One major obstacle to Isaan people’s giving their lives to Christ is the pervasive nature of the national religion, permeating family life, friendships and community. Every morning women go out in groups with their life-long friends to make merit, brothers enter religious orders to make merit for their mothers, every major life event involves religious festivals, ceremonies, and special foods. Sometimes people acknowledge the truth of the Gospel but feel unable to make decision to follow Christ because of fear losing family and community. Please pray that Isaan Christians will form new “families” and communities for these people, lovingly surrounding them with Christ’s fellowship and love. Pray specifically for “Grandmother Tam”* who heard the Gospel this past week, says she believes, but can’t follow because a member of her family would lose too much face if she decided to follow Christ. Pray she will chose the “pearl of great price” in Matthew 13: 45-46.
Follow up from October request (posted November 2015): In October you prayed for God to open hearts and minds to the Gospel as national believers and missionaries shared. Thank you! We are so thankful to report new response to the gospel including “Mary” * who prayed to receive Christ even while she was lying flat on her back, recovering from a major illness. Praise God with us for her first steps of faith! Please pray for continued healing from her illness. Please pray that Mary and other Isaan people just starting their walk with the Lord will continue in faith, putting down deep roots of trust and obedience and that their faith will spread to others in their families.
Jesus was quite clear about it: Under His direct authority His followers are to go and make more disciples (Matthew 28: 18, 19). In obedience to His command, we are in the process of training national believers in evangelism. Please pray for us all to have love, boldness and wisdom from the Lord. Pray He will open Isaan hearts and minds to the Good News. Please pray that as is described in Acts 2: 47 His Holy Spirit will bless and “(add)… to their number daily those who (are).. being saved.”
When asked how the “Four Fields” evangelism, discipleship and church planting training held this past month related to his life-long experience as a farmer, the Isaan man replied, “Every field is different --you have to work them differently (to get the result you want).” That is true! The Isaan team is involved in many different kinds of gospel seed sowing from mobile medical clinics to clowns teaching drug prevention to family and individual presentations of the gospel, trying different methods for different “fields.” It is also true that in every actual field after the seeds are sown, appropriate follow-up care is necessary. Please pray for effective follow-up care by the Isaan team and national Christians so that disciples are made and churches are started in Isaan!
The North-east (Isaan) region of Thailand has a valid reputation as a scorching hot, arid region where rice farmers have to work terribly hard for one small harvest per year. It’s often a hard scrabble life for Christian workers, too, with lots of work under hard conditions to reap what seems like a small, infrequent spiritual harvest. Yet, out the window today, there are lush green fields flourishing because the people planted and God sent rain—at the right time and in the right amount. Please pray for Christians to persevere in planting the Gospel in Isaan—and for God to bring the harvest He desires: people who know, love and follow Him. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)
Praise God for a new outreach group formed in a village in Isaan’s Yasothon Province! The group is meeting for worship but unbelievers are attending services too—so please pray that the Lord opens their hearts to understand and accept the gospel. Pray for the Lord's strength and protection for the host family. Plans are being made to begin a ministry to youth as well so please pray for God’s provision, guidance and direction.
In Matthew 18: 12-14 Jesus uses a parable about a shepherd and his sheep to tell us how God feels about his followers. When one of them wanders away from Him, He pursues the lost to bring them home, safely under His love and protection. Please pray for Isaan believers to follow God’s heart in following up those who believe in God but now have strayed from Him. Pray that those following up will experience God empowering them to do His will. Pray that those who strayed from God will return. Pray that all involved will experience the happiness God feels (Matthew 18:13) when the lost are found and brought back.
Follow up from December 2014 request: Thank you for joining our prayers for God’s guidance for a new place in Isaan to share the Gospel for Marty and Dena McAnally and Angela Dawson. Please keep praying! Many specific aspects of those prayers seem to be answered by one location but there remain a couple of needed steps and confirmations before moving. We’re grateful to know you are seeking His will along with the Isaan “on the ground” team and will let you know how He directs!
We’re so thankful for the mobile medical clinics we were able to hold in unchurched areas of Isaan in May and June, partnering with the Bangkla Baptist Clinic team, volunteers from the USA and local believers. Hundreds of people received both physical care and heard the Gospel, many for the first time. Will you please pray with us that the “seeds” of the Good News that were sown in people’s hearts will not wither from lack of roots or be choked out by the cares of this world, but that people will understand God’s word and “produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23)
from the Isaan Student Team: "Paul" was just 12 when he first came to Mahasarakham Baptist Church one Sunday night. He enjoyed the fellowship and learning about God, and continued to come back week after week even though no one else in his family came with him. Eventually Paul decided to follow Christ and he has been growing in his faith through discipleship and service in the church. Paul is now 15 years old and a high school student. Pray that he will continue to be a light for Christ among his friends and in his family. We praise the Lord for His work in Paul's life and look forward to how He will use him to reach others with the gospel.
“Wanda” has multiple heath issues that keep her from weekly worship…so we are prayerfully planning to take worship to her! Please pray for the ladies Bible study and worship we hope to start this month. Pray that Wanda will actively participate and that she and the other ladies attending will grow in their faith and their walk with the Lord.
from the Isaan Student Team: Mark 10:30 speaks of the family that believers receive when they leave their earthly family behind for Christ's sake and for the gospel. Many of the Isaan believers have experienced this as they are in the minority in their families and communities as followers of Christ. They have found new “family” in the body of Christ and this family is a great source of fellowship and strength to them. Of course they still desire to see their relatives come to faith. Pray for Isaan believers to be steadfast in their walk and witness before their unsaved family members. Pray that the Spirit of God would draw these lost family members to Himself, bringing them into the eternal family of God.
6 AM Saturday mornings—that’s the time the Isaan believers decided was best for leadership training! Please pray that God’s Spirit would work in a powerful way, teaching, encouraging and equipping them to lead out in evangelism, discipleship and church planting and church development. Pray that in Isaan as in Acts 2 when disciples devote themselves to studying God’s word, teaching and to fellowship that the “Lord (will add) to their number daily those who (are) being saved.”
from the Isaan student team: What do Hong Kong, Philippines, United States and Thailand have in common? Well, on a recent weekend Christian representatives from each of these countries were involved in an English Camp for university students in Mahasarakham, Thailand. The Isaan university students had the opportunity to learn and improve their English skills, sings songs, play games, and make new friends. They also had the opportunity to hear the gospel message of Christ. All the results from a camp such as this are often not readily apparent. While it's easy to see the happiness and excitement of those involved it is not always obvious what is happening beneath the surface. Pray for these students who heard the gospel. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to be at work in each heart, bringing these to saving faith.
Please pray that Isaan believers will be active in sharing their faith with family, neighbors, and co-workers. Pray that people who hear the gospel would be so convinced of its truth that they would not fear opposition and pressures from family, friends, and neighbors. Pray they will embrace the person of Christ, and not see it as just a change of religion. Pray that these believers will fearlessly serve in the love of Christ and by their word of testimony.
from the Isaan student team: Paul's words to the believers in I Corinthians 3 were “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” As fellow workers with God among the Isaan of Thailand, the Isaan student team would encourage you to pray that God would indeed make the seeds of the gospel that have been planted over the past months and years grow. Missionaries have been privileged to see a part of the harvest as Isaan students and others have come to Christ. These believers are now sharing the gospel with others, but millions still live without saving faith in Jesus as their Savior. Many seeds have been sown. Pray with Thai and Isaan believers, missionaries and others that God would work in the hearts and lives of the Isaan and bring much fruit from the seeds that have been planted.
