Meet Our Staff – Mr. Boocha Khamkaew

Lek

Boocha Khamkaew

The next person from our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff that we want you to meet is Mr. Boocha Khamkaew, who works in our Audience Relations department.  Going by the nickname Lek, he has worked with LHMT since 2003.  Lek is responsible for communicating with listeners who contact our office.  When listeners study the Bible Correspondence Course produced by LHMT, Lek grades their lessons and sends them the new lessons.  Lek is always willing to do other tasks that need to be done, no matter how small.

The only child in his family, Lek grew up in a Christian home in southern Thailand.  Lek is the only LHMT staff member who was raised as a Christian.  Lek graduated from Bangkok Institute of Theology and is a worship leader at his local congregation.  Currently Lek is studying in the Luther Institute Southeast Asia theological program.  Lek is single and he enjoys playing guitar and watching action movies.

A Closer Look at Our Ministry: Text Messaging

S__5562417Finding the most effective means of communicating with non-believers in Thailand is always a challenge.  Thai people typically think of Christianity as the religion of Westerners.   When they hear a Christian message, they automatically think that it’s just for Westerners.

Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) is interested in sharing the Gospel with non-believers, but also eager to find ways to encourage and nurture Christians throughout Thailand.

One way that LHMT uses to connect with non-believers and to encourage believers at the same time is through text messages.  Almost everyone in Thailand has a mobile phone and text messaging is a common way of communicating.  Through text messages LHMT can make personal connections with people we haven’t met and we can maintain contact with people who already have participated in some of our ministry activities.

Every Wednesday LHMT sends a text message to the mobile phones of more than 5,000 people.  Both Christians and non-Christians, who have signed up for this service, receive a Bible passage and an encouraging message.  Words of grace and forgiveness, expressions of God’s glory and love and reminders of God’s presence in all situations are some of the topics shared each week.

Feedback that LHMT has received indicate that these messages have had a positive impact on many people.  Both believers and non-believers have told us that they have received messages that applied to specific situations in their lives and have provided answers that they were looking for.

God’s Word is powerful and able to touch the hearts and minds of Christians and non-Christians alike.  Sharing the Gospel through text messages on personal mobile phones is one way to connect with people who otherwise would not read the Bible or hear a Christian message.  It’s also a great way to support Christians who may be the only believers in their families and communities.

We thank God for the technology that makes it possible for us to so quickly and easily send His Word to thousands of people each week.  And we thank God for providing the financial support for this important ministry activity.

 

BLC Team Completes the School Outreach Program

1Sanook with English04The last of the 3 schools where the Brookfield Lutheran Church (BLC) team did the Sanook with English (Fun with English) program was Nikom Tubkwang Songkraw 2 School.  The BLC team did special songs and fun activities for the students in grades 1-6 both Monday morning and Tuesday morning.

Following the same format as at the first school, the BLC team divided into 3 groups and divided the students into 3 groups.  As the student groups rotated between the BLC groups they had many chances to learn about culture in the United States and to practice using English.

One of the favorite activities for the children was making snow.  They were mazed as they added water to a white substance and watched it become snow.  They loved feeling how cold it was and were very happy that they could take some home in small sealable plastic bags.

The children also loved the fun personal interactions that they had with the visitors during the first hour of the day when everyone did songs and fun activities led by the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff.

After lunch at the school on Monday, the BLC team and LHMT team made a trip to a very famous Buddhist temple, which claims to have a footprint of the Buddha. Large numbers of people come to this temple every day to drop money into the footprint in hopes of receiving good karma.  Seeing the beauty of the temple and watching people doing prayers and rituals at the temple helped the BLC team better understand the importance of Buddhism in Thailand.

Tuesday morning was the last day of the Sanook with English in Schools Program.  Although the BLC team was quite tired and some were facing minor health discomforts, they enjoyed this last chance to have fun with the students.  At the end of the morning there were many mixed emotions as the materials were packed up for the last time and final goodbyes were said.  A number of students asked for the contact information from the BLC team in hopes of continuing to stay in touch through Facebook and emails.

After lunch on Tuesday the teams returned to Bangkok and the BLC team began preparing for their journey home.

Wednesday morning the teams faced Bangkok traffic during a trip to the Concordia Day Care Center (CDCC), located on the other side of Bangkok.  Members of the BLC team who have been on previous trips to Thailand wanted to visit the CDCC again and to have the other team members experience this outreach ministry to a slum community near the Bangkok airport.

Both the BLC and LHMT teams joined together at the LHMT building for a farewell lunch hosted by LHMT.  During the lunch the teams reflected on the time they had together and the ministry activities that they accomplished.  There were some tears as they realized they had only a few more hours left together.  Some very close relationships were formed among the team members in just a matter of days.  Some gifts were exchanged and plans were made for keeping in touch in the future.

After lunch the teams went to JJ Mall for some last minute shopping for the BLC team.  In the evening the BLC team had to pack and weigh all their bags before loading them into the vans for the ride to the airport.  Saying goodbye at the airport was made somewhat easier as they prayed together, hugged and the BLC team talked about returning to Thailand with future teams from Brookfield Lutheran Church.

