Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closure in Thailand: Prison Salvations, English Teaching and Radio

Our team (with Thai-additions) at the Ratchaburi Prison
Over the past 7 weeks, there is no way to explain away the way God has moved in our lives and in the lives of others in Thailand. We've had incredible opportunities, plenty of laughter, compelling conversations and a fairly complete geographic tour of the country. It would turn out, however, that God was just as interested in our last week of ministry in Thailand as ever: after a few short days in Bangkok working with a textile ministry called the Ruth Centre (read about here) and visiting/praying with NightLight (read about here), we felt God was re-locating us in the west Thai city of Ratchaburi. After a unanimous confirmation from the Lord that we were meant to journey away from Bangkok, we packed our bags almost immediately and drove off to see what the Lord had in store.

the simple gospel in a school
Our visit to Ratchaburi was very fast-paced and evangelism focused. We had team members singing and being interviewed on live Thai radios, running assemblies in Christian and non-Christian schools alike to audiences up to 800 students, teaching worship songs and the gospel in classrooms, preaching in churches, and even leading an altar call in one of the major Ratchaburi prisons -- a call to salvation that saw 10 men give their lives to Jesus! In all of these opportunities and scenarios, God was bringing closure to our time in Thailand -- rewarding our obedience to His call and letting us get a giddy little glimpse into some of the more gratifying fruits of ministry. It's been wholly apparent that God has been moving and has been perfectly dynamic this entire time. Here are a few photographs to tell some of our stories in words I myself cannot muster...

an elaborate barbecue meal on our last night
Pete giving a sermon in the prison
fun with a childrens ministry
Hayley teaches a song in a school
Joshua in prayer for men in prison
Radio show guests, two weeks in a row!
And just like that, our time in Thailand drew to a close. The day after we saw God move mightily in prison, we had a big barbecue altogether, returned to Bangkok and flew out of the country. With closure in Thailand, we all made a pact, or covenant if you will, to give as much of our energy to the ministry in Belfast as we did in Thailand. Eager to see what outreach would look like on the other side of the world, we boarded our plane (singing 'Doxology' in the flight cabin before take-off, much to the amusement and chagrin of other passengers) and bid farewell to the beautiful country that made us feel at home this winter. May the Lord bless you and keep you, Thailand.

the beginning of a 40 hour journey to Northern Ireland -- already knackered!

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