Grace Baptist Bible Institute
January through March was dedicated to practicums on preaching and teaching. Our students were given the opportunity to put to use all the things they have been learning by preparing messages to preach and to teach. The main focus was three-fold: context, context, context. The majority of pastors in Thai churches only know one way of preaching…take one verse, or a portion of a verse, preach whatever is on your heart, and don’t worry about the context. Please pray that these men will model a biblical God-honoring pastor who faithfully feeds the Lord’s sheep the Word of God alone and not the ideas of man.
It is hard to believe but our current set of students have officially been with us for almost two years and are about to finish the program here at Grace Baptist Bible Institute. We started with thirteen men and after two years ended up with nine (two not pictured) and I couldn’t be more proud of these men who have faithfully stuck with the program, even when things got tough. The picture on the right above is a stack showing some of the 30+ books they studied and read during their time with us. Additionally they were all asked to read through the Bible at least once and some of them even managed to get through it twice. I am encouraged by their dedication and hard work. I look forward to seeing how this group of men will go back and serve in their local village churches.
All of our students, with the exception of two, will attend graduation in April and then return to their local villages or communities where they plan to serve in their local churches. Please be in prayer for these men! One of the two, who’s name is Geng, wants to help with the church in the area we are moving to since he lives nearby. Another one of our students, Long, who has also been my interpreter and right hand man for these past couple of years has agreed to stay with us to continue studying and serving alongside me in the Bible school here in Chiang Mai. I have a special prayer request for him. On April 10th, he will leave to draw a card (red or black) that will determine if he has to go serve in the Thai Military for the next two years. In Thailand all Thai men have to either volunteer or “risk” being drafted by draw once they turn 20. We are praying the Lord would be merciful and allow him to stay and continue studying and working with us here at GBBI. But ultimately, we know the Lord is sovereign and His ways are always perfect.
Grace Bannasan - Publishing Ministry
As always, Grace Bannasan continues to be a great open door here in Thailand. I don’t have any specific updates this month but we do have several new books that are currently being translated and should be ready for printing in the next month or two. Two specifically that I want to mention are on basic Baptist distinctives, Baptism and Lord’s Supper, which will be extremely beneficial to the Bible School here as well as churches who know very little about what the Bible has to say regarding these truths…unfortunately, we have met several. We are continually grateful for those who have given specifically towards this ministry!
Grace Baptist Church - Doi Saket
We continue to meet each week with our small (but growing!) group here at our home for Sunday worship. We are continually meeting with a steady group of 20 people each Sunday. Lord willing, next month we will be able to have services at our new property!
Over the next few months school is out for Thai kids and we are praying about opportunities regarding Medical and English camps in some of the local villages. Pray that we would have opportunity to share the Gospel and encourage the local churches in these small villages while we are there. Activities like this aren’t why we came but they ARE some of the many things that immigration looks kindly on when they consider whether or not they will renew our visas each year. Regardless of our busy scheduled with the Bible school, the Church, and the printing ministry, we are constantly having to seek out ways we can appease those at immigration who ultimately get to decide if we stay or go. Please be in prayer about this. We aren’t too concerned (yet!) but we have been told that things are expected to be more troublesome for those on volunteer visas this year and next. There are a lot of illegal organizations funneling money and drugs through Thailand and the Thai government is having to crack down on everyone in order to weed out the bad. Please continue to pray that our visa renewal would not run into any snags later this year.
For HIS Glory,