June 18, 2018
Today is June 18. June 20th will mark twelve years since Hannah and I, along with our toddler daughter and baby son, boarded a flight in Minneapolis to travel to Bangkok to begin our missionary service in Thailand. As we interact with people here we are often asked how long we have been in Thailand. So, recently, as I have answered, “Twelve years,” it has sounded strange to my ears. Twelve years? How is that possible? I often think, “What did we expect life to be like twelve years from when we first landed in Thailand, and how has it actually turned out?” Truthfully, we were probably unrealistic about many things. But we did know that ministry and church planting among Thai Buddhists would be slow. We were in it for the long haul. By the grace of God, we have been able to stay here, in good health and with some measure of “success,” for twelve years. But we are still looking forward to, if the Lord wills, many more years of service to the Lord in Thailand and are praying for more fruit in every way.
One of the areas in which progress came more slowly than anticipated was language learning. Even now, each passing year brings more progress in understanding and speaking Thai, which is essential to knowing and understanding people. It seems that over the past year or so those who attend our church have opened up with us more and more. What stands out is the difficulties which so many of them face. Even though this church is small compared to many congregations, among those who come regularly, and some who are less faithful, the list of troubles seems to go on and on: Serious health concerns, family members with life threatening diseases, the deaths of relatives, some who are enduring complex and ugly family conflict, debt and money troubles that lead to more family infighting, an abusive spouse, young people who are dealing with the disadvantages of having grown up without parents, persecution and pressure to abandon their faith in Christ.
Thai culture is very aware of the supernatural world. Many Thai Christians look for miracles as the ultimate proof and confirmation of their faith. The miracles sought for are often in the realm of healing. While certainly God is glorified if He chooses to display His power and goodness through healing, the miracle needed most is the miracle of changed lives; that these believers would be able to live victorious lives of faith amid such difficulties. They need not only a change in their own lives, but also in the lives of their family members; such changes as can only be explained by the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. That is the long term miraculous fruit we are hoping for, and we know you are praying for.
We appreciate your prayers for us and this church planting effort. Many who pray for us are looking for specific requests, so here are a few: (Because of the shrinking world due to the internet, I won’t list names. God knows!)
- A man who comes to church each Sunday but is still not a believer.
- A young man who has shown a genuine desire to serve God but seems to be struggling at the moment.
- One lady who, although coming to church often over the last two years, has yet to trust Christ. She seems to have withdrawn from us as we haven’t had contact with her for a couple months.
- An important, immediate request: Friday morning the 22nd a mission team of young people from Fourth Baptist Church in Minneapolis will be arriving in Bangkok. They will be with us for about 11 days. We have a lot planned, especially in ways to make contacts and share the gospel with other young people. Please pray for God to use this trip for the spread of the gospel here, and to use it in the lives of these young people. We pray it will be an eye opening, perspective changing experience!
Your Partners for the gospel,
Duane and Hannah Scott
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For a copy of the August 2, 2016 Prayer Letter, please send me an email through the "contact us" page. Thanks!