Isaan of Thailand (EE-sahn) After a longer-than-expected stay in the US, IMB representatives Mark and Helen Caldwell are able to return to Thailand in early March! Please pray for a good “re-entry” to Isaan, getting boxes unpacked and the house in their new location set up and functioning with water, electricity and other necessities. More important than that, please pray that even in the midst of the heat and hassles of moving in, unpacking and getting settled that the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will be evident in and through their lives. Pray that Isaan people will be drawn to Christ, seeing Him through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
from Isaan student team:Mahasarakham Baptist Church values the students who are part of this body of believers and they are following the teaching of 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Late last year the church held its first student-led worship service – giving students the responsibility for all parts of the service. It was an encouraging time for everyone, and the students have just recently been given another opportunity to lead in this way again. Pray that these young leaders will continue to grow in Christ and that they will be sensitive to His leadership to service and witness on a daily basis.
Officially, Thai people have the right to belong to any religion they choose. However, the reality is that there is real pressure – both overt and covert- on Christians from family members, co-workers and neighbours to give up their trust in Jesus. Following Christ in Isaan is difficult! Those who stand firm and continue to follow the Lord are a tremendous testimony to other believers. Please pray with us that Isaan Thai Christians will stand firm in Christ and influence many others to do the same. Pray that Isaan believers lives will draw more people to worship and relationship with Christ.
from Isaan student team: God's call to reach the nations has been heard by a single missionary from the Philippines, and she arrived in Mahasarakham in August of last year to work with university students. Pray for Arnie as she continues her language studies and begins ministry among students. She has already had good opportunities to minister to students in several departments, including English Education and Pharmacy. Arnie is an evangelist and actively shares her faith with the students that she is meeting and getting to know. Pray that God would guide Arnie as she develops her ministry and pray that God would touch the hearts of these students and bring them to faith through Arnie and others involved in ministry here. "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)
In the book of Acts God used a variety of methods to guide His followers about where and how He wanted them to work. Sometimes God revealed His will through a vision. (God spoke to Ananias (Acts 9:10-12), Cornelius (Acts 10:3) and Peter (Acts 10:17-19 and 11:5) in visions.) In Acts 16 we are told that the Holy Spirit “kept” Paul and his companions from preaching in Asia and that God spoke to Paul through a vision (verse 9) calling them to Macedonia. Also in Acts 16, God used the circumstances of Paul and Silas’ imprisonment to open the door for sharing the gospel with the jailer and his family. In all those situations Jesus’ followers trusted the guidance they received and obeyed God faithfully, resulting in people coming to know and follow Christ. Please pray for God to guide and direct IMB Isaan team members Marty and Dena McAnally and Angela Dawson as they search for a new place in Isaan to share the Gospel. Pray that God would prepare the hearts of Isaan people to “receive the message with great eagerness” as the Bereans did in Acts 17.
The Gospel of John tells us of Andrew, a man who decided to follow Jesus. John writes that the first thing Andrew did (after that) was to find his brother, Simon, and then Andrew “brought him to Jesus” (John 1:42a). Because of strong family and community traditions tightly interwoven with religious and cultural ties, it can be very difficult for new Isaan believers to tell their family members they are Christians. Please pray for Isaan followers of Christ to be bold about their faith and to tell their family and friends about the Lord and what He means to them. Pray that their verbal testimony and changed lives will bring family members to Jesus.
from Isaan student team: "Kendra" has been used by the Lord while a university student in Mahasarakham. Despite her busy schedule she has placed a priority on being involved in a local church and has brought friends and roommates with her consistently. One of her friends, "Jan", has expressed a good bit of interest in the gospel and attends regularly, but has yet to make a public commitment to Christ. In this setting it is often difficult for young people to make a commitment to follow Christ because of the response they may receive from their families. Both of these young ladies are an encouragement to our church – one for her faithfulness and one for her response in seeking the One who is reaching out to her. Please pray that the Lord would continue to grow and use Kendra's life to bring others to gospel and pray that Jan would decide to follow Christ with all of her heart, fully trusting Him with the consequences.
Praise the Lord for a new team member! Angela Dawson has joined the Caldwells and McAnallys on the Isaan team. Please pray that she will learn Isaan language quickly, bond with Isaan people and proclaim the gospel boldly (Ephesians 6:19).
from Isaan student team: A group of Great Commission Christian workers with a vision to reach students for Christ has started a new ministry right across the street from a large university in Korat, Thailand. The group opened a Board Game Cafe in mid-September. In the first week of operation the group saw students respond in large numbers to the opportunity to visit the cafe for games, coffee, and desserts. It was a good beginning for building relationships, a vital part of sharing the gospel with this audience. Please support this ministry in prayer, praying that genuine relationships will develop between students and those seeking to minister to them. Pray for good opportunities to share the message of Christ in this setting. Pray also that a gifted, committed evangelist who has previously worked with this group will be able to return to Korat and be involved in evangelism in this setting.
In Zechariah 10:1 the Bible tells us to "Ask
the Lord for rain...it is the
from Isaan student team: Romans 10:14 ends with
the question, “And how can they hear without someone preaching to
them?” A respected professor at a local university in the Isaan
region of Thailand has started a unique ministry to help others hear
the word. Every morning she makes a recording of the reading of
scripture following a devotional guide and then she shares it with
co-workers, friends and others via social media. She is not a
preacher, but she is a committed Christian who longs to see her
fellow Thai and Isaan come to know Christ and she is always looking
for ways to be a part of that. Pray for her and for those who are
hearing the word through her new ministry.
Like so many Isaan children, because her parents were working in another part of Thailand, “Lisa” * was raised in a rural village by her grandmother. Unlike the vast majority of Isaan people, though, her grandmother became a Christian and Lisa heard and accepted the Gospel. Now that she is a teen-ager her parents have sent for her and she must leave her believing grandmother and the little house church she attends. Please pray for “Lisa” to continue in the faith, find a group of believers to nurture her—and pray for her loving grandmother’s heart to be able to trust God’s work in Lisa’s life even though Lisa is far away.