We look forward to hosting more BLC teams and we pray God’s blessings on them as they return to their families and friends in Wisconsin.

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The BLC Team Continues their Sanook with English Program

IMG_2345When the volunteer mission team from Brookfield Lutheran Church (BLC) in Wisconsin arrived at Wat Phongkonsao School in Saraburi Province, on Friday morning, October 9, 2015, they discovered that there was some confusion about their program.  The students were already involved in taking an examination and the teachers weren’t expecting the BLC team and the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) team at their school.  When the school director arrived a short time later, the confusion was cleared up and the BLC team was able to start their program.  As a result, the Sanook with English program started later than planned.

Because the BLC and LHMT teams were scheduled to be at Wat Phongkonsao School for only one day, the Sanook with English program was shorter than what they did at Baan Nongpakbung School the two previous days.  It had to be curtailed even more because of the delay in starting the activities.  Instead of having 30 minutes for each of the activities, the time was shortened to 20 minutes.

A total of 111 students in grades 3-9 participated in the Sanook with English program.  Because this is the only school with grades 7-9 that the BLC and LHMT teams will be visiting during this program, they had a chance to interact with students whose English proficiency level was higher than the other students.  This made it possible for the teams to have more advanced conversations with the older students.

After lunch the teams did some sightseeing in a national park in the area and visited a cave before returning to Bangkok.

Saturday was a free day for the BLC team, so in the morning they were able to visit Ayuthya, the former capital of Thailand.  Situated about an hour north of Bangkok, Ayuthya is very interesting because of it’s important role in the history of Thailand and the numerous ruins that are found throughout the area.  A visit to Ayothaya Market for lunch, some shopping and a culture show gave the team more information about the history and culture of the area.

Sunday morning the BLC team attended a Bible study and worship at Concordia Into Light Lutheran Church.  They sang a special song for the congregation and enjoyed lunch with everyone at the church before going to the main tourist attraction in Bangkok, the Grand Palace, with the LHMT staff.  A visit to the Grand Palace is a clear reminder of the importance of the king of Thailand and the royal family.  From there the teams returned to the hotel in Saraburi and prepared for their visit to the next school.

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BLC Team Completes Program at First School

 

IMG_1043The Brookfield Lutheran Church (BLC) team from Brookfield, Wisconsin has completed the first part of their program in Thailand.  On Wednesday and Thursday, October 7 -8, 2015, they did a variety of activities with approximately 60 students from Baan Nongpakbung School in Saraburi Province.  For 3 hours each morning the BLC team, in partnership with the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff, led the students in singing fun songs and doing activities to help them enjoy practicing English.

The BLC team divided into 3 groups and arranged 3 stations.  The students were divided into 3 groups and rotated between the stations every 30 minutes.  In one station the BLC team used the topic of families to teach the students about culture and society in the United States.  The topics of the other 2 stations were animals and seasons.  Through the activities the students especially practiced vocabulary and listening.  They were able to practice speaking and pronunciation through the fun songs.

In addition to highlighting the topics of the stations the BLC team members were able to incorporate the Gospel into their presentations and to share their faith with the students.

At the end of the second morning the students were very sad to see the BLC  team leave.  There were some tears, lots of hugs and contact information shared.  The school director was very pleased with the program provided by BLC and LHMT and happy to have his students participate during their school break.

After lunch at the school Wednesday the BLC team enjoyed a trip to a famous Buddhist temple followed by a trip to a waterfall in Sam Lan National Park.  This was a good chance for the team to see some of the beautiful scenery of Thailand.

Thursday afternoon the team visited Chokchai Farm, an 8,000 acre dairy farm, animal husbandry and research facility.  For a group of volunteers from Wisconsin, which has the nickname America’s Dairyland, it was very interesting to compare the animals, facilities and methods of Chokchai Farm with farms in Wisconsin.

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Another Brookfield Lutheran Church Volunteer Team is Coming to Thailand

6718Late Monday night, October 5, 2015, a team of 9 volunteers from Brookfield Lutheran Church (BLC) in Wisconsin will be arriving Bangkok.  This is the third volunteer team that the church has sent to Thailand in the past 5 years.  Five members of this team have come to Thailand with previous BLC teams.

The plan is to have the team do special outreach activities in 3 schools in Saraburi Province, which is about 2 hours from Bangkok.  Their program will include using games, songs and fun activities that will provide real situations for the students to practice using English with native English speakers. Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff will work with the BLC team to help organize the students and to interpret when necessary.

This will be a unique opportunity for these schools, since they have no foreign English teachers.  For many students it will be the first time they have interacted personally with foreigners.  Although this is a school break, almost all of the students will be coming to school to join this program.  

In addition to providing English practice for the students, the BLC team members will be sharing the Gospel through their interactions and conversations with the students.

Local pastors and church members also will be at each school.  This program is a natural way for the pastors and church members to get involved in the schools, to interact with the students and to build relationships with the teachers and school administrators.

LHMT is happy to host another BLC team and to do this school outreach program together.  These two groups have worked well in the past and a strong relationship has grown between LHMT and BLC.  We thank God for this partnership in ministry and pray for God’s blessing as we join hands in ministry in the coming days.