Home of Joy Building Project

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thaiprayers
This update comes from Larry and Diane who serve in Thailand (Asia). This project will be featured in this year’s World of Hope.

We have now purchased some land near our present ‘Home of Joy’ home, so that we will be able to have bigger facilities for more youth, as well as to have gardens, and maybe some chickens and pigs too! These ‘Karen’ are farmers, so we don’t want the girls to lose their heritage! They get up at 5 in the morning on school days. They have devotions in the morning and worship every evening. This is quite normal for most Karen that I know of – it seems the Lord is starting a revival in Thailand with the Karen, and other tribal peoples. I am not the only one who has said this either.

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Vision
We have a vision to have a house or two for teenage girls with a large meeting room for training disciples, as well as a home church.

Goal
To start preparing the land and build in stages. We hope we can building by November, if anyone is interested to join, and that the “Home of Joy” team can move in by April 2015, or sooner!

Costs
We will build in stages as follows:
Stage 1: Prepare the land, electricity, water. Cost $4000.
Stage 2: Build the roof, floor and one bathroom: Cost $6,000.
Stage 3: Build the outer structure and a few rooms to be used as a meeting place. Cost $8,000.
Total Cost: $18,000

However, to become fully liveable, we pray the Lord will provide above and beyond with churches to join us in partnership!

We have purchased the land already and it has been sub-divided on May 26, 2014! The photo above shows the garden area. There is room for a few houses as well. We also plan to live near to the youth home to help take care of it. Pray that this first stage will be built soon so we can begin outreach in this community.

Follow more about Larry and Diane’s ministry here:
http://willemsinthailand.wordpress.com/

6 Things That Will Blow Your Mind About Thailand

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This piece is from Graeme. He and his family are serving with the EFCCM in Thailand. Please let us know in the comments if you’d like to see more “6 Things That Will Blow You Mind” type posts.

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In my very short time here in Thailand I have been struck by a few things that have blown my mind and will inevitably blow your mind as well. Thailand is a rich cultural landscape with many things that are both beautiful and dangerous. Thai people are very devout to their belief system on the surface. They have many festivals with rich pageantry and diverse rituals and participation goes without saying.

Below the surface, it seems that there is nagging fear of death and retribution for a lifetime of selfish living. This fear drives them to offer themselves to powers that seek to destroy them, because to them there is no other alternative. Insert Jesus. I see a huge opportunity for the church to advance through the power of the Holy Spirit here. God’s message of redemption through Christ and the forgiveness of sins is poised to have a major impact on these people, especially those in desperate need of rescue, both physically and spiritually. Here are some things that I have seen that may blow your mind, as they have mine.

1. The Gospel is going out IN POWER
I have heard many stories and have already witnessed the miraculous. The Gospel is going out in power, as Paul said it does, and this is causing those affected by it to stop and actually examine the claims of the Gospel of Jesus. Many are being healed, restored and released from demonic oppression. This has blown my “Free Church” mind.

2. From young to old, there is a tangible spiritual reality
Although this is usually manifested in idol worship, it does blow my mind to the reality that the Thai people are very aware of their need for something outside of themselves. Connected to number one, this provides a great stage for the Living God to invade their lives. We have a tremendous opportunity to introduce them to the victorious, all powerful, lover of their souls, Jesus Christ.

3. Community and family are essential to life
For me as a western Christian, this is mind blowing because the idea of living in community is more to the Thais then a principal. For someone like me who has grown up as an individualist, this is hard to wrap my head around. Especially when I see people with very little means of survival for themselves, doing all they can to provide for those people in their family and immediate community. There are so many things, in this regard, that I hope to learn from them and I pray will change my worldview about the essential need to live in community.

4. The sheer amount of people who have not heard the Gospel
a. Especially in Chiang Mai, with the great number of missionaries, it is mind blowing that there are so many still who have not heard. This is a major opportunity for the church here. Many have an idea of Christianity and are curious, but have yet to encounter the love of God through Jesus.

5. How intricately linked justice and worship are
In a place like this that is saturated with the poor widows, orphans, and the oppressed it is all too clear the link between justice and worship. It is very hard to sit back and enjoy our rescue for ourselves when there are so many who are in desperate need of it. I am reminded of the kind of worship that God seeks from us. That we would love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with our God. The opportunity for the Gospel to have major impact is linked to our opportunity to show justice and mercy and seek restoration.

6. How the love of Jesus restores even the most broken
As we have connected with various organizations involved in human trafficking I have been amazed at the stories of torture and debasement that these people have gone through. But, at every turn I am confronted with the stark reality that the love of Jesus has the power to restore COMPLETELY. I have been humbled more than once at the faith these people display in the power of God to heal and restore. And I have been amazed to see the powerful men and women of God they have become through Christ.

God longs to see His creation restored and Thailand is part of that plan. God is reconciling the world through Jesus and he is using His Church to get the message out. The church in Thailand has always His Plan A for Thailand. Please pray that the church here in Thailand would receive her mandate with joy and excitement and would continue to capitalize on the opportunities that Holy Spirit is both putting in front of her, and empowering her to accomplish. If you would like to connect with us you can email us at graemerattray@gmail.com or go to our website. (Graeme and Serena have put together a collection of great videos updates!)

Mini-Update from Thailand

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Pray for our church plant in Mae Wang, Thailand. We have a young leader named Suwat who is in leadership training. He is single and wants to be a pastor. Pray for older Christian men to be a balance to him and for strong Christian elders to be trained on how to share in the duties of running a church. Larry, our EFCCM missionary in Thailand, is emphasising fellowship and discipleship in is preaching and teaching that he is doing with the church.

Thank the Lord for one young man, Somchai, who chose to accept Christ as his saviour last Sunday in this church plant! We hope that Suwat and the community surrounding him will continue to nurture Somchai’s new faith and understanding of Jesus’ teaching, and that his testimony will influence many!

The Journey in Thailand

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Many of you probably know that Randy coordinated the Journey house church plant in Langley, BC. In the last few months he and his family have made the transition to Thailand where he is continuing to share the vision of the Journey in a population that is mostly non-Christian. He’s maintaining an informative blog — and I thought it’s worth letting you know about it.

You can find it by clicking here.

Thailand Follow-Up

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The airports have been re-opened and the week-long protest has been diffused. The airport closures affected an estimated 300,000 travellers, and were just the most visible element of general unrest. For a brief synopsis of the whole situation, click here.

Clearly Thailand still needs prayer for its somewhat tenuous political conditions. But I’m thankful that this incident ended as peacefully as it could.