Hi Everyone, we pray you are all well. We had a busy, but exciting time in Isan after being encouraged at our annual Pan Asia missions conference in Phuket. We now go regularly to Isan villages to bring a message of hope. We talk about Jesus and pray for people’s needs. We started going out with two indigenous men who have strong faith in Jesus and recently other Isan believers have joined us. It does not happen often here that believers from within the church go out and share their faith with others in their own area. It is a journey from knowing Jesus to actually bringing the message to others. Jesus taught us how to train disciples and we learn from His model.
Finished chicken coop mainly used for roosters. They also make fence panels and baskets
We are inspired to see churches grow. In one area we have a lady wanting to step up to start a new house group. As a group of Isan women bring the good news to their people and pray for them, new people are coming to faith and want to worship Jesus in their home. I show movies in various house churches and see more people attend the meetings every time I go. We see enormous growth in the AOG church in Khon Kaen as well. The church split over 6 months ago and both groups are now growing. The original church was left with only about 15 people and has now over 30 people attending with much of the growth being new believers. This church has no pastor at the moment, but excellent leadership through the elders. I preach in that church once a month and the other Sundays I tell stories in the village church.
Sunday service AOG Khon Kaen
We continue to see miracles. One lady was very sick for about 4 weeks and could not eat normal meals and she did not sleep well. She lost a lot of weight, yet continued to trust Jesus. She withstood family pressure to see the local healer. We offered to take her to hospital for a check up, but she declined. Yet the same week she was miraculously healed and now can eat meals normally. Many of her relatives came to the next meeting and worshipped Jesus.
This is a spirit house where people offer gifts to the guardian spirit daily. The spirit house is a very important part of the Thai belief system. It is usually built before the main dwelling is erected.
The translation of the ‘Flourish’ material into Thai is almost completed. It is being prove-read at the moment. Dianne is planning to start another Flourish course with some younger ladies soon. This program is an amazing tool to transform the lives of many women. Isan women are very excited to learn about inner beauty as beauty is generally seen as something on the outside, e.g. white skin, western looking noses etc. rather than what’s inside a person.
Some of you may know that Dianne and I milked cows some years ago and Wolfgang likes to drink fresh cows milk. A new business started in Khon Kaen delivering fresh cows milk in 3 litre bags. We had our first bag delivered yesterday. How great is that of all the places in the world to live in a town where we have fresh milk fresh from the cow delivered to our house! God is good!
These words of Jesus often cross our mind:
“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38, NKJV.)
- Pray for a man in a village who has extensive excema over most of his body and knowledge to know how to help him.
- Pray for a good rice crop in Isan despite recent wide spread flooding
- Pray for open hearts, minds and souls of the people we talk to in the villages
- Pray for continuing good health for us
- Pray for the AOG church in Khon Kaen to continue to grow and find a suitable pastor
We thank you for your continuing support with prayer and finance. We cannot do this work here without your valuable support, encouragement and prayers. Bless you, Wolfgang and Dianne
Now we are back serving Jesus in Isan. It was great to catch up with most of you while we were back in Australia on home leave. We thank you for your hospitality and encouragement during our time there. We enjoyed worshipping with many of you and loved seeing many churches doing well and growing. We also thank our many individual supporters. Only because many of you pull together and support us, can we bring hope and the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ to the Isan people.
Communion in a village
Since we returned to Thailand, we worship Jesus every Sunday in a village. We love going there and doing ‘church’ in a typical rural Thai dwelling. We started having communion every Sunday. Jesus is in the centre of every meeting. We hear testimonies of the presence of Jesus and especially, testimonies of healing. Each Sunday, Wolfgang is telling a bible story, which applies to everyone’s life. We have started sharing ten teachings of Jesus. We started with the first command: repent and have faith in Jesus. We explained repentance from the story of the lost (prodigal) son. It still takes a lot of time to prepare for the meetings, although Wolfgang’s Thai is improving. Becoming more fluent in Isan language has also helped with communication. Also, Wolfgang goes to the village during the week to pray for sick people and talk with others about the hope that can be found in God.
Visiting friends in a village
We also visited another village where we set up an aquaponic system. The first vegetable crop has been harvested and the fish are well and truly big enough to eat. A second lot of small fish have been purchased to grow out to maturity. God is blessing the people there with vegetables and now, plenty of fish. We also prayed for an elderly man who has problems walking. He is slowly improving, yet we are praying for complete health and restoration of his ability to walk normally once again. His name is Por J.
