The Lord has continued to bless us with so many wonderful opportunities! The men he has supplied for the Bible School truly hunger to study God’s word every day and it is such a blessing to see them grow spiritually. This month we also had the opportunity to begin working on several translation projects. We are working with an excellent Christian translator here in Chiang Mai that is eager to help. The Thai people have very few good sound theology books and we are so grateful to be able to begin working on some new books they can add to their libraries. Additionally, He has blessed us with an opportunity to soon start a church as we now have over 30 people meeting to gather every Sunday to worship our wonderful Savior. Naturally, with said blessings, much is required and the time needed to do these things is great. I don’t believe Brittany and I have ever been as busy (and tired) as we have been this past month. The exhaustion however is a feeling we are encouraged by, because we know it is for the Lord’s work, for His Glory, and for His Kingdom.
In June I began preaching through the book of John. A few Sunday’s later, I found myself preaching on John’s baptism. One of the students, whom had been saved for a couple of years, was ready to be obedient and asked to be baptized following the message. Though he had been saved for some time, he lived in an animist village and had to sneak out to attend church. He had not been baptized because his family refused to allow it. After the message he told me he had been scared to be baptized because of his father, but now, he said, he wants to obey his Heavenly Father more. That Sunday afternoon we went to a nearby lake and baptized this young man! He is so excited to follow his Lord in all things! His name is Aker (pronounced Ah’-ker). Please pray for him. He has grown a lot in just a few weeks with us and is one of the hardest working men we have. He is up and studying by 5:30 each morning and comes early to class so he can get a seat on the front row.
In last month’s letter, I mentioned the Lord had provided twelve students for the Bible School. Our classes began on June 21st and just a few days before class, the Lord blessed us with an additional three students. That brings our total to 15 students and our little classroom is completely full! Students are sharing desk space but they aren’t complaining and we are thrilled for the opportunity to teach all that the Lord has provided!
On our first day of class our Pastor, Bro. Bill Lee met with us via messenger and provided an encouraging message to the students. After this, we began our first class which I am calling Fundamentals of the Faith. Since we began we have covered the following subjects: What is God’s Word, The study of God’s Word, God and the Trinity, The Person and Work of Jesus Christ, and Salvation. The students have also memorized all the books of the Bible in Thai and are working towards memorization of John 1:1-7 in Thai and English. Our Bible class runs daily from 8:30-12:00. The students break for lunch and then meet back together to study new hymns and learn piano and guitar. Brittany spends the later part of the afternoon teaching them English. Their studies are usually done around 4:30 and then they have a break until our final Bible study at 7:30. We all end the day good and tired...but what a blessing it is to be able to do this! I cannot think of anything else I would rather do! I truly am not worthy.
Please pray that the Lord would give these men the ability to study and understand His word as well as a boldness to tell others this good news they are learning. Please pray the Lord would strengthen Bee and I, as well as my family who sacrifices so much for this blessed work of the Lord’s.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. Thank you for your financial support as well as the special love offerings we have received this month. May the Lord bless you in your involvement in His work here!
For HIS Glory, Matthew Villandry