Greetings to you and once again my thanks for your support and encouragement in so many ways. Thank you especially for praying – God continues to answer your prayers in wonderful ways.
This week John Middlewood at Christian Mission Naratchakwai has advised that they have received advice from the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand that the application their group in Nakhon Phanom – CMN and four New Tribes Mission churches in the area whose group is named “Christ for All People Church Association” – made for government registration has been approved and will come into force when the New Tribes Mission’s registration expires at the end of December. This registration will mean continuity of tenure for all the members of the group, and their respective ministries and their fellowship with each other can continue as it has for many years. This registration may also mean better chances for obtaining visas for foreign missionaries/workers in the future should that need arise. Please remember to thank the Lord for this answer to our prayers.
You will remember that we have been praying for Bleum, the 3 weeks old child of Nhum, the pastor of the NTM church at Kuseman and his wife Jutjang, who was critically ill at the end of July. We have already seen several wonderful answers to prayer since the original call to the Lord, but John has advised this week that Bleum is home with his mother and father and seems to be doing quite well. He asks that we express his and the parents’ thanks to all who have prayed for this situation. Please remember to thank the Lord for this answer to our prayers.
John and his team of helpers continue to be very busy with what is their “bridge into the community” – the teaching of English to children and young people. Part of that program is “Older teaching Younger”, the 4-6 grade students, after receiving training in the English Camps, are to teach grades 1-3 at their own school. He reported this week…
“We spent two full days visiting 9 elementary schools last week and were blessed and very pleased by what we saw. The English teacher at one school says she has stopped teaching English. The Older teaching Younger students are doing better than she can. English is taught from 9-10 am. Mon-Fri. The teacher sits outside of the classroom to monitor. At 3 pm she meets with the student teachers for about a half an hour. They discuss how the day went and what will be taught the next day. The teacher told me she has never seen the younger students so willing to learn, and that they are making good progress. Praise God for this.”
“Next term, God willing, we will be doing three camps a month. We see 80 students at each camp, so that is 240-250 kids each month; these students go back and teach at their schools, so that is another 250 kids a month. Please pray that we can continue.”
John also asks that we pray for Joe and Sandy Boys – an American couple who have been helping him with English Camps and teaching in a couple of high schools for the last 4-5 months. (pictured hard at work in a classroom at right) They came to Thailand originally as World Teach teachers, but became very disenchanted with their program and went to John looking to help. Joe is 72 years old and he and his wife have been putting in 8-10 hour days. John advises that they have been “a real blessing from God”. They will be returning to the US at the end of this month. Originally they were planning on returning to the US permanently, but recently Joe told John that he doesn’t know how long he will be able to stay away from the kids here. John asks us to “pray that God will bless and keep Joe and Sandy, and that He will provide the way for them to return.”
Please continue to pray also that the LORD will lead John to a suitable Thai pastor or will lead a suitable Thai pastor to John, to join the ministry team at CMN, to help relieve the pressure on John.
Pray for the team of six
I am privileged to be part of a team of six – the other five from the United States and including ACGC Executive Director Rev. Ron Thomas, World Outreach Director Rev. Jeff Walsh and Asia Pacific Area Director Rev. Penny Vann – which will spend two and a half days at Naratchakwai from 15 to 17 October. Revs. Walsh and Vann have not been to Thailand before and this trip will be a great opportunity to familiarise themselves with the AC ministry in Nakhon Phanom and meet John and Maeo and their helpers. Please pray that this will be a time of blessing and encouragement for all concerned.
Please continue to pray for the ministry of Ruth and Wilfred and their group in Kluang. Their group meets in their home and although small is growing! Meeting in their home limits them in various ways, especially with the number attending now at about 25, but also because they are unable to have music or even sing loudly because they are in a residential area and could cause problems with the local residents or authorities. Please join them in praying that the Lord will guide and bless them and provide funds for them as they seek to find a suitable building to rent in which to have their worship and fellowship meetings and where they can base their ministry.
In the meantime they are faithfully sharing the blessings of their faith with others – often others from other nations and other faiths – often on a one to one basis. Thank the LORD for the growth in numbers and for spiritual growth and for the encouragement that this brings.
I will be travelling from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and then to Kluang and will enjoy fellowship with Ruth and Wilfred and their group on 20 and 21 October and will have to opportunity to join with them in their worship service on Sunday 21 October. Please pray that this will be a time of blessing for all concerned.
We have not heard from our brothers for a week or two concerning the rain/flooding but about the middle of August Pastor J reported as follows and sent further pictures of the devastation caused by the continuing heavy rains. The pictures below give an idea of their situation at that time
“Greeting to you in the name of Jesus. Please pray for us as the flooding and heavy rain is going on.