Keeping a calf off the dinner table
In the other villages where we attend meetings, we see Jesus rewarding the people’s faithfulness in different ways. The father of one of the ladies who attends the group was taken to hospital and needed to be resuscitated. He was very sick until a few people went to pray for him. He says that the darkness before his eyes turned to light and his health immediately improved. He was discharged from hospital to back home. He has since given his heart to Jesus and got baptised.
Next week we will attend our yearly Australian Christian Churches International Pan Asia mission conference in Phuket. We are looking forward to sharing about what Jesus is doing in Isan with other missionaries and pastors from Australia. Many missionaries from all over the world attend Pan Asia and it is always so exciting hearing about what God is doing in their lives.
This bible verse is one of our favourites, reminding us how to do ‘church’ –
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46, 47)
Praise and Prayer Points:
- We praise God for our work permit. We received a two year work permit which is a blessing. Normally you have to apply every 12 months.
- We thank God for improved health of Por Dtom’s daughter
- We thank God for continuing good health
- Please pray for restoration of complete health for Por Jon
- Please pray for open hearts, minds and souls to receive the Good News
- Please continue to pray for a suitable Isan or Lao person to work with us
We thank you all for your prayers and support to serve Jesus here in Isan. Richest Blessings Wolfgang and Dianne
Prayer for the ladies at church
We wish you all a happy Easter and pray that this post finds you all well, looking forward to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. This is the most important time on our church calendar. Thailand will be celebrating Thai New Year for the rest of this week. The Thai New Year is known as ‘Songkran’ or the Thai water festival. Jesus is generally not known in Thailand and unfortunately, many Christians do not know about Easter. The good news is that they know that Jesus is alive.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:32
“I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (NKJV)
We had an awesome couple, Steve and Andrea from Deniliquin visit us. We enjoyed their two day stay with us and we could give them a brief glimpse of what Jesus is doing in Isan.
Three and a half weeks from planting the seed
The last few weeks have been very interesting. Wolfgang has been telling the stories of Joseph and Moses in a village. With Easter approaching, Wolfgang has lately talked about Passover and the last supper of our Lord Jesus. Following that we had a Holy Communion Celebration. Everyone enjoyed this. Isan people like celebrations and as Christians, we really do not do enough celebrations for their liking. This is something else to think about for the future.
We also met another local lady and her husband at the village meeting. She is very sick with cancer and does not know Jesus yet, but she came for prayer. We prayed for her and trust that Jesus will heal her and give her a new and healthy life with Him.
The other villages we are going to regularly are doing well. Wolfgang showed some movies in the last few weeks at some meetings. One movie, paraphrased according to the story of the lost son in Isan language, is always well liked. The other movie gives a good Christian message to people in villages. It is based on real life situations. This movie is in Northern Thai language which can be understood by Isan people. We also have the movie ‘War room’ in Thai language which is always well liked.
The aquaponic system we helped set up in a village is working incredibly well. The fish as well as the vegetables are growing so fast. Everyone in that family is very excited about this so far. We are planning to show a movie in that village in the nearer future as well. It will be a great opportunity to bring the whole family together and bring a message of hope.
These fish were tiny when we picked them up in Khon Kaen
Dianne has been very busy with a couple of ‘Flourish’ courses. The last course finished on Saturday, after a three day intensive including ‘Train the Trainer’ session. All the ladies are learning so much, who they are in Jesus and the plans He has for them. This is such an important tool to transform the lives of so many women. The last ‘Flourish’ course was led by the ladies from ‘Namphu’ Fountain ministries in Khon Kaen, with Dianne assisting them. This was their first course after successfully finishing their Flourish training a few months earlier. They did a wonderful job.
These ladies completed the nine week ‘Flourish’ course successfully.
At the end of this month we travel to our National ACC Conference. We will spend two months in Australia and hope to catch up with many of you. We are looking forward to sharing what our God is doing in Isan.
We thank you for all your prayers and support and ask you to praise Him for all He is doing and pray for things He will yet do. Bless you all
Praise and Prayer Points
- We thank Jesus for his help with the growth of the fish and vegetables in that village
- We thank Him for keeping us healthy and walking with us every step
- Please pray for open hearts, mind and souls in the villages we go to
- Please pray that Jesus will heal the lady with cancer (Por Dtom’s daughter)
- Please pray for the People of Thailand during this Songkran season as many die on the roads
- Please continue to pray for the‘Flourish’ program and the ongoing translation work
- Please continue to pray for a suitable Isan or Laos person to work with us
We pray all is going well with you and your family. We have had a busy few weeks. The colder weather at this time of the year has been a welcome relief for us.
