We are at a very critical and pivotal place in our ministry here in Northern Thailand and we are calling on all of our friends and partners to join us on May 6, 2015 for a day of fasting and prayer for NTIM’s “Beach Head Vision” land situation. We are asking you to join us and we would ask that you ask your friends who are missions minded to join us as well.
BACKGROUND NEED – GOD IS MOVING
As we have shared many times before. We are seeing God’s hand at work in the heart of South East Asia changing peoples’ lives like never before. Some of you joined us in our Season of Prayer at the end of 2013 & 2014 and know some of what I will be sharing but many of you need to hear a little more of the background in order to know how to pray with more insight. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not be able to stand against it.” One of the places God is building His church is in Chiang Rai, Thailand, right in the heart of dozens of unreached people groups and among millions and millions of people who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior.
God has chosen to use a small group of people living in Chiang Rai to make disciples from over 23 different identifiable people groups, most of whom are 1st generation believers. 1st generation believers are normally the first people in their entire families to become followers of Jesus.
What started as a small group of 8 believers in the Johnson home some 14 years ago has blossomed into a growing, thriving, community focused church called Baan Athitaan Church. Our church today is made up of people from over 23 identifiable people groups and involved in outreach/evangelistic ministries related to teaching English through Grace Language School (GLS), reaching out to university students, caring for those affected by HIV/AIDS, caring and ministering to various children’s homes, reaching out to the community and neighboring countries, reaching out through a growing soccer ministry that partners with some awesome folks from ABWE, and most importantly, committed to making disciples of all the peoples and nations God brings across our path.
We are very grateful for the partners and friends that God has surrounded us with including our partnership with various churches, and individuals all over the world who support the Johnson family and their team of partners in God’s work here in Northern Thailand.
NEED FOR MORE PERMANCY AND LOWER OVERHEAD COSTS
We have been very intentional these past 14 years in Chiang Rai to focus upon evangelism, discipleship and building the people of God into a family and have yet to purchase a piece of property and put up a physical structure of our own. We have spent the last 14 years investing our people and resources into making disciples, building a flock and creating various outreach platforms and ministries. As I shared with our prayer partners last year and want to repeat that again this year, we sense that it is God’s timing to now say to the darkness that ‘we are here to stay’ through the purchase of land and then by building a multi-purpose facility that will facilitate a greater ability to reach the nations for Jesus and will strengthen the integrity of the outreach platforms we have created already and will create in the days ahead as God leads.”
We have been using rented property for the last 14 years and we sense that it is time to tell the darkness we are here to stay by raising enough funds to purchase land and complete phase 1. God has planted the “church body” in a place in Northern Thailand that is strategically located between two major universities in Chiang Rai – Mae Fah Luang University and Rajabhat University where there are approximately 30,000 students between the two campuses. We originally anticipating the need to purchase between 2-3 rai of land (2.5 rai = 1 acre) for this specific project and estimate the cost of land to be somewhere around $166,666 U.S. dollars. I am pleased to say that God has given us more than we asked of Him. I am reminded of the passage in Ephesians 3:20 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” However, for almost a year now, we have run into road block after road block when it comes to getting a piece of land that we feel is appropriate.
We were very, very pleased to report about 1 year ago that God burdened the heart of a very sweet Thai lady that we met about 2 years ago to “donate” to us a piece of land she had previously purchased here in Chiang Rai. We had every intention of building our multi-purpose facility on this property and began the process of transferring the property from the owner’s name into the name of our foundation here in Thailand and then using our funds we had raised for the construction cost of Phase II. That transfer paperwork began in July of 2014. We have had numerous meetings with the local village and with government officials and have been unable to gain their approval of the transfer. Then last month we received a phone call from the government to withdraw our request for approval. To make a long story short, we have been very uncertain as to what the Lord was saying to us but in the end we must affirm that God is ruler over all the affairs of men and have come to conclude that this “piece of donated land” is not where God has in mind for us to build this Beach Head.
I must confess that we have only once before in our history of serving here in Thailand experienced what I would call clearly demonic opposition to God’s work but this has been the second experience.
The past few years have been filled with confirmation after confirmation that we are to move forward with building this Beach head for Jesus but the part that is still not clear is “where.”
All of you who know me well know that I am committed to doing what God wants to be done and will do it with all of my strength…but…. I want to always be careful that I am doing it God’s way and in God’s timing and where God wants it to be done. Something is just not quite right about this land and I wish I could put my finger on what is wrong but it is not that simple.
We are fully committed to seeing this vision from God take physical form but we do want to make sure it is in the location where God’s work can flourish and not be hindered. Without going into the details, let us just say it has been quite clear that this “donated” piece of property cannot be transferred to us and that we are now looking for another piece of property that will allow us to complete the work God has called us do.
WHAT WE SENSE WE NEED FOR YOU TO PRAY FOR ON MAY 6, 2015
Please pray for us as we seek to follow the leadership of our Lord in finding and purchasing the piece of property God wants us to have. The cost of property has continued to skyrocket and our original estimate of the cost of Phase 1 may be somewhat low. Here is an example of how we would ask you to pray today and then we would ask you to join us on May 6 for a day of Fasting and Prayer.
Prayer Example: “Lord, we have been reminded today of how You are at work building Your church in Northern Thailand. We thank You for allowing us who have been praying to be a part of seeing many young people give their hearts to Jesus. We thank You for allowing us to see how You are using 1st generation believers to reach and disciple other 1st generation believers. We thank You for Grace Language School and how you are using them to reach out not only to Thai people but to Chinese people and Laotian people, and Burmese people and many others. We do sense that it is Your time for them to establish a more permanent beach head and to say to the forces of darkness that God’s work through NTIM is there to stay. We ask that You would open the storehouses of heaven and provide NTIM with the needed resources in money and personnel and land to do all that You have put in their hearts to do. Please guide them as they seek for the piece of property that can best be utilized for Your purposes in that part of Your world. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.”
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR MAY 6 AND JOIN US AS WE FAST AND PRAY FOR NTIM’S LAND SITUATION throughout the day. We would suggest that you fast from at least one meal during that day or to make it a complete fast for the whole day. Thank you for your love.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR “BEACH HEAD” PROJECT– WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR ALL THE GENEROUS DONATIONS THAT HAVE COME IN OVER THE PAST YEAR. If you have not given and would like to give, we are still taking donations because we will still have building expenses to think about. We are asking all of our friends and partners who have not yet given to this project to please pray about giving to this very strategic cause. We are requesting that all funding from the U.S.A. or other countries outside of Thailand for this specific project be routed through NTIM. All of your donations to NTIM are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to NTIM, P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 or you may donate online at www.gontim.org
Your Servants to the Nations in and Around Northern Thailand,
Michael for the Team
Donations can be sent to:
Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM),
Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM),
P.O. Box 26115, Birmingham, AL 35260 USA
or given online at our main website:
or given online at our 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.
Reaching, Teaching, Discipling, Equipping, Training, and Serving People in God’s World in the heart of Southeast Asia through acts of love and compassionate is what NTIM and our ministry team is all about. Here is a video summary of our work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBYHjbnn8zE#t=60