April 2021 Update

…empowering Thai pastors…
       …to plant Thai churches…
              …that reach Thai people.

Grace in the Midst of Grief

Back in January, Ben was invited to travel to Baan Naa, in Chayaphum Province, to attend the funeral of the mother of one of the members of Cool Shade of Life church.  This is the same town where Cool Shade is working to get a church started.

Funerals in Thailand follow Buddhist traditions.  They are 3, 5, or 7 day events depending on the financial resources of the family.  During the day, family and friends come to the home of the deceased where tents have been set up.  They grieve, talk, and eat together.  In the evenings, Buddhist monks come to the house to chant blessings and make merit on behalf of the deceased to help them move on to a better life.  On the final day, a larger ceremony is held where monks chant and the body is cremated. 

Because some of the family of the woman who passed away are Buddhist and some are Christian, Cool Shade of Life was invited to come and hold a Christian funeral service.  This was a remarkable gift!  On the second evening of the funeral, Pastor Yut led a time of worship and thanks to God, and Pastor Ogaat preached from the Psalms on the stark reality of death and the need to trust in Jesus to be ready for the day of our deaths.

While waiting for the Christian service to begin, a woman sat next to Ben and began to ask questions.  She shared that she had seen the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”.  When Ben asked what she thought of the movie, she said, “It just didn’t seem fair at all!”  Ben wholeheartedly agreed!  He then shared with her how the grace of God for sinners isn’t fair at all.  Jesus pays the whole, gruesome price…and we receive all the blessing. 

Please pray for this woman as she is very interested in this Jesus who would be willing to die for her!

Puppets in a Work Camp

Our son, Sam, has been part of his school’s puppet ministry team.  Last week, his team did a show about the passion week at a camp for migrant workers.

Many of Thailand’s construction laborers come from across the border in Myanmar.  Construction companies build tin-shack camps so their workers have a place to live while they are working in country.  Living conditions are pretty rough.  But being in these conditions are still enough of an improvement from their situations in Myanmar that they move entire families here.

A group of missionaries and Thai ministry leaders have been doing ministry in a camp near our house every Wednesday night.  They asked Sam’s puppet ministry team to come and do their show for the kids living in the camp. 

It was a wonderful opportunity for us to see a side of life we don’t often experience and for the kids in the camp to hear the good news of Jesus, who died to save them from their sins.

Help is on the Way!

In our last update, we announced that we have a new teammate, Julia Sloan, who will, Lord willing, be joining us this summer.  Please continue to pray for Julia as she raises support and prepares to come.  She is on a tight schedule.

We are also excited to share with you that, Lord willing, we will have our first summer intern, Lindsey, joining us in June.  Lindsey has been willing to brave the uncertainties of COVID, vaccines, and quarantine just so she can spend her summer with us.  Please pray for her as she raises support and prepares to come as well!

Prayer Requests:

  1. Baan Naa: Please continue to pray for the new believers in Chayaphum province.  Pray that God would protect them and help them to grow up into a strong, healthy church.  And pray that God would provide a pastor who could move there and care for these very young sheep. 
  2. Work Camp Kids: Please pray for the children who heard the gospel at Sam’s puppet show.  Pray that the people who are ministering their long-term would be used by God to deepen their knowledge and love for Jesus.
  3. Julia: Pray for Julia as she prepares to join us in Chiang Mai.  Pray for her as she begins saying goodbyes to the life and people she loves in the U.S.  And pray that her support would come in quickly.
  4. Lindsey: Please pray for our summer intern, Lindsey.  Pray that her support would come in quickly.  Pray that we would be ready to receive her, give her fulfilling work/ministry to do here, and show her what we do here in Thailand.
  5. Thai Leadership Grant: Our team has a program to help relieve the poverty Thai pastors face while working to improve the self-sustainability of their ministries.  We are currently using the grant to help Pastor Ogaat Soiraya.  Support from the grant is helping him do much of the ministry we are doing in Chayaphum.  We are in need of funds to keep this grant program going.  Please pray that God would provide for the grant.  For more information about the Thai Leadership Grant, click HERE.

As always, we are deeply thankful for you and your partnership in this exciting work that God is doing in Thailand.


Ben and Becca Johnson

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.