As the Vice President and Director of Field Operations for NTIM, here is my prayer for Donald Trump as he takes the office of President today.
"Heavenly Father, I come before You on behalf of my President, Donald Trump. I put my total faith and trust in You, God. I trust You as an all-knowing, all-powerful God who sees everything from the beginning of time through to eternity. I call out to You, the Triune God. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. I pray that out of Your magnificence, You will guard and protect President Trump. I pray that You would continue to work in his heart and that You would help him to surrender his heart to Your's in every area of his life and work. I am reminded in Your Word where You tell us that it is Your kindness that leads men to repentance. I pray for Your kindness in his life. I pray that You will use Him to bring about Your purposes and Your plans for this country of my birth. I stand with millions and millions of other Americans who put their faith in You. I pray protection for his family against physical danger and the destructive darts of the enemy that come from those who oppose You and Your purposes and the clear teaching of Your Word. I pray for Your peace that passes all understanding to be upon him. I pray favor and grace to pour out upon him in abundance as he learns to grow towards greater humility and learns greater submission to You. I pray that You would speak to him through dreams and visions, godly counsel, but especially Your Holy Word so that Your wisdom that goes beyond his own natural abilities will help lead our country. I pray for Your Spirit to work in all of our hearts to see that if Your people will humble themselves and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will bring healing to our land. I recognize that He may not be all that I want him to be morally as my leader, but I also recognize that no one on this earth is worthy to be in any position of leadership even in churches but it is because of Your grace and Your mercy that we are given positions of leadership not because of our own moral right standing that we have earned, but because of the grace and mercy that we find in our relationship with Jesus. I stand with Donald Trump and chose to be obedient to Your Word to honor him because he is my President and because I not only tell others that You are ruler over all the affairs of men, but I believe it and desire to practice that belief in the way I live my life and in how I speak my words. May You, Oh God, bless America and May You, the Creator of the heavens and earth, bless Donald Trump. May Your kindness be upon His presidency for the Glory of God and the accomplishment of Your purposes on the earth. I pray these things In Jesus Name. Amen"
Friday, January 13, 2017
Today is a very special day in my life and I before I tell you about that, let me tell you want I want to do in this update. I want to do two thing: 1) I want to ask you to celebrate with us 18 years in Thailand and 2) I want to give you an update on our “Beach Head Vision” and land situation.
1. CELEBRATING 18 YEARS OF “Life” and “ministry” in Thailand.
It is with a deep sense of humility and gratefulness to God, to my family, to my friends, to my church family at “Shades Mountain,” to our partner churches, to my Thai church family including my awesome Thai staff, to all the people who have worked with me over the years, to all the great volunteers that have come to help, and to all those who believe in us and the work we are doing and have become “donors” and “financial partners in ministry,” and last but not least to those who faithfully bring us before the great throne of grace on a regular basis and some even on a daily basis, it is with this sense of humility and gratefulness to God and to you that today, January 13, 2017, the Johnson family celebrates 18 years of “life” and “ministry” in Southeast Asia in the beautiful country of Thailand. What an awesome journey and adventure of faith it has been for all of us but especially for me.
On this day, 18 years ago, on January 13, 1999. Hope, me, Jessica (9 years old at the time), Elizabeth (6 years old at the time), Joshua (1 year old at the time), and Caleb (in mommy’s tummy 7 months already at the time) landed at the airport in Bangkok, Thailand for the beginning of an incredibly life changing awesome journey of joining God in His desire to make disciples from dozens of unreached people groups that are currently living in the geographical area that today we call Northern Thailand. In years past Northern Thailand was known by many other names including the famous Lanna Kingdom which ruled this part of God’s world many hundreds of years ago.
Over these 18 years in Thailand, we have seen God’s hand of leadership and blessings, and have seen God at work in unprecedented ways to bring the light of the gospel of Jesus and to light up this part of God’s world through the power of the Spirit of God and the Word of God. We have seen hundreds of people from dozens and dozens of unreached people groups become the first persons in their entire families to become followers of Jesus. We have had the chance to disciple and mentor many of these folks and equip them and see them grow and live out their faith for the glory of God and for the advancement of His kingdom.
I truly am humbled that God would chose and allow this unworthy broken vessel to be “remade new again” and be allowed the honor of joining the King of Kings and Lord of Lord in helping to further His Kingdom in this place, among these peoples, and in such a time as this.
Please celebrate with us these awesome 18 years but do not think that we are too old or that God is finished with us yet. I personally believe that God is really just getting started and is moving us more into a deeper level of training, and equipping than we have had before which leads me to share with you the second part of what I wanted to share regarding the Vision and land update.
