Saturday, November 28, 2015

GOD IS WORKING IN THAILAND - Season of Prayer Day 3 - November 29, 2015

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:  

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.”

God Uses Ordinary People To Accomplish His Work - Season of Prayer Day 2 - November 28,2015

Today is Day 2 of our 36 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.
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. I will be the first to tell you that I do not think of myself as anything special or having anything special to give God. But for whatever reason was in the heart of God, I  believe that God extended a special invitation to me (Michael Johnson) and my family some 18 years ago while 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 18 years ago, but I was in Thailand long enough to realize that the message of Jesus was not reaching most Thai people.

On that short business trip, I did not meet one Christian. I did not see one church. I did not see any evidence that the Thai people had a chance to hear the most important story of Jesus ever told. That realization broke my heart and God began to speak to my heart about joining God in bringing this message of hope to the Thai people. Shortly after that trip, following many confirmations that God was leading 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 in Thailand since that time. Below is a picture of our family before we left for the field while we were at the missionary learning center in Virginia.

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 being 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. We also pray that you would be pleased to call out others to go and serve You through NTIM. The fields are ripe for the harvest but the laborers are truly few. Please raise up others to go and join you in what you are doing in and through NTIM and their partners. We pray this in the name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

God's Heart For The Nations - November 27, 2015

35 Day Spiritual Adventure of Getting to Know and to Pray for Northern Thailand Impact Ministry and all the people groups in and around Northern Thailand. 

“Ask of Me, and I Will Surely Give You the Nations…..” Psalm 2:8

DAY 1 – November 27 – “God’s Heart For the Nations.”

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in my home country of the United States and a great time to reflect on the goodness of God and to thank Him for His provisions for our lives and in our ministry to some of the least reached in and around Northern Thailand. 

Today, as I write this first prayer update for this Season of Prayer, I am sitting in a school in a village way up in the mountains about a 3 hour drive from the city of Chiang Rai, Thailand where I live and serve the Lord. We have an awesome team from Gloucester Baptist Church in Australia that is here this week helping us share the message of Jesus with some of the least reached people in this part of God’s World. 

For the past couple of years we have chosen to ask you to join us in a Season Of Prayer for God’s Work here and we ask that you would join us each day and read out updates and join us in seeking the throne of God on our behalf. In each of these updates we will share with you some aspect of how God is using Northern Thailand Impact Ministry (NTIM) and its partners to engage some of the least reached people groups in and around Northern Thailand. We invite you to ask your friends and any small group you are a part of to join us for this great time of seeking the face of God on behalf of the millions and millions of people who have never heard the message of Jesus.

"It all Begins With God And With God's Heart For The Nations." Day 1 – November 27, 2015
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 a desire to know the true and living God. But not everyone in God’s world has heard this great message.

When we look very clearly in the original Greek at the great commission as seen in Matthew 28:19 we find that the great commission has a specific target audience that is on God’s heart and mind that need to be engaged, and specifically that is the “unreached people groups” of the world. Jesus said to go and make disciples of “all the nations.” All the nations is from the Greek “Panta Ta Ethne” and “ethne” is the Greek Word where we get our English word “ethnic” and for all practical purpose, what our Lord Jesus was saying was “Go and make disciples of all the unreached people groups (UPGs) of the world.” Jesus wasn’t thinking in terms of geo-political countries, no, He was thinking in terms of ethnic and linguistic people groups. You see, the great commission is all about God and His heart for the unreached peoples of the world.

My family has lived the last 16 years in the heart of Southeast Asia 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. There are over 70 different unreached people groups in the country of Thailand alone. Your heart and your prayers are needed. 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 SEASON OF PRAYER is really a 30+ 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 including all the unreached people groups in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, and China. This SEASON OF PRAYER is a significant task we are asking you to do.

