Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 4 of 35 Days of Prayer - Sunday, December 1, 2013



Today is Day 4 of our 35 Day Spiritual Adventure of getting to know and then actively praying for Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM) and all of the various unreached people groups in and around Northern Thailand. Please join us and invite your friends to join us for this great time of seeking the face of God on behalf of millions who have never heard the message of our Lord Jesus.

DAY 4 - December 1, 2013 - "Thailand-Home to Over 70 Different Unreached People Groups.”
 
When most people think of the country of Thailand, they mistakenly think that the Thai people are all from of specific people group where everyone speaks the central Thai language in their homes. However, that simply and very clearly is not the case. Yes, most citizens of Thailand can speak central Thai but ethnically, linguistically, and culturally, Thailand is made up of between 80 - 100 different people groups. It is true that the Central Thai are the largest people group in Thailand with a population of around 20,000,000 according to Joshua Project statistics. However, what that also means is that out of the 70,000,000 people in Thailand, 71% are from a different ethnic group than the Central Thai group. What that means is that 71% of the Thai people speak a different language in their homes with their families and close friends than they do when they are in public or in school.
 
We live in the far Northern part of Thailand where there are dozens and dozens of different ethnic groups living here, some of them from neighboring countries as close as a 45 minute drive from our home. I can be at the border of Laos and the border of Myanmar (former Burma) in less than 45 minutes. I can be at the border of China in less than 6 hours by car. We truly are strategically located in a place with a great diversity of unreached people groups living all around us. Our church, Baan Athitaan Church, is a true community church made up of over 23 different people groups that meet together for worship every Sunday morning.
 

Prayer Example: “Heavenly Father, we thank you for the rich diversity of people groups in Thailand. We also thank you for planting a community church right in the heart of Northern Thailand and ask that you would help them to embrace the whole community. We ask you to be pleased to expand the impact of NTIM to these various unreached peoples and give NTIM an opportunity to be a vessel that you are pleased to use to reach many of the unreached ethnic groups in this part of your world. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 3 of 35 Days of Prayer for NTIM - Saturday, Nov 30, 2013



Today is Day 3 of our 35 Day Spiritual Adventure of getting to know and then actively praying for Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM) and all of the various unreached people groups in and around Northern Thailand. Please join us and invite your friends to join us for this great time of seeking the face of God on behalf of millions who have never heard the message of our Lord Jesus.

DAY 3 - November 30, 2013 - "God Is Working In Thailand."
One of my favorite passages is found in the book of Habakkuk. Listen to what God’s Word says in chapter 1, verse 5. “Look among the Nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5

God is doing some amazing things in our day in this country we call Thailand. Many of the former missionaries in Thailand saw very few people come to know Christ but let me say very clearly and for the Glory of God THAT IS NOT WHAT WE ARE SEEING. We have lived in Thailand for the last 14 years. We studied the Central Thai language in Bangkok for 2 years and then moved to the city of Chiang Rai in the far northern part of Thailand to begin new work and have lived here for 12 years.
 
When we first moved up here we sensed God wanted us to begin His work by opening an English language school that started as the Lighthouse Language Center but has now become Grace Language School which is owned and operated by NTIM’s sister foundation in Thailand called Channel of Blessing Foundation. 

After two years of living in Chiang Rai and faithfully teaching English and reaching out into the community and sharing the love of Jesus, we finally saw the first Thai person give their heart to Jesus through our ministry. What a great day that was. She is an English teacher today and it is a special joy when she has the opportunity to translate for me in Sunday worship at Baan Athitaan Church. But on the day she gave her heart to Jesus, on that day she was a teenager and a student at our English language school and became the first person in her entire family to become a Christian. That was at Christmas time 10 years ago. This is a picture of her baptism.

Since that time, we have seen many hundreds of Thai people give their hearts to Jesus and most of them are the first persons in their entire families to become Christians. Our church is full of first generation Christians. We have included a link for you to watch a short baptism of our latest baptism of a dear friend we know as Pii Pete who was just baptized a couple of weeks ago. He is also a first generation believer and the first in his entire family to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. The link is found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYjM93EldyY&feature=youtu.be  

God is truly working here in Northern Thailand. Would you pray for God to continue to move in this part of God’s world and that these first generation believers would follow Jesus and become great fishers of men to their families, friends, neighbors and even be willing to take the gospel to neighboring countries. Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt 4:19

Prayer Example: “Oh, Lord of Heaven and earth, we sense that you are moving in Northern Thailand. We want to ask that you would be pleased to use these new first generation believers and help them to become good followers and disciples. We ask that you would help them to grow in their love for you and reach out to their families, friends, and villages and even go into other neighboring countries in this part of Your world with the love and message of Jesus. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DAY 2 of 35 DAYS OF PRAYER - Fri, November 29, 2013


Today is Day 2 of our 35 Day Spiritual Adventure of getting to know and then actively praying for Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM) and all of the various unreached people groups in and around Northern Thailand. Please join us and invite your friends to join us for this great time of seeking the face of God on behalf of millions who have never heard the message of our Lord Jesus.

