Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Less Than Two Months To Go.

Less than two months to go and my wife and I will be walking on Canadian soil again. It’s an exciting thought for us to be coming home but we are happy be serving God’s purpose here in Thailand.

My wife has been working very hard over the past year running the English school. On top of her afterschool English classes with her kids she also attends 2 government schools throughout the week teaching students. A few months ago a door opened for her to teach English at our local city hall to city workers. My wife immediately saw this as another opportunity to develop relationships and share the love of Christ to these people. As my wife remains faithful to her responsibility here God is faithful to her by giving her more doors to share the gospel. My wife and her English department has been a big factor in making our name known in the community. As our reputation grows in the community the more opportunities we have to evangelize our faith.

Bekah has also been pouring a large portion of her time into preparing for a month long English camp for kids. This is an all day camp where kids take part in games, crafts, art, sing & dance that are oriented to teaching kids English. There is all time where the basics of English is taught. This camp started on March 30th and continues up until April 24th.

As for me, I have been keeping pretty busy with the Bible school. We have just one more class to go and my first year of school is finished. We just completed a very good course on leadership that imparted a lot of practical wisdom in me about being a leader. I have aslobeen occupied with filming and editing for Continuum, which is the TV show that this ministry produces to show on the miracle channel. Continuum’s purpose is to mobilize believers into the Great Commission by showing a lot of what this ministry does as far as outreach and the impacts it has made. If you are interested in watching the show it airs on the miracle channel on Tuesday nights around 6 or 6:30 pm. You can also watch them on you tube. Just search for ‘continuum media’ in the youtube search bar. My wife and I are shown in some of the episodes in relation to what we have been doing.

Back in February, I traveled down south with the students on our annual jungle trip. This is the first time I have ever got to experience what it’s like to be camping in the Thai wilderness, where you are surrounded by hoards of bamboo trees, exotic birds making sounds you never heard before, scorpions, spiders as big as your hand, funny looking frogs and 3rd world villages without a foundation of the gospel. 3 years ago I would have never imagined myself making a tent out of bamboo or hiking through several kilometers of jungle and rivers to find a village.

Over the course of our trip we visited 3 villages spending a few days in each village. Believe it or not but all of these villages had a church but after spending some time to get to know the area we realized there were hardly any believers. The pastors were very welcoming to our unexpected arrival. These villages had a church and a pastor but there was no body because of the lack of outreaching and discipleship. And one pastor can’t do it by themselves. It just revealed to me that these villages may have been witnessed to a generation or 2 ago but there has been no solid follow up in teaching of the word. Don’t be quick to believe statements you hear like ‘most of the world has been evangelized to’ or ‘the world is already reached’ because those are based on false statistics that many people have come to Christ. Even saying the sinners prayer doesn’t necessicarily mean a person is saved. Billy Graham has even shared that 1 out of 10 people that come up at an alter call during one of his conferences will actually stay committed to serving God. That’s why we need to preach the true convicting gospel and as well following through with teaching of the word and building a foundation in new believers.

The villagers lived very simple lives. Just walking through it made me think I was back in time 200 years because all of the houses were made out of bamboo. There was hardly any electricity (just a few solar powered lights) and everybody bathes, drinks, and washes their clothes in the nearby river.

We (the students) took advantage of their time by playing with the kids and organizing services involving puppet shows, singing, preaching and praying and laying hands on the children and adults. We came home knowing that we were able to plant seeds of love and truth into those people. But we all knew in our hearts that these people needed more than just a few days of our time. The world needs more equipped believers that are willing to leave their comfortable lives at home and go into these villages and build a strong foundation of believers that will stand fast and grow in the generations to come. We need more John Wesley’s in our generation.

So that is what has been going on in our lives over the past few months. Please keep us in your prayers for our safety here and that lives would be changed here as we minister. May God Bless and keep you :)

-Josh & Bekah