The team spent two days in Miami training and team building as they prepared for the ministry in Thailand. They left on the 3rd of July and traveled for two very long days, including one 14 hour long flight from Detroit to Shanghai. They landed at their final destination in Chiang Mai at 7:30am.
That first morning the team went to a Buddhist Temple called Doi Suthep. It is a very beautiful temple with ornate statues and buildings, but the team could feel an emptiness in that place. People were praying and worshiping, seeking peace, but it was dead worship. The team prayer walked the temple and prayed that God would reveal himself there and bring a spirit of dissatisfaction to the worship. They prayed that they would see people with love.
The next day the team headed to Giving Hope Church. They met with James and Ken who lead this church and other ministries. They gave the team a little orientation to Thailand and its culture as well as their ministries. The team also attended a monk chat and spoke with a Buddhist monk. The team was able to talk with him about his life, Buddhism, and his “faith” in it. He shared with the team that Buddhism is about believing in whatever you want, but focusing on how you live peacefully and balanced in every moment. They were able to share their faith with him as well. In sharing our faith with him, they found friction in topics like finding peace, that there is or isn’t a universal truth, and the source of all peace and happiness. Buddhists believe that you find peace and happiness through balancing yourself and your desires, whereas we believe that Christ is our peace, our hope, our salvation, and was not attainable, but instead, given to us through grace.
They also began ministry in the red light district. The team split into three small teams and rotated two groups going out into the streets to talk with some of the girls, while the other team stayed back at the hostel to pray. The three teams are made up of three individuals that are meant to play on each others strengths and weaknesses. The girls that the teams came in contact with were treated with kindness and love. Seeds of faith were planted.
On Sunday, the team went and prayed at Giving Hope Church with James early before service began, it was only the fourth week of this Church’s existence, but the church was packed. Michael and Renee were able to share their testimonies with the church. Sunday evening, the team had a blast playing volleyball with youth from church. On Monday evening, they also joined the church to prayer walk around their community. They split up and went in five different directions praying and handing out flyers for the church. The church is located really close to a university, so the church is made up of a lot of young people, and they are trying to reach more by reaching this school. Please pray for this church as they grow and serve their surrounding community.
The biggest spiritual need is urgent, consistent and God centered prayer. There are a lot of obstacles for Christians in this country, and the enemy has an agenda here, but our God is bigger, more powerful, and He will have the Victory! We, as RIM, are so glad that we get to partner with this team and the amazing work that The Lord is doing in Thailand!