Christmas Ministry Update

christmas ministry updates Dec 26, 2021

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Johnson family!

We are so thankful for the angelic message that Jesus’ incarnation is good news!  As Timothy Keller states in his book, Hidden Christmas, good news isn’t advice.  It’s not a list of things we can do to improve our situation in life.  It’s news.  It’s the declaration of something that’s already been done to save us and make us whole.  During this Christmas/New Year season, we pray that you are able to rest in the work that Jesus has already completed for us…to become one of us…Immanuel!

It seems like we are slowly coming out of the “COVID cloud” here in Thailand.  The country is trying to re-open for tourists.  International schools are trying to...

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August 2021 Update

Empowering Thai pastors... plant Thai churches...
          ...that reach Thai people.

Greetings from Thailand!

Our family is coming to the end of a very busy, often challenging summer.

We were blessed to host our very first intern, Lindsey.  We are so thankful for Lindsey’s willingness to go through some pretty difficult steps to even be with us, including 2 weeks all alone in a Bangkok quarantine hotel.

After she arrived in Chiang Mai, she helped us by teaching kids’ Sunday School at church, buying and collecting relief supplies for war refugees in a country near us, building a number of months worth of social media marketing for our business for transformation (B4T), and much, much more.

COVID created many challenges for Lindsey’s internship, much like it has created challenges for our regular ministry.  We planned to take Lindsey to Chayaphum to see the church we’ve been working to get off the...

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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...

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December 2020 Update

updates Dec 21, 2020

Merry Christmas Team!

As Christmas draws very near, we want to join in the joy of the season with all of you who have been such an important part of our life and ministry in Thailand.  To celebrate with you, we want to give you a special gift.  It’s a humble gift, but it comes from hearts that are very thankful for each of you! 

To find out how to receive this gift, please read to the end of this update!

Because our gift to you is focused on Christmas, we want to use this update to share more of the details of what we’ve been up to during the past month.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, we need teammates.  So it is with great excitement that we can announce a new member to our team!  Julia Sloan just made it through assessment earlier this month and hopes to join us in Chiang Mai this June. 

She will be an elementary school teacher at Grace International School and looks forward to help us with our facilitative church planting work as...

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November 2020 Update

updates Nov 12, 2020

As promised, we wanted to give you some updates about what has been going on in our ministry here in Thailand.

The heart of our work is: 

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

As part of this work, Ben has been traveling with our Thai partner, Pastor Ogaat, to help launch a church in the village of Baan Naa.  Baan Naa is in the province of Chayaphum, about halfway between Chiang Mai and Bangkok. 

Baan Naa is a rural, farming community.  People in the area grow rice, sugar cane, a type of potato used for animal feed, corn, and rubber trees.  As such, the people work very hard for very little income.

Baan Naa is also the hometown of Pastor Ogaat’s wife, Khruu Taay.  Khruu Taay’s family came to Christ through the work of New Tribes missionaries who moved to the area decades ago.  From these earliest believers a church began to blossom.  But, as sometimes happens in the church, conflict arose that...

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Life on the Road: March 2019

updates Mar 15, 2019

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
(Phil. 1:3-6 ESV)

The time since our last update has been very full.  We have seen a lot of wonderful opportunities for ministry unfolded for us and we’re very excited about what God has for our future ministry here in Thailand.  Thank you so much for your part in this work via your prayers, support, and love for us and for the people of Thailand!

The church we’re worshipping with, Cool Shade of Life Church, is part of a broader network of churches and church plants organized under a foundation called Siam Blessing ASEAN Foundation.  Back in February, I (Ben) and Pastor Ogaat began visiting some of the various member ministries of Siam Blessing ASEAN.  So...

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Extravagant Gifts: January 2019

updates Jan 24, 2019

It’s amazing how much can happen in a few short weeks.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we were celebrating Christmas with our families in Wisconsin and Illinois.  But since then, we’ve:

  • Packed up the ministry house that had been our home for an entire year. We can’t thank Oostburg First CRC enough for this incredible gift!
  • Crammed much of what we accumulated and stocked up on during that year (including gifts from 2 Christmases) into suitcases, which were carefully weighed, repacked, and reweighed about 37 times.
  • Said some very difficult goodbyes to people we love so, so deeply.
  • Sat on airplanes for 24 straight hours.
  • Arrived in an airport and city that is not nearly so foreign as it was the first time we passed through immigration and customs. (I’m amazed how much we did with how little we knew last time.)
  • Moved into a temporary apartment in a house owned by a local organization. It was a wonderful place to settle in while we looked for a more...
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