As of October 1, 2022 the Thai government is lifting all Covid-19 restrictions for visitors! This is great news for teams who wish to visit our ministry! We encourage you to consider planning a trip to visit our mission locations there!
During the upcoming month of October we have just three speaking engagements, two churches and one Christian School. It has been a blessing being able to visit our partners in ministry in the States! Mike will be returning to Thailand the last week of October.
We were blessed to take a week off and fly out west to do some sightseeing which included the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and other beautiful places! This trip was a reminder of the beauty and diverse geography that characterizes our great country moving us to give thanks to God who created it!
This month we are sharing lots of news and activities as usual, but we are elated to share about the baptisms in Myanmar (see page one)!
Thank you once again for your partnership with us in ministry in South East Asia!
Mike and Debbie
For most of us, routines tend to resume at this time of year with children getting back to school and with summer vacations, for the most part, now behind us. Even though Covid-19 still poses a threat worldwide, it does seem that a sense of normalcy has returned. Life for our co-workers and kids in Thailand has returned to a near-normal state. Kids there are back in school and corporate gatherings have resumed bringing people together in worship as it was during the pre-Covid days.
Please continue praying for our friends who serve in ministry both in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)! Civil unrest continues in Myanmar but we are happy to see that our Bible Colleges in Yangon and Mandalay have reopened. Mike has been invited to return to Myanmar to teach in the Bible Colleges and teach in church leadership seminars. He plans to go, if circumstances allow. We also hope that the church leadership seminars in Thailand will resume as before.
Once again, we thank you for your faithful support! We have been blessed, not only by your generosity, but by the opportunity to visit many of our supporting churches as well!
May God bless your efforts where you serve!
Mike and Debbie
June & July
It appears that a number of you on our mailing list did not receive our June 2022 newsletter and for that we apologize. We are, therefore, attaching the June newsletter with the one for this month. With that being said, we are hoping this email reaches you with no problem! If you did receive the June email, we again apologize for the repetition.
In early June, Mike finished teaching a six-weeks Bible study for the adult Sunday School class at the Salem (Virginia) Church Of Christ (“Basic Beliefs 101”). After his co-teaching an in-home Life Group there, we are now initiating visits to supporting churches, traveling about every other weekend through the middle of September. We also have two speaking commitments at supporting churches in October. Mike plans to return to Thailand in late October for a brief visit in order to renew his one-year visa and to hopefully teach in a church leadership seminar which has been postponed repeatedly due to Covid-19. This will also give him an opportunity to meet with co-workers there.
Though there has been an uptick in Covid cases reported in Thailand, the only restriction that remains in place at this time for those who wish to travel there is a record of your Covid vaccinations or, a negative RT-PCR test with results not more than 72 hours prior to departure (should you be unvaccinated).
We praise God, once again, for additional baptisms taking place and ask that you pray for those wanting to be baptized even now but are having difficulty seeking permission from their employers to leave their job sites.
The kids we work with (those orphaned, abandoned, underprivileged and refugees) are all back in school and doing well. They still have to mask up at school and out in other public places. Thank you for your love for them! Your support helps us to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education! But first and foremost is their opportunity to know the love of God, and for that we are tremendously grateful!
May God use you and bless you where you serve Him!
Mike and Debbie
Dear Family And Friends,
Mike has been back in the States now one month. His travels were safe and uneventful and we are grateful, as always, to the Lord for this! He is currently preparing to teach a 6-weeks Bible study for the Adult Sunday School class at Salem Church Of Christ beginning May 1st. He has been asked to lead a study of Basic Bible beliefs (Christian Doctrine). He is also co-leading a small group on Wednesday mornings. Debbie continues to teach her weekly Thursday morning Ladies' Bible Study group and is now coordinator for the Hospitality Ministry at the Salem Church.
We are also preparing to visit churches we were unable to visit this past year once Mike’s class concludes in early June.
Covid cases in Thailand, since the beginning of the pandemic, have surpassed the 4 - million mark. As of this month of April, Covid related deaths have exceeded 28,000. Approximately 73% of the Thai population has received two doses of the Covid vaccine while about 36% has received boosters.
In spite of the restrictions caused by the pandemic the Good News continues to be spread in Thailand and in Myanmar. Please pray for the ethnic groups in Myanmar who are still being attacked by the Burmese military. We thank so many of you who have given to our refugee aid project this year and to I.D.E.S. for their faithful and generous donations for food and medical relief for quite some time now.
We thank you, humbly, for your partnership in supporting evangelism, education and care for orphaned, abandoned, underprivileged and refugee children in Thailand!
With Grateful Hearts!
Mike and Debbie
The hot season has made its entry into Thailand although daytime highs seem to be a little lower than a year ago. We have had some unseasonable rains which cool things down a bit. It's taking more of an effort to jog around the nearby lakes with higher humidity.
Lord willing, Mike will be traveling back to the States this week and arriving in Washington D.C. at Dulles Airport on Friday. Covid-19 still hinders some activities and we had to cancel again a church leadership seminar (for the third year in a row!). We are, however, happy to have accomplished a number of projects over the last 3 months. Myanmar continues to remain closed but may be reopening soon!
Mike is looking forward to teaching a series of classes on our basic beliefs at the Salem Church Of Christ beginning in May and he will also assist leading a life group there as well. We hope to visit our supporting churches, too.
Thank you all for your partnership with us in mission in South East Asia! Your generosity translates into so many blessings for those in need here. We are blessed to sponsor about 50 orphaned, abandoned, underprivileged and refugee children in Thailand as well as support evangelists. The greatest blessing is seeing the Great Commission fulfilled in the hearts of new believers!