Pray that the Lord will protect from the flood and heavy rain. Some have lost their rice field and house.
Pray for them. We have closed our Bible School, but pray that we will reopen on the first week of September.
Thank you for standing for us.”
The rain brings flooding and the flooding brings much discomfort but it also brings mosquitoes and they bring disease. Many of the children have been sick with dengue fever or flu. Please pray for our AC leaders and their families and co-workers and the many orphaned children they care for – pray that the Lord will meet their every need spiritually and practically at this difficult time.
Arrangements for the Teaching Team mentioned in our last update have progressed well and the Team will be with them next month, to fellowship with them and present seminars on various subjects including leadership development, evangelism, children’s evangelism and church planting as requested by the leaders of the Conference and to fellowship with them and familiarise our team members with their ministries and needs. Please pray that these arrangements will come together well and that there will be no danger or difficulties for our Myanmar brothers or sisters or for those who visit.
Please continue to pray for the leaders and members of the two AC Conferences. They face many difficulties not the least of which is a lack of funds. We understand that the pastors and Bible Women and staff of the Advent Christian Conference, including the Outreach team in Bihar, have not been paid their salaries for many months.
There is still division within the Fellowship of Blessed Hope Churches and I again ask you to pray for the new leaders who were elected in July – Rev T Regi Christopher – President; Rev D Premkumar – Secretary and Rev R Jebaseelan – Treasurer (left to right pictured above) – as they will need great patience and wisdom as they seek to bring focus and enthusiasm back to serving the LORD.
Mission Manager Immanuel continues to do stirling work in both peace making and peace keeping, but the pressures are great – please pray regularly for him. One of the members of our team to Myanmar and Thailand will visit him in October to encourage him and the staff at Chennai
Yesuway Jeevan Mission continues to encourage and financially support our ministry partners and I again ask for your prayers for Immanuel as he leads this support and for the dedicated brothers and sisters who lead the ministries of our partners in various places around India
- EMMANUEL’S SCHOOL AND CHILDREN’S HOME: Please uphold Thirumathi Roselle and her team in Chandel, Manipur State who run the school and children’s home. Pray also for the children who they teach and train and seek to point to the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord will raise up more people to financially assist the school so it can continue its ministry and upgrade its facilities.
- The ABISHEK SEWING SCHOOL Kallakurichi, which teaches sewing skills and jewellery making. Pray that it will used to deliver gypsy women from absolute poverty.
- Commit to the Lord the FPTL (Faith Prayer Tract Link) NEW LIFE HOME at Namakkal, Kolli Hills, run by Pastor Kirubakkaran. Pray for the 32 children in their small rented house. Ask the Lord to provide funds so they can get their own land and buildings, which is desperately needed because of the government regulations. Pray for Pastor Kirubakkaran who continues to minister in the Kolli Hills and has two church buildings in the hills provided by wealthier people where he has services every Sunday. He continues to save babies (total now 189!) but because of government regulations he cannot keep the babies in his home any longer. Pray for him in this work and that the Lord will provide Christian homes for the little ones he rescues.
- Commit to the Lord the work of the GUINDY CHILDREN’S HOSTEL which houses and cares for 105 children, especially in the area of finances. Especially pray for the warden – Nelson – and his wife. They carry a huge responsibility and are under great pressure.
- Pray also for the SHELTER TRUST HOSTEL, Chennai which cares for 20 children and 10 adults who are all HIV positive.
- CHRIST SPECIAL HIGH SCHOOL at Sankarapuram which caters for about 65 children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
- STEPPING STONE INNOVATIVE Chennai, which seeks to lift people out of poverty by offering training for job seekers. Pray for Pastor Paul Nilivan and his team of trainers who are giving their time free of charge to teach others about the skills they use in their occupations.
- GOOD SAMARITAN TRUST. Pastor John Matthews leads ministries in the Pulicut district, north-east of Chennai, to residents of coastal fishing villages. They run a Day Care Centre for about 75 children 6 days a week, with Sunday School on Sundays, and hold Medical Camps and Health Check-ups/Awareness campaigns for the very poor residents of these villages. They are seeking to raise funds to build a larger building to use as a residential hostel for children whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS.
- ACCI MISSION OUTREACH in Khagaria Bihar State, led by Pastor Paul Sunder Raj supported by his team of pastors and their families. Pray also for the St Xaviers School which is their bridge into the community and which is having to look for new accommodation as the owner of the property has given them notice to leave.
- ACCI MISSION OUTREACH at Adda Road, Andhra Pradesh, led by Pastor Paul Gantham. A small church plant in rural Andhra Pradesh, presently with a congregation of about 35 adults and about the same number of children. Paul Gantham and his little group are doing a significant ministry in the area for the Lord.
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.