We continue our work in the villages. In one village we have just finished telling the story from the book of Genesis and showed a movie about Creation and other stories in Isan language. We are encouraging people to tell stories to others in their village, including their family, friends and their grand children. There has been a good response to this storytelling.
Putting seed into foam to germinate
We have new neighbours in our street, a Thai lady and a German man who moved in a few months ago. Through this couple, we have started working together in the village of the mother-in-law and have met quite a few new people. While we are building connections in the village, we are setting up an aquaponic system in order to trial this method of growing food and maybe supplementing the family’s income. An aquaponic system is like an hydroponic system but instead of relying on the addition of complete chemical fertiliser, we use fish to supplement the fertiliser for the plants. This system should grow fish as well as vegetables.It will be very interesting to see if this set up proves beneficial and profitable for people in the villages to grow food and make a small profit. We were so blessed to be able to purchase a complete aquaponic setup second hand from another Christian organisation.
Just needs some finishing off, plants and fish
Wolfgang started on the preaching roster at the church in an Assembly of God, Khon Kaen. A young university student translated for him. It was her first attempt in interpreting and she did an awesome job. It will be good to see her develop her gifting in this way. It is difficult to find people who can interpret well. The same day we had an outreach event at church. Many people of the community come for lunch. There was gift giving and other fun activities, the most popular being a Christian band from YWAM (youth with a mission) playing local folk music (morlam). It didn’t take long for some of the ladies to get up and dance in their beautiful Isan style of dance.
Playing Morlam Music at a church outreach
The Flourish program is on its way again with one course running at the moment for Thai staff at a local institution and a few more courses are planned for later in the year. The Flourish course has been such a blessing as a tool to form relationships with others in the community of Khon Kaen. It is great to see young women ‘bloom’ as they realise their value and worth as women.
“Lord you have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.” (NKJV)
Praise and Prayer points
-We Praise God for the ‘Flourish’ program’ and all He puts in place
-We praise God for the supply of the aquaponic system
-We praise Him for the funding received for the translation of Flourish material
-Please continue to pray for the ongoing translation work
-Please continue to pray for God leading us in His work
-Please pray for ongoing relationships in the new village
-Please continue to pray for a suitable Isan or Laos person to work with us
Children having fun in the village
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
The beginning of the year is a time to reflect on what is past and to look forward to what the new year may bring. This past year for us has been one of ups and downs in Thailand. We have seen God move in some amazing ways – we have seen His provision time and time again in both the small things and the big things. We have witnessed healings from sickness, heard about dreams/visions involving us and have the deep assurance that God is with us. We were able to purchase a car thanks to the generous donations of our supporting network. The car has been used greatly to transport people to village meetings, take others to church and general ministry work. It has been such a blessing to us not having to use public transport. God has provided in other ways as well – with health for us when things looked tough with one thing and another, with friendships when we were feeling low and with laughter when things started to get on top of us. We are so grateful always for where God has placed us and the adventure He leads us on.
This year we will continue to run after all that God has for us. We will continue with meetings in villages, working with people in the communities we come across as well as doing what we can to learn language (both Thai and Isan languages). We attend the local Assemblies of God church in Khon Kaen on Sundays with Wolfgang now included regularly on the preaching roster. A number of ‘Flourish’ courses will be run in Khon Kaen this year with the first one starting on the 6th February with staff from a local institution. We are praying that the men’s “Courageous” course will also commence running this year with Wolfgang training local men.
Presenting God’s work in Isan to Ignite Life Church Cobram
We were home in Northern Victoria for Christmas this last year and it was great being able to catch up with many of our friends and supporters. Thank –you to you all for your faithfulness in supporting Gods work in Thailand. We cannot be here doing this without your support, prayers and messages of encouragement.
On a personal note, we thank God that our eldest daughter, husband and family have migrated back to Australia on January 1st, 2017 after living in Germany for five years. Dianne was able to visit them briefly when she was home for Christmas. On a sad note, Wolfgang’s mum passed away a couple of weeks ago – she lived to the grand old age of 93 years old and Wolfgang was able to share the gospel again and pray with her last September when he was in Germany. We are believing that she Is now with God in glory.
- Continue to pray for divine help with language learning
- Please pray for the participants in the first Flourish course this year. Pray that they will draw closer to God through this course.
