International Ministries

Still Smiling

May 26, 2013 Journal
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Dear Partners in Ministry,

Yes, we are still smiling.  The little house church is doing really well, and the people are keen to be involved in the discussions.

A couple of weeks ago we shared about Jesus healing the centurion soldier’s servant.  Our main point was that Jesus, being God, has power over sickness and can heal, but through the inductive Bible study our group came up with these extra points:
• Anyone (all nationalities) can bring their needs to Jesus.
• We should care about others.
• We should take other people’s needs to Jesus.  (Jewish leaders acted as intercessors.)
So far we have kept the group small, but we will soon be asking people to invite friends.

Back to school. School has started again, so life is a little more regimented.  We are meeting up with some new students and looking for new ways to engage them in learning English.  We are still visiting a number of shut-ins, both adults and children.

Going Hi Tech—One of our frustrations over the years has been that a lot of people here aren’t literate or mobile, and we want to get the Word into their hands.  Thanks to a generous donation from a church, we are now getting MP3 players.  We got one to try, to see if it would work.  We thought Bua Gaew would be a good candidate for the prototype, because she is a shut-in. Larry loaded it with Christian radio programs and songs.  She loves it and so does her husband Yot.  It has been very popular, and we hear that Yot is taking it to the fields with him and playing it for his friends.  We are working on getting scripture read in Northern Thai, their heart language, and hope to have scripture, songs, and radio programs on them in the future to give out to believers and other interested people who have difficulty with reading.

Slowly but surely the center for kids with disabilities is coming along.  We have started purchasing a few bits and pieces, and then after a storm where things got wet decided that getting the roof fixed was a priority.  We were visited by the overseeing director from our local city recently.  He encouraged the local staff to get people to bring their kids in for therapy rather than visiting the homes. (We are working with the Education Department on this project.)

Off and running—Lung Ngeun is really spreading his wings.  Twelve months ago he was basically bedridden, and he had been shut in an upstairs room for two years since his stroke.  After a visiting physio got him on his feet and working with his family, we were able to get him accommodated on the ground floor.  He has constantly practiced his walking.  Trips around the bedroom became trips to the bathroom, then trips around the yard, and today—for the first time—he went for a walk up the street. 

There really is a difference. Last week we went to two funerals:  one for a neighbor here in Ban Luang, and the other for a friend’s dad in Bangkok.  The first was Buddhist, the second Christian.   It was an interesting contrast.  At both there was a sense of loss, but we really appreciated the Christian funeral because there was an overwhelming sense of joy and hope that was missing from the local event.  The Christians were excited about the fact that their loved one was getting to meet Jesus face to face, and seemed happy at the prospect.  We Praise God that we share in the sure hope of being part of His Kingdom, now and forever.

Yours in the hope that is Jesus,

Larry and Jan

Prayer and Praise
• Praise God for the new house church and for the faithfulness and growth in understanding of the attendees.
• Please continue to pray for the house churches—for growth and understanding and that they will want to invite others to join in.
• Pray for opportunities to share the gospel as we teach English and visit with people.
• Pray for wisdom in juggling full schedules—that we don’t get too busy and miss those special opportunities.

This month
• Leadership training on the 6th and 20th
• We are planning a fun trip to a local mountain with our colleagues on the 9th and 10th