Happy Thanksgiving to our American family and friends. We will be having ham, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole tonight. Turkey’s are in the neighborhood of $175, so we thought maybe we would pass on that. I get to play my annual game of flag football in an hour or so at the international school, so hopefully I come out in one piece.
This may be a bit longer, but I’d like to share a story in more detail than I normally go into. Most TV shows last an hour, and I’ll take about 5 minutes, so bear with me 🙂
Recently, we participated in the “Christians Love Chiang Rai” event held annually downtown. The area churches take over a large open area, and have free food, entertainment, games, and other things like that. I joined the prayer ministry, excited about the prospects of praying for healing for those who were sick. The power of God, evident for those who do not know Him, is such a powerful testimony.
As I and a few others in the “prayer tent” were proceeding through the evening, we prayed for many people. It was common to have a college aged Christian student to bring some Buddhist friends in for prayer. They would request prayer for general things such as their studies, families, or health. God had other things in mind. For many people, as they would sit down, God would begin to show me details about their lives, which absolutely amazed them… and freaked a few of them out. One girl looked at her friend, as if she had told me things ahead of time and asked, “How does he know all of this?” We were able to share God’s love with so many people that evening. Some shed tears, others just walked away stunned… with a LOT to think about.
The highlight of the evening was when two girls, probably around 15 years of age came in for prayer. One followed Christ, and the other did not. When I asked how I could pray for them, the Christian friend boldly said, “I want her to become a Christian.” Hmmm… it doesn’t really work that way, but let’s talk. God began to show me things about both of them, but more specifically, the Buddhist girl. Everything I was saying about her hunger for love and acceptance, and how God wants to pour that into her was resonating in such a deep and powerful way. She was so hungry for God’s love, and so empty from the hollow pursuits of other things. With every word, she was getting more and more excited, and she emphatically decided to follow Jesus, right there! Her friend said she was ready to teach her and mentor her. What a blessing, to see a young girl, passionately following Jesus, and ready to bring her friends to Him as well! The girls happen to live about two streets down from my translator, so follow-up will be taken care of.
It was such a beautiful, and rewarding time, certainly my favorite ministry moment in a long time. The fact is, hearts are hungry for the love of God. When we are willing, and available, God shows us the people who are ready to receive His love, and we are so excited to be simple tools in the hands of God to achieve that purpose here in Chiang Rai.
- Ministry at the gym is going well. I’m building relationships with a lot of people, and will launch Alpha for Thai students in January at the gym. I am considering offering a second Alpha at the gym in Chinese (God keeps bringing me Chinese students, lol) and possibly another Alpha for mostly hill-tribe youth at our Church. That’s possibly 3 Alpha’s running at the same time!
- I will conducting my first Alpha Training in Chiang Rai in the next month.
- Rosie is doing a great job leading the Sunday School ministry at church, and preparing the children’s Christmas program. She needs additional teachers to help, so please keep that in prayer.
- Another one of our students we ran Alpha with back in 2014 is now following Jesus, though she is now in Hong Kong.
- Ball, the Thai university student who attended our bible studies, and became a Christian this year is going to be working with me as I run Alpha and do training’s. Of course, this will train and equip him to run Alpha on his own, and I am hopeful that we can get him to run Alpha at his church.