Here comes our first newsletter of the year out here in Northern Thailand. It’s cold here as in Europe too, with temperatures down to the freezing point and frost in the mountains around us, but during daytime the temperature is comfortable with about 25 degrees Celsius. This is the best time of year in Northern Thailand.
We had an exciting Christmas party and a start of the New Year. We have been busy after New Year too, and we have seen more people become Christians and we had our first baptism of the year last week. We have also reached over 16,000 people with the Christmas message.
Read more about it in this newsletter!
Remember to like our Facebook Page (Good News for the Shan), and see more updates and pictures: https://facebook.com/goodnewsshanministry
The Biggest Christmas Party We Have Organized
On the 17th of December we had our big Christmas party and it was very successful! We gathered well over 200 people, and many heard the Good News, even for the first time. There were many who wanted to be prayed for as well.
We had a program all day, with games and food in the morning for the children and a program for everyone in the evening.
Our family started the day at 6AM and were in bed around midnight, so a long day, but we were also happy that we were able to do this and that many were encouraged and heard the Good News.
I have been involved in organizing similar Christmas parties for over 15 years out here in Northern Thailand, but I have never experienced so many people coming to a Christmas party.
As mentioned in a previous email, we were a little understaffed, but God really provided for us. There were several local Thais, from the village where we have our ministry, who helped us. Among other things, we had three local people cooking for us, and even a parking guard.
The village leader, whom we had invited, also came and we have made a good contact with him, which means a lot for our ministry. He had also brought 7 helpers with him (see the picture above)
We know we could not have done this without God, this party was truly a testimony that with God’s help we can move mountains.
The following week we also went to an orange farm and handed out some sweets and told them why we celebrate Christmas.
See the picture below!
Three Saved and Three Baptized
It has been a busy and exciting start of the New Year.
Every weekday evening we have been visiting people, and it has been very encouraging.
The first week we were in a neighboring town and shared the Good News with around 15 people, Mawkkham was in her right place, and she loves to do this.
We have also followed up our new Christians, and we were able to encourage people who had had a bit of a hard time over Christmas and the New Year weekend.
For two weeks ago we visited a family we have been in contact with for about a year now. The man has been very ill, and could neither walk nor speak. He was cared for by his wife and mother. Little by little he has gotten better through intercession.
We have prayed for him and he himself prays every day, and we can see the difference every time we visit him.
He already believed in Jesus in his heart, but two weeks ago we also prayed with him, and he confessed that he wanted to follow Jesus with his mouth.
His wife also wanted to receive Jesus that day, so we prayed with them both.
This family is having a hard time. The man is still unable to work to support the family and their visa will expire soon. The wife is three months pregnant, but was in despair because they do not know how to support the child. They were so distressed that they wanted to get rid of it. Of course we did not recommend this, but we encouraged them and said God would help them and that we would help them as best as we can too.
Remember to pray for this family! We will baptize this family when the man gets a little better, he had also caught a bad cold and the water here is cold now.
Two weeks ago we also visited an elderly woman who has started attending our meetings, she was feeling lonely because most of her family had passed away and her only child, her son, was heavily into drugs. She is also a widow. We shared the Gospel with her for the first time almost two years ago, and we have met her occasionally since then, but two weeks ago she decided to become a Christian, and she had already thrown away all the house gods before we arrived the evening we prayed with her.
We baptized the next Sunday together with another married couple who became Christians about two months ago.
The Start of the Saturday School After New Year
We have started up our Saturday school after a three-week Christmas and New Year holiday. Not everybody came the first Saturday because of other events in the village, but we were over 30 nonetheless.
A small challenge was and is that we are without a driver and an extra teacher, so I have to pick up and drive home all the children (three hours of driving in total), plus teach the children for four hours.
Mawkkham made lunch for all the children and taught a bit as well.
It went surprisingly well, but everyone in our family was a bit tired at the end of the day.
More Than 16,000 Heard The Christmas Message!
We recorded a video of Mawkkham’s message at our Christmas party and posted it on YouTube and Facebook.
We experienced something that I have never seen before: Getting so many views on YouTube!
Usually when I post a video on YouTube, and in the Shan language, we’re lucky if we get 10 views.
We often get a lot more hits through Facebook, so I was very surprised when the day after I posted it, saw that over 1,000 people had seen it. I really wondered if I saw correctly. Now over 16,000 people have seen it.
Mawkkham went to the local market the other day, where she came across a Shan man selling pancakes (roti). He said somewhat jokingly and indirectly to her: I saw a video on YouTube the other day. There was a woman who explained very well about why we celebrate Christmas (and why Jesus came), she was wearing a red shawl and green Shan dress. And he smiled at her. This person is not a Christian and probably has not heard about why we celebrate Christmas. We have received several good feedback’s from people who have seen it.
So even though we gathered around 300 at the Christmas party, the message we wanted to convey has reached well over 16,000 people in the Shan language through YouTube (it also has over 2,000 views on Facebook).
Give a Donation
With fairly simple and small means, we share the Good News with many hundreds of people out here in Northern Thailand, and we don’t have any big sponsors.
The people we are reaching out to are immigration workers and refugees from the Shan State in Myanmar. We work with ethnic groups such as Shan, Ba Long, Black Karen (Jang Lam) etc.
Feel free to consider whether you should support us, we need more to reach out further!
The Project (Good News for the Shan)
In March/April we will have a new family working with us, plus we have fewer permanent donors to the project right now. So we need more support!
The ministry/project has also a bank account in Norwegian, so contact us if you want to send money this way!