Recently a combined Work & Witness team from Lubbock, Texas and São Paulo, Brazil traveled to Korat, Thailand to share the love of Christ and assist with the work at Baan Jai Di (House of Good Heart).
Jake and Mimi Page, a couple whose fathers are both senior pastors, had a vision for a joint missions trip. As they shared their vision, it grew and blossomed into this amazing team. The team members came from two different countries and had diverse backgrounds: an owner and manager of a language school, a salesman, a school teacher, an architect, two pastors, and students. They ranged in age from 18 to over 60, in addition to Jake and Mimi’s children, Zuri (4) and Titus (2) They shared their stories, told of how God brought them to this place, shared how they saw the Holy Spirit at work here, and looked to see where God might lead them in the future as they prayed for, served, and loved the people of Thailand.
Although they came to serve in whatever capacity was needed, the noticeable emphasis of this group was prayer. They started off their time in Bangkok by conducting a prayer walk through the city and by sharing with anyone who seemed interested; they didn’t stop praying the entire time.
The group visited a new church plant in Bangkok who just recently found a small house where they can meet together for worship. The team assisted in preparing the house by smashing concrete, washing walls, painting, and removing weeds. Naturally, the work was followed by a shared meal prepared together and some team members got their first Thai cooking lesson! On Sunday, everyone worshiped together and felt the unity of the bond of love and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in a powerful way.
After praying over this new work, the team moved to the Korat Province several hours east of Bangkok. Here the team worked on a farm, taught English, and served in two schools. They also shared the Word of God with children at Baan Jai Di, a new compassionate ministry center that is bringing hope to one of the poorest and most unreached areas of Thailand. They ministered thereby telling and acting out Bible stories for the children, singing songs, playing games, and most importantly by laying hands on and praying over the precious servants of God who lead this amazing work, Duan, Tom, Phoebe, and Bi.
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“The presence of this team and others who have come before has had a tremendous impact on Korat and on the work at Baan Jai Di,” said Kevin and Jeni Campbell-White, Work & Witness Coordinators for the Southeast Asia Field. “Aside from being a source of encouragement to local leadership, who work tirelessly to share Jesus with everyone there, Work & Witness teams help build relationships and open doors to ministry.”
After over a year of visiting and serving in this area with several teams from churches and universities, Kevin and Jeni were asked to share the Gospel and healthy parenting methods with the parents and teachers in the Ban Sok Chaeng village, while the Lubbock/São Paulo team entertained their children on the local school playground. Many of those in attendance wanted to know more and had questions for local leaders, who came prepared with Bibles to pass out to attendees.
One school, which has hosted four Work & Witness teams, scored 20% higher than any of the other 120 schools in the Province of Korat on their English exams. When the local government inquired about the success and was told of both the Church of the Nazarene’s involvement and the work of Baan Jai Di, they expressed thanks for our continued partnership and, according to Duan, the founder and Director of Baan Jai Di, conveyed wonder and amazement at the blessings of our God. “While we are humbled to have been a small part of their success, we attribute these results to the ongoing dedication and hard work of Duan and Bi at Baan Jai Di, our amazing Work & Witness teams that continue to sacrifice and offer amazing encouragement, and of course the dedicated teachers that we get to love and serve when we visit the school,” said the Campbell-Whites.
Jeni adds, “When we think about people from all over the world working together, praying together, giving together, coming together to reach out to those in need, to those who don’t know Jesus, when we work in unity in spite of language differences and cultural barriers, our hearts swell with love and pride and we can’t help but think that perhaps Jesus feels the same way and would proudly say, ‘That’s my Church!’”
– Submitted by Kevin and Jeni Campbell-White, Southeast Asia Field Work & Witness Coordinators