Grace Baptist Bible Institute
Since graduation, most of the students have returned back to their villages to serve in their local churches. Two of our previous students have recently been sent out from their home churches as missionaries to go into an area called Lampang. Lampang is the most unreached province in Northern Thailand with less than 0.8% claiming to be Christian. They currently have about 10-15 farmers meeting with them on a regular basis. These farmers are all still unbelievers but are regularly attending each week! Hearing from our students and seeing how the Lord is using them is a great encouragement! This is one of the main reasons we want to train men here at GBBI. We desire to see them be equipped and sent out to evangelize the Thai people in the most unreached areas! I thank God for these two students. Please pray that these lost farmers will trust in Jesus Christ and that the Lord will use these two missionaries to faithfully evangelize and disciple those lost souls in Lampang.
Also, I have asked two other students to consider joining the church here and continue their training with me. Both of these men have agreed to stay and this week we began meeting to go over practical church related issues, as well as exegesis of scripture and sermon preparation. They will also both begin preaching and teaching some during our midweek service as they prepare to serve full time. Additionally, another man, named Levi, will be joining us for this time of training as well. He and his family actually just moved to Chiang Mai from Bangkok, which is about 10 hours away, so that he could come study with us and also so that he and his family could join the church! Please pray the Lord will continue equipping these men for the ministry!
In October, we will begin visiting villages and churches to meet with young men who are interested in attending the Bible school for the next term. Please pray for these upcoming visits and also pray that the Lord would give me wisdom and discernment when choosing who to accept into the program. We have more space at our new property, enough for 24 resident students and an additional 24 non-resident students. Pray with us for wisdom and discernment in finding men who the Lord is preparing.
Grace Bannasan - Publishing Ministry
No major updates on printing this month. In July we finished a book on Baptism and in August we plan to print two additional books titled “Can Women Be Pastors?” and “How Can Women Thrive in the Local Church?”. The unbiblical practice of women leading churches is a major problem here and we pray these books will shed some light on these issues that are plaguing many local churches here in Thailand. Additionally, we are working to finalize translation and printing on several workbooks we will use for our Systematic Theology courses with the next group of students. We had originally planned to just use these for our bible school but we have had requests from other Seminaries and Churches to use these materials so we are thrilled to be able to print extras so that other bible schools and seminaries will benefit from them as well! We never imagined we would have requests from other large groups and schools for some of these books so it is a great encouragement to see these resources being distributed all over Thailand!
We are so thankful to the churches who have given towards bibles. We are grateful to be able to provide these bibles at no cost to those in need. They are so expensive and the average person here does not have the budget for something that costs so much. It is such a blessing to be able to hand these out freely to adults and children and see their faces light up. We have purchased enough to hopefully last at least 3-4 months! Pray that Lord would continue to bless the giving of His Word and the reading of it!
Grace Baptist Church - Doi Saket
When you do things God’s way and not man’s way, the Lord blesses! We have seen this personally here on SO many levels! It takes a lot of hard work and an immense amount of time but being able to commit to the same group of people throughout the week and on Sundays is truly the best way to shepherd the Lord’s church. Christ is serious about his church and we should be as well! There aren’t many churches in Thailand and of those, there are only a handful that I could recommend others to go to if they asked. Most of the pastors have had very little mentoring or bible training and the churches are modeling traditions of men and not scriptural practices. There is a significant need here for missionaries to model what a healthy church looks like and we pray that the Lord would continue to use Grace Baptist Church in Doi Saket to be an example and to someday send out missionaries that can help start more churches that will also be strong examples of a biblical church as seen in the New Testament.
The past few months have been busy at GBC Doi Saket and we are excited that the Lord has added a few new families to the church! About thirty people have been gathering each week and we praise God for them! We have also had about 12 children coming regularly. One of the ways we have began ministering to them is through Sunday school. My daughter Lyla teaches them each week in Thai, and I am so thankful for her labors. Cohen is also involved on Sundays and has been leading the song service. Him and another young Thai member of the church practice and prepare Thai hymns during the week so they will be ready to lead this part of the service on Sunday. It is encouraging to see the Lord working in Lyla and Cohen’s lives as they desire to serve the Lord and His church here!
We are extremely grateful for our new space where the church is meeting and where the Bible school will meet for the new term. With thirty currently in regular attendance and an additional 20+ coming when students arrive we will have nearly 50 in attendance each week! Praise the Lord! I want to thank you again for your on-going prayers and support for this integral part of the work here in Thailand!
As I mentioned in my last prayer letter, Brittany and I are both taking Thai language classes everyday. Brittany does school with the kids in the mornings and then studies Thai in the afternoons. Most days of the week I study Thai in town from 9:00 - 5:30. I am thankful for the opportunity to have this time in between students to learn the language more fully. This language has truly proven to be a great challenge but we do both feel like we are finally making some headway and I am looking forward to being able to preach and teach in Thai in the near future. We greatly need your prayers.
The last two months we have found ourselves in a season of extra expenses. We have had unplanned doctor’s visits, dental surgeries (3 of us!), and book expense for the kid’s summer school classes. On top of that the brakes went out in our truck and while we had the funds to cover that immediate expense, it took away the funds we had saved to use to replace the tires this month. Additionally, we’ve been without a clothes dryer for the last 9 months. It’s rainy season so we have started hanging clothes on every hook we can find inside the house…but, it works! To be clear, we aren’t considering any of those things as “urgent needs” right now. However, I am increasingly aware that we will have other significant expenses in the coming months as we prepare to go from the current 9 people who live on our property…to a whopping 34 people day in and day out. We are fully trusting that the Lord will provide for these needs over the next few months as we get everything ready for our next group of men. Please be in prayer with us about these upcoming needs!
For HIS Glory,