Over the few months, God has brought us back to this question again. Over our years serving in the mission field, so many have come to us to ask us this same question: Why Chiang Mai? Chiang Mai has so many churches and missionaries, and it is the most ‘reached’ province in Thailand.
For many years, our answer has been: “God led us to serve here in Chiang Mai”. Questions like these often make us second-guess God, feeling like we made a mistake. Sometimes we feel inadequate just saying that God led us here. Is that really you, God?
All these time, we knew that our mission is obedience. Yet we always yearned for a revelation of God’s heart in sending us to Chiang Mai. And by God’s grace, we are slowly coming into that revelation in the past months. There have been prophecies of how Chiang Mai would be at the heart of a nation-wide revival in Thailand, and God has been clearer about our part in this revival:
“I’ve called you to mobilize Thais to reach people in Thailand and in the nations!”
Mae Sot Trip with RiverLife
In September, we hosted our church’s missions pastor and missions committee elders in Thailand for a 4 day trip. They visited our ministries, encouraged our staff, and took a long drive with us down to Mae Sot (a town that shares the border with Myanmar). Our Thai staff came along for the trip too, and together we visited refugee families at their homes, ministering and praying for them. Our 3 Thai staff saw the needs of the people, and partnered with God in loving and caring for them. It was a beautiful sight to behold!
At that moment, I felt the Lord tell me, “This is it.” In my heart, I knew immediately what God was referring to. His heart was for Thais to be mobilized to serve and do missions in their own country, and beyond. At the end of the trip, our Thai staff felt the burden in their hearts for the refugees, and were asking us how they can mobilize their own Thai church in Chiang Mai to serve the refugees. Perhaps this is why God has situated us in Chiang Mai, a place with sufficient Gospel Infrastructure. Because we are called to be mobilizers of our Thai brothers and sisters to reach their nation! Our mobilized Thai missionaries need a strong support network that Chiang Mai can offer.
YWAM Thailand Conference 2023
Together with 2 of our staff that recently graduated from YWAM’s Discipleship Training School (DTS), we joined the broader YWAM Thailand family in 4 days of “Reunion, Renew and Restart”. It was very heartwarming for us to meet fellow YWAMers from all over the country; brothers and sisters we have not met for years because of the pandemic. During this conference, we also had the opportunity to share about our missionary journey with the YWAM Thailand family, and it was a very encouraging time. At our booth, we shared about our community center and JSCO, and many were quite intrigued with our ministry approach.
More importantly, we saw how our Thai staff catch a heart for the nations, and come to know a big family of Thai YWAMers who are walking by faith in serving the Lord. We are excited for them because unlike Singaporeans who have a good network of Christian friends, most Thais don’t have that luxury of having many like-minded Christian friends spurring them on. We also met Thai YWAMers doing church planting in many other parts of Thailand, and we are excited to visit and support them as a ministry!
Restarting @ Community Centre
The community centre team is now back at work after 6 months of DTS and sabbatical! Following God’s word to us to “put new wine in new wineskins”, the team has been intentional about not jumping into organising programmes but spending time to pray and seek the Lord’s direction together. We also spent time looking at our vision afresh, resetting team norms, and studying our ministry values. A question that guided us as we sought the Lord is, “what would Jesus do with the community if He is here?” One thing that is clear to the team is that God wants us to start breaking new ground by spending time with individuals as Jesus did. We want to hear from the people about what REALLY are their needs, understand them, hear God’s voice for them, invite them into a relationship with Jesus, and journey with them. Only when we know what their needs are can we start designing our community outreach programmes.
Pray for the team to persevere in what could be a long and labourious process. We believe that we will witness the miracles of God as we love as how Jesus did!
How To Pray with Us?
Keep us in prayer in these ways:
- Pray for our community center ministry as they kickstart ministry, and corporately choose to listen to and obey God’s voice
- Pray for JSCO, as the staff continue to take up more responsibilities, that they can connect with our vision for discipleship
- Pray for our ministry calendar from now till end of the year, that God will give us strength and wisdom in our leadership