From Acts 18:3 we know that Paul supported himself as a
tentmaker while he did evangelism, taught and preached. In 1
Corinthians 9 we read that he did so in order that he could
offer the Gospel free of charge and not hinder the spread of the
Gospel. Please pray for “Tom” (pseudonym) who is trying to do
the same thing in rural Isaan: “work with his hands” as a farmer
to support his family, share the Gospel with non-believers and
lead a house church. Please pray God would supply his family’s
needs and that “Tom” would be effective in His service.
from Isaan student team: In Acts 4:20 Peter's response to the
Sanhedrin when told to stop speaking in Jesus' name was “For we
cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They
continued to spread the message of Jesus. Pray that Thai and
Isaan believers, missionaries, volunteers and others serving
among the Isaan would do that as well. A new project involving
IMB personnel and other GCC partners working with students in
the Pharmacy Faculty of Mahasarakham University will begin next
month. Pray that as they engage these students that the message
of Christ will be clearly shared and that students will come to
faith in Christ.
from Isaan student team: In Acts 4:20 Peter's response to the Sanhedrin when told to stop speaking in Jesus' name was “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They continued to spread the message of Jesus. Pray that Thai and Isaan believers, missionaries, volunteers and others serving among the Isaan would do that as well. A new project involving IMB personnel and other GCC partners working with students in the Pharmacy Faculty of Mahasarakham University will begin next month. Pray that as they engage these students that the message of Christ will be clearly shared and that students will come to faith in Christ.
Pray that missionaries among the Isaan will be like Jesus in John 17-- that they will bring God glory on earth by completing the work God gave them to do, revealing God to those God has prepared to hear (verse 4 and 6). Pray that Isaan people will accept those words and know that they come from the one true God (verse 8). Pray that God will protect Isaan people's belief in Him through the power of His name and be protected from the evil one (verse 15) and that God will sanctify Isaan believers in His truth (verse 17). Thank you!
Revelation 7:9 tells us that people from every tribe and nation
will stand “before the throne and in front of the Lamb” in
praise and worship. We look forward to that day -- and rejoice
that we are seeing people from different nations work together
now to reach the Isaan so that they will be a part of that
throng. This past month a great team of volunteers from the
Philippines came to Isaan to share Christ with a group of
students; next month a group from the US will follow-up and
continue to share. Praise God that he uses people from every
country to glorify Him. Please pray for God’s Holy Spirit to
move and work among the students, drawing them to salvation and
discipleship. Pray that God will be glorified!
from Isaan student team: Several
months ago you were encouraged to pray for the witness of newly
trained members of Mahasarakham Baptist Church. It’s exciting to
report that God continues to use these folks in sharing the
message of Christ with others. Thank you for praying! One member
has shared recently of a colleague who has many questions and
really seems interested in the gospel message and the life of
her believing friend. Another member tells regularly of how he
is able to share the gospel with others, most recently talking
at length with a worker at a small restaurant while he waited on
his vehicle to be cleaned at a neighboring shop. A third member
has opportunities to share with her friends on Facebook and was
recently asked for a Bible by a young lady so that can read the
message for herself and not just on Facebook posts. Continue to
pray for these faithful witnesses and others. Pray also that
those who are hearing would come to faith. “So, neither he who
plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes
things grow.” I Corinthians 3:7
from Isaan student team: Several months ago you were encouraged to pray for the witness of newly trained members of Mahasarakham Baptist Church. It’s exciting to report that God continues to use these folks in sharing the message of Christ with others. Thank you for praying! One member has shared recently of a colleague who has many questions and really seems interested in the gospel message and the life of her believing friend. Another member tells regularly of how he is able to share the gospel with others, most recently talking at length with a worker at a small restaurant while he waited on his vehicle to be cleaned at a neighboring shop. A third member has opportunities to share with her friends on Facebook and was recently asked for a Bible by a young lady so that can read the message for herself and not just on Facebook posts. Continue to pray for these faithful witnesses and others. Pray also that those who are hearing would come to faith. “So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” I Corinthians 3:7
In Acts 1 Jesus told His disciples that after the Holy Spirit came upon them they would receive power and that they would be witnesses for Him. Please pray that God will give His disciples in Isaan today His power to reach Isaan people with the Gospel. Pray that we will be obedient to God’s direction and vision for methods of evangelism, teaching, and training so as to see maturing disciples and churches started in Isaan.
from Isaan student team: In the last several years new cross-cultural workers have moved into the Isaan region to share the gospel and establish churches in Isaan. Two new families and a single lady have also decided to move to Mahasarakham to work with the large student population in the area. Pray for them as they make this transition in the next few months. Pray for the Lord’s leadership as they make decisions about where to invest their lives and how to engage students here. Finally pray that the many students will come to know Christ through the combined efforts of the Isaan Student Team and these new workers.
“David” * is small for his age and only in the 6th grade—but he says he has decided to become a Christian, the only one in his family. There is one older woman in his village who has made a verbal confession of faith – but that is all so he has very little local support. David has been outspoken about his new faith and it seemed as though people were accepting--- but this past week at his school’s camp the teacher forced him to him chant prayers of the national religion with all the other children. David came to the kid’s group last night feeling upset and trapped. Please pray that God will provide a way out for David so he is not forced to do this again (the law here gives freedom of religion), favour with his teachers and administrators, and a strong faith to do what God requires—worship only Him. Pray that the national leaders of the kid’s group will support David and have wisdom to give him Godly counsel.
Follow up from earlier request
Thank you for your prayers for the young woman who is sharing her faith with students from another country where following Christ comes with a very high price tag. Although he had made a decision while living in his country, “Andrew*” had had little opportunity to grow in his faith. Now he regularly comes to worship, has begun to attend a cell group and has started helping in ministry and evangelism for non-Christian children. Please pray Andrew will grow in his faith and be ready to follow Christ as Lord now and when he returns to his home country.
Jesus used the combined efforts of American
volunteers, Thai nationals and missionaries to touch the lives of
more than 600 Isaan people physically, spiritually or both through
mobile medical clinics the last week of January. We rejoice at what
He did and the way He allowed us to function as a unified Body to
accomplish His purposes. Please pray for those who were touched to
hold onto these beginnings of faith and for God to cause it to grow.
Pray that they would be like those in 1 Thessalonians 13: ..."when
(they) received the word of God which (they) heard from us, (they)
welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word
of God..." Pray that they will "not quench the Spirit" as He works
to bring them to salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Thank you!
Transition! When Moses died, God gave Joshua this
charge in Joshua 1, "Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you;
I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous... be
careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded
you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may
have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from
your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may
be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you
will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." There is
a new leader for the house church in Nong Bua Lam Phu province. He told
us that although he has been a Christian for quite some time, he "feels
like a baby" (in this new position). Please pray for "T" -- that he will
meditate on God's word day and night, obey God by applying it to his
life and be "strong and courageous" in the Lord and His power. Ask God
to grow "T" into the leader He wants for His church.
Happy 2014! As we begin this new year, we are reminded that there are no guarantees about access to our people, safety, or even that Isaan people will listen when we present the gospel to them. Please pray that we will “Be very careful, then, how (we) live…making the most of every opportunity…(Ephesians 5:15&16) to share the Gospel with Isaan people both verbally and with our lives. Pray that God will “… teach us to number our days, that we may present to (Him) a heart of wisdom…” (Psalm 90:12). Please pray that God’s will prevails in Isaan in 2014.
