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June 2021

Bible School Update

It is June 1st and all of our students have arrived here at the Bible School in Chiang Mai! May was a busy month full of interviews and traveling to meet potential students. The recent Covid spike presented a lot of challenges but we worked through and around them when and where we could. When I was praying about students the Lord would provide for the Bible School I specifically asked the Lord to provide 12 men who were hungry for His word. It seems this was the Lord’s will and he has abundantly answered this prayer! We have exactly 12 students. Nine of them live on campus with us and three travel in for classes from nearby villages every day. One of these three travels an hour and a half each way every day to attend class!

Our new students for the year range in age from 18-47 and come from four different tribes, Lahu, Akha, Karen, and Hmong. Additionally, they have come from all over Northern Thailand. We have students who have come from the border of Laos, the northern and western borders of Myanmar and one student who actually came from the country of Myanmar. Five of these students traveled 6-8 hours to get to us. We are thankful for each one of them and their efforts shown. We look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for them here.

The men have only been here for a week yet I am already very impressed with each of them. They each have such a unique story and the desire shown in each one of them to further their study of God’s word is encouraging. One of our younger men, who was only recently saved, comes from an animist village and his parents are also animist. They witnessed how their son’s life changed when he was saved yet they wouldn’t allow him to get baptized or go to church. He still went to church some when he could sneak away. He has a desire to return to his village after he completes Bible School to teach them about Christ. Another young man was in a severe motorcycle wreck. He spent much time praying and contemplating what his life’s purpose was during his time recovering and felt the Lord calling him into the ministry. He knew the Lord wanted him to work for His kingdom. The oldest student has been a preacher/missionary for many years now. His goal in coming to bible training is to learn more biblical Thai so that he can preach in Thai and Karen. If you keep up with my letters, you know how burdened I am with reaching the Thai people who are one of the top 5 unreached people groups in the World. To hear of this man’s zeal to preach in Thai thrilled my soul to say the least! These are just a few of the stories and backgrounds I heard as I interviewed these men. They all seem very hungry to begin studying the Word of God, and I am eager to begin teaching. Please pray for these men who have given up everything they know to study bible everyday for the next two or three years. The program I have laid out isn’t easy and will require a lot from each of them. Also, please pray that the Lord will strengthen both Bee (my interpreter) and I as we are not yet used to teaching for 4+ hours every day of the week. Please pray the Truth is taught, translated, understood, accepted, and obeyed. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be exalted in every country and praised in every tongue.

Please pray for me and my family. Pray that I confirm a solid gospel witness continually. These men will not only hear about the God who I love and believe in, but I pray that they will also see Him working in my daily life. They will be around both me and my family in the morning, throughout the day and in the evenings before bed. They will Hear of the God I serve, may they see Him in every passing moment throughout the day.

For HIS Glory, Matthew Villandry

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