We recently hosted our very first missions team here in Thailand. (Back in 2011)
The team was drawn together individually and separately from each other, but they all came together at the same time with a heart to serve!
It was a God ordained moment.
I didn’t really know what would take shape as we formed up, but we moved forward by faith anyway.
I was very pleased with what God did in and through each of us.
Here is the story of how each came:
Brandon was finishing up an eleven month internship with a ministry in Africa. One night he woke up with Thailand on his mind. He had never been to Thailand and had to look it up on the map. He began to research and found my web site among others. We began to correspond and he eventually asked me if it were possible for him to come out and visit. I said “sure”; thinking it would be a long shot.
Next thing I know, I am finding out that Brandon is from my hometown, graduated from the same high school, and was sent out from the same church I was baptized in as a new believer!! We never had met in person until he showed up to meet me in Thailand! This was one crazy “coincidence” or it was just God showing off. I like to think it’s the latter.
Brandon has a servant’s heart and a real gift in ministering to children. He is also a great heart for adventure and being flexible. He is looking for a way to get back to Thailand asap.
Johanna is a Mexican girl who was introduced to me by a friend that I went to high school with. He contacted me through Facebook and told me that he knew a girl who would be coming to Thailand soon and that we should connect with her.
I didn’t think much about it until I saw that she had arrived in Bangkok. The Spirit of God prompted me to send her a message and welcome her to Thailand. I felt like I should “be very nice to her”! So, I also invited her to come to Chiang Mai.
Little did I know, that her ministry contact in Bangkok had just told her that she would not be there and asked if she could return to Thailand in a few months! She was already there! Johanna prayed because she knew God had a purpose. Shortly after, she received my email inviting her to come and she knew God’s plan was working itself out.
Oh yeah, AND she knew Brandon because she had visited his church before in our hometown. They knew the same people! They both spent some time ministering in Isaan & Laos with our mutual friend Chad then both joined me in Chiang Mai.
We found out also that recently Johanna had been invited to Acapulco to translate for a missions team from Brandon’s church even though her home town of Mexico City is aprox 4 hours driving from there! Small world, huh?
Although English is her second language, she has a heart to serve in Asia and has a strong prophetic gifting on her life. We hope to see her again real soon.
Freddy is a Mexican American close friend who was born and raised in Chicago. We attended Bible school together and have lots of mutual friends. Freddy has recently traveled to over 30 countries in the last two years alone! God is using him to spark revival fire in local churches, encourage and equip leaders, and minister to the persecuted and poor.
We have traveled to Laos and India together in the last couple of years and this time around, he felt that he was supposed to come and visit us as part of his circuit back through SE Asia. His timing to come fell in line with the rest of the team perfectly even though we never coordinated schedules beforehand.
God has been speaking to him and others about basing out of Chiang Mai and Freddy is ready to shift gears to build a longer term work. Since coming and being with the team, he feels that Chiang Mai is the place and he is already making plans to return and base here. Every place he spoke while here with us in Thailand, he brought a strong anointed word from heaven.
Pear is a bi-lingual Spirit filled Thai believer who I first met at a local church where she spent time with her grandparents in Isaan. She moved to Bangkok and has been attending university. She loves my wife and has been talking for some time about coming up to visit us in Chiang Mai. Many months ago, I felt led to contact her and ask her to help me clean up the translation on my Gospel tract to prepare it for publishing.
She felt inadequate but agreed to do it. I felt that even though there may have been other more qualified people to do it that she was the one for the job. Her timing to come to Chiang Mai during a school break coincided perfectly with the rest of the team coming. Since being a part of the team, she says her life was forever changed.
She grew right before our eyes and was a part of things she never experienced before. She was awesome as a translator too. Getting out and doing missions work stretched her and she is eager to return once she finishes university, Lord willing. We are praying for that too.
Isaac is a MK who grew up in Thailand. His parents started the church where Pear attended. His parents were also our mentors when we first entered into Thailand. Jacq and I also knew Isaac from Bible School where he had helped us with outreach to the military community. He is now a strong “worker” in his own right who has been working in Thailand now with his own team for many years.
He had heard of the team forming and wanted to be a part of it. So, he came up to meet us! His contribution was invaluable as he opened up doors for the team to work with a certain precious people group that for whom he carries a deep burden. He is willing to go anywhere and do anything to reach people who are far from God. Because he speaks Thai fluently and is musically talented, he also brought an needed dimension to the team.
In addition to these “visitors”, we had lots of help from our local partners. Each one played an invaluable part in bringing everything together for the glory of God. My only regret is that we did not have enough time together!
God willing, this is just the beginning! What about you? When are you coming to Thailand? What would you like to accomplish or learn while you are here?