Praise for the encouraging time the Wells family had at the recent SIMSendOff, and for an upcoming move to Clarkston, Georgia, dubbed “one of the most diverse zip codes in America.” Pray for them as they learn about cross-cultural ministry and church planting in a five-month missionary training school program. Pray that the family will adjust well to this new location, will develop friendships and favor among the people with whom they will live and serve, and that Jay and Julia will learn all that God has for them during their time there. Pray also that the remaining 35% of needed support will be raised.
Praise for Denise’s time working in communications and media for the SIM regional office and the abundance of peace, joy, and energy that God has given her these two years in Thailand. Praise that she will be able to stay another year and teach at The Centre – a place to connect with college students. Pray that her new work permit will come through soon. Pray that she will learn and adjust to her new role by observing classes and being with students and staff. Praise that she can also use this time of waiting to plan a special event for The Centre in November.
Praise for the blessing of the mid-July SIM Thailand Spiritual Life Conference which brought together all the missionaries and Thai staff with focus on the theme of unity. Praise for Ryan’s opportunity to join a small research team and visit the ancient city of Ayutthaya recently, with around a million residents in the greater province and only 11 small churches. Pray for plans underway for SIM to place a church planting team there in the next two years. Pray for God’s provision of the right missionaries for the team. Pray for safety for Ryan and Heidi as they travel widely in the next two months, attending consultations and board meetings.
Prang escaped the power of evil through the steadfast witness of believers. Photo courtesy Mark Fischer The spiritual world was always real for Prang. But it was the world of dark, evil spirits. Prang’s mother was a medium who communicated regularly with an ungodly spirit. “When my mother prayed she could sense the spirit surrounding her,” Prang recalls. “My mother knew something in the darkness was trying to tighten its grip on her. And the longer she worked for the spirit, the more afraid she became.” That terror spread to Prang’s entire family. “Everyone in my family was very fearful, and we all suffered because of these spirits,” she says. “Our family had no peace.” Prang’s escape from the darkness came through Simon, her Christian employer, who demonstrated his strong faith even through severe trials. “I saw a wonderful thing in Simon’s life,” she remembers. “I became a Christian because … Read More
Praise for the opportunities Denise has had to document the experiences of missionaries living in many different locations, including some in very urban settings, with all the challenges that brings. Pray for her as she continues to study the Thai language with a helper. Praise that she has extended her term in Thailand by one year. Pray for discernment and peace for her as she prays about whether to switch from her current role in communications/media to campus outreach, ministering to university students.
Sports Friends has ministries in many of the far-flung corners of the world; from Peru to Nigeria to Thailand. The mental scenes that correspond to those places might be something like a dusty plain with children playing football under a tree with wide, spreading branches. Or a field lined with palm trees, young girls avoiding monsoon-season puddles as they practice volleyball. And sure, these picturesque rural settings really are some of the places where Sports Friends works, but what about sports ministry in an urban context, where fields and courts are not in open spaces but tucked amidst buildings and side streets? “Wherever you are, kids are kids,” Coach Si says of what it’s like reaching out to young people in the city. But that only goes so far. “It’s hard to develop relationships with kids here.” Coach Si is a pastor at a small church in Bangkok doing outreach … Read More
Praise for the Steffens’ gospel outreach through their business, Expat Homes, which is now three years old with three original employees, plus an administrator and soon another maintenance person. Praise for their Friday morning breakfasts, where personnel shares what each is thankful for and what was difficult in the past week. Pray for business growth in revenue, and godly impact on the employees and people being served resulting in conversions soon. Pray for strength and encouragement for Brett and Liv in this difficult outreach, and also for their family time in the US August 25 – November 8.
Praise that Alyssa has completed her employment and is now fully engaged in training and final preparations before leaving for Thailand. She writes, “As I get closer to my departure date, God is giving me an excitement about the impact Sports Friends can have on the youth of Bangkok.” Pray for her during this busy summer of various types of training, plus raising prayer and financial support. Pray for strength and endurance as she continues to prepare well here before going to serve in a city where ministry can be challenging.
Pray for the ministry of Sports Friends in Bankok, Thailand, where, in a city of millions with so many readily available distractions, there is still room for isolation and loneliness. Pray for the Thai coach as he seeks to develop a sports ministry. He writes, “When I see kids even just show up, that’s encouraging to me. When I see the kids enjoying themselves it helps me want to stick with it – I thank God that I can work with them and serve them.” Pray that many will find Christ and become a part of a church in the city.