- Pray for many more Flourish courses to come together this year.
- Pray that we will follow our Lord and hear His word. Pray that we will follow His plan.
- Pray for a suitable Isan person to work with us.
We thank you so much for your prayers and support. With many blessings Wolfgang and Dianne
Showing a movie at one Christmas celebration in a village
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
We have had an exciting month here in Isan. We have seen a few people coming to know Jesus as their God. One of the Christian leaders prayed in one of the villages for a lady who was having a hard time selling her homemade ice cream. Her business had dropped right off. After prayer for her business, she had four new customers that day and more orders started coming. So now she trusts Jesus to provide for her. Her family also started to worship Jesus. Another lady’s tomato crop was dying, this would mean no income for her for the year. She heard about Jesus and came to a village meeting and prayed to Him to save her crop. Within two hours her crop changed in appearance and is now healthy again. Jesus is working in Isan which is so exciting.
An elderly lady in another village was very sick. She was taken to hospital where she deteriorated even more. We continued to pray for her. One day she was so bad that they sent her to the university hospital in Khon Kaen by ambulance. We visited her on her arrival at that hospital in Khon Kaen. She was cold and barely responding to anyone. So we asked God for a miracle as we prayed for her. The very next day she was sent home from the hospital to her village as she was so much better that she did not even have to return to the village hospital but went straight back to her family home! God worked a miracle for her and her family.
Last Thursday we held our first Christmas party in a village. We had about twenty people come to watch a movie in Isan language. The story line was according to the prodigal son and was very well contextualised to be culturally relevant for Isan people. Everyone loved the movie and especially the Isan music. A new man attended the party who had had a dream a couple of days before, that a foreigner would come to the village and bring him a good message. He found out that a foreigner was showing a movie this week so he come, heard the message of God and received Jesus into his heart. He is so keen to hear more about Jesus, that he came to worship in church in Khon Kaen today and bought a car load of people from his village as well. God is almighty and powerful and moves in ways beyond our understanding.
This man had a dream of me. Talking about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Translation of the Flourish Handbook and journal into Thai are progressing well. We praise God that finance has been made available to fund this work from another missionary lady who works in Khon Kaen. Next year should see many Thai groups running the Flourish life skills course. Also we have begun to talk to others about the Courageous course for men and that looks likely to go ahead next year as well.
Praise and prayer points
- We thank God for looking after us and helping us every step of the way
- We thank God for His provision for the Flourish program
– Please pray that all the different Flourish groups will come together and lives will be transformed and that Courageous groups for men will take off as well.
- Please pray for save travel to and in Australia
- Continue to pray for our ability to speak and understand the Thai and Isan languages.
We will spend Christmas with family in Australia this year and hope to catch up with many of you.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
As we thank you for all your prayers and support, we like to wish you a happy Christmas and many blessings from our Lord Jesus in the next year. Wolfgang and Dianne
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
We hope you are all doing well. Last month was a very busy month. We have started visiting another village. Wolfgang is taking a more leading role in the meetings and is bringing the message every week in one village. We normally tell a story, ask questions, look at the associated bible passage and encourage everyone to retell the story with their bible closed. This is more encouraging for people who cannot read or write and teaches everyone how to tell stories. The Isan people are generally very good in telling stories because they have good memories and have traditionally passed on culture this way. The aim is to have people tell bible stories to their families, neighbours and co workers. It is a good way to spread the gospel.
Drying grass to weave into mats
Wolfgang’s Thai is slowly improving. He is able to tell stories in fairly basic Thai, yet to understand Isan language remains a challenge. Another step that will be mastered in the future. On Saturday nights we take part in a language exchange program that our Thai teacher Kru Aw started. We meet in a coffee shop and Thai speakers speak English, while we answer in Thai. This is a good way to learn more Thai conversation. We found that everyone is very interested in how we come to be in this part of Thailand and like to hear more about Jesus. It is a great forum to discuss the Love of our God for the Isan people.
Language exchange program
We are introducing new songs into one of the villages. Wolfgang is learning to play the guitar as well. It is another challenge as we are not worship leaders. It is exciting to have everyone sing new songs, rather than only the very old hymns. The words of the hymns are often not easy for Isan people to understand and learn.
Playing a new song in the village
We spent part of a weekend at a retreat for Isan Christians organised by another mission organisation. We had a fantastic time worshipping our Lord and also learned more about story telling. It was good to catch up with other missionaries as well.
