Malones in Isaan Thailand - Working amongst the unreached of Isaan

Follow the adventures of the Malones in Thailand as we work with urban and rural peoples in the Isaan area in Thailand. We aim to share the Good News of Jesus with the Isaan and mobilise for 5 teams across Isaan. Previously, we were with the poor in Samut Prakan (part of Greater Bangkok). If you would like to work with us (short or long-term) please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

24 January 2010

A new year - God's work continues (part 2 of 2)

Part 2 of "God's work continues" features a small selection of the fellow believers that we work with - Thai people who love Jesus and desire to make Him known to others that have little opportunity in life.

Our church - this is where we meet with some great people on Sundays

Probably one of my greatest joys in ministry in Thailand has been to connect with this fellowship of believers (known as Muang Samut Prakan Church). I am thoroughly blessed as we meet together to worship the Living God - frequently, I am overcome with tears at the goodness of God as we worship together in that simple building pictured above. They have helped us grow our worship in Thai and have partnered with us in every aspect of the ministry in which God has called us to do here in Samut Prakan.

Our friend and church pastor - Ajarn Chaiyut

Ajarn Chaiyut did his theological training in America, so he can speak English. However our friendship has been built with him using only Thai language. On the rare occasions when I preach (about 3-4 times a year), he translates into Thai for me as I am not confident enough to preach in Thai yet. He has a good understanding of the Bible himself and faithfully teaches and preaches God's Word. God used him to start this church around 12 years ago. It has since grown to now have somewhere between 70 and 90 regular attenders (including children). Every Tuesday morning for about 2-3 hours we meet with and pray with Ajarn Chaiyut as we work very closely on proclaiming Jesus in Samut Prakan and growing fellowships of believers in the many communities in which we work.

Mae Dukada - one of our "mothers" at church, aged 82 years

Mae Dukada speaks of renewed energy in her life since meeting Jesus for the 1st time only 3 years ago (at the ripe old age of 79). She lives a very simple lifestyle in a poor community but Jesus has provided everything she needs and she is satisfied with her new life in Christ. Last year she was attacked and robbed and suffered injury and bruising, but God protected her from losing her life. She says the only priority in her life now is to read God's Word and pray - God does everything else. She is a living example of God's faithfulness to the other older ladies in our church that come from poor communities. Praise God for Mae Dukada, we love her very much :-)

Jen with Jemoway in her house in the smaller slum community
Jemoway has worked with us for over 2 years now. She is full of the joy of the Lord despite having very little of her own things. She lives in one room that is her workroom (where she makes clothes), her kitchen and bedroom altogether ..... note the ironing board in the picture with a garment on it that she is making. Until recently Jemoway was the only believer in the smaller slum community in which we work (now, there are a few teenagers as well that Jen is discipling after the Christmas outreach). Every week in her room (pictured above) we have read God's Word together and prayed together for the establishment of God's church in her community. God is at work and the gates of hell cannot prevail against Him (see Matthew 16:18).

Please pray with us for these and others we work with who already know Jesus. Pray that we will encourage them to disciple the Thai church so that it grows into the next generation as a strong church that reaches the nation, the region of South East Asia and beyond.

10 January 2010

A new year - God's work continues (part 1 of 2)

I was reading Colossians 4 a few days ago and God drew my attention to the following in verse 18 "... see to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord". There are 2 very important truths here - firstly, God requires resolute faithfulness and obedience from me ("complete the work") and secondly, this ministry in the slums of Samut Prakan comes from God, belongs to God and is for His Glory ("the work you have received from the Lord"). So we are into a new year, and I have no idea what it will bring. God willing, the year can be divided into 2 parts - ministry in Samut Prakan up to early June, then Home Assignment in Australia for the rest of the year.

So, in this blog, let me introduce you to some typical people that we work with who don't know Jesus (next blog I'll introduce you to some people we work with who do know Jesus) .....

This is the Committee Chairperson who runs/governs the larger of the slum communities we work in.
God has enabled us to find favour with him while he has observed our Saturday work with the many children in his community. It was this relationship that paved the way for the Christmas outreach to be held in the central community area where somewhere between 400-500 people attended and heard about Jesus for the first time.

This lady also comes from the same community - we teach her English each Thursday and have a very good relationship that opens the door in sharing the Good news with her.
She helped us tirelessly with the Christmas outreach, providing sweets for the 300+ kids who turned up. She also cooks us something yummy each week and/or takes us out for lunch. We have many good conversations with her, but she is tied to the cycle of "doing good to receive good".

This 8-year old boy from the larger slum community has hung with us for a year now. He is slowly growing into a friendship with Jesus.
His name in Thai means "ant". He displays typical behavioural problems associated with a child who has been abandoned by their parents. As he learns to trust Jesus fully, I firmly believe God will bring the healing he needs to be a whole person. He is seen here at the Christmas outreach throwing down his ticket number which was not called out for a present because we ran out of presents.

This lady lives in the smaller slum community in which we work.
She makes pegs - 10 hours work for a mere $2. She is very needy and has the added responsibility of caring for her grandchildren who have been abandoned by their parents. She loves chats with Jen and stopped me in the street yesterday to tell me how much she has missed us over the last week or so when we were away. As we share the Good news with her we are reminded that Jesus loves her and wants to see her come to Himself.

I have just opened a small window to only 4 people who are fairly typical of those in Samut Prakan for whom Jesus died and cares for, but still don't know the saving Grace of a friendship with Jesus. Please pray with us over the next few months in Samut Prakan that God's work will continue for His Glory and that we will remain faithful as the temperatures soar to over 40 degrees (celcius) and humidity hovers around 90-100 per cent.