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….
-----------------------------------------------------------
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
-----------------------------------------------------------
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.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Joining God in Plowing New Fields in Northern Thailand - November 24, 2017

Urgent Prayers Needed.


As I sit down and write this prayer update, it is Thanksgiving evening in the USA but it is Friday morning here in Northern Thailand and we want to ask all of you in the USA to please offer a prayer for us as we are just beginning an "English Fun Day" out in one of the villages near Payao.

We have an awesome team from Australia with us lead by Pastor Luke Hester as well as some of our great Teachers at Grace Language School along with awesome Staff and university student helpers.

Pray as we bless the community and get a chance to share about the holiday of Christmas. Most of these children have never, ever, seen a Westerner and I would also estimate that this will be the first time that most of them have ever heard the story of the birth of Jesus.

Please pray for a special touch from our Lord as we reach out to these precious children. This school is also a special treat because of Teacher Kaewtha is one of our former students at Grace Language School and is now a full time teacher at this school.

What a great joy it is for us to be joining God in His great work here in Northern Thailand.

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.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thailand is in Mourning - Please Pray for Thailand today - October 26, 2017

Friends, Family, and Partners in Ministry


Romans 12:15b. "....weep with those who weep." 

Today the whole nation of Thailand is mourning the loss of their beloved king, and we too are weeping with the Thai people and praying that their hearts will be open to hear the hope of the gospel and the lasting help for hurting souls which is found in Christ alone. Please pray for Thailand and for Thai people in every part of the world as they grieve on this day.

Your Servants To The Unreached In And Around Northern Thailand,
Michael for the team
VP and Director of Field Operations for NTIM