Thanking Friends and Glorifying the Lord

Thanksgiving47On Saturday, November 28, 2015, Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) celebrated its annual Thanksgiving Banquet for donors and other ministry partners and friends.  More than 200 people came together for a catered dinner and an evening of worship, games, entertainment and words of thanks and appreciation.

Every year LHMT invites people who have supported its ministry with their time, energy, money and prayers to celebrate the good things that God has done for and through their ministry activities.  Special speakers included Pastor Wichean Rakkhantho from Kuiburi Church in PrchuapkhirikhanProvince, who gave the message during the worship time.  Pastor Wichean, his wife and church members are good friends of LHMT who have partnered with LHMT several times in doing school outreach and other programs in the community near their church.  Pastor Wichean and his wife were happy to travel more than four hours to attend the Thanksgiving Banquet and to share God’s Word with everyone who came for the evening.

The people who attended were treated to an excellent dinner and had opportunities to meet each other, to purchase products from the LHMT Christian bookstore and some special Christmas and gift items that were brought in especially for this occasion.

The theme for the evening was “Glorify the Lord,” which clearly reflected the understanding of all who participated that it is because of God’s gracious blessings that LHMT was able to accomplish so many ministry programs and activities during the previous year.

The LHMT director and staff very much appreciate all the help of so many volunteers and friends throughout the year.  They had a great time thanking and celebrating with people they are not able to see often.  It’s very encouraging to have so many partners who work with LHMT and who help to make ministry activities possible in various parts of Thailand.  The LHMT director and staff also appreciate the leadership and support of Dr. Douglas Rutt, International Director, and Mrs. Gunya Na Thalang, Asia Regional Director, for Lutheran Hour Ministries in the United States.

God has truly blessed Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand in many ways, especially with a large network of people who have hearts to help LHMT share the Gospel with so many Thai people who don’t know who Jesus is or what He has done for them.

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Long Trip is Worth the Effort

Participants were happy to receive the ETS training.

Participants were happy to receive the ETS training.

November 14, 2015 was the first time that churches in Porncharoen District, Bungkan Province, experienced an Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelistic training conducted by Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT).

Each of the churches that participated sent some representatives to see what this training was like. The end result was that the 57 people who attended were very pleased with the program. All six churches asked LHMT to do an ETS training at their locations next year, because they want all of their church members to be able to receive this training.

As usual, the ETS training included sessions about why to share their faith, the theology of evangelism and practicing various practical techniques for sharing their faith. From 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. the LHMT team led the group in a variety of activities and songs in addition to the modules.

Although it took them 12 hours to travel the 700 kilometers (420 miles) to reach Sangsawang Pafag Church in Bungkan Province on Friday, the LHMT team was very happy with all that was accomplished during the ETS training on Saturday. A total of 25 people became LHMT commissioned volunteers and 52 of the participants applied to receive encouraging Gospel text messages on their mobile phones.

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LHM Directors from Asia Enjoy the Second Half of their Annual Workshop

The Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) Asia Regional Workshop continued Wednesday morning with morning devotions and prayer, followed by a session on the Theology of Evangelism Part 2.  All of these were led by Dr. Rutt.

After the morning break Mrs. Deborah Rutt conducted a session on Fundraising.  The afternoon session began after lunch with Mrs. Deborah leading the third session on Fundraising.

Following the afternoon break Rev. Richard Fox from Australia did a session a One-Minute Radio Spots.  The afternoon was closed with a presentation by Mrs. Gunya Na Thalang on A Core Principle in the Stewardship of Giving.  Dinner and individual sessions with Mrs. Gunya completed the evening.

When breakfast and a devotion were finished Thursday morning, all of the workshop attendees went to observe a ministry activity at a GKPI school in East Jakarta.  The last activity before lunch was a visit to the LHM Indonesia ministry center.

The afternoon sessions focused on Muslim Outreach in Indonesia and LHM Ministry Matters.  After dinner a farewell party was planned for everyone to attend.

