Friday, December 14, 2012

Urgent Prayer Needed For Northern Thailand - Dec 15, 2012



Many of you know that we live in a part of the world where less than 1 out of every 100 people know Jesus as their personal Savior. We believe God wants many of these precious people to come to know Jesus this Christmas season, but we need your help to do that. Many of the events that we have been planning require your help and we are asking that each of you help in one or all of 3 ways:

1) Please Help By Praying . . .
Pray for our planning process that God would guide us to do what He wants us
to do and say what He wants us to say. Pray that we would "seize the day" as the Christmas season is the most natural time of the year for us to talk about the message of our great Savior. Pray for our awesome staff and team. Pray for those who we partner with in ministry. Pray for the thousands of people who will hear the message through our very words this year. Here are some of our planned events. Some have already happened and some are in process.
December 1 - Children's ESL Christmas Outreach
God has given us great access into our community through teaching English. We teach English to not only young people and adults but also to children. We teach about 50 children grades 1-6 every Saturday morning and we had an awesome time helping these precious ones celebrate Christmas. Pray that God would draw these little hearts to Him.

December 8 - Thai Church Children Christmas Celebration
- God has given us great access to several children's homes that are a vital part of our church family and give us a special opportunity to love on kids that come from very difficult family backgrounds. Please pray for God's blessings on Baan CFPM, Baan Eden, Baan Happy Home, and Baan Oon Rak and for the precious children and staff. Pray that we would continue to be a church family that loves people the way Jesus loves people and takes the love of Jesus into our community.

December 15 - Baan Athitaan Church's Main Christmas Evangelistic Program

We have decorated the church and as I write this, it is already the morning of Dec 15 here in Thailand and we have dozens of people here getting all the preparations in order for our program tonight. Please pray for a special touch from God. The theme is "Miracle of Love" and we have skits, dramas, music, a time to share the message of Christmas, and an evangelism booth. We want to be used of God to bring people closer to God and lead some even to the throne of Grace tonight. Please pray for us.

December 21 - Thai Youth Group Christmas Celebration
- We are blessed to be located very close to two universities in our city. We have always had a huge heart for reaching these young people and we will have a chance to bless them in a special way this year. Pray that God would bless these future leaders of Thailand. Pray for all of us who are involved in discipleship of these future leaders.

December 22 Morning - HIV/AIDS Christmas Outreach
- There are 30 young children and their families that are HIV infected that we try to minister to in a special way. This year, the hospital that we work with has asked us to host a Christmas celebration for them at the hospital. We are expecting to share the love and message of Jesus with over 100 people who are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Please pray that many would open their hearts to Jesus this year.

December 22 Evening - Christmas Caroling Outreach
- We will be going around in our community to various businesses and shops that we frequent, as well as some church members homes and singing Christmas carols.  

2) Please Help By Giving . . .
We are wanting to provide good quality evangelistic programs that touch the heart. We do not consider these "expenses" per se but rather "investments" into the lives of people for the Kingdom and glory of God. We are asking God to sell a few cows and send $6,000 to $10,000 to NTIM. Please prayerfully consider giving a donation to NTIM to help us cover our evangelism outreaches. Your financial investments allow us to be your hands and feet 24-7 here in the heart of the 10-40 Window.
3) Please Help By Telling Others Of This Opportunity To Help.
Many want to give in a special way at Christmas to a special cause that will really make a difference in people's lives. However, they just don't know where there is a need. This may be an opportunity for you to help your family and your friends know where their donation can make a huge difference for Jesus.
We are excited about all that God is doing on this side of the world and thanking God for each of you and your partnership with us for the sake of the gospel.  

