one of those “pivotal times” in history where we want to reach the nations and join Him in His work to expand the kingdom. Pray for us as we join God in what He is doing in Northern Thailand. Just as the Scriptures in James 5:16 declares the truth about prayer that “the prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much.”
WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS

Your Servants to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,

Michael for the team
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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.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

TODAY is January 13, 2018 but 19 years ago today something very significant in the Johnson family happened.

Today is January 13, 2018 and it is a very important day to us because 19 years ago on January 13, 1999, our family of 6 (Hope was 7 months pregnant with Caleb so we included him) landed in Bangkok along with about 15 or 16 pieces of luggage and began our awesome journey of joining God in His work of redemption in Thailand. Jessica Davenport was 9, Liz Vaughn was 6, Josh Johnson was 1+ and Caleb Johnson was "in the oven" and was born two months later on March 10, 1999 in a hospital in BKK.

Here is a news write up from Goshen News in Goshen, IN after IMB Appointment July 21, 1998.

What an awesome journey God has put us on these past 19+years. Thank you so much for each of your kind words, each of your generous donations, each of your cards and letters, each of your “care packages,” and each time you bow your head and say a pray for us and God’s work here. We are in this together for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Today, God's church in Chiangrai is filled with 1st generation believers from dozens of unreached people groups, some of which are amongst some of the least reached people groups in our world today not because of how smart or talented we are but simply because of the grace of God that allowed an ordinary couple like us to sense God’s call on our lives to join God in His redemptive plan in Thailand and then God surrounded this ordinary couple with some awesome people that worked together for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Glory to God.

Today we simply want to declare as the Psalmist declared, "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3.

Ministry Update details coming soon.

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.