Coming Together to Reach Out to Others

TCLC members who attended the seminar at Saraburi

Under the theme “Worship and Outreach”, the Thailand Concordia Lutheran Church (TCLC) hosted its third annual seminar for TCLC church leaders from April 20-23, 2010.  Forty participants from five congregations and three worship groups came together just outside Saraburi to learn, to share, and to continue building relationships.  Members and visitors who attended the seminar came from southern, central, and northern Thailand, as well as from some neighboring countries.

In addition to the morning and afternoon seminar sessions, everyone enjoyed worshiping together during the devotion times and getting to know each other better while socializing during meals and free time.

Rev. Ted Na Thalang

Rev. Dr. Jeff Ehlers

Two special presenters focused on the Lutheran perspective of worship and outreach.  Rev. Ted NaThalang, the TCLC chairman, presented topics about “Why We Worship,” “How Lutherans Worship,” and “Why We Worship the Way We Do.”   Rev. Dr. Jeff Ehlers, chairman of Garuna Foundation which provides some financial support for TCLC, led sessions about “10 Observations from God’s Word about Outreach,” “7 Points for Sharing the Gospel Message,” and “5 Key Points for Mentoring New Believers.”  Each of the topics was very practical and useful for the church leaders, especially those who are new leaders or who have come from other denominations.

LHM Thailand Director was sharing the ministry in the seminar

The LHM Thailand director attended the seminar, because she is the TCLC secretary and a member of the Into Light Church committee.  This seminar was a very good opportunity for her and some of her staff to have discussions with leaders she has known for a long time, to meet the new TCLC members, and to share with the TCLC church leaders about the ministry of LHM Thailand.  The new TCLC members knew very little about LHM Thailand.  The director also appreciated being able to discuss ways in which LHM Thailand might be able to assist them in their outreach activities.  The director is planning to contact them in the coming months to keep them informed about LHM Thailand programs, let them know about new materials that are developed and to consider planning ministry activities together.

A Little Can Help a Lot

Ms. Chatchaporn Khomjan turning in the bank to JIL staff

The first time we met Ms. Chatchaporn Khomjan was when we did a ministry booth and product sale at her church.  At that time she told us, “I want to support your ministry so that I can be part of sharing Christ with people.  But, I don’t have much money.”  When we told her about our “One Baht a Day for Christ Ministry,” Ms. Chatchaporn was very interested.  She thought this was a very good idea and took one of the banks and immediately started to put one baht into the bank every day. 

Ms. Chatchaporn was surprised how quickly she filled the bank.  When she came to our Journey Into Light office to turn in the bank, she told us how much she enjoyed putting her money into the bank each day.  When she asked if she could continue, we happily gave her another bank to take home with her.

We have come to know Ms. Chatchaporn quite well, because she has come to our office many times to turn in a full bank and to take another bank home.  She understands that giving “One Baht a Day for Christ Ministry” is not a burden and that she doesn’t need to have much money to be part of sharing Christ with people.  Ms. Chatchaporn says, “Giving one baht a day is easy and a good way for me to show my thanks to God for all the blessings He has given me.”

Live Broadcasts Are Very Successful

On March 27 two of the JIL radio speakers and 2 JIL staff spent the day doing live radio programs outside Bangkok.  “Because You are Loved” radio program speaker, Mrs. Atcharaporn Kumpanyam met with Pastor Narongchai Kurawtjalern, pastor of Jaisamarn Church in Hua Hin and Mr. Songsit Tangaew, who takes care of radio station.  Immanuel Community Radio Station is located at Jaisamarn Church.

Mrs. Atcharaporn enjoyed having time to get to know Pastor Narongchai and Mr. Songsit, seeing how the station was set up, and learning the history of Jaisamarn Church.  From 10:30am until 12:00 noon Mrs. Atcharaporn did a live broadcast.  She was very happy to talk with fourteen people from that area who called during and after the program.  In the afternoon other people came to the church to meet her personally

During a short tour of Hua Hin, Mrs. Atcharaporn visited the local market.  She was pleasantly surprised to discover that many people working in the market listen to the JIL programs.  Although the broadcasting equipment isn’t very powerful, it’s encouraging to know that the JIL programs are reaching many people in the Hua Hin area.

Mr. Prawit Junlarangsri, the speaker for the “Home for Love” program went to Chonburi to visit the Happy Radio Station.  During his 9:00am-10:00am live radio broadcast Mr. Prawit talked on the telephone with five listeners and met four others, who came to visit him during and after the broadcast.  He was happy to have this chance to encourage these listeners personally and to get to know Miss Siritip Sirisaat, who takes care of station.  Although the station was moved to new location and the equipment isn’t fully set up yet, the broadcast went well and Mr. Prawit is satisfied with the success of his trip.

Because we are getting such positive responses to these live broadcasts, we’re planning to schedule more of them in different places in the future.  These personal contacts are helping us build stronger relationships with the pastors and church members, so we can work together even more closely.  Our Audience Relations Department also has many good opportunities for follow-up with the people who call during the live broadcasts or visit with our radio speakers.

Making Connections

Over 200 EFT members joined the meeting at Rayong

“Proclaim Christ throughout Thailand” was the theme of the 2010 Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand (EFT) meeting, which was held in Rayong, Thailand from March 23-26 this year.  Every four years all EFT members meet together to hear the report from the EFT Board of Directors about what they have done the past four years and the vision to continue to proclaim Christ throughout Thailand in the future, learn about their budget plan for the next four years, to elect new members to the EFT Board of Directors, and for the members to encourage each other.

The LHM Thailand director and two of her staff joined more than 200 other EFT members at this year’s meeting.  It was a good opportunity for the director to learn more about what is happening with other Christian organizations and to exchange ideas about how we might be able to cooperate together in ministry in the coming years.

During the time in Rayong the director and staff were able to make many good connections with other EFT members and leaders.  The leaders of several Christian organizations showed interest in the LHM Children’s Bible Study and text messaging.  One Akha group in Chiang Rai is thinking about using the Children’s Bible Study to teach and strengthen the faith of at least 3,000 children in their church.  More than 100 people asked to begin receiving the weekly encouraging text messages from LHM Thailand.

While the director was attending meetings, the LHM staff operated the ministry booth.  Each day they were able to talk in detail about the LHM ministry with many visitors to the booth.  They also had good success selling many products from our LHM bookstore.

On the last day of the conference all EFT members voted to elect some new committee members and a new EFT chairman, who will serve for the next four years.  More than just a time to conduct business, the conference provided many good opportunities for fellowship, worship, meeting new and old friends, and connecting with other Thailand Christians who are also interested in proclaiming Christ throughout Thailand.