In conjunction with the Bangkla Christian Clinic, we conducted mobile medical clinics in October. These clinics are a joy! We able to help people physically and every person has the opportunity to individually hear and respond to the Gospel. During the clinics I shared the Gospel with two Isaan ladies, both women about the same age, educational level, and family background. At the end of each conversation, I asked each lady for a decision, “Do you want to keep depending on yourself (for your salvation) or do you want to depend on God?” The first lady joyfully responded, “I want to depend on God!” After deeper conversation, she prayed to become a child of God and started her journey of faith and trust in Him. She left smiling, a huge burden obviously lifted and with a follow up visit from local Christians scheduled. However, after the conversation with the second lady, she shook her head, looked sadly at me and said, “Well...I think I must continue to depend on myself.” She left so sad, reminding me of the young man in Matthew 19. More clinics are scheduled for January- please pray that God will prepare Isaan people’s hearts now, that will hear the gospel clearly and will respond in faith and trust...and please pray for the second lady to change her mind and trust in the Lord, too!
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Many Isaan children lack a parent or other adult to invest the time and effort to train them in the ways they “should go.” Far too often here we see children left in the care of people unable or unwilling to actually train the child, children being berated as wilful and stubborn and children shamed or frightened into compliance. Sometimes even well meaning Christian parents don’t know how to actually apply this verse in raising their children. To address those needs we have started preparing materials that can be used to teach basic Biblical parenting skills. Please pray the material will form part of an effective parent training program. In addition, though, the material states what we all know--- that just parenting skills aren’t enough! We all absolutely need the Lord’s help to raise our children in the way they should go. The material provides a way that parents who want to know God and His ways can contact Christians to hear more. Please pray that this section of the material will be the most effective part, bringing many Isaan families into God’s eternal family!
Isaan of Thailand A young woman in our small national church has a special opportunity to share her faith with students coming to our city from a country where following Christ comes with a very high cost. She and I are praying and planning together about how to do an outreach activity to take advantage of this opportunity—please pray for clear direction from the Lord and permission from the student’s on-site “watchers” for the students to attend.
Having met their initial language learning
goals, Marty and Dena McAnally
Many Isaan people believe Christianity is a foreigners’ religion, thinking it is acceptable for western people but not for Thais like themselves. In Luke 10:1 Jesus sent out his disciples “two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go…” Please pray for God to call out Isaan Thai Christians to partner with missionaries to share the gospel in ways that speak to Isaan people’s hearts and minds. Pray that workers will see the plentiful harvest Jesus promises.
I have a confession to make. In all our time in Thailand, I never saw much spiritual fruit come about when I tried teaching the Bible in English—so I stopped and taught the Bible only in Thai and/or Isaan, thinking that that was what the Lord wanted me to do. However, about three months ago, a woman in our Thai church asked me to disciple her using English because she wanted to grow in her faith and has a vision for being able to translate Thai preaching into English (and vice versa). Honestly, I had little hope for the time, thinking she would probably stop after a few weeks or the emphasis would be too much on learning English instead of the Bible, etc. However, God is working in ways I didn’t imagine! Not only has “B” continued to come faithfully but we’ve shared sweet times of learning from His Word together and she tells me regularly how much the times have meant to her. She has volunteered for ministry in a new church plant, wanting to apply and share what she is learning. In addition, she invited another young woman (“C”) who has begun coming regularly as well. “C” called me after the first time, asking to meet separately for prayer, saying that the Lord had spoken so clearly to her through His Word during our study. Praise the Lord for His Word, His faithfulness and His ability to speak to us through any language He chooses! Pray He will continue to grow these two young career woman after His heart. Pray that I and all the members of the Isaan team will experience Philippians 3:12-14, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (NKJV). Pray we will be open , flexible and prepared to do whatever He asks us to.
Update to earlier request
Thank you so much for your prayers for “Kay.” Although she has yet to make a public decision for Christ and appears to be still struggling inwardly with pain and grief, she is attending a women’s Sunday School discipleship class and church regularly, reading her Bible and even praying to God. Please continue to pray that she will surrender her life-- her past, her present and her future to Him. Pray Psalm 37:4 for Kay, that she would “delight… in the LORD, and that he will give (“Kay”) the desires of (her) heart.”
Please pray God’s Word for IMB representatives and Thai Christian leaders in Isaan. Pray that … “the Lord direct(s) (their) hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance” as in 2 Thessalonians 3:5. Pray also that “… what (they) preach is not (them)selves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and (them)selves as (Thai people’s) servants for Jesus' sake,” as in 2 Corinthians 4:5. Please pray they will “live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit” as in Galatians 5:25. Finally please pray that, “Beyond all these things (they will) put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity “ as in Colossians 3:14.
Follow up to earlier request:
In October 2012 you prayed for the children in the Isaan village where we go on Saturdays. Although the work there continues to be frustrating and slow, God encouraged us recently through one 6th grade girl’s actions over her spring break. She went to another part of the country to visit relatives (none of whom are Christians), saw a church (she didn’t know anyone there) and asked her aunt to take her there on Sunday! “M” attended church there all on her own, not knowing anyone—amazing for a young Thai girl. We’re so thankful to hear that God is working in her heart, encouraging her to take so much initiative to seek out God and Christians. Please continue to pray for this girl and other children in this village to seek the Lord will all their hearts!
God is at work to bring spiritual and physical healing to Isaan people. Please pray for mobile medical clinics scheduled in three Isaan provinces May 6-10 -- pray for government approval, health for the team coming from Tennessee and the local team, masses of God-prepared patients to come every day --- and that God’s Holy Spirit will lead people to give their lives to Him as a result of His work before, during and after the clinics. Pray they will “Go home and tell others how much God (did) for them.” (Luke 8:39) Thank you so much!
National pastor “O” and Mark have been teaching the Word to a very interested “Grandma” and her two grown daughters. It was (and is) encouraging to see their interest--- but yet there is a long way to go before they really understand what putting faith in Christ means. Why is that? Because last week after the lesson Pastor “O” asked Grandma how they could pray for her—and she asked them to pray that God would bless the ceremony ordaining her grandson into the national religion! Please pray that the Holy Spirit would work in her heart—and the hearts of other Isaan people—helping them to trust in Jesus alone. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (ACTS 4:12).
Multi-talented, intelligent, hard-working, fit, beautiful--- you’d be right to use those words to describe “Kay.” At the same time though, she’s also lonely, skeptical and emotionally wounded after the man she lived with broke her heart. God is at work to show Kay His love and His good plans for her life. Please pray that Kay will open her heart and mind to Him, joyfully recognizing that, “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made” ( Psalm 145:13). Pray she will surrender her life to Him and bring other Isaan people to Him as well.
Proverbs 14:22 b says,..."Those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness." Isaan house church leaders meet in mid-February to plan training and outreach for the rest of the year. Please pray that God will direct their hearts and minds to God’s will for their lives and ministries and then in faith obey Him. He tells us in 2 Peter 1: 5-8 how to be effective and productive in serving Him -- pray these leaders will obey His word through His power.
New pr request: The two Isaan men served God faithfully for many years and brought many of their family members, friends and fellow villagers to faith. We’re sad to report that both of them died in the past few months. We praise the Lord, however, that everyone in their respective families knew and respected their faith in God so the families held clearly Christian funerals for both men. At both funerals many non-believers came—some out of respect, some out of curiosity. All heard clear witness about Jesus Christ and the hope and assurance faith in Him brings. Please pray that those who heard will come to faith in Christ themselves. Pray that the efforts of those two leaders will continue to bear fruit even long after their lives on earth have ended. Please pray also for those who God will call to carry on the work after them—pray that God will call out workers to “run with perseverance the race marked out for (them),…fix (their) eyes upon Jesus…(and) not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Pray they will obey His call—through His power!