As we begin this 36 Day SEASON OF PRAYER 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 see on the map how Northern Thailand is strategically located to reach many other nations in that part of Your World. We pray and ask that You might be pleased to use NTIM and those who partner with NTIM to take the gospel and message of Jesus to the hundreds of Unreached People Groups living among them especially in this upcoming Christmas season. Help them to be your salt and your light and to begin breaking down the barriers of resistance that have kept them from opening their heart to our great Savior Jesus. We pray this in Jesus name and for the expansion of His Kingdom. Amen.”

Friday, November 6, 2015


This is one of the most important times of the year where God allows us to engage some of the least reached people groups in the entire world with the gospel. But we need your prayers. We will be leaving early in the morning and taking over 20 university students with us to a Hmong village about 3 hours from where we have the awesome opportunity to share the love and message of Jesus with people who have never heard the message of Jesus before in their entire life. We will be doing one of our Christmas Evangelism Outreaches to this village which is the home of one of our key national partners that many of you know as Pii Jay. 

This is a picture of Jay. Jay is one of our key leaders who has been serving along side of us for many years now in several different roles. Jay serves as our Thai Administrator for Grace Language School. He serves as one of our key translators for Baan Athitaan Church. Jay serves as our Minister to University Students at Baan Athitaan Church and serves as one of our key Youth mentors He also started and leads our Baan Athitaan Church soccer outreach as well.  
Jay came to know Jesus through our ministry at Baan Athitaan Church when Jay was a student at Rajabhat University.  Shortly after he began attending Baan Athitaan Church services, Jay gave his heart to Jesus. What a great joy it was for me to baptize Jay on Oct 21, 2007 along with Nong Wan – another 1st generation believer from the Karen PWO unreached people group. Here is the link to a short 5 minute video clip of their baptismal service. 

God has given NTIM great access to many different people groups and one of those people groups is the Hmong Dao of Thailand. Jay is from this unreached people group. In the last 10 years we have taken several 3 hour trips to Jay’s home village and partnered with a small church there to help them reach out to the entire village at Christmas time. Here is another short 4 minute video clip of our trip to Huay Khu Village several years ago.
There are 37,000 Hmong Dao living in Northern Thailand but there is a total world population of this people group of over 1 million people. According to Joshua Project statistics there are some 1,422,000 living today primarily in China, Laos, and Vietnam but also a large number living in the USA.

Jay deeply loves the Lord and wants to serve Him with all his heart. We would ask that you join us in praying for Jay and for NTIM’s work among the Hmong Dao people group.

Prayer Example: “Lord, thank You for loving us enough to send someone into our lives to tell us about the gospel. We thank You for loving Jay enough to send someone into his life to tell him about the gospel. We thank You for loving others enough to send people like Jay into the lives of others to tell them about the gospel. We want to take this moment and ask You to bless Jay in a very special way. Help him to be salt and light in all that he does. Help him as he serves You faithfully as a key leader at Grace Language School, Baan Athitaan Church, and as a representative of NTIM. We ask that You would be pleased to use him to help reach his family, his friends, his neighbors, his own people group, and even other people groups. Thank You for his work with NTIM and how he faithfully serves You each and every day. We pray that You would give him great love and wisdom as he pours his life into discipling young university students there in Northern Thailand. We pray this in Jesus name.

We also want to pray for NTIM's outreach this weekend to the village in Huay Khuu. We pray for You to use the young people from Baan Athitaan Church there in Chiang Rai as they reach out to this village for the sake of the gospel. May you be pleased to use these folks for your glory.

We also pray that you would provide the resource in both finances and in personnel to expand NTIM’s outreach to the Hmong Dao living in and around Northern Thailand and especially as NTIM begins to engage this people group in a more strategic and purposeful way in 2016. We pray that you would raise up people and partner churches to help engage this unreached people group for Jesus in 2016. May your kingdom come and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray this in Jesus name and for His glory. Amen”

Psalm 2:8 says, "Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth as Your possession."