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Thailand 2016 Missions Trip (Day 4)

Thailand Day 4

We slept late for a clinic day because the clinic was nearby at a place called Wiang Gaw today.

There is a pastor here named Ajan Lam who was involved in mobile clinics with Dr. Doug a few years ago at a town called Chum Phae--about an hour from where we are today. Forest Park has helped with mobile clinics at Chum Phae in the past. Ajan Lam had a plan to plant a church in the town where we are staying this week--called Phu Wiang. His plan was to do mobile clinics in Phu Wiang until there was a church here. He asked Dr. Doug for his help. So they have had clinics in Phu Wiang the last few years and within the past year they have seen enough growth that a leader was appointed to this town and in April the local believers stopped traveling to Chum Phae for church services and started having them here. They have about 25-30 people meeting together here each Sunday. In August, they will formally become a church. Three of the main families in that church came to faith from mobile clinics.

Today was a clinic in an area called Wiang Gaw, only a few minutes from our hotel. The clinic was in an air-conditioned meeting room at the local school. Having come to Thailand for clinics since 2003, today was the first time I was ever cold here. The air-con worked so well that one of the missionaries turned off the fans! That never happens.

210 people were seen and 70 prayed to receive Christ today. Another 18 were interested. Huge numbers for this country. Praise God.

The kids program was at the same location as the clinic today--a school. They had 70 kids grades 4-9. They played games like sack races and racing games, as well as did crafts, and played bingo. The kids laughed and laughed at the sack races. They heard the gospel from Oy. One class was asked if they had ever heard the gospel before and they had not.  But now they have.

After clinics were over we had an hour before dinner and visited the Phu Wiang dinosaur museum.  It is a site of excavation, which is a national Park in Thailand and has a visitor center with exhibits that show the excavation and information about dinosaurs etc.  A bit unusual place to visit when doing mobile clinics, but I think fun was had by all. I had to get a t-shirt.

Ajan Tdaw is the local pastor and we met with him at the church tonight. Our friend Go played guitar and we all sang a couple of songs--half in Thai some in English. A joyful noise:). Ephesians 4:12-13 is posted at the front of the church. It says "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Their goal now is to expand into the communities around them.

We ate fried chicken legs, curry soup, duck and rice for dinner at a local place then back to the hotel early enough for a Bible study. We did the end of the 2nd chapter of Jonah. After Jonah repented and came back to God he began to have a heart for other people to know God too--really the heart of missions. It was definitely appropriate for today. We continue to appreciate your prayers.

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Posted

July 26, 2016

Author

Brock Cummins

Thailand 2016 Missions Trip (Day 3)

Thailand Day 3

We arrived at the hotel late last night and it is a good one--a collection of very cute Thai style guesthouses made with lots of teak wood sitting next to a rice field with that brilliant green color that only God could have created. Imagine tiny cabins in Branson for two people each, but in a Thai style of architecture and with all the usual Thailand amenities--meaning you leave your shoes at the door, you use bottled water to brush your teeth and there's no shower curtain. It may be the nicest place we've ever stayed for clinics in Thailand. 

So we had breakfast and left for clinics close by at Khao Noi.  Someone (not saying who, but he might have been driving the van) had left the van window down last night and the van was filled with mosquitos. Like 100! Or 200! I'm not sure but everyone started swatting them and we all looked a bit insane. A lot of hand raising for Southern Baptists!

We had steady business today at the first medical clinic with 183 patients--mostly adults. Most had complaints of joint or back pain, many with ulcer/gastritis pain, and then various other illnesses. Each patient received free medicines and heard the gospel. 69 people prayed with gospel sharers today--a huge number of people! And 38 more were interested in more information.

The kids team had over 100 kids participating today.  They sang songs, did crafts, played soccer and parachutes, and played bingo for prizes.  The team teaches English along with presenting the gospel, and they were praised by one of the teachers at the school where they had English camp today, who said that they did a great job. Samuel, one of our team members, stepped up as a translator today, and he did a great job. (Just to let you know, he actually lived in Thailand in the past--we are not speaking in tongues here). It was good that he was here because our main leader was sick today and Cheryl was away also, but the team represented Forest Park well.

Our Thai friend Oy said that the kids she spoke with today had never heard the gospel before. And one teacher was interested in going to church to learn more.

This afternoon the Dinosaur museum was closed, but we did have ice cream in their store and met with the local pastors there. They have had real personal challenges recently, but have remained faithful. They are hoping that the village we were at today will be the sight of the mother church for the surrounding area, in order to plant other groups of believers.

Dinner tonight was a place where you are given a pot of water and told to put what you want in it for dinner. You boil your own food! And then eat it. It was pretty fun and not bad food. I like this concept and I'm thinking I may try it at home:) That might solve the dinner dilemma at my house.

Tomorrow clinic will be at a school where a recent revival was held. There are currently no Christians in the town where we will be tomorrow. Please pray for good results and energy and protection for us all.

