Today is Day 3 of our Season of Prayer and 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.
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
We want to testify of the truth of Habakkuk 1:5 as it relates to Northern Thailand. 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 even though they worked very hard for the glory of God, but let me say very clearly and for the Glory of God THAT IS NOT WHAT WE ARE SEEING. We have seen hundreds of Thai people give their heart to Jesus in the last 16 years. Not just Thai people, but we have also seen dozens of Chinese, Laotians, and Burmese give their hearts to Jesus as well.
We studied the Central Thai language in Bangkok for the first 2 years in Thailand and then moved to the city of Chiang Rai in the far northern part of Thailand to begin new work and have lived in Chiang Rai now for 13 years.
Before we first moved up to Chiang Rai, we sensed God wanted us to begin His work planting an urban based purpose driven model community church by opening an English language school that started as the Lighthouse Language Center. We called our vision “OPERATION CHIANG RAI.” We worked hard to get all the right paperwork in order and submitted to the government and with the blessing of God we officially began teaching English at the Lighthouse Language Center on September Lighthouse Language Center was the beginning of what has now become Grace Language School (GLS) 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 all of our beginning team members faithfully teaching English and reaching out into the community and sharing the love of Jesus, we finally saw the first two Thai people – Peat and Mint - give their hearts to Jesus through our ministry during one of our first Christmas celebrations in Chiang Rai in 2003. Here is a picture that was taken on the day that both Peat and Mint gave their hearts to Jesus. At that time we had no idea just how significant the celebrations and evangelistic efforts at Christmas would be to God’s work here in Thailand.
What a great day that was. Today Peat works as an English teacher in a local school. But on the day she gave her heart to Jesus, on that day Peat was a teenager and a student at the Lighthouse Language Center and became the first person in her entire family to become a Christian. That was 12 years ago. The picture of the baptism here has very special meaning to us because on that day both Peat and Mint were baptized, but our son Joshua was also baptized on that day in the Mae Gok River in Chiang Rai, Thailand just minutes from our home today.
Since that beginning move of God in 2003, we have seen many hundreds of Thai people give their hearts to Jesus and most of them are like Peat, the first person in their entire family to become Christians. Our church – Baan Athitaan Church - is full of first generation Christians. We have truly seen God moving here in Northern Thailand. We have also included a link for you to watch a short baptism of a dear friend we know as Pii Pete who was baptized two years ago so that you can get a glimpse of what God is doing. Pii Pete is also a first generation believer and the first in his entire family to receive believer’s baptism and God has now sent Pii Pete to another province with his work and he is learning what it means to be a fisher of men. 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 that you would continue to use Grace Language School and the teaching of English to reach this new generation of young people. We also thank you for the community church You have established in Baan Athitaan Church and ask that you would use them this Christmas season to take the message of our Savior to thousands who have never heard. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.”