Your Servants to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand for Jesus sake,
Michael for the family and the NTIM Team  

"...Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11
What is NTIM?
NTIM is a non-profit charitable organization with 501(C)(3) in the USA committed to connecting people in need with people who care. We are focused on 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.
There are 6 key things that NTIM does: 1) partner with churches to send "laborers" into the heart of the 10-40 window, 2) builds bridges to the lost through teaching English, 3) network with and assist children's homes in providing a church family for children at high risk of being trafficked, 4) care for those affected by HIV/AIDS,  5) make disciples, train nationals and facilitate church planting, and 6) coordinate the use of short term volunteers in Northern Thailand.  
On our own, we each can make a difference in the world, but collectively as a team we are a force for good that exponentially surpasses what we can do alone. You can make a difference by sending your donations to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL  35260 USA or by giving online at  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Project: SPORTS ART FOR MISSIONS-Update August 11, 2012

Greetings friends, family, and partners from the Northern part of Thailand. 

What great joy it brings my heart to get email from friends and loved ones. This week we received a special email from some very dear friends that we have known for over 20 years. These friends were active members of our church in Tuscaloosa (Emmanuel Baptist Church) when Hope and I were in college at the University of Alabama. The Donald Rush family and the Rick Rush family were very instrumental in our lives as young college students, and Don played a very special role in my life as a friend and mentor. It has been quite a long time since we have seen either of their families, but what a joy it brought to my heart to receive an email from Don this past week saying they have been thinking about us and praying for the ministry here in Northern Thailand.

These two families recently felt challenged after hearing a story about people raising and selling piglets to support missions in Nepal.  Don went on to say, “Rick and I do not have any pigs but we have lots of art. We want to offer you up to $10,000 of art to be used for your ministry.” 

Many of you on this email list know the Rush families but for those of you who do not, let me take a moment to say a word about their business  Rick is an extremely gifted professional sports artist based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Don helps market his work as the president of Jireh Publishing International.

Don has proposed a project called “Art for Missions” to help support NTIM’s ministry:

      Your supporters or any interested party can go to our website and pick the art out and we will ship it directly to them and 100% of the money will go directly to your ministry. …. Rick’s large serigraphs sell for approximately $800 each so if you had 12 people respond, you would be close to $10,000.”
As their website says, “The essence of sports is a fleeting moment of intense exuberance--life at its most exhilarating. At its best, sports art acknowledges yet counteracts life's brevity by allowing the viewer to savor the intensity of a moment in motion. Artist Rick Rush is a master of the Sports Art genre.” Art for Missions is a great opportunity to accomplish two things: (1) receive some fabulous sports paintings and (2) help up to $10,000 go directly to our missions work through NTIM. 

Please join me in praying that God will use “Art for Missions” to help raise much-needed funds for NTIM’s continuing outreach to this part of God’s needy world with the love and message of Jesus. If you know someone who loves sports, please feel free to forward this email to them. They may be interested in purchasing some of this great artwork while at the same time supporting God’s work here in Northern Thailand. 

Your Servants to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,

Michael for the team
You can also send donations to support God’s work to NTIM directly. All donations made are tax deductible and can be made either online at or mailed to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL  35260

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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Memories and Sad Goodbyes

I can’t believe that 2 years has narrowed down to less than 2 weeks!  There’s no way I can express everything I’m feeling right now, and there isn’t enough space in this update even if I tried.  But I will say this: My time here in Thailand has been unforgettable!  There are so many places, experiences, and people that will always be in my heart.  I’ve been blessed with many special memories that I will treasure for a lifetime.  God has taught me SO much and really stretched my faith during this journey.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything! 

This is a really bittersweet time for me.  While I’m beyond excited to go home and see my family and friends again, I can’t imagine saying good-bye to these people I’ve grown to love.  I wish I could fit all of them into my suitcases and take them home with me! (They’re small enough that they could fit!)  I’m sad to be leaving, but excited about what the future holds.  What does the future hold, you ask?  Well, that part isn’t so clear, yet.  I’ll be going back to Oklahoma for a while and reconnecting with people and readjusting to American culture.  During this time I’ll be working for a friend while praying for and expectantly awaiting God’s direction for what’s next.  I don’t know what it will be, but I know it will be good! 

