Each Tuesday evening we have adult English classes at the church. Following the English lesson we teach a Bible lesson. This past Tuesday I was teaching from the story of how Jesus merely spoke and calmed the storm. I said that this kind of authority demonstrates that Jesus really is the Son of God. One of the newer students, a middle aged government worker asked, "If Jesus is the Son of God, then who is God?" That is, of course, a very good question that we hope to help answer. But the question also reflects the starting point of most Thai people when they first hear the gospel. Every time we use Biblical terms such as God, salvation, sin, or eternal life we are talking about things that are literally foreign concepts. Even though the Thai Bible uses Thai words to refer to these things, the Biblical concepts are almost completely foreign to Thai culture. We need your prayers!
We returned to Thailand from our furlough almost three months ago. Since our return we have observed a few changes in the ministry. A few who were with us a year ago, some who were even members of the church are no longer with us. A few have moved away but others have drifted away. Of course we and our co-workers have been trying to follow up on them, but with limited success to this point. So that is sad. But there are also several new people. At least one young lady came to know the Lord while we were gone and is a regular at the services. There are a couple other new faces around too. Most Sundays we have either first time guests or guests who have been with us a few times before. This past Sunday we had six first time guests.
One of the interesting developments in our group is that we now have several college students who are regularly with us on Sundays. It is causing us to think about ways we can be more purposeful about reaching college students at a couple campuses in our area.ad six first time guests.
Of course after three months we are fully back into the swing of things. There are a lot of activities going on. But I will mention just two items as special requests for prayer and praise:
The first is a good report from the prison ministry. In July one of the young men who had been saved while in prison was released. The rules of his parole have made it more difficult for us to spend as much time with him as we would like. But so far he seems to be doing well. He is at church whenever he is able and wants to be baptized soon.
Another man in the prison that has been studying English with us for about two years told me just this past week that he is now a believer in Jesus Christ. We had a couple good conversations since our return, but after those conversations he was still unwilling to commit. So obviously I was thrilled to hear his profession of faith. Now for discipleship! Please pray for him. (Those of you who receive more regular prayer requests will rejoice because you have prayed for him.)
The second request is for two people whom we have known for a long time (since we first moved to this area to start Pin Klao Baptist Church six years ago). Although both had moved away for a time, God has brought them back into regular contact with us. One young man and a middle aged lady come to our house regularly for visits. We are sure that God has brought them back around for a reason. Please pray for their salvation and that we would be good witnesses to them.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read this letter and for your prayers.
Your Partners for the Gospel,
Duane and Hannah
Hannah's brother, Jason Ormiston visited us in June. Here he is preaching at the prison.