Heavy Rain and Flooding Don’t Dampen Excitement of New Believers

Young new believer is happy to have crosses and Gospel bracelet to help her witness to her friends

Although nearly one-third of the people were unable to attend the Equipping the Saints (ETS) training at Romklao Tungsong Church in Nakhonsithammarat Province on July 16, 2011, it was an exciting day for the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff.  This training was unique, because it was conducted for 36 new believers from 3 churches who have come to faith since LHMT did an ETS training at Romklao Tungsong Church in May 2009.  Very heavy rain and flooding made it impossible for another 20 new believers from one church to travel the 60 kilometers (36 miles) to join the training.

It took the LHMT director and her staff 12 hours riding in a van to travel the 800 kilometers (480 miles) from Bangkok to Nakhonsithammarat Province, but they were very happy that they made the trip even though they had two flat tires along the way.  The training went very well as planned.  They continued to build strong relationship with Pastor Kluan Ponchai and church leaders and got to know the new believers.  7 people were commissioned as LHMT volunteers.  Another 15 people signed up to receive the weekly Gospel text messages on their cell phones.

Many participants asked if additional workshops could be scheduled every 3 months.  Pastor Kluan is also interested in having his church join LHMT in doing a children’s activity.  LHMT director and staff hope to be able to work with the churches in that area again in the future. 

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Government Program Provides Opportunity for Ministry Activity

The LHMT staff had many opportunities to meet and talk with lots of people.

As part of its action plan for 2011, the Suphanburi Provincial Religious Affairs Department, which is under the Thai government Ministry of Culture, is working to have various places of worship in the province provide creative learning opportunities in their areas.  The government wants to enhance the knowledge of the people in the community and to promote ethics and improved quality of life. 

In addition to some of the Buddhist temples and a few other churches, the  pastor and leaders of Pornprasart Church decided to participate.  On July 9, 2011 the church conducted a seminar for nearly 200 people with the theme Restoration of Worship.  They asked Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) to assist by setting up a booth that advertised all of the various LHMT ministries, a booth for selling products from the LHMT Christian bookstore and a game booth. 

Many people were glad to be able to purchase Christian books and materials.

Many people who participated in the seminar visited these booths and talked with LHMT staff.  Some became very interested in the LHMT media materials.  They plan to use the materials themselves and to share them with others. 

A total of 37 people registered to receive the Children’s Bible Correspondence Course (BCC), 33 signed up for the adult BCC and 26 asked to begin receiving the encouraging Gospel text messages on their mobile phones each week to be used in the church. 

Events like this are a good way for LHMT to inform many churches and other Christian organizations about the broad range of their ministry activities and Christian books and other products they have available in their bookstore.  This is also a way to do fund raising and to begin building relationships with pastors and church members.  As more people learn about the LHMT products and ministries, they often invite LHMT staff to lead workshops and other training activities in their communities throughout Thailand.

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Holistic Project Blesses More Students Than Expected

552 students of Muang Samutsongkhram School are very happy to receive gift packs

Although the original Bright Teeth and Happy Feet project was completed in May 2011, an additional 780 students in 3 schools have been added to the project.  Because of discounted prices on the cost of the gift pack items, the size of the project could be more than doubled. 

On June 17, 2011 the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff traveled to Muang Samutsongkhram School in Samutsongkhram Province to distribute gift packs to 552 students.  All of the students got 2 toothbrushes, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 1 plastic cup, 2 pair of socks and a Christian children’s magazine. 

A local dentist volunteered to teach the students how to brush their teeth properly and Pastor Gongpop Poochan from Jaisamarn Samutsongkhram Church prayed for the students.  Pastor Gongpop will also help with follow-up visits to the school.  The school will provide time for the students to brush their teeth after lunch every day and to help make teeth brushing a normal part of the daily routine of the students.

The 147 students at Wang Yao School in Suphanburi Province were excited to receive their Bright Teeth and Happy Feet gift packs from the LHMT staff on June 23, 2011.  A local dentist used hand puppets to do an object lesson about the causes of tooth problems and the correct way to brush teeth. 

Pastor Chumpon Khumpanyam from PornthaweeChurchshared God’s love with the students and prayed for them at the end of the morning program.  After the program Wilai Gorgae, a Primary 6 student told the LHMT team and church team, “Thank you for bringing the gifts to us. This gift will be very helpful for me.”  Primary 5 student, Saharat Garnpakdee, said, “Thank you for the gift.  I will use this gift to keep my teeth healthy.”

The 81 students at Baan Lawa Wang Kuai School really enjoyed singing songs about brushing their teeth and a song about God’s love before they received their gift packs.  Later Dentist Pranee Prateeptong from Suphanburi Province Public Health Department explained to the students how and why to take good care of their teeth and Pastor Chumpon again shared God’s love with the students and closed the program with prayer. 

Somsak Bungongta

Somsak Bungongta, a Primary 6 student told the LHMT team, “Before I had only one pair of socks.  Now I received two more.  Thank you very much!”

Teacher Gittiya Nongluck thanked the teams and invited them to come back again.  Dentist Pranee Prateeptong also enjoyed being part of the project team.

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