After breakfast and a devotion Friday morning, Dr. Rutt did a short presentation on Leadership Practices.  After the break Mrs. Gunya conducted a short closing session and workshop evaluation.  Mrs. Monta Ekwanit Denow, LHM Thailand country director, said a prayer to close the workshop.  After lunch most of the people attending the workshop went to the airport to catch flights back to their home countries.  The remaining country directors departed on Saturday.

Although the workshop schedule was quite full everyone felt tired, they also were happy to have this time together.  During the sessions they learned a lot of helpful information and they had many opportunities to talk personally with each other and to enjoy spending time together.  Everyone seemed to think that the workshop was a success and they already look forward to meeting together again next year.

Please pray for Dr. Rutt and his wife, Deborah, and Mrs. Gunya as they return to the United States and for each of the country directors as they continue their many ministry activities in their countries throughout the Asia region.

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LHM Asia Regional Directors Meet in Jakarta for Annual Workshop

Asia Workshop22

The Lutheran Hour Ministry (LHM) country directors throughout the Asia region are meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, from November 8-13, 2015.  This annual meeting, held in different countries each year, is a good chance for the country directors to meet with Dr. Douglas Rutt, the LHM International Director and Mrs. Gunya Na Thalang, the Asia Regional Director, to discuss structure and strategy and to receive in-service training regarding a number of ministry issues.

After arriving Jakarta on Saturday, November 7, the group attended worship together at a local Lutheran church and then visited Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, an Indonesian cultural site.  This unique park provides a miniature Indonesia through which visitors can walk to experience many of the various cultures found throughout the country.  Following dinner at a local restaurant, Mrs. Gunya provided a short welcome and introduction to the group.

Following breakfast and a devotion Monday morning led by Rev. C. David, the country directors met as a group in a session about LHM New Structure and Strategy and and then three sessions about LHM Digital Outreach.  The last session of the day was How to Effectively Use Internet/Social Media to Proclaim the Gospel in Asia.  In the evening some of the directors were able to have individual meetings with Mrs. Gunya to discuss their specific ministry needs, opportunities and challenges.

Tuesday morning began with a devotion and prayer led by Dr. Rutt.  He then conducted a session on The Theology of Evangelism.  After the morning break, Rev. Dr. Purnawan Tenibemas, Rector of Tyrannus Seminary in Bandung, Indonesia, presented a session on Muslim Outreach in Asia and Indonesia.  After lunch Mr. Hai Au, country director from Vietnam, led a session on how LHM Vietnam uses the internet and social media to conduct its ministry outreach and Dr. Rutt shared some online ministry personal experience.  During the last session in the afternoon Dr. Rutt informed the group about the various resources that are available for them to plan special celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Although the days are quite full with meetings and presentations, the country directors are able to enjoy some informal time together during meals and breaks and in the evenings.  This is very valuable for them to be able to get to know each other better, to encourage one another and to look for ways in which they might be able to partner together in some ministry activities.

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Special Visitors Arrive in Thailand

LHMT staff and the director's husband greeting the visitors upon arrival at the Bangkok airport.

LHMT staff and the director’s husband greeting the visitors upon arrival at the Bangkok airport.

The Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff were happy to host some special guests recently.  Dr. Douglas Rutt, Director of International Ministries from the Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, his wife, Deborah, and Mrs. Gunya Na Thalang, Asia Regional Director for LHM came to Bangkok on November 4, 2015, for some planning meetings.

This was a good opportunity for Dr. Rutt, Mrs. Gunya and the LHMT director to discuss the long term plan for Thailand and the ministry needs and challenges that LHMT is facing.  In addition to the meetings the visitors were able to learn more about Thai culture and society through some culture activities.

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, the visitors and LHMT director flew to Jakarta, Indonesia, where this year’s Asia regional workshop will be held from November 8-13, 2015.  The LHM country directors from throughout the Asia region will be meeting together during that week to do some planning and in-service activities.

Please pray for the LHM Asia team, as they pray and worship together, encourage one another and receive their in-service training.

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