Thailand 2016

Written by | June, 2016
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From the Field June 12, ’16

This is part of a report from Mark Bohde on his recent (March) trip to Thailand. While the CLC no longer is doing outreach in Thailand, we are interested as we did previously work there. Mark is doing independent mission work. The most recent development beyond his report is that Hmong in Vietnam are also inviting him to come there both in the north and the south. That is an exciting development. The next trip is tentatively planned for Oct.

Report Concerning The Beginning of The Work in Thailand

A friend of mine, John Bobek, and I met with a few Karen Tribe leaders (Christians). We talked with them about helping them to market their coffee beans to roasters in the USA. They are poor Christians. This was the purpose of the non-profit corporation P.E.A.C.E., Inc (Providing Economic Aid, Consultation, and Education) that we started many years ago. We are currently pursuing the development of this by contacting roasters in Texas and Wisconsin.

March 6 traveled to Nan City in the Province of Nan to meet with Hmong Tribe Leadership.

John and I met with about 50 men and women. John is considering helping these poor farmers by teaching them better farming methods to increase the yield from their farms. The meeting went well. It was informative. We also looked at some small plots of land. This project is currently under consideration.

In all of this our goal is to help poor Christians so that they may better support their families as well as the spread of the Gospel.

March 9-12 teach Scripture to Hmong leaders from North Vietnam(3 men), Laos (3 men), and Thailand (Approx. 5 or 6 men). Some women will come to sit in and listen. I am limiting the number of men who participate so that the instruction can be more intensive. It is expected that they will teach other men in their own countries after they return.

Our study session went extremely well. We covered the first study book about God’s Word completely. Our next study session will comprehensively cover spiritual warfare. We studied for 3 days. Since God’s Word is the basis for everything in the life of a believer, this was our first topic. The Lord blessed tremendously. They learned many new things. For example, God’s Word is our daily food. If we are to grow in faith, reading and studying God’s Word is essential.

Based on their response, they not only learned truths about God’s Word but they also learned that Christians don’t use their reason apart from God’s Word to understand their Bibles. They let God interpret His own Word by thoroughly studying and meditating on His Word. The enthusiasm was great. They asked me what books they should begin to study and read every day.

We had 8 people in attendance: 2 pastors, one church leader of a church with no pastor, and 4 women. The women are important because there is a cultural divide between men and women in the Hmong Tribe. In church for example, it is

common for the men to sit on one side and the women on the other. While they understand that women cannot be pastors, they also know that women can have a great influence on other women. In addition, I have tried to keep our study group small so that the instruction can be more intensive and so I can understand the thinking of the participants much more clearly. Those who attended have agreed to go and teach others.

We had expected 3 men from North Vietnam. All 3 had problems with the government and did not come. We can send a Hmong pastor to them.

The Lord caused everything to move rapidly in the direction I have prayed for. Instead of a few leaders from Laos coming to us, the two pastors have already set up study sessions with small groups of leaders at the Lao border with Thailand. Pastor Sa-Ard will teach one group and Pastor Jakrapong will teach two groups. I will supply the funds to have the books we used printed for each attendee.

They have urged me to return. If God wills, I will go three times a year. We will have two long sessions in March and in October as well as a shorter session sometime at the end of December or beginning of January. The farmers are all available at these times.

I also learned that they don’t have pastors in North Vietnam and Laos. Since they haven’t been to Bible school or seminary they do not call themselves pastors. Each church has one or more church leaders who rotate in leading worship. The men in Thailand told me that the church leaders in these two countries are begging for instruction. I am so privileged to do this. I will write books that are totally scripture on various doctrines and topics. If studied comprehensively, Scripture is quite clear for believers. Every leader will receive a copy of each book and can build a library to use as both a study tool and reference. My prayer is that they will, in turn, teach others. We will ask them to commit to teaching others.

I was asked to create a book from Scripture on working and the work ethic to help Karen Christians understand that they can be entrepreneurs to provide better support for their families and the Church.

Blessings in Christ,

Mark Bohde