This month has been full – of struggle and stress, of beauty and development, of controversy and celebration…. As I look back, I truly am grateful. I believe that the Lord has used this month to continue to grow and refine me, and that I have encountered more of his heart and am being made to look more like him. I am grateful to be “in process” in the midst of community and partnership.
Our study of Philippians has consistently proven timely and applicable. This week our focus is on Philippians 3:1-9. I am especially struck by verse 3, which says, “For it is we who are the circumcision, who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…” (NIV; italics mine). I think I am in a season of learning the complementary relationship between identity and ministry. I am excited to grow in walking in the unity of the Spirit and responsiveness to the Father as I continued to be discipled and made more like Jesus. Thank you for your continued investment in prayer for strength, courage, humility, and grace.
This month we have had the opportunity to place particular emphasis on the history of Thailand and its implications for the present and future. We started a new course in which we are developing a timeline of events, people, etcetera that have contributed to present-day Thailand. We also had the opportunity to visit a cemetery and learn about the lives and ministries of several missionaries that were buried there, as well as participate in a seminar on the dynamics and state of Christianity in Thailand with Dwight Martin. Fascinating stuff! One of the areas that was emphasized was the disparity between church plant locations and unreached areas. We learned that 38 million people live in a sub-district without a church; that’s 60% of Thailand’s population without access to a church in their vicinity.
The northern area of Thailand, which includes Chiang Mai, is one of the most reached areas of Thailand. That means that believers in this area have a unique opportunity to be sent out and develop church plants in other areas of Thailand, as well as continue to develop discipleship movements here. Please pray for these unreached districts, specifically that the Lord would move on the hearts of Thai believers who are entrepreneurially-minded to develop church plants, and that he would go before and soften people’s hearts to the Gospel. As Dwight said, though we may not go to these places ourselves, we have the opportunity to go in prayer!
I would also greatly appreciate prayer for continued faithfulness and capacity in studying Thai. I have particularly grown in my ability to read, in my vocabulary retention, and in my ability to construct basic sentences. This is exciting improvement for me as I believe language is a fundamental tool for ministry. I have also had some really neat exchanges with a couple of my new Thai friends, and I am expectant for continued opportunities to learn from them and to bless them.
As we transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I pray that you will walk in the realities of our Father’s love and desire for you in increasing measure. May you taste of his goodness, nearness, and power on your behalf. I pray that he would richly bless you and provide for your every need. I am grateful for you and the role you have in my life. The Lord has used you to bless and provide for me in significant and special ways. In addition to how I have already shared, a beautiful example is the opportunity I had to celebrate Thanksgiving here with my team. You are a strategic part of what the Holy Spirit is doing in and through me, and you area gift to me. ขอบคูณมากค่ะ – thank you so much!
P.S. View pictures here.