At the request of one national believer in the community,
national church leaders and missionaries have been going out to a new church
start weekly for more than 2 years. We've shared the gospel, led worship, worked
on relationships. We have been as faithful as we know how to be -- but frankly
and disappointingly, we just aren't seeing the results we long for either in new
people coming to faith or growth in the lives of those who say they believe.
Please pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to break through into the lives and
hearts of those in this community. Pray for God to do
“At risk” is what you might call the children in the Isaan village where we go every Saturday. Many are bright and energetic but have no guidance or consistent, loving discipline at home so are often in trouble, skipping school, and doing anything to get attention. They are often rude and disruptive during our classes and it is all too easy to become impatient with them. At the same time, we are deeply concerned about their futures as they edge into the teen years. Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Please pray for those of us who go out on Saturdays to have God’s wisdom, creativity and insight so we can love these children to Jesus as He desires.
Two major chronic problems in Isaan are: one, insufficient rains (or, some years, the opposite--terrible flooding) leading to poor crop yields and two, the lack of work outside of farming. These problems make it difficult for national Christians to earn even a basic living and stay here. Because of that, ongoing participation in evangelism, discipleship and starting and growing churches is difficult. Please pray that God would provide a way for national workers to earn a basic income, stay in Isaan and plant reproducing churches.
In John 4: 42, her fellow villagers told the Samaritan woman, “We no longer believe (in Jesus) just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” By the time you read this, Believers will be following up on people who heard about Jesus in mobile medical clinics. In addition, people in villages and towns near several new church plants have heard about Jesus through national believers and missionaries. Please pray that people all across Isaan will come to know, believe in, and trust Jesus as Lord and Savior just like the Samaritans in John 4. Pray for firm, life- long commitments to Him!
Hard working Isaan national church planters who make a living through the back breaking labor of rice farming have a brief window of relatively open time in September-- in between planting and transplanting, weeding and harvest—so they have planned a leadership training meeting. Please pray that God would bless this meeting in every way: His word would be clearly taught, that participants would understand it and how to apply it in their own settings, and finally, that they would use it and to train others to use it too. Thank you so much!
"Mr P" and his wife have been experiencing hard times for a long time. First, he injured his back and had to have major surgery, then an old issue resurfaced and he had to spend time in prison, then he developed a seizure disorder and now he experiences chronic severe pain, dizziness, and clinical depression. To support the family, his wife is working 80 hours a week or more so is rarely home and when she is home, she is exhausted. "Mr D" and his wife struggle to make a basic living through farming while trying to lead house churches and care for his elderly parents and their own two small children. “Mr. A” and his wife are newly -weds with a new business that isn't doing very well. His non-believing parents come to supervise their home and business every day making it very stressful for the new couple. Please pray for God's intervention in these fellow Christians' lives. Pray He will bless and encourage these couples. God's word says..."Blessed ...are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:28) Pray that all three couples will read and apply the word of God. Pray that as a result they will experience His blessing and be encouraged to deepen their walks with the Lord.
Workers for the Harvest
We’re excited to announce that Marty and Dena McAnally have joined the Isaan team! They arrived April 27 and are well on their way to learning Thai and getting settled in Thailand. Please pray for them to continue to live out Proverbs 3:5&6, trusting in the Lord for everything!
The original decision to try to do Isaan rural house church leadership training was a leap of faith—and it still is! But God has remained faithful. This past week a group of 61 rural house church leaders met for training, to study God’s word and worship Him. The conditions were pretty rough (sleeping in tents, cooking outside on charcoal burners, only two small bathrooms with bucket showers for the whole group to use) but the fellowship in the Lord, the Isaan style music and praise was wonderful! Please pray that those who came will implement the training they received. Please pray now for the next training to be held in September 2012. Pray that those the Lord wants to train and use will come. Pray that the group of four men (3 nationals and a missionary) who head up the planning will have a clear and unified vision for what and how to teach during that training time.
“Mrs. N’s” husband is an alcoholic. For years she has been
telling me about his
In Isaan it is quite common for a person to be the first Believer in their entire extended family and even in their community. As a result, it is quite likely an Isaan Christian young person has never experienced a loving Christian family life. Please pray for young believers to seek God and His plans for relationships—as singles and also for those Isaan Christians who meet, get to know and marry another Christian and raise a family. Pray that Christian families will be open to sharing their time and family life with single people and newly-weds, discipling them to follow Jesus in this area of their lives. Pray for Isaan believers to obey to Jesus’ command in John 13:34 & 35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Pray specifically for a young Christian couple with no other Believers in either family to be able to give clear witness of how Jesus has changed their lives during their February wedding and as they begin their lives together.
Missionaries have been living and faithfully working in one village in NE Thailand for over a year and a half with NO decisions for Christ. In another village there is only Christian family – and they have been the only Christian family there for over 10 years. In January we are going to both these villages to do mobile medical clinics. Please pray for a miracle: that God would reach into the hearts and minds of villagers in both these locations and call out new believers to follow Him and be gathered into reproducing churches.
Scott and Valerie Payne write, “Please pray that God will work in the hearts of each family that has been the recipient of flood relief from our church. Pray that God will use this expression of love to open hearts and grow his kingdom among the Isaan.”
Every morning three women in my subdivision make offerings according to the national religion here. Either before or after that, they also pour out water to make offerings to the spirit of the large tree at the entrance to our subdivision. I have shared the gospel with them but they are not at all interested—in fact they gave me some information on the national religion to read! Only God can change these women’s hearts, making them dissatisfied with their current worship and want the Truth. Please pray He does! Pray that as He does, they will seek for the Lord with all their hearts.
Follow up on earlier request:
This week Andrew Fox reported that “Granny S” and four other people from the seeker group meeting in her home prayed to receive Christ! We are rejoicing with Andrew, his national colleagues and the angels in heaven over these decisions…please pray that these new believers will glorify God by abiding in Jesus, bearing much fruit, and “so prove to be (Jesus’) disciples.” (from John 15: 7 &8)
Over 500 people in NE Thailand heard about Jesus! We are so thankful for the opportunity to hold mobile medical clinics in Isaan over four days in late August. Due to the generous gifts from Arizona volunteers we were able to provide free medical exams, free medicines and free information about the Great Physician. More than 50 people made prayerful decisions to follow Christ and an additional 26 more asked for follow-up visits. Please pray that those who indicated they wanted to follow Jesus and those who wanted more information will continue along the path to true discipleship. Pray that the Lord would protect their budding faith and grow them in Him, producing an amazing harvest for His glory.
