Here are some exiting news from us out here in Northern Thailand. October 2019
In the last four to five weeks, a lot has happened here in the Ministry we are leading, Good News for the Shan. Among other things, there have been several Shan who have received Jesus, around 13-14 people, and we are busy following them up. Several of them we have been reaching out to for a while already, but suddenly there were several who wanted to take the full step out and accepting Jesus in their life.
On Sunday, we baptized five of those who became Christians in September.
Read more about this and some stories from the last two months in this newsletter
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How it started
It all started with four people that surprisingly came at a house meeting we had on a Monday night.
Monday is our family's day off, and we had actually gone to this house meeting just to encourage a Christian couple who had just moved to a new place where they had no electricity and were having a difficult time. They lived far out on the rice paddies.
When we arrived another family called that we know. They said that they would come to this house because they wanted to receive Jesus.
After 5-10 minutes they came, and there was a middle-aged man in particular who said he was very ready to receive Jesus. He had been thinking and waiting for a long time to receive, because he wanted a change in his life.
He is also the father of a 14 year old girl who attends our Saturday and Sunday school, and we have known her for about 3 years.
She also wanted to receive, plus two other young men, one we have known for over 12 years (but we have not seen him for a while).
So the evening was a bit different than what we had planned.
We finally got to pray for and encourage the married couple we came to visit, when it was getting dark, and in the light of a flashlight.
The Man With Broken Legs
This summer we came in contact with a man who had been involved in two motorcycle accidents, and had broken both of his legs. His name is Sei Mong.
He was very depressed and didn't look bright on the future when we visited him in June.
A mission that helps us in our Ministry from Switzerland also helped this man with a hospital bill in connection with his accident in May.
In September, he had become much better, and he wanted to receive Jesus.
On Sunday we had baptism and he was one of the people that got baptized.
He said he had been reading a lot in the Bible, and he had a strong testimony on Sunday before his baptism (see image above) on how God had helped him through a difficult time.
Five got baptized
We potentially have around 13 people who could have been baptized on Sunday, but some didn't have the opportunity to come, while others would think more about it. A family also had to go to work in another city for a period of time.
But five of them decide to do it, and we baptized them on Sunday after our Sunday meeting. Those who we baptized were three of those who received Jesus the night I talked about earlier, including the father (on the picture) and the girl. Plus a friend of one of those who received this evening, who became a Christian a week after. We also had Sei Mong as I have mentioned already.
Pray for those who have received Jesus in the last two month, and especially those five who wanted to be baptized!
What makes me most happy is not always those who say they want to be Christians, because I have experienced many who have said it but did not really mean it. What really makes me glad are the ones who believe it, and want to take the full step out as by being baptized.
But this is also just the beginning, for disciple-making and follow-up work is the most challenging part. After 25 years in full-time ministry, and 15 years on the mission field, I can really say that.
In the last month I have also heard of several Shan who once made a choice to become a Christian and even were baptized, and were Christians for several years, but who today have made a choice to return to Buddhism again. This makes me sad. That is why follow-up work is so important, and really pray with us that we must have the resources and wisdom in this! We really want to see fruit that last.
See the video of baptism
We have also started gatherings on Sunday mornings now, and one of the reasons is that we need to followed up and teach those who are new Christians. We also have a home gatherings in the evening every week where we also teach.
In the beginning we were only 4-5 who met at the Sunday meetings, but the last few Sundays there have been 10-20 people who have come, including new Christians and some young people.
At baptism we were over 40 include children
A 15-year-old girl called Nong Mong, who got baptized a year ago, is very eager to come to our gatherings and wants to grow as a Christian. She wants to attend a Bible school when the time comes. She also came with us to a Shan conference we attended last week.
Shared at a Shan Conference
Last week we were at an annual Shan conference. It is always encouraging to meet others, and other groups, who are working to reach out to the Shan people. Since the most of the people there were Shan (and everything was Shan) it was especially encouraging for my wife (she is also Shan).
There were some speakers who could not come to the conference, so I was asked to share in a morning session (45-50min). I was a bit unprepared for it. I am usually ready to share anytime, but the challenge was that I had to do it in Shan. I've started sharing at our Sunday meetings in Shan, but this was a slightly bigger challenge. One thing is to speak Shan, but it is more challenging to share from the Bible in the Shan language, and to be understood well.
I felt it went really well, better than I can remember I've ever shared in Shan. I got good feedback too.
News From Our Family
Our daughter Elisabeth turned one year this month, and she has started to stab and babble quite a bit.
On Sunday she became ill and we went to the clinic in a hurry (in the afternoon after baptism), and she had a throat infection. She had a high fever for two days. In the evening the second day, we started to get a bit worried. Our two oldest daughters prayed for her and within 10 minutes the fever disappeared and suddenly she was very awake and kept us up until about 12 o'clock at night.
Our two other daughters also have a month school vacation now, so we're trying to find things to do as a family.
The second school term begins on Monday.
Next week we also need to renew our visas, please pray for us that everything will go well with this. We should all get a one year visa now.
Feel free to keep us in prayer for us financially, too, since we have to pay about 1,200 USD for schooling for our children next week (we pay in two terms and tuition for both costs us about 2,500 USD per year).
The Norwegian currency (where we get most of our support from) is also falling steadily as Thai bath strengthens, that means that the exchange rate is bad and that most things are much more expensive for us now, so we need some more support.
For donation and support to us as a family you can use PayPal. Follow the link below (information is on my website):
- Prayer Subjects
Pray for those who have recently become Christians
Pray for the five who got baptized on Sunday
Pray for our Sunday morning gatherings that more of the new believers will come to these gatherings.
Pray for those we follow up in the evenings in our home Churches as well.
Pray for a poor pregnant woman who will give birth these days
Pray for our private finances and for us to raise money for our daughters' schooling.
Pray for the economy of our ministry, and especially for a car for the ministry
Pray that everything will go well with renewing of our visas next week
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