In Christ's Service,
Mike and Debbie
We're sending this newsletter out a few days early as our team here has a busy weekend ahead. A Saturday morning wedding here in the North followed by a youth retreat at the Thai-Myanmar border will keep our team busy through next Tuesday. Pictures will be in the March newsletter.
In Mid-March we are hoping to take our Berea Home kids and home parents to the beach for four days. This trip has been postponed now for two years due to Covid. However, Covid cases are rising again in Thailand, topping 20,000 this week! But infections are mild and the number of deaths has been low. Some of our kids' homes, including Berea Home, had Covid infections as you'll see in this month's newsletter. Mike has been able to worship with Berea Home some, and a number of times with Gethsemane Home and some of the other homes in spite of Covid interruptions.
The cool season will soon be leaving leading us into the hot season and a lot of burning and smoke in the mountains.
Thank you for partnering with us so faithfully! Saying "thank you" just once a month seems so inadequate. We have been so blessed by you with your additional gifts for refugees from Myanmar, along with the generosity of International Disaster Emergency Services (I.D.E.S.).
Mike and Debbie
Mike's return to Thailand was uneventful although he had a long layover (9 hours 45 minutes) in Istanbul, Turkey. But he made his way through the one-night quarantine in Bangkok, testing negative for Covid-19, and then traveled North to Chiang Mai the following day. On Day 6 he had to be tested for Covid once again in one of the local hospitals in Chiang Mai as a part of the entry procedure into the country.
Right away he traveled with a team to the border to deliver food, blankets and medicines to refugees. One location was less than a hundred yards from where fighting had taken place, separated only by a narrow border river.
It has been great to visit Berea Home and Gethsemane Home. Atapha, who is supported by Salem (VA) Church Of Christ and his wife, Newa, serve as home parents at Gethsemane, in addition to the evangelism they do.
Many of you know by now that we had a scare with Debbie having a mild heart attack which was thankfully treated with two stents. We thank our son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Amy, for being there during Mike's absence. She will be returning home from their house on Saturday. We appreciate the many prayers going upwards for our family! And Saturday is Debbie's birthday and so we wish her a Happy Birthday with good health in the days ahead!
Thank all of you for your donations to our refugee aid project! We have purchased food, blankets, tents and medicine for those on the Burma side as well as refugees who have crossed the border into Thailand. Your partnership with us is so important, whether it be through monthly or one-time gifts or through your prayers!
May God bless you all!
Mike and Debbie
One week from today, Lord willing, I will be returning to the mission field in Thailand to continue ministry there for a few months. And while the pandemic continues to weary us all, there is another grave concern on my heart, and that is the thousands of people seeking refuge in Thailand from Myanmar.
Organizations like International Disaster Emergency Services (I.D.E.S.) has been helping generously and faithfully over the year, especially in 2021! I am so grateful for what they do to help people in need, both in Thailand and Myanmar!
I want to ask you if you would be willing to give a donation to help feed and provide other basic needs to the refugees flooding the border coming into Thailand. When I return, I am hoping to help in providing and distributing food and other items so desperately needed. What is needed so desperately are rice, salt, cooking oil and dried food. Some of you have given special donations already in December and this will help tremendously!
You can also give online by going to the church website: churchofchristsalem.org
Go to missions to donate. Then click on "Thailand Mission." If you give online please send me a note via e-mail and let me know you sent a donation for refugee aid so I'll know.
Thank you so much! If you are unable to give, I totally understand but I do ask that you kindly pray for these precious people who have lost their homes and their homeland and for our team as we reach out to them!
In Christ's Service,
Mike submitted all required documentation to the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. and received approval to enter Thailand with just one night of necessary quarantine upon arrival in Bangkok for Covid testing. He met the deadline with just 30 minutes to spare! He will arrive in Bangkok on January 15th. Now, anyone wishing to travel to Thailand, even having been vaccinated, will have to quarantine 7-10 days before being allowed to freely travel within the country.
We are hoping to conduct one or two seminars/retreats this time around. And of course, we want to visit all of our mission points and encourage all of our co-workers. Please pray for the thousands of refugees escaping Myanmar to find safety in Thailand as well as those who remain in Myanmar. We want to provide food relief and other needs as best as we can.
May God bless each of you as you go forward in this New Year! May God use us all to bear fruit for His Kingdom!
Blessings In Christ,
Mike and Debbie
We are so blessed! I hope you agree. In spite of this global pandemic, civil unrest in places around the world and constant physical insecurity that seems to greet us living in our temporary residence on this earth, we have so many reasons to be thankful! We trust your season of Thanksgiving was a great one as was ours!
Our hearts rejoice every time we send out our newsletter reporting of decisions made for Christ in Southeast Asia where we serve the Lord with so many courageous men and women of God! Four of our girls who reside at Berea Home were baptized this past Sunday, November 28th! The Great Commission is very much alive in that part of the world!
We are happy to report that our kids and staff are now being vaccinated against Covid! But even through all these months since Covid struck our world, none of our kids nor home parents in Northern Thailand have been infected with this virus, and only a handful were among the refugees we work with at the Thai-Myanmar border.
Many have asked when we plan to return and we are waiting to see when the doors of teaching opportunities reopen. The situation is improving in favor of such a return hopefully early in 2022. However, with the emergence of a new Covid variant, Omicron, plans may, as in the past, have to be put on hold.
We thank all of you who have given toward our Christmas gifts project for our staff and kids at Berea Home! And we are so grateful for and humbled by your faithful prayer and financial support for this ministry!
We are honored to be serving with you . . .
In Christ’s Service,
Mike and Debbie