Praise God that the Kingdom of God is growing among the Burmese in Thailand! Last Sunday, 12 new believers from the three Burmese church plants chose to declare their faith and be baptized. It was a big party as we filled two songtaos, and three pickup trucks with people and brought them to Bang Saen Beach just south of Chachoengsao. Almost 70 people joined us for the celebration, many of them seekers or young believers. Burmese people work very hard in factories and rarely get opportunities to have fun. It was a joy to watch them play in the ocean waves and laugh together. Several of them went on inner tube rides for the first time and others did flips over the waves as they came ashore. All were laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Members from each of the church plants brought food, drinks, and snacks to share with the crowd.
After the play, we gathered together to worship our Creator. What a beautiful testimony it was to onlookers as Burmese and Farang (foreigner) believers sang together. During worship, Ajaan Mo-aow was filled with the spirit as he interceded reverently for the church. He told us later, he received a word from God that there were many more lost sheep he was to gather into the Kingdom. The evening continued with a joyful baptism in the ocean, more songs of praise, a word from the Lord preached in English, and translated to Thai, then to Burmese.
It was awesome to see the joy on the leaders’ faces as they celebrated the expansion of the Kingdom. Ajaan Isaiah is the lead pastor at Lighthouse church, but he depends on other leaders and interns for mentoring and discipling new believers at Lighthouse, Bo Thong, and Bang Sai where the other church plants are located. He told them what a blessing it was to see them step out in faith and disciple these 12 people and prepare them for baptism. Though they face many obsticles along the way, they faithfully tell others about Christ and minister to their communities. One of the interns, Mochit, said that Sunday afternoon before the baptism, there was a lot of confusion at his church plant in Bang Sai about transportation to the beach, and many of the members of the church decided not to go. Although he was discouraged, he went to their homes to convince them to come and in the end they all came. This church has grown from 2 to 15 in the 7 months we have been in Thailand. Praise God!