We are entering a new season of harvest in Thailand. Many people are beginning to harvest their crops. Almost every weekend there is a Thanksgiving service being held in churches in different areas. As you may know, Thanksgiving here in Thailand is more church-oriented than family-oriented. They thank God, who is the one who provides their crop. We have been busy attending many Thanksgiving services. Almost every week we have been invited by different churches. However, in order to not be overloaded, we try to choose the places that really need us to go, the places with no preacher or evangelists. These Thanksgiving services will continue in to December. Then, the Christmas Convention will begin.
This month, we had a great opportunity to convene with our evangelists who are working with the Wa people at the border area between Thailand and Burma. Our evangelists did a wonderful job in winning many souls in the past year. Out of 15,000 people, they won over 5,000 people to Christ. Particularly in the village Hui Tho, there are 500 households. Over 300 have already accepted Christ. This is the biggest village in the area.
This area is a restricted area. However, God's Word has spread out abundantly. There are at least three reasons that we can see for this.
First, the people see God's power through answered prayer. Wa people used to be animists and used animals to sacrifice to evil spirits. Many people were sick, but were not getting well after these sacrifices. After they began to pray and God answered by healing many people, they saw His presence among them.
Secondly, they have seen Samaritan manifesto, through the TB program that we began last year. Many people were wondering why Stephen would help them without knowing them or seeing their face. Our native evangelists told them that Stephen is just monitoring. The real people who are behind the program are people who live on the other side of the world. This moved their hearts even more. They are still requesting, however, for Stephen to come meet with them face-to-face. Because this is a restricted area, he is not able to do so. We are praying that we will be able to continue to demonstrate God's love to the people. If it is God's will, next fall we will set up a medical clinic at the border so that we can be accessible to these people who need it most. Alicia is working on arranging this clinic.
Third, there have been many people won to Christ because we sent almost 2,000 Bibles into the area. We believe that God's Word is a Living Word. When people read it, they have access to hear His words directly.
Lastly, we feel we have had much success because we have used native people to evangelize. However, these evangelists need more training. From now on, we will begin to offer week-long Bible study intensives every three months. We are hoping that through this we will not only continue to win more people to Christ, but that the people will be deeply rooted in God's Word.
Now this church of the Wa people are starting to build a church building because they have outgrown the house where they were holding church services. They have started the building, but are in need of tin for the roof. The cost of the roof is around $400.
|Group Picture with Evangelists among the Wa people|
Alicia, Mary, Stephen, Yisa, Moses, Joseph, Caleb's wife Miriam
(Caleb, 82 years old, is unable to travel because of his health)
Thank you all for supporting these works. There are more souls to be reached.
Stephen & Mary