Where are the shepherds?

One of our passions and prayers for Thailand is to see men raised up that are qualified and equipped to serve Christ by caring for His sheep.  You could call them pastors.  Right now there is a major lack.  And some of the pastors or elders that are here, for some some reason or another, are burning out and leaving the ministry.  In this video clip Dr. Dennis Johnson does a great job in summarizing the responsibilities of an elder or pastor.

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What is mission?

Billy Graham’s “My Hope Thailand” Project

Over at Gleanings from the Field, Karl Dahlfred has offered some helpful thoughts on the recent Billy Graham Evangelistic Association project here in Thailand:

In December 2009, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), together with major Thai church denominations, sponsored and promoted the "My Hope Thailand” evangelistic project.  They produced an evangelistic TV program that aired several times on Thai national TV just before Christmas. The program featured testimonies and music videos from Thai pop stars who became Christians, as well as preaching from Billy Graham and Franklin Graham, dubbed in Thai…read more

Confessions

We have a confession to make.

We are not real missionaries. Real missionaries live in Africa and they hike miles to fetch water to drink.  They don’t have electricity and they have to go outside to go to the bathroom.  Real missionaries sleep on a dirt floor and eat the same gross food everyday. 

Thailand has great food.  Delicious food.  Our house is nice.  We live among some of the nicest people in the world.  They tell us that we speak excellent Thai after saying only a couple sentences.  And….when you go to get gas for the car, you don’t even have to get out.  Someone pumps it for you, and then smiles as you drive away.

Yes, it’s true.

A good quote

“Missions is not about sending missionaries,
but sending God’s truth through the medium
of missionaries”
-Paul Washer

Jesus who?

Yesterday we had a great opportunity to go to a town about 20 minutes away and do some outreach.  It was a group of about 15 Thai Christians from a neighboring town and I tagged along as they passed out tracts and shared the gospel with some people.  We went to Nong Don, a town with only a couple known believes and no Church yet.

One house we visited was on the edge of a rice field.  After talking with the man who owned the house for awhile, we went upstairs to the porch where his mother was sitting.  She is elderly and wanted prayers.  Since I am still so new to the language, I understand very little but sometimes I can know at least the subject of conversation.  A woman from our church began talking with the elderly woman and early in the talk I heard her say Jesus’ name in Thai.  The elderly woman asked again what she said.  “Jesus”, the woman from Church told her.  Again she repeated, “Jesus”.  The elderly woman had a puzzled look on her face and then said she didn’t know that name.  Our friend from Church then proceeded to share with her who Jesus is and the Gospel.  Afterward, we all prayed for her. 

It’s one thing to read on paper that many people in this world don’ t know the name of Jesus Christ.  But it hits you in a different way when you meet someone who hasn’t.  2,000 years is a long time for the news about God becoming a man and taking our sin upon himself not to reach every person.  In the meantime, people like this Thai woman are trying to “make merit” by lighting incense sticks and giving baskets of goodies to monks. 

The elderly woman was very interested to know more and has invited those from the church to return and teach her.  Please pray for her.  Pray that she would see how Christ has fulfilled all of God’s righteous requirements.  Ask God to show her how futile it is to try and earn favor on her own. 

but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”

(Romans 15:21)

 

Nong Don 02 

The woman here is the one referenced in the post.

 

Nong Don 01

Some people from Phra Baht Church where we worship on Sundays.

The Greatest Story Ever Told…

We have come to Thailand to proclaim a message.  That message is summed up so well in this song and is especially appropriate for Christmas.  Take a few minutes to listen and you can follow along with the lyrics if you right click on the link below to open in a different window.  May it remind you of the goodness of God.

Greatest Story Ever Told Feat. Flame – Shai Linne

Verse 1

Alright check it: let’s go back in time, brethren

Divine lessons always keep your mind guessing

The glory of the Triune God’s what I’m stressing

The origin of humankind was fine- blessings

Were plenteous- God is amazingly generous

Crazy benefits in a state of innocence

God told the man what he could taste was limited

Not long after came our nemesis in Genesis

He scammed well, man fell, damned to hell

The whole human race- he represented it

Fooled by the serpent, man through his work

Woman through birth- even the earth ruled by the curses

But instead of a wake immediately

God said her Seed would be the One to crush the head of the snake

Yo, wait what’s this? Whoa, a gracious gift!

In Jehovah’s faithfulness He clothed their nakedness

This was so they would know their Savior’s kiss

And bliss- but first, many growing pains exist

Suffering in the worst form, ugly deeds

Eve’s firstborn seed made his brother bleed

Indeed things got progressively worse

Every section of the earth’s been affected by the curse

And though God’s judgments against sin were gory

Praise the Lord! It’s not the end of the story

Chorus:

It’s the greatest story ever told

A God pursues foes whose hearts turned cold

The greatest story ever told

Restoring all that the enemy stole

The greatest story ever told

The glory of Christ is the goal, behold

The greatest story ever told

It’s the greatest…

Verse 2

Next scene: man’s sin was extreme

God gets steamed, man gets creamed

The Lord is so Holy that He drowned them in the water

Fire in the valley of slaughter- Sodom and Gomorrah

But at the same time, He’s so gracious and patient

That from one man He created a whole nation

Eventually enslaved by the mentally depraved

They cried out to the only One with the strength that He could save

He brought them out with signs and wonders- satisfied their hunger

Then He appeared on Mount Sinai in thunder

Where He laid down the law for God-ruled government

Commonly referred to as the Mosaic covenant

Sin’s imputed- so for man to know he’s unrighteous

God instituted animal sacrifices

This was to show our constant need for atonement

And when it came to sin, the Lord would never condone it

And when His people disobeyed and went astray

He raised up prophets and kings to lead them in the way

But they would get foul with their idolatry- wet and wild

Prophecy- send them into exile

To take their punishment like a grown man

Then with His own hand He placed them back in their homeland

And while in their forefather’s land they dwelt

They awaited the arrival of Emmanuel

Chorus:

It’s the greatest story ever told

A God pursues foes whose hearts turned cold

The greatest story ever told

Restoring all that the enemy stole

The greatest story ever told

The glory of Christ is the goal, behold

The greatest story ever told

It’s the greatest…

Verse 3

After 400 silent years filled with sighs and tears

In Bethlehem the Messiah appears

God in the flesh- Second Person of the Trinity

At thirty begins His earthly ministry

Baffling cats with accurate, exact facts

And back to back miraculous acts

A stumbling block to the self righteous

But the humbled- His flock, said “There’s no one else like this”

He came from heaven to awake the numb

Demonstrated His power over nature, son

A foretaste of the Kingdom and the age to come

But the reason He came was to pay the sum

For the depths of our wickedness, our wretched sinfulness

Bless His magnificence- He’s perfect and innocent

Yet He was wrecked and His death- He predicted it

Next He was stretched, paid a debt that was infinite

He said that He finished it- resurrected so the elect

would be the recipients of its benefits

Through faith and penitence we get to be intimate

His grace is heaven sent, it never diminishes

Now the Holy Spirit indwelling is the evidence

for heaven’s future residents who truly represent

Jesus, the Author, Producer, Director and

Star of a story that will never, ever end!

Chorus:

The greatest story ever told

A God pursues foes whose hearts turned cold

The greatest story ever told

Restoring all that the enemy stole

The greatest story ever told

The glory of Christ is the goal, behold

The greatest story ever told

It’s the greatest…