Beginning on November 1st Thailand is set to once again welcome international tourists from 46 countries without quarantine provided they have been fully vaccinated. New cases of Covid in Thailand have dropped below 10,000 per day and deaths now are dipping below 100. That is good news! However, there have been some new clusters of Covid in Chiang Mai and that is limiting travel to some degree. Please pray that those who are wanting to receive the vaccine will do so soon. The number of international tourists visiting Thailand in 2019 was nearly 40 million. But last year only about 6 million visited the country, and this year only about 20,000. This has played havoc on the nation's economy.
But we are pleased to report that God's Kingdom is doing well! And as you will see in this month's newsletter, the Great Commission continues to go forth! Our staff and children at the homes we work with are healthy and for that we thank God!
Thank you for your faithful ministry of prayer and financial support for our ministry in South East Asia! We continue to enjoy good health and are grateful for the honor to serve our Lord!
Mike and Debbie
From the news we read as well as the reports coming from our co-workers half-way around the world in Thailand, Covid seems to be abating, however so slightly. The Thai government is announcing its plans to soon reopen at least five provinces, including Chiang Mai, to international tourists who have been vaccinated. Whether this will include a period of quarantine is still not clear. Mike can return anytime but not without the same two-week quarantine and additional travel medical insurance required by the Thai authorities.
It has also been announced that our kids in Thailand, age 12 and up, will be allowed the take the Pfizer vaccine beginning in October. But our adult staff will need to wait until at least November. Other than a small outbreak of Covid at the border in one of our refugee learning centers, none of our staff nor our children have been infected with the virus. For this we are so thankful!
Myanmar (Burma) still battles a large number of Covid cases and some deaths have occurred among the Christian community. Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Myanmar because of the virus but also because of the danger created by the now 8-month-old military coup.
Since Mike's return last month from Thailand we have traveled to speak at supporting churches that could not be scheduled earlier due to the pandemic.
We thank you, once again, for your partnership with us in ministry in Southeast Asia, both in prayer and financial support!
May God bless you where you serve!
Mike and Debbie
Dear Family And Friends,
Mike returned safely to the States on August 5th. Since all domestic flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai had been grounded he had to travel by car to Bangkok International Airport, a 9-hour drive, in order to catch his international flights back to the States.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020 more than 1 million infections have been recorded in Thailand along with more than 11,000 deaths. The good news is that daily infections and deaths have slightly decreased. Thailand's government is still hoping to reopen fully to international tourists by mid-October.
We have been traveling some, visiting churches that we had previously missed due to the pandemic. We continue to be so thankful for churches and individuals who are praying for and supporting our ministry in Thailand! We receive regular reports of the happenings and the ministry continues through the faithfulness of our co-workers there!
On a personal note, Mike lost one of his sisters, Glenna Garwood, just recently. Mike was asked to conduct her funeral this past Saturday, August 28th. We covet your prayers for comfort.
May God bless each of you!
Mike and Debbie
For the first time since the Coronavirus pandemic began in Thailand last year, daily deaths topped 100 and the daily infection count went beyond 10,000! A record high was set just today (July 28th) of 16,533 new Covid infections nationwide. Frustrations are high over the slowness of vaccine distribution. We are thankful, however, that at the time of this month's newsletter being sent, no one among our co-workers or children have been infected! For that we continually thank God! And we just received hopeful news that all of our staff and children age 12 and up are being registered to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine by October!
Our homes continue to worship separately and schools remain closed requiring online classes for all of the kids. It appears that schools may remain closed at least through August.
I am scheduled to return to the States the first week of August, barring any more cancellations and rescheduling of flights. Domestic flights between Chiang Mai and Bangkok were suspended for two weeks and are scheduled to resume the day I fly out! Please pray that my flights will go as scheduled!
Thank you for your prayers and financial support! Needs continue in the children's homes and among the refugee centers where we work. We thank all of you who have given special donations for needs shared in our monthly newsletters!
God bless each of you!
Mike and Debbie
Covid-19's third wave continues in Thailand. Daily, on average, there are between 2,000 and 4,000 new infections and between 20 and 50 deaths. On the basis of percentage, these numbers are still quite low but the vaccination distribution remains somewhat slow.
Our children's homes continue to meet for Sunday worship separately rather than meet at our main location for the time being. Mike has been preaching at different homes each Sunday. Schools just opened in June for the new school year, about a month later than the normal start date. But we have one tremendous praise! None of our home parents nor children have thus far been infected with Covid-19 and we thank God for this!
Our team has traveled some to the border to check on the refugee learning centers that we support and we have been raising funds to help with refugee relief needs inside of Myanmar which has been ravaged by both Covid-19 as well as civil unrest.
Once again, we can never thank you enough for your faithful prayer and financial support! We praise God for decisions that continue to be made bringing life changes to precious souls here in Southeast Asia!
Praying God's Blessings Upon Each Of You,
Mike and Debbie
It's nearly beyond belief when one considers the changes that have taken place in just a few weeks! When Mike left the States the Covid-19 virus was still rampant there yet quite under control in Thailand. Now the situation in America seems really hopeful but here in Thailand, a third wave of the Coronavirus has invaded us! Your prayers that the vaccine program in Thailand will move along quickly are appreciated!
Even Mike's one-year visa process has seen a change due to Covid-19. Rather than receiving a full one-year uninterrupted visa, he has been given his visa extension in increments; first for two months, then for six months, and then another six months in November.
While many of Mike's regular teaching and preaching opportunities have not materialized, he has still had the chance to preach and teach some as well as raise extra funds, especially for the refugee needs.
Please continue to pray for the situation in Myanmar as civil unrest continues.
We thank you for your generous and faithful partnership in the ministry in Southeast Asia with us! May God bless your every effort in your service to Him!
