Greetings from the Christian Mission. Thanks and praise God all is well on this side of the pond, in our little corner of the world.
I have been spending some time over the last week or so looking back on the Christian Mission and where we started and how far we have come. What has happened here over the last 7-8 years is not something that I or any other human being can take credit for. We have continuously been astounded as God continues to work his miracles here through many of you. Many children have a chance at a good life because either through the Christian Mission or the Thai Lao Cambodia Brotherhood. Children have had travel expenses paid for so they can receive medical care at hospitals 3-4 hours from us here. Just this evening one mother came back to let us know she had returned from a hospital visit in Khon Kaen. The child will return in about a year for heart surgery. This could not have happened without you.
Over the past years, Christian Mission has reached out to several hundred children through our Saturday and Sunday programs, teaching English, singing, storytelling, Bible reading and worshiping God. It could not have happened without you.
As I walk around the compound, I see a worship center, bright white, a study area, a kitchen and dining area, bathrooms, a dormitory – presently housing 7 students and in a few days there will be 11 or 12. A third bedroom will be completed by March 23, 2012. This will allow us to house 12 girls– 4 to a room. They range in age this year from 7th grade students to 3rd year university students.
In addition, I am able to teach English and other teaching skills to 16 university students. These are students majoring in English who would like to become teachers. There are two groups – one is in their third year and the other group is in their second year. Your prayers and help has allowed us to purchase materials necessary to teach, establish a relatively modern classroom, provide computers and internet services for them to do homework. Other students learning English here – I have about 14-16 others, also use the computer services, reading library and other things here. School supplies are available for those that cannot afford to purchase them.
Through the Thai Lao Cambodia Brotherhood and the Christian Mission some 25-30 students have received tuition assistance and six are currently in a special English program. We are praying that this program may be expanded in the new school year which will start in May. Again, none of this would be possible without the prayers and support from you.
Again, thanks to all of you, we are able to provide assistance in a variety of ways to 4-5 smaller Thai churches. The variety of things is beyond belief. – from new roofs, to books to helping to build bathrooms, kitchens and worship centers, providing keyboards and music for the churches; provide training for youth; working together through camps and seminars and a variety of youth meetings. We continue to provide financial support in the form of fuel for vehicles to attend a variety of meetings. Again without you, none of this would be possible. For us western folks and down under folks it doesn’t sound like much, but here it can make the difference between being able to attend or not attend. In December 2011 we acted as host for the annual business meeting. There were over 200 people in attendance from 6-7 different provinces and probably 5 or 6 language groups. Without your prayers and help it would not have happened.
For 2012 The Christian Mission has established an impossible plan for us here. I am sure you will witness several more miracles in the course of the year. We have already seen some happening. Here is a rough outline:
Plan for 2012:
- Mon-Fri – prayer group from 7-00 am until finished
- Regular church service Sunday – from 9 am to 11 am. Sunday School 11 am to 12 noon.
- Soup of Love – monthly foods distribution to senior citizens and little children – we feed 150-200 people every month.
- Senior Food packets – monthly food packets to two seniors each month.
- Student assistance. Currently 7 living here plus another 6 living at home. Wish to increase to 11-12 living here
- English Camps – 10 Saturday English camps – conducted by our teens and 10 Saturday English camps conducted by the university students. We are praying that the second group of university students will join in so it is possible we may have another 10 Saturday English camps. The possibility is that we can reach 2400-2500 elementary and high school students.
- Two three-day Vacation Bible classes for our elementary students conducted by our teens. Usually about 40 children and this year we will have teens from other churches coming in to participate so they can learn and take it back to their churches.
- Support for 11-12 students who live here at the mission full time.
- Costs involved: Food, electricity, water, transportation, school supplies; sometimes clothes. Costs run from $400-$500 USD per month.
Projects for 2012:
- Drill a well for the mission. Village water supplies are not always enough. US$1000
- Add a third room to the dormitory: US$700.00
- Cover the dishwashing area: US$600.00
- Begin enclosing our worship area – presently it is wide open and anyone that wants to can come in. God has blessed us so far that no one has come in and tried to steal anything. Cost at this time is unknown.
- Possible new vehicle. The Christian Mission currently has two vehicles. One is a Toyota van – European model automatic 10 passenger van– it currently has 250,000 miles on it – currently in the shop for minor repairs.
Our second vehicle, another Toyota van – 15 passenger gear shift model has 125,000 miles. It is perfect for taking children from one place to another and picking them up and taking them home.
Please understand that this is not a drive asking for money. It is a drive asking for prayer, concentrated prayer. We could not have gotten this far without your prayers and we aren’t going to get any further without them. I firmly believe that if this is the way God wants us to go, then he already has everything taken care of and we have to wait on him. If this is not the way he wants to go, then he will lead us in another direction.
Sorry for making this so long but I kind of feel I haven’t done as much reporting as I should have been doing and will try to work on that in the future.
We had a combined 12 person New Zealand and US team in here to start of the year, now we have had a 5 person team from His Little Ones Ministry and Face 2 Faith and we are praying to keep that going. We would like to be a place where we can set up seminars, etc to provide learning opportunities for our churches that we work with.
You can help through your constant prayers for us. Thanks, God Bless and lots of love, John and Maeo