2. BEACH HEAD VISION and LAND update.
Please bear with me and let me “tell the story” especially for those of you who are new to our work and have not heard about our vision for the days ahead. I am “wordy” but I like to paint the picture with words.
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. God is giving us great access through our English language platform to some of the least reached peoples in all of Asia and your donations and partnership with us are truly making an impact for the Kingdom of God.
Many of you have been praying about our land situation and in our last update we announced the good news that on June 20, 2016, we signed a contract to purchase a piece of land that we believe is right for us. We have made a deposit on the land and the owner has started the process of getting all the paperwork in order to transfer ownership to our foundation so that we can complete Phase I of our Beach Head Vision.
However, we have entered a time that is “FRUSTRATING” to say the least, even for some of you who have given toward this very worthy cause. It is now January 13, 2017, 7 months since the date that we signed the contract and we are still waiting on the department of land to transfer the ownership of land to our foundation here in Thailand. One of the extremely frustrating things for me is in knowing that we have partners in ministry already in Alabama and Mississippi who have committed to helping us with our labor and construction of this beach head facility and who are ready, willing, and some even "chomping at the bid” (which we are very grateful for) to schedule a time to come and begin that aspect of partnership and yet…. I cannot give any schedule because the land department has not approved the land transfer yet.
I don’t know all the reasons why it is taking so long but I do know this: God is ruler over all the affairs of men and sometimes God allows circumstance to come that cause us to “wait” in order to test us and to see if we are going to either 1) push the door down with our own strength and effort or 2) allow that frustration to lead us to do some self reflection on what are possible reasons that God has allowed the situation to be such and maybe one of those reasons is like what Henry Blackaby calls in his book Experiencing God when he talks about a “Crisis of Belief.”
This crisis of belief allows us the opportunity to make any major adjustments in the way we have been doing things and to seek God and then to watch God do what only God can do. That is where I believe that we are today. We met with the owner of the land yesterday and had a very good meeting. In the meeting, she shared with us that the government is building a new highway on the edges of the developer’s property and the government even asked the developer for a portion of land. What I interpreted from that information was that this property that is now under contract to us and is close to this piece of land where the government wants to build a highway, will give our facility greater visibility and greater access once the road is built.
I think God is working behind the scenes but we must, must, must be patient and let God do what He wants to do. We have all the money we need to buy this land, but we do not have any money set aside today for construction which is part of Phase II. Maybe God wants us to do our part in putting this on the radar of our partners in ministry like you.
What started out with a small group of 8 believers in the Johnson home implementing a “dream” and “vision” of an English language school as a platform to bless the community and to facilitate the planting of a strong purpose driven community church some 16 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, serving as a first responder church to natural disasters, and most importantly, making disciples of all the peoples and nations God brings across our path.
NEED FOR MORE PERMANENCY AND LOWER OVERHEAD COSTS
We have been very intentional these past 16 years after we finished language school in Bangkok and moved up North to Chiang Rai to focus upon evangelism, discipleship and building the people of God into a family. We have yet to purchase a piece of property and put up a physical structure of our own. We have spent the last 16 years investing our people and resources into making disciples, building a flock and creating various outreach platforms and ministries. As I have shared with you before, 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 that will strengthen the integrity of our outreach platforms.
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. I am very careful to be a good steward of the finances that you have entrusted to us to manage.
We are at a time of celebration of 18 years in Thailand but we are also at a time where we must not falter and must move toward advancing the kingdom of God in Thailand and we cannot do that without you (through your prayers, your donations, and your volunteer trips) and we cannot do that without the blessing and leadership of God.
WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR ALL THE GENEROUS DONATIONS THAT HAVE CAME IN OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS THAT HAVE GIVEN US THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE THIS LAND WITHOUT ANY DEBT. Once the land purchase has been finalized, we will begin Phase II of raising support for the building process and begin making plans for teams to come over from the US to help us build. If you have not given and would like to give toward phase II, we are taking donations for Phase II that will go toward building expenses.
Please pray for us as we seek to follow the leadership of our Lord in moving this process toward what we believe is God’s Beachhead Vision for NTIM’s future through finalizing the purchase of this new piece of property and in beginning the Phase 2 process of raising money for construction and planning volunteer construction teams coming to help us build. Here is an example of how we would ask you to pray today.
P.S. We started a new sermon series that we believe will be a blessing to your life as well and wanted to make you aware of it and ask that you listen and get a feel for one aspect of “church life” at Baan Athitaan Church. Here is the link to our first sermon on study of the fruit of the Spirit…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2cas-H-qxI
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.