Monday, October 24, 2005

Tsumani Relief Update - The Church on Phra Yum

In January our congregation raised funds to rebuild this church on Phra Yum Island off the coast of Thailand. It was totally destroyed by the force of the tsumani. Yesterday I received some pictures and a letter of encourgement from Enoch Sirikul (Thailand Campus Crusade for Christ) who has helped adminster the funds. He writes:

Dear Pastor Scott Nichols and Faith Reformed Church,

Even though we expect to see great results from God moving in our midst as we step out in faith to advance the gospel, the reality of bearing fruit immediately from our labor is sometimes not seen. Many times the Lord works through us and gives us the awesome privilege of experiencing ministry with no obvious, direct, results.

Possibly, this helps us understand that the Lord is responsible for His work. Through us, God works and He will produce the fruit. Yet, on the other hand, sometimes the Lord reveals his awesome power very visibly and immediately and with evidence of such glorious results which come directly from His power, which obviously as a result of his great efforts.

This is what has happened here in Thailand. The Lord is moving only in ways that He can move. Don't take me wrong, we, as his agents, have been working passionately to see His gospel spread to the people of the southern part of Thailand. And partnering with you has been a great joy. Because of the great response to the gospel from the people who were affected by the tsunami, we must say, the Lord is working mightily and He should be given all the glory!

As you can see from the pictures I've sent you, the help we have given to the victims of the tsunami is significant. Over 50 new homes have been built, 20 new boats have replaced boats that were destroyed, and 37 fishing equipment sets, such as nets and fisheries have been supplied. Thank you specifically for your donation for rebuilding the church in Phra Yum Island Village.

Hundreds of families have been given a chance to rebuild their lives. And joyfully, I would want to point out something more remarkable than the physical aid that our partnership has provided. We have seen the Lord work through us to build much more than homes, boats, and church buildings. Whole communities have been built into the Kingdom of God! Yes, whole villages line up to follow Jesus! Working through the handful of churches that existed before the tsunami, we have clearly seen a major transformation. Where once there was vast spiritual darkness, there is a light shining so bright that it has made the front pages of the national Thai newspapers, "Thai people and Gypsies in the South turn to Christianity".

I hope you have some sense of the magnitude of your involvement in this transformation. We are literally seeing the history of Christianity changed in a whole country. I want to write this to you to say, "thank you, thank you, thank you!" You have helped us answer the direct call from our Lord to give these needy victims a new life, both here on earth, and a new life for all eternity with the Savior.

The pictures you see are a hundreds of Thai people and sea gypsies coming to the Lord. New churches are springing up in so many areas. The national headlines in the national newspaper pointed out just 17 new churches. This in itself would be significant, since only three churches existed in this province before the tsunami. Well, what they don't know won't hurt them. For we know of at least 35 new churches. And the number continues to grow each month. To God be the glory! And again, please know that you have made a difference here by your prayers and giving to the tsunami relief and recovery efforts.

God bless,
Enoch Sirikul

Here are a few more of the pictures I received.

Let us continue to pray for the victims of this tragedy; especially that out of this disaster more might come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!

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