Thank you to all who have prayed for me, encouraged me, and financially supported me during the last 2 years!  I can’t even begin to tell you what an important part you have played in my life!  Please continue to pray for me during the next couple weeks as I prepare to move home.  I will be very busy with work, finishing up “to-dos,” and saying good-byes.  I hope you will keep me in your prayers as I settle back into life in the states (some of you know that it is completely different from life here in Thailand!) and for God’s direction in this next part of my life. 

In Christ,

“Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, my servant also will be.”  John 12:26

Don’t forget to pray for NTIM!  I leave August 5th, and the Espy family leaves around the first of September.  Pastor Michael and his family will be the only missionaries left on the field for this ministry.  Our English language school, GLS, has reached its goal of 100 students, but soon we won’t have enough teachers to teach them!  As of right now, there are no prospective volunteers coming out.  Please pray for God to send more workers!      

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summertime = Teams!

It’s officially summertime in the U.S., which means it’s time for teams here in Chiang Rai!  We’re very excited about several teams and summer missionaries coming out to serve and be a part of our ministry!  

Some of last summer's volunteers
Our first summer missionaries, Liz Johnson (Pastor Michael’s daughter) and Dallas Vaughn, arrived on Friday the 25th and will be with us several weeks helping us out in many ways.  Our first team, Mt. Zion Baptist Church from Florence, MS, arrives tomorrow, the 31st.  Also serving with us this summer will be summer missionaries Nikki Crew and Adrienne Bridges, a team from First Baptist Church in Florence, MS, the Mississippi Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Team, and the Lupinacci family from Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. 

Our teams and summer missionaries will be involved in many different projects, including (but certainly not limited to!): prayer riding in Huay Khu village, teaching a B.I.B.L.E. training seminar for Hmong pastors, English Fun Days, teaching English at Grace Language School, Coffee House, an instructor course for Human Trafficking Rescuers, and an outreach mission to feed street children in the city of Mae Sai on the Thailand/Burma border. 

A church in Huay Khu village
Please pray for these people as God prepares them and works through them over the next couple months.  Also, please keep our staff in your prayers during this busy time, especially the Espy family as they oversee the teams and volunteers.   Most importantly pray that God will use the teams to make Jesus famous in Northern Thailand!  

*Special Prayer Request: Pastor Michael had hernia surgery yesterday morning (Tuesday, the 29th).  Everything went well and he is doing great.  Please pray for his recovery to be quick and painless! 

In Christ,
Kara for the team

“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.’”
                                              -Mark 16:15  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Summer Adventure English Camp

Last month, we took almost 90 kids to the mountains, the beach, and 4 foreign countries!  Well…ok, not literally, but we did use our imaginations to travel to these places during our Summer Adventure English Camp!  On March 21-23, we were blessed with the opportunity to build relationships with and show God’s love to children from many different backgrounds. 

A little more than half of the kids at our camp live in children’s homes, most of whom attend our church.  These children have been rescued from extreme poverty, sex trafficking, and/or abusive home situations.  The other half of our campers comes from the surrounding Chiang Rai community.  Many of these community children are students in our Saturday morning English classes.  Most of these kids are Buddhist and have no idea who Jesus is.  

God has given us at NTIM a huge opportunity and responsibility to reach out to children in Northern Thailand.  Teaching English provides a natural bridge to sharing the Gospel.  English Camps are a fun way to draw the kids in, build relationships with them, and love on them with the love of Christ. 

Please pray that the relationships built between the children and our staff and volunteers will continue to grow.  Also pray that the children saw Christ’s light shining through us during the camp and that seeds were planted. 

Please pray especially for people who love God, love people, and love teaching English to commit to serving at NTIM for 2 years or more.   The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 

In Christ,
Kara for the team

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Help Us Train Thai Partners - Jay Lee

I am in the planning stages of traveling to the Global Impact Conference (GIC) that I have the opportunity to participate in at my home church in Birmingham, AL at Shades Mountain Baptist Church every February. I am very grateful that my home church provides the resources needed for one of my family members to make this trip each year. Thank you Jeremy and Pastor Danny. It is a great time to celebrate missions and be renewed in our heart to serve the Lord in this very needy part of the world.

