During the trip the team was caught up in the extreme flooding that was taking place across north-eastern Thailand. At one stage when traveling to Ubon Ratchathanie we were caught in raising flood water and what should have taken us 1 hour of travel to Ubon ended up taking 4.5 hrs. We were forced to travel around the flooded area to get through to where we were staying overnight. It seemed every road we tried was cut off and we would not be able to escape the rising flood water. However, in the end God made a way through for us.
MVT received donations for flood relief and it was a privilege for the team to help the local churches with the distribution of food and drinking water for the families impacted by the floods in the Roi Et district. It was a great opportunity for the church to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the people of Roi Et in a practical way. This Buddhist stronghold welcomed us for the love shown to then in their time of need.. They even allowed us to pray for them publicly.
We were able to vist border crossings of the two countries that border the Northeast region of Thailand i.e. Cambodia & Laos. The team felt this was a prophetic act and that God was making a way for us to move into Cambodia through their western border to meet up with Ps Samreth (MV Cambodia) who is planting churches in central Cambodia. Also, that God is making a way for MVT to expand into Laos to plant churches in that repressed Communist nation.
To gain membership into the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand (very important for MVT’s church planting strategy and credibility) MVT was required to set up her own International Board of Directors. The fact we now have MV/ASEAN in place has been a big factor in helping all this come together and the MVT International Board will come under the ALC (ASEAN Leaders Council). This MVT International board is made up of Malaysians and Thai pastors with myself as an advisor. When membership is granted to the EFT we will have a legal covering and an enhanced credibility to plant churches in Thailand. This will all be recognized by the Thai government. Weng Seng (Deputy Director ASEAN) is the Chairman of this MVT International Board of 8 Directors. It was a special privilege for me to be together with these Thai and Malaysian men and women of God who are the future of all God is doing in Thailand through His church.
MVT International Board (Two members were unable to join us for this meeting) The Pastor in the white shirt is the Deputy Chairman of the Thailand Evangelical Churches Association and joined us for this special meeting. He is also helping us as we seek to move into Laos to plant churches.
MVT mission team met with some key Loatian Church leaders in Laos who have agreed to help MVT plant churches in Laos. This opens a door for us to start working in Laos with our Loatian brothers and sisters.
The churches and pastors in Laos are still being persecuted by the communist government so planting churches is very challenging and dangerous. A Thai church planting organization we (MV/ASEAN) partner with, recently had one of their pastors in Laos arrested and jailed for 3 months for preaching the gospel. Thank God he has now been released. Also, news came through just after the team returned to Thailand that a pastor in Laos who had gone missing for two days was found murdered and had also been tortured. Officials apparently had been warning him to stop preaching, but he refused and paid the ultimate price. We will move forward in Laos as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
We planned to do this trip back in September 2020, but it had to be cancelled due to the covid lock downs. However, we now agree that God’s timing is perfect and back in 2020 we were not in a position to do all that we can do now and we were not ready to take full advantage of all the opportunities that have been presented to us on this trip. Also, the churches we visited had not even been planted.
I believe this has been one of the most significant and exciting trips I have been on in terms of the timing, what has been achieved, and the opportunities presented to us that will expand the influence of MVT going forward in both Thailand and Laos. We now have MV/ASEAN set up, the ALC (ASEAN Leaders Council) is about to be launched, the MVT Foundation is registered with the Thai Government, and MVT has now been accepted into the Thai Evangelical Churches Association. Putting this together with the strategic alliances made with Laotian church leaders means that the future for MVT is looking even more exciting and indeed very challenging moving forward. However, we have a very big God who can do way beyond our expectations.
Joshua1:7 ‘’Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law (God’s Word) …do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.”
We thank Supol and Suan Kee for their visionary and inspirational leadership of MVT. The team was awesome and it was so good to be together again serving as one in love and unity with so much joy. I loved serving with them all. To God be the Glory.