Wongs in Focus

Things have been changing. Our vision and plan has not gone as we expected, but God is in control. As a family, we planned to take a vacation over Songkran holiday, the second week in April, but it did not go as expected. The mission trip that I had planned to take at this time to China has been postponed. I have had issue with my thumb locking and have been getting that taken care of. I would appreciate your prayer for this health set back that it would be resolved quickly.

After 3 years, the first group of our AIS students, Christian leaders from Thailand, has completed their coursework. Their paperwork needs to be done prior to their graduation. At the beginning, we started with twelve students and four are now completing the exegesis coursework. The other eight students audited the classes, which was really helpful to their ministries and their Biblical understanding. The second group of students, from central Burma, is in the middle of the coursework. We are now praying and considering whether we should accept the third group of students. If it is God’s will to bring in this new class, we would like to target the students from north Burma, Kachin state.

This coming June 16-20, we will be holding a Family Conference. This type of conference has never been offered before, particularly among the Lisu Christians in Thailand. This will be the first time, so we are not sure what to expect. Many people are anticipating this conference. We are starting with the leaders. This type of conference is much needed because Thailand is changing a lot in many areas – culturally, socially, and politically. Many Lisu Christians do not really know how to adapt their faith into these conditions they are being confronted with right now. Family brokenness and children rebelling are occurring more among the church. Divorce has been increasing. Many evangelists’ wives have left them because they are conflicted between missions and family. There are a lot of issues among the family in knowing how to act on their feelings with each other. Dave and Cindy Upchurch will be coming from Lincoln Christian University to teach this conference. Please pray for all involved in preparing for this conference & the cross-cultural issues that may arise in teaching this sensitive material.

As we have shared with you before about the church in one of the slum areas in Chiang Mai that we have been working with here, we have another report about them. Most of the members of this church are laborers who have migrated from the village. They used to grow opium on the mountain and since becoming Christian, they have moved from that into the city. Others have migrated from Burma into Thailand. The building they are currently using has been purchased by a new owner, who has given them three weeks to move out of the building. Our mission has seen this as a great opportunity to present the church as God’s hope and promise to those who are living away from their home. The church can be a tangible witness to God’s care for all people.

Psalm 107:4-9 says, “Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress; he led them by a straight way, until the reached an inhabited town. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry, he fills with good things.” As the Psalmist promises the city as God’s deliverance for the thirsty and the hungry, this church represents the Garden of Eden in the midst of a modern “concrete forest” so that the members will be able to live and walk with God in an undesirable situation. We have a modern picture of this.

Praise the Lord that one of the Christians have offered their home for their new worship place!

This house is old, so it needs to be remodeled to a basic area for worship. The need for remodeling is $3,450. If anyone feels led by God to provide for this emergency need, please send funds to:

Stephen and Mary Wongratanamajcha
PO Box 351
Chiang Mai, Thailand 50000

Please e-mail me with any questions or for more information at stephenwps23@gmail.com.

Our son Nick has recently resigned from his job in the States. He is at this moment working full-time at raising funds to come back to work on the mission field here. He is hoping to raise all the funds he needs by August to come back to work with the youth in Thailand, Burma, and China. If you would like to invite him to speak with your or at your church, please e-mail him at nick_wong2002@hotmail.com or call him at 417-540-4850.

After a year and a half of teaching the Shan children, they are now openly thanking God for their food after each English class. We appreciate Alicia beginning this ministry and teaching the kids. This Saturday will be the last class with Alicia teaching. She will be missed a lot.

Thank you for praying and your continued support of our family and ministry.