DAY 2 - November 29, 2013 - "God Uses Ordinary People."
When God is about to do something extra ordinary, He looks to see if He can find some ordinary person whose heart belongs to God and who will be obedient and do the thing God wants to be done. We see this when we look at the life of Abraham, or the life of Noah, or the life of Moses, and the lives of many men and women God used in the Bible.  God’s Word says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His....” 2 Chronicles 16:9. 

When God finds someone who is willing to do what God wants to get done, God extends an invitation to that person to join Him in what God is doing. God extended that invitation to me (Michael Johnson) and my family some 16 years ago as I was on a business trip to Thailand for Sharp Manufacturing Company of America. I am an ordinary guy from Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the USA and do not have anything special about me except that I have given my heart to Jesus and been touched by an extra ordinary God and am willing to be used for God’s purposes. I was only in Thailand for a few days on that business trip some 16 years ago, but I was in Thailand long enough to realize that the message of Jesus was not reaching most Thai people in a way that God desired. 

On that short trip, I did not meet one Christian, did not see one church, and did not see any evidence that the Thai people had a chance to hear the most important story of Jesus ever told. Shortly after that trip, after many confirmations that God wanted us to move to Thailand and serve the Thai people, our family sold our home, cars, etc. and boarded a plane bound for Thailand. We landed in Thailand on January 13, 1999 and have served the Lord here since that time. 

God truly wants to use ordinary people like you and me, but we must be willing to make our lives available for Him to use them. God isn’t interested in us coming up with some great thing we want to do for God. No, God is more interested in us willing to embrace the great plans He already has for our lives. It reminds me of when Isaiah said to the Lord, “Here I am Lord, Send me.” In other words, “Lord, if you want me to go, I am willing. Whatever you want from my life, I am willing to do that because I love you and because I recognize that your plans are better than my plans.”

Prayer Example: “Oh, Heavenly Father, thank you for placing a little of your love for the Thai people in the hearts of the Johnson family. Please continue to lead them and guide them as they seek to lead the work of NTIM on the field. Help them to understand your plans for reaching the nations in and around Northern Thailand. We ask you to help them to follow your plans and to encourage others to join you in what you want to do through NTIM in the days ahead. May you be pleased to call out others to go and serve You through NTIM who are willing to let You use them in extra ordinary ways to reflect your love and mercy to millions who have never heard your message. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DAY 1 of 35 DAYS OF PRAYER - Thurs, November 28, 2013

Today is the beginning of a 35 Day Spiritual Adventure of getting to know and then actively praying for Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM) and all of the various unreached people groups in and around Northern Thailand. Please join us and invite your friends to join us for this great time of seeking the face of God on behalf of millions who have never heard the message of our Lord Jesus.

DAY 1 - November 28, 2013 - "God's Heart For The Nations."

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we find a consistent thought pattern that communicates the message that God loves all of the peoples in every part of God’s world. We also find passages like Eccl 3:11 that says, “He (God) has set eternity in their hearts (hearts of humans everywhere)…” God truly has placed in the heart of every man, woman, and child, in every place on the earth and desire to know the true and living God. But not everyone in God’s world has heard this great message.

My family (the Johnsons) lives in a place in God’s world where millions of people have never heard the message of Jesus and have been trapped in thought patterns and ancient traditions that have kept them from the light of the gospel for thousands of years. 

But we are asking you to join us in seeking the mercy and grace of God to penetrate this darkness with the light and love of Jesus. This is a 35 day spiritual adventure of learning about and battling the forces of darkness – through informed and fervent praying - on behalf of all the peoples living in and around Northern Thailand.

As we begin this 35 Day Spiritual Adventure of Praying for N.T.I.M (Northern Thailand Impact Ministry) and all of the peoples in and around Northern Thailand, we want to begin this spiritual journey by seeking the face of the Almighty God and asking Him to give us the Nations that are in and around Northern Thailand. The Psalmist wrote this , “Ask of Me, and I Will Surely Give You the Nations….” Psalm 2:8.

Prayer Example: “Oh, Heavenly Father. We know that You have set eternity in the hearts of the hundreds of unreached people groups living in and around Northern Thailand. We pray and ask that You might be pleased to use NTIM and their partners to take the gospel and message of Jesus to them. Help them to be your salt and your light. Help them to be your hands and your feet. We pray this in Jesus name and for the sake of His Kingdom. Amen.”

