Visiting people in a village
Hello friends, supporters and families, we hope this post finds you all well. We are having an exciting and busy time in Thailand at the moment. What a difference a car makes!
A couple of weeks ago, it was Thai New Year (Songkran festival). This is a weeklong celebration of the New Year, when Thai people wash all the idols in the shrines and temples and throw water over each other. This is a very spiritual time in Thailand. In the villages in Isan, we see many red shirts hanging on gates and fences outside of many houses. These red shirts are believed to drive the ‘widow maker’ spirit away. This is an evil spirit in Isan who is believed to kill the men in the house within the next year if the house doesn’t have a red shirt outside. Men also have their toenails painted red to keep this spirit away. Villagers believe that by hanging a red shirt outside, the spirit won’t come near them. We have seen our Lord Jesus at work in the villages and know that Jesus is bigger than all the other spirits here. In our worship meetings with Julie Hughes a lady was healed instantly of a cold and a man of pain in his legs. As a result of prayer a man electrocuted in Bangkok, who was unconscious for a long time, regained consciousness. We hear numerous testimonies of the love, provision and goodness of our Lord.
There is also a team of local Christian Isan people from the villages going around praying for people and introducing people to Jesus. They see many healings, and people accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. The other day they baptized five new believers. We see great evidence of the fact that our God is bigger than all the problems in the villages and people are so excited to hear the good news.
We are continuing to go to the villages each week, three times with Bill and Julie Hughes who are missionaries working in Thailand for the last 25 years and one day a week with an Elder from the local A.O.G. church and occasionally other ‘exploration’ trips around Khon Kaen. Bill is currently in the U.S.A. for a few weeks and as Bill normally plays guitar for the singing, we bought a guitar to play some music in the groups in the villages. Dianne is learning to play many Isan worship songs. We also bought a few tambourines, bells and shakers but these have slowly disappeared into the villages over the past few weeks! Thanks again to the Ignite Life churches for your generosity in raising funds.
Even the children have fun with the canopy
A friend helped us to find a second hand reconditioned canopy for our ute in a town almost 400 km away. It was worth the drive as the canopy is just like new, but at half price. Now we can take people to the church meetings in the back of the ute even when it rains. Thank you once again for your generosity in fundraising for us. We have had the second rain so far, and the weather is a little cooler. But Thailand is in drought and needs daily rains for relief. Please pray with us for spiritual and natural rain.
Telling the story of the prodigal son
During Songkran we went with Christina Kim and friends to a village near Khon Kaen for lunch. Christina is a Korean American missionary who works at the University and did research and development work in that village and has formed good relationships with the locals. Wolfgang told the story of the prodigal son in Thai. With some explanations from the Thai friends the story positively impacted our hosts.
Our language is improving. Wolfgang is determined to start learning Isan language soon to be able to understand the people in the villages better. There is no doubt that people always respond best to a message in the language they are actually speaking.
Dianne is already busy preparing for the next Flourish course which will start later this month with the help of two wonderful young women, our Thai teacher, Kru Aw and Dr Christina Kim. It looks like there will be two groups this time, one for Thai speakers and one for English speakers. It is a privilege for Dianne to bring women to a greater recognition of their God given value.
Prayer and praise points:
- Spiritual and natural rain for Thailand
- Praise God for the canopy for the car and a guitar to worship in the villages
- Pray for the people in the villages to withstand the attacks of the enemy and have victory over poverty, in relationships and in health areas.
- Pray for the next Flourish course, that the women will be impacted in a special way as they learn life skills and learn of their God given value and worth.
- Pray for continuing physical health
- Continue to pray for further improvements in Thai language
We are very thankful for all your prayers and support. You are an important part of changing Thailand. We cannot possibly be here without your prayers and support. Some days are such a challenge and we feel so inadequate to do all that is needed. If anyone wants to come, visit and see or be a part of this work here, please feel free to email us, Blessings Wolfgang and Dianne