Dear friends, supporters and prayer partners,
Greetings to you and once again my thanks for your support and encouragement in so many ways. Thank you for praying – God continues to show His faithfulness and to confirm, if we needed confirmation, His steadfastness to his promises. In Jeremiah chapter 33 verse 3 the LORD tells the Prophet and us to “Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” As you read the latest reports from India, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia in this Update you will read of God’s faithfulness in answering many specific prayers that we have recently been praying. In some cases there have been answers/breakthroughs in situations for which we have been praying for many months. As I have said many times in the past, prayer is not just support of mission ministries – it IS mission ministry and I and those involved at the front line are very grateful for your partnership in their ministries.
In Malaysia the Advent Christian group in Kluang led by Sister Ruth Devairakkam and her husband Wilfred is seeing steady growth in their numbers and in the sweetness of their fellowship and ministry together. The numbers are such that Ruth and Wilfred’s home is bulging at the seams somewhat and they are very keen to find a “shop-lot” to rent to accommodate the larger group. Ruth recently reported as follows…
“Last week, another former member of our Church attended our Holy Communion service. It was a pleasant surprise for us. We enjoyed the fellowship. This is another manifestation of His wonder-working power.
Another contact, a lady with children, who went through an abusive situation has found emotional healing through the grace of the Lord. Though she is poor materially, she is rich spiritually, experiencing God’s love, joy, peace and freedom knowing her true identity in Christ. Our group visits her, and we also hold home worship service for her. Please pray for her, that God will use her as a blessing for her family.
Thanks too for your prayers for Wilfred. He has fully recovered. Please convey our thanks to the others who have prayed along for him.
Regarding the rental of a shop-house lot for the purpose of holding Church services, even though our folk are eager about it, we cannot afford it.”
Please continue to pray for Ruth and Wilfred and those who meet and minister with them, and remember to thank the LORD for His answers to our prayers.
In Thailand John and Maeo Middlewood and their ministries at Christian Mission Naratchakwai continue to touch the lives of literally hundreds of elementary, high school and university students, and through those contacts, to touch the lives of their families and friends. In the more than eight years that CMN has been ministering, they have always been ready to help those who have had serious medical problem situations, and once again in recent days they have done this for the pastor and his wife of one of the four New Tribes Mission churches in their area with which they have been working. John sought prayer for a serious health situation in this pastor’s family – they and we prayed and God answered almost before we had time to pray. John reported as follows on 26 July…
“We just returned from Sakon Nakhon Hospital, about an hour from here. Nhum, the pastor of Kuseman Church, and his wife Jutjang are there with their new baby, Bleum – 24 days old – who is in pediatric intensive care. Because of other complications, he was delivered by C-section at about 7 months to save the baby’s life. He was taken to the hospital last night and it was thought he was already dead but he responded to emergency medical care. Last night it was 50/50 that he would survive the night. When we left an hour ago it was 60/40, 70/30 – 60-70% that he would survive.
Nhum and Jutjang have placed their baby in the hands of God and have asked that we pray for the baby’s survival. They currently have one boy who is about 2-3 years old and they have been told there will be no more children, so this baby is even more special to them.
We are asking for prayers for the healing power of God to take over and heal this little baby boy.
Thank you and God Bless, John and Maeo”
On 28 July he reported….
“Received a phone call from Nhum at the hospital in Sakon Nakhon with his baby. The doctors, I guess, are a bit puzzled by what is going on, however, the baby is better and they will be taking him off life support equipment shortly. They will then see how he does, but are optimistic that he will be moved into a regular hospital room soon.” (The emphasis is mine. We need not be puzzled; we know God was at work! Ernie)
Please continue your prayers for complete recovery. We thank and Praise God for all of your support.
God Bless, John”
On 1 August he wrote…
“For those of you who have been praying for the baby Bleum, we thank and praise God. He has been moved from pediatric ICU to an open ward. As of today his assisted breathing thing and oxygen have been removed. He will be undergoing a series of 14 shots of some kind, and will be in the hospital for at least a couple of weeks. I will be trying to find some time when we can go over to visit him and bring back further information.
God does answer prayer and we ask for you to continue to pray for him.
Thanks for your faithfulness and God Bless, John and Maeo”
Christian Mission Naratchakwai has been registered with the Thai government as a Christian organisation through the New Tribes Mission’s registration for the more than eight years they have been ministering in Nakhon Phanom. New Tribes Mission has decided to discontinue its support of church ministries in Thailand at the end of this year and this means that CMN and the four NTM churches in the area, with which John has worked closely, need to make other arrangements in regard to the necessary registration with the government which gives approval to continue their ministries. They have decided to form their own group of five entities and need to apply to the Thai government designated organisation, the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand which is based in Bangkok, for recognition as a religious organisation/group. They are about to lodge an application for such recognition and John asks for our prayers that this application will be considered and approved in good time before their present registration with NTM ends. Unfortunately there are internal, “political” problems within the EFT and between them and the Thai government – please pray that these difficulties will not hinder the ministry of CMN and the four churches in the Nakhon Phanom area.