Over the last three years, at least one of our Thai staff has been able to travel with us to this conference. This has been a very good thing. It gives them a chance to be exposed to “church life” in America, new ways of doing things, and helps them work more effectively with our partner teams and volunteers that come out to Thailand to help the ministry.It is a very practical time of training our awesome Thai ministry partners.

This year as we prayed about whom the Lord would have us consider taking, the Lord made it clear to us that it should be Jay. The Lord gave me the privilege of baptizing Jay as a university student on October 21, 2007. Here is a video clip of that day.  

Jay is from a Hmong Village called Huay Khu where we have been parting with a small village church over the past several years at Christmas time to help their church reach out and win their village for Jesus.
Jay is a very bright young man that graduated with honors from Rachabhat University and felt the leadership of the Lord to join us on staff at Grace Language School and at Baan Athitaan Church after he graduated. He has been an active part of our team since November 17, 2009.

God has used Jay in tremendous ways while serving these past two years and we pray that God will continue to give Jay a heart to serve Him with us in the years ahead. Jay currently serves as our key Thai leader for Grace Language School as well as one of our key leaders at Baan Athitaan Church.

Recently we partnered with another organization to send Jay to Singapore for some leadership training. Now we would like for him to accompany me for some “on the job training” and be a part of several mission speaking opportunities where he will get to share firsthand what God has been doing in Northern Thailand.

We are writing to all of our family, friends, and supporters to give you a chance to be a special part of sending Jay to America through your prayers and through your giving. Even before I put this update together, God has been opening the door for Jay to go. Two weeks ago Jay traveled down to Bangkok to request a tourist visa from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok and the Embassy granted him 10 year visa!!!!

It will be a great blessing in Jay’s life and help him to know, to understand, and to serve our Lord better alongside internationals and international teams that come out to Thailand. We are anticipating that the total costs associated with Jay for this trip to be approximately $2,500. Would you like to express your love and affirmation of sending Jay to America by sending a donation to NTIM with the note “Send Jay.” It would really mean a lot to us and to Jay if we were able to raise all of this before we depart for the U.S. next week February 13. Thank you for helping provide the resources needed for NTIM to train Asians like Jay to reach our world for Jesus.

Your Servant to Nations in and Around Northern Thailand for Jesus,

Michael Johnson for the team
Donations can be sent to: Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM), P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL  35260 USA  Main Website:
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.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Outreach Update - January 9, 2012

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year!  Christmas time is very busy for us at NTIM!  We had many outreaches this year and a couple teams that came out to support us during these events.    Keep reading about what’s been going on!

Our Christmas actually started in November with a Christmas Party for Chinese students.   A team of 3 people came from Shades Mountain Baptist Church to help kick-off our new Chinese Ministry.  Also in November, our church helped with a Christmas outreach at Mae Fah Luang University where 36 students gave their hearts to Jesus!  To read more about this, go to:  

December was cram-packed with events!  A team of 10 from Singapore came to work with us for 10 days and God was really able to use them!  We had an HIV Christmas program at the same hospital we went to last Christmas.  We also had a Christmas outreach for the children from some of the children’s homes and a Coffee House Christmas Party for our Grace Language School students.  Our church Christmas Program was on the 17th and around 300-400 people came to watch performances, sing carols, hear about the birth of our Savior, and have dinner together.  It was a great time!  But that’s not all…

The day after the Christmas Program, we loaded up 2 Song-taos (truck taxis), a car, and a truck and drove 3 hours to Huay Khu village in the mountains.  This is the same village we went to last year.  We spent 3 nights in the village and did several outreaches while we were there, including, painting the church, prayer walking, an English Fun Day, and a Christmas Program.  When it was time to drive home, we were all tired and ready for beds and hot showers, but excited about the seeds God planted while we were there.

