Relationship Continues to Grow through a Day at Summer Camp

Summer Camp61For the past 2 years the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff have done a special program for the children of families at a local military complex on Children’s Day.  First Lieutenant Prayut Niammuad, the chairman of the Children’s Day committee for the Army Communication Battalion, invited the LHMT staff to lead the program. His wife, Mrs. Ahpirat, is a good friend of LHMT staff, Miss Anong Jungeaw.  In addition to building a good relationship with the colonel in charge of the battalion, the Children’s Day activities also provided a good opportunity to share the Gospel with the children and their parents.

When the battalion decided to do a Summer Camp for their children this April, they wanted to plan 3 days of fun activities.  Colonel Atapong Pugahn said that they should be sure to ask LHMT to be involved.  The colonel knew that LHMT had done some English programs and that the LHMT director’s husband, LCMS missionary Dennis Denow, had taught English classes at Into Light Center, so the battalion asked that 1 day of the Summer Camp be an English program.

First Lieutenant Prayut contacted the LHMT director to invite the LHMT team and Missionary Denow to participate in the Summer Camp.

Missionary Denow planned a morning program of songs, games and other fun English activities for the children to do and the LHMT director and staff assisted him.  A total of 27 children between the ages of 5-12 participated in the program.

Colonel Atapong asked that the program be conducted in the battalion library, because he wants to encourage the children to use the library, to read more and to learn English.  The LHMT team took advantage of this emphasis and gave to the library 10 copies of the Thai version of A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories, 10 copies of a Picture Bible Book (both produced and donated by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation), Christian booklets and children’s videos (produced by LHMT).

At the end of the morning the LHMT team, Missionary Denow, the children, some parents and the colonel enjoyed lunch together.  During the lunch Colonel Atapong expressed his thanks and compliments on the English program.  The colonel also mentioned that he has a strong desire for the soldiers under his command to be able to improve their English ability.  The possibility of Missionary Denow and LHMT offering English classes for some battalion soldiers was discussed.

As the relationship between LHMT and Colonel Atapong and his battalion continues to grow, God is opening more doors for personal interactions.  In Thailand it is through these types of personal relationships that the best opportunities for sharing the Gospel often occur.  At the end of the morning we were able to say a prayer for the children, Colonel Atapong and the communications battalion.

Please pray that God will clearly guide the LHMT director and Missionary Denow as they continue to consider providing English classes for the communications battalion.

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Happy Songkran Day

Songkran Day2During the dry season in Thailand from about the end of November until approximately the end of May there are only a few rainy days.  But, each year in early or mid-April Thai people expect to have a few days of heavy rain.  Because this is the hottest time of the year, the cooling, refreshing rains are a welcome relief.  This is possibly one reason why the Thai New Year on April 13 is a water festival.  The Thai name is Songkran Day.

Historically a water blessing was part of the Songkran celebration.  To show love and respect for their elders, children and youth gently poured a small amount of water on the hands of their parents and other loved adults.  They spoke a few words of good wishes as they poured the water.

That ceremony is still repeated in virtually every family today, but another aspect of the Songkran festival is a favorite of the young people.  It is common to see children and youth pouring, throwing and shooting large amounts of water on each other.  Some use small cups or glasses.  Others use buckets or hoses to get each other as wet as possible.  This community water fight continues for the 3 days of the Songkran festival in Bangkok, but can stretch to a week or longer in smaller towns and rural areas.  This activity extends beyond the family and usually includes anyone passing by in cars and trucks or on bicycles, motorbikes or on foot.

Since the Thai New Year is one of the biggest holidays in Thailand, it has become a tradition for a large portion of the Thai people to travel back to their hometowns and villages to spend time with their families.  This is true also for the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff.  The LHMT ministry center is closed for the Songkran holiday and the staff returned to their hometowns in northeastern, central and southern Thailand.

LHM Thailand Team Enjoys Camping with Students

???????????????????????????????From April 6-10, 2015 the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff participated in and helped lead an English Camp for Concordia Into Light Lutheran Church (CILLC) in Bangkok.  The English Camp was part of the outreach that CILLC does through English classes that are offered at Into Light Center.  Some of their English practice was done through Christian songs and holidays.

With the help of the LHMT team it was possible for the church to do the English Camp.  Some team members led the songs, others helped with small group discussions and activities, some prepared materials that were used during the Camp.

About 16 young adults registered to attend the Camp in addition to the LHMT team members.  This was a good opportunity for the LHMT team members to also learn more about English and to be able to practice using English in a very practical manner.

The English Camp was led by a married couple, Jane Dunfield and Roger Wanner,  who heard about this opportunity to teach English classes at Into Light Center and to plan and conduct the Camp from one of the LHM staff in St. Louis.

It was good to have the 2 short term volunteers, the LHMT director and staff, 1 long term volunteer at Into Light Center, a few CILLC members and 1 LCMS missionary all work together in conducting the English Camp.  Everyone is hoping that there will be another activity in the future in which they all can partner together in ministry.

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Ministry Booth and Product Sale

On Sunday afternoon, March 29, 2015, the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff traveled 2 hours by van to Ruamjai Uthong Church in Suphanburi Province.

The LHMT team set up their ministry booth and product sale with many items from the LHMT Christian bookstore.  Because there are not many Christian bookstores in Thailand, it can be difficult for Christians living outside large cities to get Christian books and materials.  The church members were very happy to have this opportunity to buy Bibles, other Christian books and booklets, Christian music CDs, Christian T-shirts and jewelry and other products.

This also was a good chance for the LHMT team to raise some funds to support their ministry programs and activities and to introduce LHMT to the church members.  When the pastor and church members visited the LHMT ministry booth, they learned a lot about the radio programs produced by LHMT and the many other LHMT ministry activities.

One ministry program that caught the attention of the church members was the LHMT Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC).  By the end of the day 158 people had registered to begin receiving the adult BCC lessons and 3 asked to receive the Children’s BCC for their families.

Another LHMT ministry program that was popular with the church members was the Gospel text messages.  A total of 19 people signed up to begin receiving the encouraging Gospel messages on their mobile phones.

 

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