Meet Our Staff – Suwichanon Mahahing

Waan2The newest member of the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff, Suwichanon Mahahing, whose nickname is Waan, has been working as a studio technician with LHMT since July 2013.

Waan is single and has 2 older sisters and 3 older brothers.  Born into a Buddhist family, Waan became a Christian in 2009.  He is the second Christian in his family.

When he was a small boy Waan spent a lot of time with the monks at a temple near his home.  Waan became interested in becoming a monk, but his family was unable to pay the expenses for the initiation ceremony.  Through scholarships arranged by Ms. Christie Nelson, who was an LCMS missionary in Thailand at that time, Waan was able to enter junior high school and complete his studies through twelfth grade.

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Waan’s mother and father (deceased)

During his senior year in high school Waan’s father became very sick and close to death.  Waan was worried that he could not go from school to the hospital before his father died, so he prayed to God.  He said if God is real, then please let his father live a little longer.  Waan’s father lived for another five days.  Since then Waan began to search for God.

Waan moved to Bangkok to study law at Ramkamhang University.  During his second year of studies he started receiving scholarships from Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation Thailand (CWEFT).  He began attending a Lutheran church and was baptized two years later.

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Christie Nelson (left) and Waan’s sister and mother

After receiving a bachelor degree in law Waan worked for CWEFT for two years before joining LHMT.  In addition to his work with LHMT, he is taking theological classes through the Luther Institute Southeast Asia.

Waan’s special interests include traveling, photography, computers, playing guitar, soccer and volleyball.

 

 

Meet Our Staff – Ms. Kanda Teabruttana

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Ms. Kanda Teabruttana

The Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff highlighted in this post is Ms. Kanda Teabruttana. Kanda, whose nickname is Jeab, is single and has been working with LHMT taking care of the LHMT Christian bookstore since May 2013.

Born into a Buddhist family, Jeab first heard about God when she was 10 years old. When she was 15 years old some friends threatened to ask an evil spirit to go into Jeab, if Jeab didn’t play aouija board with them.  Jeab felt afraid and decided to pray to God that night.  She thought that if God is real, He could help her.  In the morning she didn’t feel afraid, so she thought that God must be real.

Sometime later at a church camp Jeab was riding in a small boat with 7 friends that capsized. She felt like she was going to drown.  When she called to God for help, she came up to the surface.  Since that time she has believed in God.

Jeab earned a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts degree with an emphasis in dance from the Faculty of Education at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University. Before joining LHMT she worked as a teacher of Thai music and dance for 12 years at Mahachai Christian Wittaya School.

In her free time Jeab enjoys doing Thai dance and Thai music and helps with Bible studies at her church.

Jeab’s father, older brother and younger sister also are Christians. Her mother is interested in learning about Christianity, but continues to follow Buddhist beliefs.

Routine Work Builds Team Work

TeamA lot of basic behind-the-scenes work is necessary for the Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff to be able to conduct their ministry programs. Materials need to be prepared, printed and stored in cabinets. Radio programs must be written and recorded.  Gift sets have to be packed.  Planning meetings and contacts with radio stations and listeners are important elements in the daily ministry routine.

Last Friday the LHMT team spent time trimming plants and flowers, reorganizing and cleaning outside the ministry center. One advantage of having the team ocassionally involved in these activities is that they enjoy working together rather than working individually in their workrooms and studios.

Good relationships among the LHMT team members has a positive effect on the overall ministry programs, especially Equipping the Saints workshops, Listener Gatherings, the school outreach program and other activities.

LHMT Director and Staff Go Camping

Under the theme “Stand Firm” the annual Thailand Concordia Lutheran Church (TCLC) Youth Camp was held at the Church of Christ in Thailand training center in Pranburi District in Prachuapkirikhan Province from May 2-5, 2016. Our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) director and staff played significant roles in conducting the Camp. Our staff planned and led most of activities and assisted with some of the others. We also provided opportunities for the youth to purchase Christian books and other materials, Christian music CDs, clothing and jewelry from our Christian bookstore.

More than 60 youth and more than 20 adults from churches in northern, central and southern Thailand attended the camp. Some of the activities were designed to help the youth meet and get to know Lutheran young people from different parts of Thailand. Other activities focused on helping the campers learn how to plan and work together.

The Bible teachings during this Youth Camp were taught by several TCLC pastors and focused on how the youth can be strong and stand firm in their faith. Much time was spent studying the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism in large groups. Several small groups led the devotion times each day.

In addition to the usual teaching sessions and activities, the second day of the camp included a time when all of the Christian organizations involved with the Youth Camp were introduced, so that everyone could learn about the different types of ministry that are being done in Thailand.

A special activity was planned for the third day. After lunch everyone from the camp was taken to a nearby beach for an afternoon of games and competitions in the sand and free time to play in the water. For a number of the campers this was the first time that they had ever gone to a beach or seen the ocean.

The day ended with a camp fire. At the beginning of the camp all of the youth were divided into 4 teams. At the camp fire each of the 4 teams did a skit that they prepared based on the “Stand Firm” camp theme, which provided some good entertainment. One team included the 5-finger Gospel presentation they learned from LHMT, which uses the fingers of a hand to remind them of the 5 points to share. LCMS missionary Dennis Denow did the closing encouragement that gave the campers 4 points to help them Stand Firm after they return home from the Camp.

The TCLC Youth Camp came to a close with lunch on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The morning activities included a devotion led by one of the youth teams, some final activities, feedback from the youth regarding their experiences during the camp and everyone meeting their secret “Buddies” and the final exchange of small gifts. Many tears were shed as everyone said goodbye to each other, as some very close relationships were built during the camp. The TCLC leaders hope that these relationships will continue and even grow between now and next year’s Youth Camp as many of the campers remain in contact through the internet and social media. We thank God for His many blessings during the Camp and for giving safe travel home to all participants from across Thailand.