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Posted

July 25, 2016

Author

Brock Cummins

Thailand 2016 Missions Trip (Day 2)

Thailand Day 2

Sunday in Bangkla. We got up early and Dr Doug led Bible study this morning from Jonah chapter 2. Jonah prays for deliverance and the Lord answers. Even though Jonah is in the wrong the Lord is glad to receive his prayers--just like he is with us.

We visited the Plang Yao church this morning--a young church about 30 minutes from Bangkla that was started with visits to homes in the community from the staff of Bangkla Baptist Clinic after their work hours. There are now about 45 believers at Plang Yao. Joplin teams have been involved in English and medical clinics here as well.  Today we were able to watch Jonathan Derbyshire preach--he was filling in for a missionary who was ill. Jonathan did a great job! It has been wonderful to see him grow up and start to do great things for God.

The Plang Yao church is growing and today was a great day there. 5 people were baptized. They use a tank filled with water outside behind the church. Each person would climb down the ladder into the tank and the elder would gently direct them straight down into the water.

First to be baptized was Nung--a middle aged man who came to faith when he was witnessed to by a lady who came to faith from a California Baptist trip led by Sandy Derbyshire--Doug and Cheryl's daughter. Today Nung was so happy--he told Dr Doug "I was made for this".

Next a lady named Nonpoon was baptized as well as her mother and older brother. Nonpoon's daughter has Down's syndrome and we were blessed to watch Shelly from our team work with the little girl during the kids class and at the service. She was happy and interactive with Shelly--more so than ever before. She is usually withdrawn but today Shelly had spent time with her specifically and the little girl showed some abilities her mom hadn't seen. It was precious to get to watch.

The last to be baptized was a young man named Erth who is in 8th grade. He attended an English camp done a few years ago by a Forest Park team with Jason Eckels and Brock Cummins. His social situation is poor--mom is an alcoholic and not a believer and there is a drug house right next to his own house. But he is involved in church and playing drums.  And he looked  joyous today during baptism.

We packed up and left for the hotel near where are clinics will be after church. We went over the big mountain with horrible traffic and ate dinner at a gas station--but they had good ice cream. We will be staying in Phu Wiang, which will be home base for the next few days. We hear they have a dinosaur museum here too--you just never know what will happen in Thailand but it's always an adventure. We would love your prayers in the coming days. More soon.

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Posted

July 25, 2016

Author

Brock Cummins

Thailand 2016 Missions Trip (Day 1)

Thailand day 1

Our team arrived in Bangkla with luggage at midnight last night. All went smoothly with flights. We appreciate Brock's help in travel details and excellent packing. (Thanks to McKensie E & Bekah D -- great bag tags and walker packing).

Today we were well fed for breakfast with beautiful cinnamon rolls, "hairy eyeballs" fruit, and great scrambled eggs (thanks Phil and Dianne).  The team met with Dr. Doug and Cheryl to get oriented, met new missionaries in language training, and heard about plans for the week.

Lunch was at a little restaurant 1/2 a block away where we had pork with red sauce--very good.  In the afternoon we had Bible study, packed medicines and the kids team planned their week (learning songs and activities for the kids).

Bible study today was on Jonah 1.  Dr Doug said that the book is a book of rescue. God goes to great lengths to rescue people from their sin and rescues Jonah from his own disobedience as well.  He describes those who are in the midst of disobedience and sin as sleepers (like Jonah sleeping in the midst of the storm his sin had caused).  Trouble (the storm) makes people (like the sailors) consider who God is. So at the end of the chapter they are praying to Jonah's God, instead of the various gods they had before. And in the end God comes through for both the sailors and Jonah--even though it all looked bleak just before. 

Tonight we ate at the river restaurant and will be early to bed. Church in the morning at Plang Yao and then travel to Isaan for clinics Monday.  More in a couple of days! Thanks for your prayers.

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Posted

July 25, 2016

Author

Brock Cummins

2016 First Quarter Update

On May 26, 1996, I preached my first message as the new pastor of Forest Park. I cannot thank God enough for all He has done. I’m thankful for the staff that has served alongside me through the years. Some left us to serve in other ministries. All of them helped us advance the work of God.

I’m thankful for those of you who pray, give and serve. I’ve been inspired by your willingness to work hard and sacrifice to help people take their next step toward God. I’m thankful for my family, and especially my wife, who has led our Awana ministry these 20 years helping thousands of children grow in their relationship with the Lord.

I’m also thankful for the opportunities ahead of us. We’ve grown from one campus to three, from 500 in a single worship service to about 1,800 in six services, but God’s plans for us include SO MUCH MORE! We need to be our very best for Jesus more than ever before.

The changes in our world have made our work more difficult. I’m thankful that most of you are ready to join me in doing whatever God leads us to do reach people with the gospel.

The trustees encouraged me to take a 30-day sabbatical to refresh and spend time with my family and with the Lord. When I return, I’m looking forward to our future together. God is bringing us some new leaders who are ready to make a difference. We’re improving our kids venues and expanding for growth. God is using us to make an eternal difference in more people than you can imagine. Thank you for 20 great years!

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Posted

May 05, 2016

Author

John Swadley

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