Back in Chiang Rai, we said good-bye to the Singapore team, went caroling to church members’ homes, and then had Christmas with our church family Sunday morning where we celebrated the baptisms of 8 new believers!  Here is the link if you want to read more about it:

God was definitely at work in December and He still is!  Please pray for the lives that were touched during the Christmas season.  Pray that God will continue to work in their hearts and that He will receive all the glory! 

It’s a new year and I can’t even express how excited I am about 2012!  It is a year of hope and possibilities for me, for our team, and for our ministry.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store! 

We need your support this year!  Your prayers, giving, and going are important to us and to the people of Northern Thailand.  If you would like to make a donation, come on a short-term mission trip, make a long-term commitment to serve with us, or find out other ways you can support us, please go to

In Christ,

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Harvest is Here ...

I have always loved December. Not only do I like the colder weather – yes, it does get cooler in December in Thailand, at least in Northern Thailand where we live. But the most important reason I like December is because it gives us a chance to truly reflect on the true meaning of “Emmanuel”- “God with us” and give us an opportunity to help other reflect on that meaning. 

Since we have lived in Thailand (it will be 13 years on Jan 13, 2012), we have come to realize that in Thailand, December is also harvest time. It is a time when millions of rice fields all over Thailand are bringing in the harvest of rice. Harvesting is much more fun than tilling the ground and preparing the soil for planting. But if we don’t prepare the soil properly and put the hard work into the soil, we will not reap the kind of harvest we desire. 
The same is true in the spiritual realm. Harvesting is much more fun than tilling the ground and preparing the soil for planting. But we must do the hard work of breaking up the soil and getting the fields ready for planting.
About 4 weeks ago we had our first Christmas evangelistic outreach on a university campus here in Northern Thailand and 36 university students gave their hearts to Jesus. The harvest was here but many people plowed the ground and worked the soil long before that harvest time came. You can read about this harvest in my  update on Dec 5, 2011 at the following link:

As we reflect on 2011, I am filled with humility that the God of the universe would allow a sinner like me to be a small part of reaching many nations for Jesus. God has allowed us to be involved in many different things over the last 12 years we have served in Thailand and one of the greatest blessings I continue to receive is the privilege of leading this awesome church God has planted in Northern Thailand called Baan Athitaan Church. What a great joy it was for us to baptize 8 new brothers and sisters in Christ this past Christmas morning. At least 3 of these 8 are the first persons in their entire families to become Christians and one of them is the first person in her entire village to be a believer.  Our church is full of 1st generation Christians from dozens of different people groups here in Asia. God has truly blessed us. 

For all of you who have prayed, who have come and served with us, who have given financially so our family and our other team members could serve, and who continue to support God’s work in Northern Thailand, we want you to know that God has used your resources to change the lives of many nations for Jesus sake in 2011. Thank you for giving to the Lord. We could not be here without your generous prayers and financial support.

Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples. Jesus told us to be the salt of the earth. Jesus told us to be the light of the world. Jesus told us to love those who persecute us and to pray for those who reject us. Jesus told us to share the gospel with the poor, the orphaned, the sick, the widows, and those who have never heard. That is what we have been all about in 2011 and commit to being about in 2012. May God use us together to make an even greater difference in 2012 all for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

Much Love & Prayers,

Pii Michael
Reaching, Teaching, Discipling, Equipping, Training, and Serving People in God's World through acts of love and compassionate for the sake and purpose of the gospel is what NTIM and our ministry team is all about. 
You can send donations to support God's work to NTIM. All donations made are tax deductible and can be made either online at or mailed to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 
NTIM is a non-profit charitable organization with 501(C)(3) in the USA. All of your donations to NTIM are tax deductible and help us connect people in need with people who care and send them to places where millions have never heard about Jesus. Checks can be made out to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 or online at