Since leaving our team in Laos and joining our team in Cambodia in November of 2014, I have had the privilege of returning to Laos on five separate occasions. On each of these trips, which lasted from 10-12 days each, I have had the privilege to preach for our team, as well as for two other churches, and various conferences, camps, and teach in two different Bible Institutes. It’s always a real blessing to be able to come back and be with our dear friends in Laos and Thailand.
On this most recent trip, we were invited to come and preach for the “Striving Together for the Faith of the Gospel” Bible Camp held in Nong Khai, Thailand and to preach and teach for our team in Laos. This was my fourth year in a row preaching for the Camp, which is always held during Laos/Thai New Year. This year’s camp had folks in attendance from eight different churches in Thailand and Laos. There were over 120 people in attendance and the vast majority of these were young people between the ages of 15-30 years old.
I had the privilege of preaching four of the twelve messages, including the opening and closing messages for the camp. The other speakers were missionary to Thailand Philip Pope and a Thai national, Pastor Pradith. Both of these good men also preached four times. Brother Philip Pope is the man who not only started a few churches here in the country that in turn started seven other churches in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar, but he also translated the entire Bible into the Thai language.
The first three days of the camp I preached messages from the Book of Philippians, using Philippians 1:27 (the Camp’s theme verse) as a spring board. On the final day of the Camp I preached a message entitled “For the Gospel’s Sake” from 1 Corinthians chapter 9, challenging the folks to go back to their homes, their villages, their cities, to their schools, and to their places of employment and bring the Good news of Jesus Christ. God moved in a special way and many, if not most, responded by asking God to help them to live, and if need be, die for “The Gospel’s Sake.”
One special blessing during the 3½ days of camp was the fact that three individuals trusted Christ including a lady named At. At is the mother of one of our faithful young ladies named Lilee. Needless to say, it was an emotional moment for everybody, but especially Lilee.
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL TAKE THE SEEDS OF HIS WORD THAT WERE SOWN DURING THE CONFERENCE AND BRING MANY LOST PEOPLE TO CHRIST!
After camp was over and crossing the border returning to the “Creative Access” nation, I had the opportunity to preach for our team in the capital city on Sunday. In spite of it being a holiday weekend they still had a good crowd for a church less than an year-and-a-half old, especially for this part of the world. It was great to have At [see picture above] in both of the services with a Bible and taking notes. Both the morning and the afternoon services were wonderful and, as always, the meal in between the services was fantastic!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL CONTINUE TO BLESS THIS MINISTRY!
I was supposed to preach twice, as well as teach during the Sunday school hour, but we ended up spending the entire Sunday School hour sharing testimonies (there were 6 different testimonies) from the camp. It was a tremendous blessing to say the least. One of the many great testimonies was a young Hmong girl named Pachou. She is 15-years old and recently trusted Christ. She is from one of the distant villages up north. She is not only the only Christian in her family, but the only Christian from her entire village. Apparently, she left home because her step mother is trying to sell her off for $600. God used the testimony and love of missionary T.J. Slayman and his family to reach this young lady as He has in many of the young people in this church!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL CONTINUE TO BLESS PACHOU AND THAT SHE WILL GROW TO BE THE YOUNG LADY GOD DESIRES FOR HER TO BE!
Koumaly and Darath Thongdy, along with T.J. and Kam Slayman are doing a great job here in the capital city of this “Creative Access” nation. They surely need your prayers as they have a boatload of young people who are hungry for God. We will be here in the country for another five days, and sincerely covet your prayers, as I teach for 25 hours in the Bible Institute and preach for their midweek service. Today, was my first day of teaching in the Institute and it was fabulous. During the morning session, we had a few extra join us so we had ten in attendance. Immediately after the morning session we all went out to lunch and had a great time of fellowship.
During the five days of morning sessions (9:30 AM-12:30 PM), I am teaching from the Book of Philippians. During the evening sessions (6:00 PM- 8:00 PM), I am teaching on “Finding, Following, and Finishing the Will of God for Your Life” and “Biblical Stewardship.”
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE REMAINING SESSIONS IN BIBLE INSTITUTE THIS WEEK!
We all sincerely thank you for your constant prayers and consistent support of our ministry in Southeast Asia. Please do keep our upcoming trip next month to China for a Missions’ Conference in your prayers!
Johnny, Denise, Joy, and Sue