Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wind of change

We are waking up up each morning with unusually cold and foggy mornings, it’s funny how weather seems to change every year. It has been said that the only thing constant in this world is change. Missionary work is the same. Our goal remains the same but the means and the opportunities to share the gospel and make disciples change. Only God and his faithfulness remain the same. As the Psalmist says:

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Ps. 102: 25-27)

Although we have been anticipating big changes since last year, we are still blown away that they are finally happening.

Firstly, it is now certain that we are leaving Mae Sai Church. We had been working with Burmese migrant workers for 5 years now and this church had been the avenue through which we minister to these people. No one could have thought that several years ago the church have no sunday school, no migrant primary school,no nursery, no children’s home and no trained staff. There were very few worshippers especially in the morning. We are happy that we had been part of its growth and to know that our presence is no longer needed. At the same time, we are sad that we are leaving and will have to look for another church to work with.

Secondly, when the English worship was cancelled, Jethro and I among other Filipino Christian workers in Mae Sai decided to gather together once a month for worship and fellowship. It is a simple gathering but we are open to the leading of the Holy Spirit if he wills that a new church will come out from this fellowship. We are praying that it will expand to become a church that is open to all nationalities and tribal groups.

Thirdly, it is now definite that we are leaving The Foundation that is providing us visa.  Nonetheless, we praise the Lord for his timely provision. The school Rong Rian Powihan is willing to give Narlin a volunteer visa. In addition to this, Asia Rural Life Development Foundation (ARLDF) is willing to sponsor our visa if the the school arrangement didn’t work out.

Fourthly, our partnership with an agricultural NGO is now official. The NGO will have a regular 3-month (spread through out the year) discipleship and agricultural training. Jethro, the NGO director will teach agriculture and I (Joey) will teach the discipleship part using Seminary Education by Extension curriculum. The training will tentatively start in March.

Finally, we are praying for the probability of working with a charitable Christian organization from Bangkok. People to People Foundation found itself in a very unusual situation. They stumbled upon very cheap properties between Mae Sai and Chiang Saen and they believe that God has planned everything. A team from the USA came, bought the properties and is now financially supporting the construction of the building. They will call it The Indo-China Mission Training Center. The construction will be finished in August. The coordinator of the Foundation is a Filipino who is married to a Thai lady. We came to know him through a local Pastor in Mae Sai. He had a meeting with us and told us that they have the facilities but they are still praying for people who will oversee its daily operation and activities. Since we are already in Mae Sai for five years, he believes that we are God’s answer to their prayers. He had invited us to join their Camp and Conference in Bangkok this coming April in order for us to know the leaderships of the organization.

We are excited with the changes that will happen this year. We are confident in God that we can continue on serving him this year in whatever capacity because you are praying for us.

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