Scott and Valerie Payne and their team recently held an English camp for 110 English Education majors from Mahasarakham University. As these students prepare to be English teachers they are happy to have opportunities to practice and learn English from “native speakers” like the 13 missionaries and volunteers who hosted the camp. But the camp also provided an opportunity for these students to learn something more important for their future than English skills: that God loves them and wants to give them new life in Christ. Please pray that these students will consider the truths that they heard through Bible stories and the testimonies of Thai and American believers and that they will seek God and desire to know Him.
In obedience to Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19, in September representative Mark Caldwell and two national colleagues will be hosting a training session for Isaan rural church leaders on “Making Disciples.” Please pray that Jesus will “open their minds so they (can) understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)
Baptist representative Andrew Fox and his national colleagues are working with four different seeker groups in a province in the Isaan region. Please pray that God will use the Bible stories in the Isaan heart language to touch the hearts of all those who hear. Pray they would both hear His word and believe in Him therefore “pass out of death into life” (John 5:24).
“Mother Lady” has been an amazing “person of peace” in her community. She has opened the door of her home for worship (and even renovated the space to make it more comfortable) and invited tens of her relatives and neighbors to attend the new church start in her village. She prepares lunch every week for everyone who comes as well. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to help her and those attending to understand clearly what being a follower of Jesus means. Pray that the Lord will help them to mature in their faith and glorify Him with their lives!
Thai Christians have a bold vision of seeing the number of believers among the country’s peoples double by 2015. This is something that will not happen without a lot of sharing of the gospel and faithful praying for God’s Spirit to move in the hearts of people all across this land. On April 25-28 a team of Isaan youth and their leaders will be participating in a special outreach in several villages in Nakhonratchasima Province. Please pray for this team and for those with whom they will meet and witness. Pray that the message will be shared in such a way that villagers will respond in faith to Christ. Pray also that other individuals and teams like this one will faithfully share Christ so that God’s kingdom will indeed grow among the Isaan and God will receive the glory that is due Him.
“Lynn’s” husband is in prison a long way away and she is supporting her family on her small income as a maid. Her life seems very hard. Following our regular discipleship Bible teacher’s study guide this week, we were to start out with praise. Seeing her tired face and knowing her situation, I hesitantly asked her if she had anything she’d like to praise or thank the Lord for. She broke out into a beautiful smile and said, “Oh, yes! I have lots and lots of things to praise God for!” and shared how the Lord had protected her and her son from a poisonous snake right outside her front door this week. Please ask the Lord to continue to care for “Lynn” and her sons and her daughter in law. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use Lynn’s life as a testimony, drawing the sons and daughter in law to God. Pray that Lynn’s husband will be released from prison soon and be able to find work to help the family.
t is a common prayer request for those of us on the field to ask for prayer that the Lord to send more laborers to join the work. We praise the Lord that He has answered these requests and a new journeyman joined with us in Isaan in early February! Pray that God would use this new journeyman to share the gospel with university students and others in Mahasarakham, Thailand. There are thousands and thousands of students at various educational institutions here and less than .5% of them know Christ. God has answered prayer in sending this new journeyman and we believe He will answer us again as we pray for her ministry. Pray for many opportunities to share and teach about Christ and for open hearts among the students. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing here among students in Isaan.
God has opened volunteer opportunities in two Isaan hospitals for missionary workers. Pray for opportunities to share Christ as they provide care to pediatric patients and their families. Pray for long term relationships to develop through this work. Please pray that those efforts will bear fruit in new disciples and churches
The book of James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5) Please pray for workers among the Isaan – both nationals and missionaries-- to have and demonstrate God’s wisdom as they make decisions about their work and lives. Pray they would set Godly priorities about the use of their time and have great discernment about how to go about the tasks God has given them. Pray they would trust in the Lord with all their hearts and not lean on their own understanding. Pray that workers would acknowledge God in all their ways and that God would make their paths straight (from Proverbs 3: 5&6).
Scott and Valerie Payne write, “We have taken on a new role as Team Strategy Leader for Isaan Students so we’d like to have lots of prayer support for this endeavor. There are at least 4 million Isaan students and the vast majority of these are not followers of Christ. Students are the future leaders of all areas of life in Thailand so we want to see them reached for Christ and believe that God can really use this population to make a difference in this country and beyond. Pray first of all that these millions of students would have an opportunity to hear and understand the message of the gospel. Pray that God would call them to Himself.”
The idea started with a college student’s seemingly simple question on the car ride back from Bible study: “How does a Christian know who to marry?” That question is simple to ask but not so simple to answer! So, the end of October we are hosting a two day seminar for single Christians led by a Thai national on just that subject—plus the important issue of sexual purity. Please pray that many Christian young people will come, the Holy Spirit would speak clearly to their hearts, and they would “walk with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) in this important area of their lives.
Mobile medical clinics will be held in 4 areas of Isaan during October. Please pray that God will bring many people to the clinics to be healed physically and spiritually through this ministry. Pray that a new method of following up people after the clinic using distribution of herbal seeds, the Creation Bible story and Isaan music about the Creator will be effective in drawing Isaan people closer to the Lord.
Last night we went to the celebration for a new church start here in Isaan and were so excited to see that “Amy” was there! One of the adults shared with us that she now goes over to help the young couple starting the church every week-end. The relationships that she has formed with the couple and having ministry that she can take responsibility for seems to have really helped her. Praise God for His continued work in her life. Please continue to pray that she will grow in her walk with the Lord and healing relationships with her mother and aunt will result.
The Payne family and their summer volunteers (including several motivated missionary kids!) working with students in Mahasarahkham have held two English camps over the past few months. These camps are designed to not only teach English and provide fun relationship building activities but most importantly, to present a winsome witness. Please pray that many students would be drawn to the Lord as a result of these camps. Pray that God would use the Paynes, the volunteers and the missionary kids in His plans to start reproducing churches among the Isaan.
Learning Central Thai (the national language of Thailand) is plenty difficult for Westerners as it is…but in mid-September a group of missionaries who have already passed the required level of competency in Central Thai is participating in training that will help them learn yet another language: the “heart language” of their people groups. Pray that participants will feel joy and excitement as they make this extra effort and sacrifice so that their peoples can hear the Gospel in the way they can best understand. Pray for God to bless this training and make it practical and immediately useful.
Many of the people who participated in the recent country-wide protests came from Isaan, showing deep felt needs for justice and acknowledgment of their value and worth. Please pray Isaan people to turn to the Lord in massive numbers, recognizing that He does love them and value them and will work to bring about good for them and their families as they participate in His kingdom’s work.
You prayed for “Amy,” a 13 year old Isaan girl last month. Thank the Lord she has come back to church several times. Please keep praying for love for the Lord to capture her heart and mind. Pray she would feel secure in His love and care for her.
Thirteen year old Amy came to Sunday school this week wearing huge dark glasses - not because she wanted to be fashionable, but to hide the black eyes and bruises from the beatings her “friends” gave her. Although she made a decision to become a Christian last year, 13 year old Amy has started running with a wild crowd, lying, staying out all night and dressing in skimpy clothes. Amy’s grandmother, mother and aunt are furious with her and no one seems to be able to help Amy to want to repent and live for the Lord and His best for her life. Please pray for God to give the adults in her life, including me, her Sunday school teacher, His wisdom and insight and love for Amy. Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict Amy and give her a deep desire to live for God. Pray for her to have hope that with God’s help she can change.
