The Herald Weekly Vol XVI : 51

Mission to Chiang Mai, North Thailand
(Teaching Team, 3-7 Dec 2018)

The team comprising of Pastor Bob Phee, Brother Raymond Tay and Matthew Tang left for Chiang Mai on 3 Dec 2018. Dness Teo Chew Hoon, Roland Tan, Gwyn, Micaiah and Gabriel Tang bade us Godspeed at Changi Airport, T2.

Thank God for safe arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport. Although Bro Raymond was briefly held up at the Immigration counter, thank God that clearance was given after clarification with the mission team members. God had all things under His control. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Pro 21:1) Thank God also that the clothings packed in three big luggage bags were smoothly cleared at the Customs. Pastor encouraged us to act by faith, trusting God’s protection.

Rev Nirand Tamee picked us from the airport and drove us to our accommodation in his 13-year-old 4-wheeled Toyota truck – his most reliable means of transport on the rugged, undulating, back-aching mountain roads to minister to the villagers all these years. The place which we called home for the next few days was Rev Nirand’s residence, two units of double-storey houses. Rev Nirand testified of the Lord’s goodness and how God provided the finances to build the second unit. The houses have been dedicated to the service of God. The living room was converted into a training class for the Lahu Pastors’ Conference over three days.

Ministering to the Lahu pastors and evangelists, 4 – 6 Dec 2018
(Mornings and Afternoons)

Since 2007, Pastor Bob has faithfully ministered to the Lahu pastors and evangelists by conducting short Bible courses for them. These pastors and evangelists do not have any formal Bible College training. Hence, Rev Nirand is very grateful for Herald’s involvement in their training curriculum. This is in fulfilment of the sound biblical doctrines which Apostle Paul mentioned to Timothy: “the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:2) Praise the Lord for the good turnout of four evangelists who attended the Pastors’ Conference. Two others could not make it due to other important commitments. One evangelist actually had to travel five hours from his village to the Conference venue.

The Conference covered topics on Eschatology, the Last Things, and the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians (Magna Carta of Christian Liberty). Rev Nirand had requested these topics so that the pastors and evangelists would cover one subject in Systematic Theology and one in NT book study. Prayerfully, the pastors and evangelists could glean pieces of insightful knowledge from these lectures and incorporate them into their future sermons. We conducted the lectures on Eschatology in the mornings, and the Epistle of Galatians after lunch.

Thank God for His guidance and wisdom as we met and overcame the challenges faced by the teachers and participants. Although the understanding of the book of Revelation (referenced for Eschatology) proved to be daunting and difficult, the pastors and evangelists persevered and mentioned that they would not mind studying it again. Also, the limited vocabulary of the Lahu native tongue required Rev Nirand to spend more time and effort in interpretation. For teaching purposes, the team attempted to take on a more pictorial approach to the presentation of lessons, especially for Eschatology. Indeed “a picture is worth a thousand words” to them. One could see their enthusiasm as they discussed in their native language during the lessons.

This reaffirmed the Word of God like the Bereans “… for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures …” (Acts 17:11) Pastor Bob had a hearty discussion with them on the “Fruit of the Spirit”, and his lessons were ever so lucid and practical.

Ministering to the Chiang Mai Christian Church, 4-5 Dec 2018

Rev Joseph Tamee, brother of Rev Nirand, is the pastor of Chiang Mai Christian Church which serves the Rawang community. The Team gave lectures on Eschatology on two evenings. About 20 persons, consisting of church leaders and laypeople, were always punctual and seated in the church sanctuary at 7 pm. On 4 Dec, Bro Raymond shared his personal testimony and gave a message on “Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight” (Mark 10:46-52). Pastor Bob took the latter half of the meeting and conducted the study of Eschatology Part 1, mainly “Signs of the end times” and the “Unholy trinity” (Satan, the Beast and False Prophet). On 5 Dec, for Eschatology Part 2, Bro Matthew continued with the “Tribulation (also known as Daniel’s 70th week)”; and finally, Pastor ended the series on the “Millennium”.

Bro Raymond likened himself to “Blind Bartimaeus” – once blind, but now he sees”. He testified how he came to know Jesus when he was put behind bars for drug consumption. Thoroughly convicted of his wicked and sinful ways, and in great need of a Savior, he experienced a genuine and sincere conversion through the help of the Lord Jesus. Thereafter, he gave his life wholly to serve God fulltime. He shared an incident of his past life of a “loanshark” when he despicably threatened one family by releasing grasshoppers in paint in their home. These terrified insects started to scatter their paint-stained foot prints all over the house. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor 5:17). The congregation was touched by Raymond’s testimony and Pastor Joseph requested for a written copy.

Ministering to the Shiloh B-P Church 6 Dec 2018

On the evening of 6 Dec, the team visited Shiloh B-P Church pastored by Rev Zhou Zhen Chang, a Yunnanese. Rev Zhou was delighted to meet Pastor Bob. In 1987, Shiloh BPC was built with the support of Sembawang BPC. In June 1994, again with the help of Sembawang BPC, a piece of land about 7,000 sq ft, with a two-storey house, was purchased at $128,000. Both he and his wife, Gui Er, were trained in Chin Lien Seminary and Singapore Bible College. They are passionate in their training of lay-leaders, especially among believers of the hill tribes of the Lahu and Lisu people. Rev Zhou has planted two more Lahu churches in the northern region of Chiang Mai. Rev and Mrs Zhou now teach the Bible School while their daughter is now serving full-time in Church, taking care of the Youth Ministry. Thank God for this trio of passionate hard workers for the Lord!

After dinner, we held a service for about 15 people: Bible students (young Thais) and church members, including the first pair of converts. Raymond shared his testimony in Mandarin, highlighting his very first experience with God. Thank God it was well articulated. “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom,” (Lk 21:15). Pastor Bob then preached from the Word of God. Sharing from his own experience, he encouraged them, especially the students, to persevere in the faith, study hard and how to cope with disappointments and fears. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

After learning that the team had made a trip to train the Lahu pastors and evangelists that week, Rev Zhou invited Pastor to come and conduct training for his church in Mandarin. God willing, this can be another open door for Herald B-P Church.

Ministering to ONE ANOTHER, 4-7 Dec 2018

Every morning, the team members gathered for morning devotion and prayer to seek the Lord’s blessings for the day. Each had been assigned to give an exhortation from the Epistle of 2 Timothy.

Most of our meals were healthy home-cooked ones, but we enjoyed even better spiritual food and close fellowship with one another and the Lord. Pastor continued to give godly advice and encouraging words to those in the ministry. It is indeed a wonderful time for brothers to get to know each other better – their concerns and struggles, so as to pray more effectively for each other. Rev Nirand shared how God protected him from two similar accidents at the same location, the ever-busy precarious road T- junction near his home. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (I Thess 5:11)

Thank and praise the Lord for His Truth that we can proclaim, His Help to make the presentations efficacious, His Acts of protection and His Impossible to make possible this teaching ministry to Chiangmai in North Thailand.

Matthew Tang

Click here to our Mission Journal.

Leave a Reply