Newsletter from the ministry Good News for the Shan in
Northern Thailand, working among the Shan people from Myanmar.
It has been some months since our last newsletter, but a lot of exciting things have happened since then in our ministry in Northern Thailand, and it will be difficult to include everything in this newsletter.
We will concentrate on telling some of the stories and backgrounds of how seven people have received Jesus and whom we have baptized, from November to now, and the fire continues to be passed on.
This newsletter will be relatively long, but I think it will be inspiring reading for you, to see what God is doing out here in Southeast Asia.
- Feel free to follow us on our Facebook Page where we post photos and short updates almost every week.
- Also watch a short video from the ministry at the bottom of this email!
The Seed That Bore Good Fruit!
Mawkkham share the Good News to a new couple, the man received Jesus.
These are friends of Nong Jon and Sei Ta Ma.
The picture is from this week
We have to go back for about one year, when a seed was sown during a Christmas party we had on our rented land.
It was then the two couples heard the message of Christmas for the first time. One month later, their children started to attend our weekend school. In April we had a big Easter party where we told about why Jesus died and rose again. The seed that was sown began to grow.
One day in May, one of the women contacted Mawkkham. We were not able to visited them or have the weekend school since Easter due to the lock-down in connection with a new Covid-19 wave. The woman, named Nong Jon, told us that she wanted to become a Christian.
We were not able to go to her then due to Covid-19 restrictions. We also thought: Maybe she had not fully understood what it means to be a Christian?
I have experienced a lot of this before; where many people at a big meeting raised their hands and said that they would become Christians, but days and weeks later no sincere change has taken place.
In early June, we visited Nong Jon and her husband, Sei Ta Ma, and explained the gospel to them again. Nong Jon firmly said that she really wanted to become a Christian, the man was also interested, but had to think carefully. He had been a Buddhist monk and teacher of Buddhism before coming to Thailand, so the step was more difficult for him.
We baptized Nong Jon a week later, and she was overjoyed. Rarely have we seen someone who has radiated so much after a baptism.
She eagerly began to tell friends and family about her new faith. Her mother, who is in Myanmar, was healed when we prayed for her, and she became even more eager after this.
The other married couple are working with Nong Jon and her husband. The man in the couple, Sei Ya, had major alcohol and drug problems. Nong Jon had talked a lot with them about God and encouraged them to become Christians.
One day in August, after a house meeting with Nong Jon, we were on our way home, we met the man with the alcohol addictions, his name is Sei Ya. He was clearly intoxicated and had great difficulty riding his motorbike. He stopped us and asked if we could pray for him. He said he was tired of alcohol problems and wanted to become a Christian.
Since he was quite drunk, we did not take it so seriously, but we prayed for him there and then.
The next week he did not drink any alcohol, and Nong Jon said he was serious when he told us he wanted to become a Christian. We were also not able to visit him due to a new wave of Covid-19, and they closed the orange farm where he lived in due to a Covid-19 case nearby.
After this he had a relapse, and he was also taken by the police when he rode his motorcycle in an intoxicated condition. He had to pay a fine, and the bike was kept by the police.
One day in early November, he came to our Sunday meeting and said, “Now I am very ready to receive Jesus!”
Both he and his wife, Nong Shoun, received Jesus that Sunday. Fourteen days later he and his wife were baptized. The Sunday after the baptism, we saw very clearly that something had happened to Sei Ya. He was a completely different person.
He had a testimony at our meeting and said: “When I decided to become a Christian, I immediately quit alcohol and drugs, even smoking. Now my life, family and marriage are brand new! “The joy radiated from Sei Ya’s eyes over his new faith, and we saw very clearly that what he said had happened, that he was a different person than he was just three weeks earlier.
His zeal and joy have continued to this day, and he constantly tells others what has happened to him. He has a strong testimony. This led to several people becoming interested, including Nong Jon’s husband, Sei Ta Ma.
Sei Ta Ma
Sei Ta Ma is someone who thinks deeply, is a bit philosophical, is musical and is clear-minded. During the eight months after his wife became a Christian, he occasionally came to our meetings, but he kept to himself, was quiet in the background, and did not say much.
In January, he told us that he was now ready to receive Jesus. We baptized him in middle of last month.
Since becoming a Christian, he has been one of the most active ones, both in our meetings and in telling others about God. He talks a lot in our meetings now. This week a friend of his was saved as well. At a meeting where his friend became a Christian, he led worship, and he has even written a new simple worship song that he performed.
The new Christians are not Shan but from a people group from the Shan state in Myanmar (they are considered hill-tribes) called Balong. Sei Ta Ma managed to order a New Testament in the Balong language (they are very difficult to find) online, and he takes it with him everywhere and reads in it. When we read in Shan or Thai at our gatherings and meetings, he always reads it in Balong too.
Friends of the two couples have also recently become Christians and we had two more who were baptized on Sunday. These again are also eager in their faith and have shared it with their friends, who in turn are interested in the Good News.
So the fire burns on! Almost a little to fast, because we are not able to follow everyone up. A day has only 24 hours.
A Famous Shan Bible Teacher and Evangelist Visited Us
Two weeks ago we had a visit from a famous Shan bible teacher and evangelist named Hlung Hleng Pung and his wife. He is probably one of the most famous Christians among the Shan people, and those who understand the Shan language. He has a popular Christian radio program that reaches far, and most people have heard of him.
He stayed with us for three days and had a seminar. This was a great booster for the new Christians, and they have become much more eager after this. It helped them to understand the Gospel even better.
We hope to do something similar in the future.
Our Weekend School
We want to start up our weekend school again this month, but we are a little unsure if we can make it happen. Covid-19 is still a big challenge for us, and it is on the rise in Thailand.
I’m pretty sure we can gather over 30 kids when we start it again. We already have about 15 children in our Sunday school, and those are only the children of the Christian families.
The picture is from our Sunday school this month.
Feel Free to Support Us (Donate)!
- Pray for the new Christians.
- Pray for us in planting a church (we have already planted it, because the church is the people, but there is a lot left on structure and the locals also want a plot on which we can physically build a church, this is more challenging).
- Pray for us in following up the new Christians
- Pray for more people who can help us in our ministry. We would like to have one more couple, who can work with us.
- Pray for good health for us and protection for Covid-19.
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