During the Isaan rural leadership training meeting held in February, the leaders went out into the nearby communities and shared the Gospel. Please pray for decisions to become Christians to “stick” and that new house churches would be started as a result.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, the seminar you prayed for in December was actually held in February. Please continue to pray for those young couples who attended—pray they will follow through with decisions they made during that time. Pray for relationships that bring God praise and glory!
A volunteer team from Indian Wells Church (Texas) came to Isaan in early February. Please pray for follow-up from their hard work to bear much fruit in the communities and hearts they touched during that time. Praise and thank the Lord for them!
We have been “casting the vision” with several of our house church members - trying to help them see that the Lord can use all of us in the work of starting new groups. We are hopeful that “Ot” will soon take leadership of our church and I am spending time with him weekly in Bible study and training. He’s a very willing participant and we’re praying that the Lord will bless the time together. Please pray with us!
Our little church of 30 members has 5 young professional or college student couples who are serious about their relationships and planning to marry – either right away or someday soon. At this writing we are planning to hold a pre-marriage seminar for them in November with the goal of helping them prepare for God glorifying marriages and relationships that please Him now. Please pray for these couples to implement Biblical principles in their lives and so be light and salt to Isaan/Thai people around them.
She helped the missionary family do housework and, over time, made a sincere decision for Christ. However, just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we never sin again. Sad to say, this lady gave in to the temptation to steal several times and had to be let go from doing housework. Praise the Lord, though—through His grace and compassion the missionary family has been able to maintain good relationships with this lady. She has genuinely repented and now they have joined with her in opening an outreach group! Please pray that those attending will see our Redeemer through this lady and the relationships she has with the missionary family.
Mobile medical clinics were held in several areas in Isaan in August and September. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would remind people who received tracts and other information again and again about the Lord and His love for them. Pray they will be deeply touched by what they read, saw and heard. Pray they will be gathered into reproducing churches.
After many years of hard work, still less than 1% of our people group know the Lord. We are asking God to "do awesome things which we (do) not expect" (Isaiah 64:3) to draw millions of Isaan to repentance, faith and salvation. Please join with us!
In March we rejoiced at "Kyle's" baptism. Now we are grieving-- he has turned away from the Lord and says he is seeing visions and having strange experiences. Please lift up "Kyle" to the Redeemer. Ask the Lord to keep Kyle for Himself, to not allow anything or anyone to snatch Kyle away from Him (John 10:28). Pray that God will protect our relationships with Kyle and use us and His word to help bring Kyle back into a relationship of love and obedience to Jesus.
In May agriculture training was held for several self-supported house church pastors. Please pray that they would be able to use what they learned and be able to earn enough income to provide, however simply, for their families while they serve the Lord.
We started sharing our lives and faith with
You prayed for the rural house church
Thank you so much for your prayers for the rural house church leaders training meeting! Two people accepted the Lord as a result of the community –wide evangelism that was part of that meeting. They requested baptism March 8th…Praise the Lord! We will continue to keep you informed about His work there.
Thank you so much for joining with us in God’s work in the mobile medical clinics held the first week of March through your prayers. Every person that came had an opportunity to hear the Gospel, many for the first time. It was exciting to see Jesus at work, healing people both physically and spiritually. I translated for a young doctor from the US who ended every exam by asking the patients, “Do you know Jesus yet?” A perfect introduction for further sharing! Please pray for the follow-up for people who indicated they wanted to believe or wanted further information. Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to confirm the reality of God in their hearts.
ISAAN OF THAILAND (EE-sahn). In February our rural house church leaders training meeting did something they had never done before: combine a community-wide evangelistic outreach with their training. Please pray now for continued follow-up from contacts made during that time. Pray that many new, reproducing house churches would be started as a result.
ISAAN OF THAILAND (EE-sahn). We’re excited about the mobile medical planned during the first week of March. Pray that lots of patients would come to hear the Good News and the Lord would minister to them physically and spiritually. Pray that many Isaan would be saved and become committed disciples as a direct result of this clinic.
The road to maturity in Christ is never-ending for all of us, but that road can be very difficult for new believers in Thailand. Despite the difficulties Kyle wants to grow in Christ. He will soon follow Christ in believer's baptism. Pray for Kyle as he participates in Bible study, prayer, worship and fellowship.Pray that he will indeed grow and develop as a believer and a leader in God's kingdom in Thailand. Pray for new opportunities to develop for ministry to medical students in two medical schools in Isaan. Pray that God would use former missionaries to Thailand to develop "bridges" to this population and current missionaries would walk across them, reaching the students on the other side!
"Pat" and "Rain" are new Isaan believers! How we rejoice in their salvation. Please pray for them as they continue to know God more each day. Both of them seem to have found a hunger for the Word of God and obeying Him. Pat, along with a large number of Isaan men, has struggled with alcoholism for many years. He knows that this his battle with alcohol is destroying his family and he wants to quit. He has been getting up early in the mornings to run and has been able to stop drinking for nearly a week now...Praise God! Also, at our house tonight during Bible study Rain praised God because she is not living in constant fear anymore. They are praying others will see the changes in their lives and want to know God as well. Please keep praying for this couple to continue to seek God for their lives as they tell others about their new life in Christ and as they make decisions for their children. We held our house church retreat on November 1 and 2 at a small meeting facility in Mahasarakham Province. There were approximately 20 of us in attendance for the weekend of worship, teaching and fellowship. Topics included "Living as a Christian in Thai Society", "Tithing", "Christian Sexuality", and many others. This was a good meeting and we believe it was beneficial for all who attended. The really exciting thing is that one non-believer who attended accepted Christ at the retreat! Please pray for all our young-in-the faith believers to daily grow closer to the Lord.
We praise the Lord for opportunities to help the folks in our house church grow through a recent church retreat. Praise the Lord for those who helped in leadership, providing a good time of worship and teaching for the believers. We also praise the Lord for the opportunity to have several non-believers at the retreat, one of whom accepted Christ on Sunday morning. Another did not yet accept Christ, but he was glad about getting to learn more and said that he has a lot to think about. Please pray for the new believer to grow in faith and obedience to Christ. Please pray for the one searching for truth to find Him! Please pray for three Lao young women living in our subdivision. We have taken them videos and Christian materials to read and they say they are interested in Christianity. Today when we went to visit, we asked one of them where she was in her reading the Bible. She said she was to the part where they killed Jesus. I then asked her , "But you know what happened next, right?"She said, "No, I don't. what happens?" I told her to keep on reading and find out-that there was a wonderful ending to the story! Please pray that she would in fact keep reading and understand what she reads, coming to salvation in Christ who was raised from the dead.
Isaan Thai men frequently travel away from home to find work. We just received this email from one of those men: "It’s long time since I have your business card but I didn’t try to contact you by email. At last I found it in my wallet plus I have my own email address then I said to myself I gotta do some thing to contact you to help me to live like Christian's (do)." Please pray for this man (we'll call him "Sam") to grow in his faith. Pray he will trust in Jesus's goodness and grace and not his own ability. Pray for his family to follow the Lord as well. Thank you!
