Grace Baptist Bible Institute
In September, I had the opportunity to help train over thirty Thai, Lisu, Lahu, Hmong, and Ahka preachers in sermon preparation. The main aim of the training was to get the men to first study God’s Word in context. You would be shocked at how uncommon it is to refer to the context of their specific text when they preach. Over the years, pastors here in Thailand have been taught by missionaries to take verses out of context and preach whatever is “on your heart”. This training was the first of many that we pray will help Thai Pastors faithfully handle God’s Word in the pulpit.
The months of October and November are already looking to be busy in terms of planning for the upcoming set of students. We have classes to plan, schedules to make and lots of people to visit with as we carefully pray about the next set of men that the Lord would allow us to train. Please pray that the Lord would raise up and prepare the next group and that He would guide us as we seek them out among the hundreds of hill tribe villages in our area.
Grace Bannasan - Publishing Ministry
In October, we will be printing a book on The Doctrines of Grace. In the 200+ years of “christianity” in Thailand, this will be the first book in the Thai language which covers these doctrines. Pray that the Lord would be glorified and these truths found in His Word would be joyfully embraced by the true believers here! Pray that this book may help encourage them to go to the scriptures!
Additionally, over the last two months we have had the opportunity to start a Pastoral Library Program. We are in touch with about 250 pastors throughout all of Thailand who have signed up for the program. With the help of those who have given towards the printing ministry we have been able to send each of them a set of 16 books to help them with their studies. That is over 4,000 books we were able to mail out to these men at no cost! Thank you so much to the churches who have given towards the printing ministry here. We had no idea the Lord would open up so many doors through this ministry but we are thankful to see how He is working through it! Our long term goal with this “program” is to send each of these 250 pastors a new book twice per year. We have also opened up a group discussion with these men that will allow us to keep them updated about new resources, trainings, and conferences. I am thankful and excited for the opportunity to see how the Lord will continue to grow each of these pastors.
As always, we are eternally grateful to the churches who give towards the purchase of Bibles.
In my last prayer letter I said we had received enough to “hopefully” last us 3-4 months. However, we quickly depleted our stock of Bibles in less than one month. I want to take a minute of your time to explain why Bible distribution is so difficult here. The first issue is the cost of the Bibles themselves. The average worker earning minimum wage brings in just under $250 per MONTH. A Thai Bible (whose quality is comparable to a Dollar Store paperback in the US) costs just under $18!! Using simple ratios that would be comparable to someone earning minimum wage in the US paying around $127 for a Dollar Store quality bible. It’s simply outrageous!! Every church, seminary, and missionary we have talked to said they simply cannot give away Bibles due to the cost. This is a huge problem! Several missionaries in Thailand have heard that we are giving away bibles and have approached us to see if we can supply their ministries/churches with bibles also. We obviously have limited funds so we cannot. But it says something about the state of things when missionaries are asking missionaries for help with buying Bibles!
We have meetings set up with some of the current Bible Societies and publishers here in Thailand over the next couple of months to see if there is ANY way to get the cost of printing down so that we can make Bibles more affordable here in Thailand. Please pray with us about this! Ultimately, a new Bible Translation is needed altogether as the current translations here are not great. However, in the short term, getting the current version(s) printed in an affordable manner will at least allow churches and other missionaries to share the Bible more freely. Not having affordable access to the written word of God is a stumbling block, that in my humble opinion, should NOT be an issue in this day and age. I believe the resources and opportunity to do this is possible so we pray the Lord would help direct our paths as we seek out His will regarding this urgent matter!
Grace Baptist Church - Doi Saket
Please be praying with us about a specific evangelistic opportunity. This week some of the preachers in training at the church here and myself will try to visit the Buddhist Temple in our village and begin talking to the monks that live there. Please pray the Lord would prepare the soil of their hearts to receive the gospel seed! Please pray that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes and receive true “enlightenment” that only comes by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has answered prayers regarding our continued language studies. Having finished all the levels at our language school in August, we didn’t know what the next step would be for us. We found out that one of the instructors we had at the language school lived only 10 minutes from our new place! Praise God, our family now has a private tutor who is a believer that comes to the house everyday and teaches all of us. Praise the Lord for this answered prayer!! Please continue to pray that we would remain diligent in our studies and the Lord would give us wisdom and understanding of the Thai language and all of its many nuances.
Praise God for His Faithful Servants
As most you know, My Pastor, Bro Bill Lee has been faithfully serving our Lord in the gospel ministry for 46 years. He became pastor at Central Baptist Church in Grenada, MS, our sending church, in 1998. But the year prior to that, Bro. Lee was instrumental in the start of a mission work among the Hill tribes of Northern Thailand. On that first trip, the Pa Sak Baptist Church was organized. Since that time Bro. Lee and his wife Janice have made numerous trips to Thailand. Last year marked his 45th trip to Thailand!!!
The Lord has truly blessed this work far beyond anyone's expectations. At this time the work in Thailand includes more than fifteen new Baptist churches, as well as a monthly Pastoral Training Center, a Residential Bible School, and a translation and printing ministry. Not only has he spent time here in Thailand doing the Lord’s work, he has also been a passionate advocate for the daily work we do here. I thank the Lord for Bro Lee and his wife Janice and the many years they served here in Thailand. All that being said, please keep them both in your prayers. Due to his wife’s health, Bro Lee has made the decision to step down as pastor of Central Baptist Church. As far as I am concerned, he will always be a part of the work here, as I continue to seek his council and wisdom. It was a blessing and an honor to be able to visit with them and the church there this past month for his retirement reception. Brother Bill will no doubt continue to advocate for the Lord’s work which he loves so much here in Thailand! Please also pray for our sending church as they seek a pastor. May they find a man faithful to God’s Word with a heart for missions!
For His Glory,