Sad to Say Goodbye

St. John Team30The team of volunteers from St. John Lutheran Church in Covina, California was a real blessing during their time in Thailand.  They did more than just provide the Fun With English program and the special English activities at the school in Kanchanaburi.

Pastor Patrick Curley gave the sermon during morning worship at Concordia Into Light Lutheran Church on Sunday, July 14.  Some of the team members also assisted with the evening English classes at Into Light Center.  We thank God for their willingness to give so much of themselves to help with our ministry activities.

But the team didn’t just work while they were here.  Our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff also enjoyed doing some fun things with them.  The St. John team was able to spend an afternoon visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where they learned more about the Thai royal family.  They attended the international buffet dinner and outstanding culture show at Siam Niramit, where they were able to feed some elephants and participate in a traditional Thai dance.

A visit to IT Square gave them an opportunity to experience a hotpot meal.  After helping at the school the team spent an afternoon visiting the bridge over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi and doing some shopping.  On Saturday, July 20, their last full day in Thailand, the team members enjoyed spending time shopping at JJ Mall and Weekend Market, which is the world’s largest weekend market.  They found some good bargains and were able to take some nice gifts back to their families, friends and supporters.

We were very happy to have many of the St. John team members buy items from our LHMT bookstore.  They were happy to get some Christian T-shirts and other items from Thailand and their purchases were a nice way for them to also support our ministry financially.

Everyone was very sad to say goodbye when the team returned home to California.  But we thank God for the many blessings that he gave to the team and through the team.  We also thank God for the good relationships that were developed.  Our LHMT director and staff are already enjoying continued contact with the St. John team through emails and Facebook.

Many of the team members said that they’d like to return to Thailand.  Pastor Pat told us that he’s confident that another team will come from St. John Covina in the near future.  That would make us very happy.  We pray that God will make it possible soon.

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St. John Team Does Special English Program at Pracha Wittayakarn School

Pracha Wittayakarn School08On Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, the St. John team visited Pracha Wittayakarn School in Kanchanaburi Province with the LHMT staff.  For 3-4 hours each day the team led activities in English for more than 140 students and teachers.  This was the first time that many of the students had a chance to talk personally with foreigners.

Through songs, games, pictures and other fun activities the students enjoyed practicing English.  The warm smiles on the faces of the St. John team and their enthusiasm quickly put the students at ease.  At the request of the school director, an extra hour of English practice was added after lunch on Thursday.

During the last hour at the school on Friday all of the students and teachers assembled together in the school’s activity room.  Each class performed a song or dance that they had prepared and the St. John team led everyone in a number of songs and did a special skit.

The pastor and some members from a local church also helped with the 2-day program.  It was a good opportunity for the LHMT staff to continue building relationships with the school director and teachers and for the pastor and church members to make a connection with the school.

Some of the LHMT staff served as interpreters for the team, so that the students received some clear Gospel messages in their own language.  At the end of the program every student was given a gift pack that included some Gospel tracts and a free copy of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories.  Please pray that the Holy Spirit will use this positive experience with a team of Christians and the Bible story book to give the students an interest in learning more about the Christian beliefs.

We thank God that LHMT was able to begin building a close relationship with the teachers and school director and that the pastor and church members were able to get connected with the school.  LHMT will do follow-up activities with the Fun with English participants and the pastor and church members will continue working with the school.

We are very thankful to the St. John team for helping us with these ministry activities in Bangkok and in Kanchanaburi.  They have been a great blessing to us and we really enjoyed working with them and getting to know them.  They have become special friends of ours and we hope that they will be able to return to Thailand again soon.

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Team from St. John Lutheran Church in Covina, California Leads “Fun With English” Program

Fun with English 2013A team of 15 volunteers from St. John Lutheran Church in Covina, California arrived Bangkok at 1:30am on July 12.  Although tired and feeling jet lag they all were excited to be in Thailand and eager to assist Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT).

From 9:00am until 3:00pm on July 15-17 the team conducted a special English program in partnership with LHMT.  The “Fun with English” program was held at Into Light Lutheran Church with 31 local Thai people participating.  The St. John team did short presentations on various topics and then provided time for the participants to practice speaking English with the team members in small groups.

Some of the topics included transportation, colors, food, fashion, entertainment and holidays.  The small groups compared life in the United States with life in Thailand and everyone learned a lot about both countries.  Fun games and songs were part of each day’s activities.  In an atmosphere of fun and friendship the participants practiced using English in real conversations.

The St. John team included many Bible verses in their presentations and shared the Gospel in various ways during the small group conversations.  They also did a skit about how God’s love can change people’s hearts and lives.

At the end of the three days there were many smiles, but also many tears, as the program closed and everyone said goodbye to their new friends.

It was wonderful to see how the Thai participants and the American team members were able to connect and get to know each other in just a few days.  Some participants and team members spent time together later in the day to have coffee and continue their conversations.  After the closing activity on July 17, many participants and St. John team members exchanged their email addresses and Facebook information, so that they could continue to keep in touch after the team returned to California.

We are very thankful to the St. John team for all of their hard work in preparing for the Fun with English program.  They did a great job and everyone was very happy and satisfied.  We thank God that the participants had such a good time practicing English and getting to know the team members.  We pray that the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel messages that the participants heard to help them understand who Jesus is and what he has done for them.

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Cheerful Life Listener Knows that God Listens to Her Prayers

Mrs. Jitrachaya Insan is a 30-year old noodle vendor in Tak Province, who enjoys listening to radio programs.  One day Mrs. Jitrachaya tuned into the “Cheerful Life” program on the Saman Samakee Radio Station.  She liked the program and became very interested in hearing more about the story of Jesus Christ.

Mrs. Jitrachaya contacted the Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHMT) office and talked with the audience relations team.  They introduced her to the LHMT Bible Correspondence Courses and enrolled her in the first course.

Radio3For more than 2 years Mrs. Jitrachaya has been listening to the “Cheerful Life” program and is eager to continue learning how Jesus can make her life more cheerful.  The LHMT staff connected her with Saman Samakee Church, where Mrs. Jitrachaya is receiving spiritual nurture and teaching.  She attends church every Sunday and is in the process of preparing to be baptized.

Mrs. Jitrachaya says, “I often pray to God and I know that he answers my prayers.”  She has already started witnessing to her neighbors and encourages them to listen to the “Cheerful Life” program.

Please pray that Mrs. Jitrachaya will continue to grow in her faith and that her family also will come to know Jesus as their Savior.