'Kyle' believes in Christ as his Savior now for sure! It has been so neat to see him grow and reach out to others. He has finished the NT and is now reading the OT.He has encouraged his friends to come to English Groups, Friday night fellowship, Bible study and church and a good number of them have responded. Last night he brought four friends to church with him again. Wow. He's a real blessing." Please pray he will continue to grow in his faith with an increasingly close walk with the Lord.
A training camp for rural house church planters was held in Isaan in September. The theme was “Families Living for Christ.” Please pray that those attending will continue to apply what they learned in faithful, joyful obedience. Pray that God would mightily bless their efforts! Ask God to help them to be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” (James 1)
How thankful we are for the fruit we are seeing among students in Mahasarahkham! Please continue to pray that workers there would see the “fruit that will last” as Jesus promised in John 15:16.
We are praying to God for the Isaan as in Isaiah 64, “Oh that you (God) would burst from the heavens and come down! …When you came down long ago, you did awesome things beyond our highest expectations…”For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eyes has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” (Life Application Bible) Please pray that God would draw Isaan people into loving relationship with him and into fellowships of believers for His glory.
God has answered many prayers for our work among students in Mahasarakham this summer. He has utilized our summer missionaries and other volunteers in wonderful ways. He has given them and us some amazing opportunities to share with some genuine seekers. Some great relationships have been established and we hope to continue building on what has taken place. Praise God for these answered prayers and pray that He will continue working in the lives of students and others here.
Training Camp! September 3-5 a church planting movement training camp will be held for national rural church planters among the Isaan. Please pray that God will equip these servant-leaders through this training and bless their fellowship with His love-- both for each other and the unreached Isaan.
Even though Kris and Misty Ellis and Andrew Fox are already in what is considered a full-time job (language and culture learning), the Lord is allowing them to meet and share with Isaan Thai peoplein various settings. Please pray that Isaan Thai people will be drawn to the Lord through these encounters.
Turn about is fair play! Usually, it is missionaries who give out Bibles, isn't it? Here is a different twist!
Years ago, "Mr. Pipe" went to work in Australia. He met a Christian there and the friend gave him a Bible-- in English. "Mr. Pipe" speaks a little English and can read his "ABCs" but not much more. However, he recognized the Bible as being a holy book and kept it all those years. On his return from Australia, he began attending our little church in the NE part of Thailand and has now made a decision for the Lord. He has a Thai Bible and studies it regularly, trying to obey what he reads. What fun it was for me, the missionary, for "Mr. Pipe" to bring his English Bible to church and give it to the me, the missionary! Please pray God's blessings on Mr. Pipe and his family as they read their Thai Bibles and seek to obey God-- and please pray for me as I do the same, using the English version. Pray God's blessings on the Australian man who did what he could to share God's word-- little did he know God would use it to bless both Mr. Pipe and me!
Andrew Fox asks, “Please continue to pray for me as I transition teachers at the beginning of June. The professor I have been studying with is not free once the academic term begins. I will be switching to two different teachers, aiming for better pronunciation. Ask that I am able to continue to make progress.” Pray for even more opportunities for Andrew to share his faith and spiritual fruit as a result of his sharing.
Kris and Misty Ellis write, “Your prayers are so valuable to us and the work of God here in Thailand. Our beginning here in Thailand has not been easy. We feel like we have come up against many obstacles. The Bible says we are to expect this, but nonetheless it is still hard. We invite you to pray with us that we would be faithful to follow God no matter the cost.2 Corinthians 12:9 Please also pray for Misty’s teacher who has expressed sincere interest in knowing Jesus and for our continued language learning…that it would be for His glory. And finally, please pray that while we are in language that we would stay close to God in an intimate way.
Continue to pray for “J” and her family. After sending out last month’s prayer request regarding her non-believing husband who does not help support the family, things went from bad to worse as far as their financial situation goes! Despite J.'s efforts to keep the family out of debt, her husband has made several poor decisions which have recently resulted in a huge debt for the family. But it seems that your prayers are being answered in another way. It seems that these recent events have caused J's husband to see his own weakness and realize that he must depend on someone other than himself and his wife. After a missionary “spoke straight” with him about his need to turn his life around, J overheard him say to one of his friends that Jesus is the only one who can help him get out of the mess he is in. Please pray that J's husband will give his life to Christ, and that he will become a new creature in Him.
Pray for J, a Christian woman who works hard trying to support her family. She is married to a man who is not yet a believer, and he continues to be irresponsible when it comes to helping support the family. The burden of dealing with his immaturity and irresponsibility is becoming increasingly difficult for J. Pray that she will find strength in Christ in this situation. Pray that God will work in her husband's life in ways that only He can and bring him to saving, life-changing faith in Christ.
Six summer volunteers from GA BCM will be arriving in late May to spend ten weeks working with university students in Mahasarakham, Thailand. They are excited and ready to serve. Pray that the Lord will go before them preparing the way for the work that they will do. Pray that this team will bear fruit that is eternal.
"Phillip", a recent graduate from MSU, has been involved in our student ministry in Mahasarakham since his freshman year. He has been involved in weekly Bible study and knows a great deal about the gospel, but he has not yet come to faith in Christ. He will be going to Australia for a special five-week course as a result of winning 1st place in a national English speaking competition. Pray that the Lord will place loving, caring believers in his path in Australia who can minister to him and help him come to personal faith in Christ.
Please pray for God to send an
agricultural missionary worker out to His
Kris and Misty Ellis write, “Thank you to all of you who prayed for our party that took place on December 29, 2007. After a few minor setbacks, the party took place and around 20 local people came and enjoyed Isaan food and music. We definitely learned a lot about the culture from this experience. The traditional Isaan music was provided by a church a little over one-hour from our house. We ask that you pray for the people who came to this party, and even the people who stood at our gate because maybe they were to afraid to come in... that God would draw them to Himself, and that we would be able to share His truths with them.”
Scott and Valerie Payne work with students and recent college graduates in Isaan (NE Thailand). As you read and pray over these requests, praise the Lord for the heart of love He has given the Paynes for these graduating university students. They ask, “Please pray for Num. She is a believer who has been very involved in our ministry; it has been a joy to work with her. Pray for her as she is making plans to stay in Mahasarakham and work for a while. That would be great to be able to continue to work in ministry with her. Pray also for Wit. He is a student who has been involved in all the various aspects of our ministry but he has still not become a follower of Christ so pray for him. Another student who will be graduating is Nui. She was one of the first students we met, and we were happy that she had recently become a follower of Christ at that time. She has had her ups and downs in life and in her faith, but she is full of potential. Pray that she will have the encouragement she needs to live a life that gives glory to God for the things He has done in her life. Finally, please pray for Ploy. She has also been very involved in our work over the past four years, but has not yet made a commitment to Christ. She has expressed an interest in being a Christian, but is facing opposition from her family. Pray that God work will continue working in her life and in the life of her family members.”
Pray that national leaders Poh Bua, Dang and Yupah will continue to love and serve God with all their hearts, minds and strength in Nong Bua Lam Phu province.
Contact us with questions or
comments about this web site.