Celebrating Baptism with the Makkun Family in Northern Thailand

As I shared with you in our update just a couple of days ago, God is changing lives!!! I thought I would share the experience of Baptism for another 1st Generation Believer in Thailand. Here is the video clip

As I shared with you in our update just a couple of days ago, God is changing lives!!! It is always a joy to share the experience of Baptism with a new believer, especially when that believer is the first one in his entire family to be baptized! Let that sink in. Not one person in the entire Makkun family or their ancestors up to this point had given their heart to Jesus and followed the Lord in Believer's baptism. Not one. No parent. No grandparent. No great grandparent. No great, great grandparent. No not one. 
 
This is what I call a "FIRST GENERATION BELIEVER" and our church in Northern Thailand called Baan Athitaan Church is full of them. All 4 of our full time Thai national partners are first generation believers. Your prayers and donations to NTIM are truly making a difference in peoples lives. Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matt 4:19
 
Here is the video clip of Pii Pete who followed the Lord in believer’s baptism last week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYjM93EldyY&feature=youtu.be

Monday, November 25, 2013

Transforming Thailand - One Life At A Time - Update November 26, 2013



As I write this update, I am sitting at my desk in Northern Thailand, drinking a cup of coffee, and thinking about all that God is doing here in Northern Thailand and all that we desire to do this Christmas season to make the name of Jesus famous here and to touch God’s World with the love of Jesus.

 *GOD IS AT WORK CHANGING LIVES

It is always a joy to share the experience of Baptism with a new believer. Here is a picture of Pii Pete who followed the Lord in believer’s baptism last week.

Please remember to pray for Pii Pete. He has become a very dear friend and is learning to walk with God and lead His family in God’s ways. God has opened a door for him to go back to his home town of Nakorn Sawan and work. Pray that he would continue to follow Jesus and become a great “fisher of men.” Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

*GOD IS OPENING DOORS TO PLOW NEW GROUND IN LAOS

I shared with you in our last update that God was opening doors to go into a new neighboring country to teach English. What a great opportunity that was just a last month. We are so grateful for an awesome team from a partner church in Tuscaloosa, Al – my place of birth – that came in October to work with our language platform and go into Laos, yes, that is right, the closed country of Laos.    
 
We put on a 3 day teacher training program for the ministry of education of Laos in their top teacher’s college in the nation. We see this as a first step of being salt and light in that very needy country. Please know that your prayers and your financial support are being used to take the light of Jesus into many very dark places. But the economy has seriously affected our resources and we are getting ready for our largest evangelistic events of the season – CHRISTMAS OUTREACH

*THE U.S. ECONOMY HAS SERIOUSLY AFFECTED OUR CONTRIBUTIONS 

As our NTIM board met together many weeks ago, our treasurer shared an alarming statistic with our board members that I feel strongly that I should share with you. He shared that just two years ago in 2011 we had 103 individual or church supporters that gave financially to NTIM. In 2012 that number dropped from 103 to 73 supporters. And for 2013 that number has dropped now to 3 0. Wow. This is NOT a good thing. 

The Bible clearly teaches that God is in control of all the affairs of men and that sometimes He allows bad things to happen to get our attention and to all us the opportunity to experience God’s provisions in a special way. We believe this is one of those times. We do not want to simply maintain the ministry God has put in our charge, but we want to expand the kingdom of our awesome Lord into many countries in this part of God’s World. Would you join us in praying for God’s provisions for NTIM during this critical time? We do not believe that what we are experiencing is an accident and we want to see the mighty hand of our Lord. So, we are asking all of our friends and supporters to join us in seeking God for 35 consecutive days of Prayer beginning this Thursday, November 28, 2013.

 *THE PLEASE JOIN US IN A 35 DAY SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE of getting to know and praying for N.T.I.M. and the various unreached peoples of Southeast Asia - Nov 28 to Dec 31, 2013 

We are in the final stages of planning a 35 Days of Prayer (A Season of Prayer) of getting to know the work of NTIM and joining God in praying for millions of people from many different unreached people groups all over Southeast Asia. We are planning to begin on November 28 (Thanksgiving in the USA) and will pray through the end of this year with our last prayer request/update on December 31, 2013. Let’s close this year out right…. ON OUR KNEES PRAYING FOR WHAT IS ON GOD’S HEART.

 *UPCOMING CHRISTMAS OUTREACH PLANS

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.

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.

Reaching, Teaching, Discipling, Equipping, Training, and Serving people in the heart of South East Asia through acts of love and compassionate and through the teaching of God’s Word is what NTIM and our ministry team is all about.

Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

Your Servants to the Nations in and around Northern Thailand,

Michael for the team

------------------------------------------------------------
You can send donations to support God’s work to NTIM. All donations made are tax deductible and can be made either online at www.gontim.org or mailed to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL  35260