Flourish is progressing further and we hope to hear about possible finance to translate the manuals and workbooks into Thai. Please continue to pray for this. You would all have heard that the longest reigning King, the King of Thailand, passed on. Please pray for Thailand and the leadership of this great nation.
Praise and Prayer points:
- We praise God for all the opportunities He creates to proclaim His word.
- We thank Him for keeping us in good health and being our healer at times of sickness.
- We thank Jesus for His help in language learning.
- Please continue to pray for improvements in language especially in understanding Isan.
- Pray for the nation of Thailand and wisdom for the leaders in the current situation.
- Pray for His Holy Spirit to move over Thailand.
- Pray for divine help in learning how to lead worship and also pray for a co worker to assist us and is fluent in Thai/Isan.
“Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” (Psalm 96:3)
We thank you so much for all your prayers and support to bring the gospel message into this unreached part of our world. Many blessings Wolfgang and Dianne
Nice looking crop on the way to the mountains
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
We pray that all is well with you and your family. We have had another exciting month. We are having a good wet season with a lot of rain. We thank Jesus for His provision of water for rice and the catchments. We thank you for your prayers for rain and please continue to pray for spiritual rain over Thailand.
We have been able to access the New Testament in Isan language. It has taken a long time for the 23million Isan people to have a bible in their own language and we pray that the Old Testament will also be translated into Isan one day. We have given out some of these bibles in the villages and at church – everyone really likes the translation and many say they have never understood the bible as well before. This bible also helps Wolfgang to learn the Isan language, as he practices reading from it. We thank God for making this bible available.
In the village the other day, Wolfgang told the story of how and when God created the world in Thai language. This caused a lot of interesting discussion as Isan people have never heard of a God who created the world. There are a number of folk stories that start with a man and a woman but not with the creation of the world. Buddhists believe the world always was and that nature is governed by its own laws that perpetuates itself.
We see a few new people at the worship meetings in the villages we go to. We pray that all people will be touched by our God and experience His power. May their life be transformed and that they find peace. One lady has some health problems and talked about it in her local temple. It was there that someone told her to see the Christians as they could probably help her. Now she has started to attend a weekly meeting.
time of fun and fellowship after Sunday meeting
Dianne recently returned to Australia for a couple of weeks to attend a research conference at Harvest Bible College. It was a great conference but quite challenging; Dianne was able to make a quick visit to family as well. Wolfgang went to Germany for one week to visit our daughter, son in law and family as well as his elderly mum and sister.
The two Flourish courses have both finished and three ladies completed the ‘train the trainer’ workshop. It was great to get positive feedback from the women and we thank God for changing lives. We are in the process of getting the Flourish Handbook translated into Thai. One of the larger missions organisations is supportive of the program and one fellow missionary has applied for finance for translation and printing cost of the Flourish Handbook. This means that local women can run the program for other local women. This is what we are aiming for. Please pray for a successful application for the translation and printing costs.
Further Prayer Points
-Please pray that more people in the village groups will come to experience the presence of our God
-Please pray for Jesus to heal the people in the village groups who are suffering ill health
-Please continue to pray for wisdom for us as we engage with people in the village to help support them in ways to improve their economical situations
-Please pray for our continuing good health
-Please continue to pray for further improvements in language
-Praise God that He is able to do all things.
‘After these things I looked and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”’ (Rev 7:9,10)
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support! Richest Blessings Wolfgang and Dianne
Enjoying the Pan Asia Conference
We pray that this newsletter will find you all well and excited about the many things our Lord is doing in Australia and overseas. We were very blessed to be part of Pan Asia 2016. It was encouraging for us to hear the many stories of the work of our Lord Jesus today. We enjoyed very much catching up with pastors and leaders from home as well as many field workers from around the world. Thank you Ps Mark Bates for the video clips and recordings from the Victorian State conference.
during the community development workshop
Prior to the conference we attended a two day workshop on community development. We learned about the importance of empowering the people we work with. It is important for us in Isan to bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus. This includes finding ways for village people to make a living without the ever increasing debt farmers commonly endure from money borrowed for crops, healthcare, machinery, etc.