Gratefully In Christ,
Mike and Debbie
As we approach the end of yet another month we are grateful for God's wonderful care! Mike has been back in Thailand for nearly two months and he has seen Kingdom growth as new believers continue to be baptized into Christ!
Many of our children have returned home for what is a brief summer break. Because of Covid schools started the new year late last year and have dismissed later than normal this year. Our kids have only about one month summer break. But the break also allows our home parents to receive some much needed and deserved rest.
Thailand is now experiencing a third wave of the Coronavirus much worse than the first two! But the Department Of Health has been successful in containing it in the past, albeit at the expense of the Thai economy. Having received both doses of the Covid vaccine, Mike is very grateful given the current situation!
Please continue to pray for the unrest and violence in Myanmar. A new government is being formed to counter the military takeover and it remains to be seen what will transpire from this. Some of our co-workers have family in Myanmar that are in peril so our thoughts and prayers go out for them.
Once again, International Disaster Emergency Services (I.D.E.S.) has provided a second grant this year to help the Internally Displaced People in Myanmar! These funds will be used to purchase food, medicine, mosquito nets, tarps for shelter and shoes. Now over 30,000 Karen people are displaced hiding in the jungle in order to keep safe from the brutal Burmese military. Many are hiding in caves for safety and cannot return home to tend to their crops in order to have food for their families! So the generous grant from I.D.E.S. is very timely and needed!
Thank you for your faithful support in prayer and donations! We are able to do what we do to expand God's Kingdom because of Him and because of you!
Mike and Debbie
After many weeks of preparation for travel Mike left the States on March 4th. Thankfully, all of his documents were in order and the entry procedure into Thailand was uneventful. After a two-week mandatory quarantine, which included two COVID-19 RT-PCR tests, he flew his final flight up to Chiang Mai. After an 11-month absence the reunion was awesome!
Please pray for the situation in Myanmar which remains dangerous for the people there. News has come to us that some relatives of some of our Christian friends there have been put in jail. Mike will be unable to travel to Myanmar and teach in the two Bible Colleges and one church due to the unrest and the high number of COVID infections there. We praise God for the many decisions for Christ in Myanmar, at the border and within Thailand itself!
We ask for your prayers for our health and safety while we are apart. Debbie remained in the States this time to help out with caring for grandchildren. So she is holding down the fort!
We reached our goal of $22,000.00 for the youth camp project in Northern Thailand, the construction of a kitchen/dining hall/chapel building. Any extra funds donated will be used to furnish the building and pay for any overage in the estimated cost. We know that since we started this project that steel for rebar has increased in price in Thailand.
Thank you for your faithful and generous support of our ministry in Thailand! Your contributions are an extension of your love for the people of Southeast Asia! And your prayers for us are tremendously vital!
Mike and Debbie
On Monday evening, February 15th, Mike received final approval (Certificate Of Entry) from the Royal Thai Embassy to return to Thailand. All requirements have been met with the exception of a COVID RT-PCR test which has to be done just before departure. Two weeks of quarantine are also required upon arrival in Bangkok before traveling up to Chiang Mai. Your prayers for a safe and uneventful journey are coveted.
We both received our second COVID vaccine injections last Saturday and we are doing great!
We urge you to continue praying for the situation in Myanmar. The demonstrations are growing and the atmosphere is very volatile. Mike's teaching and preaching plans there have been put on hold indefinitely. We just received a grant from I.D.E.S. to help with displaced Karen tribal people inside of Myanmar where they are hiding in caves and wherever they can in the jungle to find some semblance of safety. A big "Thank You" to I.D.E.S.!
Thank you for your support of our ministry in Southeast Asia! We have raised now over $20,000.00 for the youth camp project, a kitchen/dining hall/chapel facility. Thank all of you who have contributed to this!
Blessings upon your service in His Kingdom,
Mike and Debbie
Dear Family, Friends and Partners of Thailand Mission,
Under normal circumstances we would be sending e-mails like this at the end of each month along with our monthly newsletter. But we felt the urgency of sharing some news with you now and we thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
First, on a positive note, since first sharing this need in November 2020, we have received just over $19,000.00 through January 2021 toward our youth camp construction project which is a kitchen/dining hall/chapel facility. More funds are forthcoming so we are elated with the response! In fact, we just received the commitment of another $1,000.00 making a total of just over $20,000.00!
We also want to say "Thank You" to every church, group and individual who has faithfully partnered with us throughout 2020! It has been a challenging year, especially in light of the pandemic, and yet you have been so faithful to give, even beyond what we could ask or imagine! We know some churches and individuals have struggled financially, but you who are able to continue giving, have faithfully given in 2020 showing your passion for global missions! You have not only started in "Jerusalem" (locally) but have fulfilled the Great Commission to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)! Many of you have been faithful supporters for many years, and we are grateful to you. And we truly appreciate those who have joined us along the way in more recent years.
May we share an urgent prayer concern: On February 1st there was a military coup in Myanmar (Burma). Mike has been teaching there for the last several years in Bible Colleges and churches. We are saddened by this event coupled with a surge in Covid-19 there. We are not sure what the immediate future holds as far as teaching opportunities but please pray for our precious Christian brothers and sisters there.
We have received our first COVID-19 vaccine injection and will receive the second one on February 20th. Mike is also now making preparations to return to Thailand in early March. He will still be required to quarantine for two weeks in Bangkok, purchase travel medical insurance, test negative for COVID prior to departure and obtain a "Fit To Fly" certificate from his doctor. He has already started the process and has received pre-approval for his return to Thailand from the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. We covet your prayers for his plans to proceed smoothly.
Again, thank you, everyone, for your heart for ministry in Southeast Asia!
May God bless you,
Mike and Debbie