Please continue to pray for the girls who live with John and Maeo and who are an integral part of the ministry and English teaching activities of the CMN – pictured at right with Maeo. Thank the LORD for Bee, Nun, Ploy, Bpun, Lita and Beem2 who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and pray that their faith may strengthen as they serve the Lord and are of immense assistance to John and Maeo in the CMN’s ministry. Pray too for Pan and Tat who have not yet committed their lives to Christ.
Please pray also that the LORD will lead John to a suitable Thai pastor to join the ministry team at CMN, to relieve the pressure on John.
In India, July 10 saw the first General Body Meeting of the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches since the group of “rebel” pastors started legal action against the elected officers at the time and Immanuel and the Mission in July 2010. This was possible because a number of the members of the rebel group had recognised that the activities and actions of the group were far from “Christian” and were in fact bringing the Name of the LORD into great disrepute, and had re-joined the “loyal” group who are seeking to carry out sincere ministry for the LORD. At the General Body Meeting, which none of the rebel group attended although they were invited to attend, twelve loyal pastors and one Bible Woman, together with representatives from some of the churches confirmed the appointment of new officers for the forthcoming three year period.
Please pray for these Brothers – pictured above, left to right – Rev T Regi Christopher – President; Rev D Premkumar – Secretary and Rev R Jebaseelan – Treasurer – as they will need great patience and wisdom as they seek to bring focus and enthusiasm back to serving the LORD.
Most of the remaining rebel group continue with their disruptive activities although there are one or two who are seriously considering re-joining the loyal group. Pray too for the “rebel” pastors and their families and congregations, asking the LORD to touch them and bring their focus back to the ministry, so badly needed in India, of sharing the message of God’s love and plan of salvation with the millions of Indians who are still in the darkness of their sin.
In Myanmar the leaders of the Advent Christian Conference of Myanmar and their organisations continue to faithfully serve the LORD under somewhat improved but still difficult conditions. Some have reported regular visits and pressure recently from the authorities. For this reason we are reverting to using initials rather than their names and blurring faces in pictures for a time. On a national level the transition to democracy continues slowly and as we seek the LORD’s continued power in this situation we need to remember to also thank Him for progress made over recent months. It seems that the international community is taking a much more positive attitude to supporting and encouraging the country as the government moves slowly down the road to true democracy.
Our Brothers and Sisters in Myanmar seem to continually be dealing with difficulties of one kind or another and the recent rainy season has again brought flooding for some of our people, along with the resulting problems. Pastor T, the President of the Conference, reported that his home where he and his wife live and care for 19 children including five of their own, the rest being orphans, has experienced serious flooding once again. He reported as follows…
“Now we are busy for orphan land because of full water. We dig water way and fill some dusts at land. We are trying to plant some trees and some vegetables. You can see in picture our difficulties before dig water way. My children are sick one by one by flu now. Please pray for health of our children.”
The rain and flooding of course brings mosquitoes and mosquitoes bring diseases and Pastor K recently wrote…
“Our mission work here in Myanmar still going very well and it is the answer and the fruit of your prayer. This is my sincere prayer request for our children. Since last week, some of our children get dengue fever and they could not go to school. We are very busy for nursing them every day and we see the doctor and take medicines for them. When some are getting better, some start fever again and we are really busy and worry for them. Therefore, please do remember us and prayer for their sickness that they may be able to join again their class soon.”
We are presently putting together arrangements to send a Teaching Team to visit them later in the year, to fellowship with them and present seminars on various subjects including leadership and church planting as requested by the leaders of the Conference. Please pray that these arrangements will come together well and that there will be no danger to our Myanmar brothers or sisters or to those who visit. The members of the Team will also visit Christian Mission Naratchakwai in Thailand and some will visit India and Malaysia on the way home also.
Please be sure to keep up to date by looking for regular postings of news and prayer requests on our website (www.acmissionz.org.nz) or on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/ACMissioNZ). If you would like to receive regular email advice of postings to the website, please contact Mrs Tarnya Burge Wessels at email@example.com for details.
Many thanks once again for your prayers and your partnership with us in Advent Christian ministries in south-east Asia. God bless you as you serve Him in this way.