On our way to the conference we met a taxi driver who came from Isan to work in Phuket. He took us to our hotel and I rang him again to pick us up after the conference. On the trip back to the airport he even refused the tip we normally give to people for their services. This is a good example of the character of Isan people.
great taxi service in Phuket
Just recently we dropped some paintbrushes off at the new house of our Thai teacher so she could paint her new rental place. As we talked outside her new house with some older ladies, we prayed for one lady with back pain. She felt much better the next day and we pray that the healing power of Jesus will open her heart to receive Him. Our teacher is a very outreaching Christian lady. Last Sunday another elderly lady in a village where we have church in was very sick. Her doctor thinks she should have long passed on. We prayed for her and offered to take her to hospital. She said she rather trust Jesus. She is better now. God is our healer.
Just one month ago a first New Testament translation of the bible into Isan language has been published. This may be a great step forward to bringing the Gospel message into Isan. Wolfgang will try next week to introduce this bible to a group in a village. One Christian leader who can read is very excited about it and likes to read it. Unfortunately not everyone can read, but everyone finds it easier to understand Isan than Thai.
Another two Flourish courses are just finished. One missionary, who finished the Flourish training, is already planning new Flourish courses with the women she works with in Isan. We just need the ‘train the trainers manual’ translated into Thai. This is a rather large manual of over 200 pages. She may be able to access some funding for translating this manual. The translation is expensive.
In view of the recent bombings in the south of Thailand we like to ask you to pray for Thailand. Pray for unity of the Thai people and pray for open hearts, minds and souls to receive the good news of our God.
Other prayer points
– Pray for us to find ways for Isan farmers to overcome the problem of
– Pray for continuation of the Flourish program and necessary
financial supply for translating the manual
– Pray for Dianne as she is about to take part in an intensive and research
conference at Harvest Bible College in Melbourne
– Continue to pray for further improvements in language learning
– Thank Jesus for the continuing support of His work in Isan.
– Pray for a successful introduction of the Isan bible into the villages. Pray
that this will positively influence the spread of the Gospel.
Hi Everyone, we trust you are all well. The rainy season has well and truly started, with rains most afternoons now. The frogs are in full throaty choruses at night. We have had another great month here in the Isan region of Thailand. We were blessed to host a team from Encounter Christian Church, Shepparton. It was fun to have our first team visit and to be able to share what God is doing in Isan.
Ps Phil, Paul and Gladys were able to share in a couple of villages and on Sunday in Christian Sampan church. Paul and Gladys presented amazing testimonies, which touched peoples’ hearts. Ps Phil gave a number of very important and encouraging messages. He talked about the task our Lord Jesus gives to the Isan people in the village, looking after their grandchildren and bringing them up in Gods way. He also spoke about the importance of looking outside the box and God is close to us. One lady gave her heart to Jesus following the message. Ps Phil presented all messages in a culturally relevant way, everyone was blessed by his words. Their visit has been an encouragement to us. It is so good to know that our supporting churches take so much interest in what we are doing, so much so that they come and visit.
Gladys and the women in the village
In one village we started to introduce a couple of new Thai and Isan choruses to the group we do house church with. The group is presently singing old Thai hymns. These have many difficult words that most of the older people find hard to read in the hymnbook. As their language is Isan and not Thai, those hymns do not speak to their heart, while Isan choruses come alive for them. Being able to accompany the songs with a guitar gives a new atmosphere.
Jesus is continuing to show His presence. People are being healed of various diseases and we see some leaders successfully discipling others. Wolfgang has started to take lessons in Isan language as well as Thai now. Isan language is very similar to Laos language. This will help us to understand people better and it will help eventually to present the gospel message in the heart language of the people.
Two ‘Flourish’ group courses just finished their 9 week sessions this week and three women went on to do leadership training. Everyone was happy with the course and learned new skills for life and ministry. Two Thai ladies and one missionary completed the ‘train the trainers’ day and are now able to run their own flourish courses.
Graduation ceremony for Flourish
We are now looking forward to our annual ACCI Missions conference. The Pan Asia conference will start with a workshop on community development at the end of this week. This conference is a great time to learn, to catch up with other missionaries and share our experiences. I believe there is a lot to learn for everyone in Missions. Protestant missionaries have been in Isan for over 150 years yet the fruit is fairly minimal. We do see some growth in the number of churches, yet the 23 million Isan people remain unreached by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please continue to pray
– for a mighty move of His Spirit over Isan
– for us to become more fluent in Thai and Isan language
– thank God for the two flourish groups and for training new leaders
– that they will have a great impact in their communities
– thank God for continuing support and sponsorship for His work
Thank you for all your prayers, encouragement and support. We could not do this work without you. Richest Blessings to you all from Wolfgang and Dianne