Dear Friends & Family,
The first half of July turned out to be a very busy but very productive time for us. Joining us for two weeks was a short-term team from East Sarang Community Church in Chino, CA. Karl coordinated the team together with Tam, who works in student ministry in nearby Lopburi. The schedule was packed with English teaching, an evangelistic student cafe, open air evangelism & tracting, children’s ministry, and preaching.
Ministering at the Phrabaht church is often very discouraging and lonely, so it has been wonderful to have so many enthusiastic, dedicated young people with us, as well as their team leader, a former classmate of Karl’s from Gordon Conwell Seminary. Working more closely with Tam was also a great experience as Tam is a hard working Biblically minded servant of God with whom we can communication well.
The greatest drawback of short-term teams is that they don’t have the local language. But one of the greatest benefits is that they can help put missionaries and local Christians in touch with people that they haven’t met yet. Short teams can be great bridge builders. Early on in their time here, we had the team teach basic English conversation in two local technical colleges. At the end of each class hour, we invited the students back to the Lopburi Youth House (ministry center) for an evangelistic cafe on Friday night - games, songs, food, testimonies, etc.
Out of the hundreds of students who were invited back to the Youth House, seven showed up. And three look like they are starting to come regularly. Out of those three, one was very struck by the testimony of a girl on the short-term team, whose experience resonated with her own. And another asked, “Are there any churches around here? I’d really like to go.”
We also used the team to help put on a one day English camp at the school in Nong Doan where Karl regularly holds kids club. After a big splash at the English camp, we had nearly 60 students at the kids club the following day, a 100% increase from our usual attendance. Hopefully, this will result in more regular attenders for the kids club. Another result of the English camp was that Pastor Jareun was able to bring a pick-up truck full of Nong Doan kids to the PhraBaht church on Saturday for VBS activities in the morning and soccer in the afternoon. Here is a short video from the team's time with us:
At this point, it is impossible to gauge the true spiritual interest of any of these students, but their openness to learning more about the Christian faith is encouraging. Jesus told parables to large crowds but very few stuck around to ask him what the parables meant. Jesus used mass evangelism as a starting point to find and focus in on those people whom God was leading to Him (John 6:44,65). It is those people whom we are praying for and have been hoping to meet as we used this short-term team to throw out the nets widely in Lopburi, PhraBaht, and Nong Doan.
The E.Sarang team was struck by the sheer number of opportunities there are for evangelism here in Thailand. If only there were more mature, dedicated Christians, both Thai and missionary, there is much more we could do. Please continue to pray for us, and for God’s church in Thailand (Matt 9:37-38)
by Christ’s grace,
Karl & Sun Dahlfred
- The thousands of people who received John’s Gospel and/or tracts
- Discipling Thai Christians
- Evangelism in Nong Doan
- Growth of Thai church (both numbers and maturity
- Short-term team from East Sarang Community Church
- Evangelism opportunities with students, children, and open air
6/27-7/11 East Sarang Church Short Term Team
7/18 Karl teach Sunday school at PhraBaht
7/25 Karl preach at Ayuthaya