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January 23, 2017

When There Seemed to Be No Way

By Rhonda and Nixson

Rhonda and Nixson joined the RMM Bangkok team as a couple in 2015 after working there separately for a number of years. During this time they have connected with and helped disciple many individuals from Thailand and neighboring countries who have moved to the city for better economic or education opportunities. From their interactions with a Southeast Asian believer, Lit, comes the following story.

At the beginning of 2016, Lit began sharing about his mother’s sickness. Lit had spent most of his money taking her to doctors to get help, but she wasn’t getting better. One of his friends told Lit that there was still one option – he could pray to God. Lit decided to take his mother to some believers in a neighboring village and ask them to pray for her. The believers happily prayed for her and God healed her! After seeing this miracle, Lit and his whole family, except one sister, believed in God.

To thank God for his healing power, Lit wanted to hold a ceremony in his mother’s home. However, in Southeast Asia it is illegal to hold Christian activities without permission from the village leaders. So Lit asked for permission to hold the activity, but his request was denied. Disappointed but undeterred, Lit tried to persuade the village leaders by telling them his mother’s story. He explained how she had suffered for a long time and no doctors could help her. But when the believers prayed for her, God healed her! After hearing what God did for Lit’s mother, the village leaders said there was no way they could refuse him permission to hold the celebration. Lit held the event and many people attended, even two of the village leaders. A few months later, Lit moved back to Bangkok to work. Soon after his move, his nonbelieving sister became sick. After her family prayed for her, she was also healed and then she too believed! The family has all been baptized and continues to grow in their faith, even though they are the only believers in their village.

In Bangkok, Lit has joined fellow seekers and believers that we are working with. It has been so exciting for us to see him grow and take leadership. God has given him a big heart for seeing needs and helping others. He is always willing to do anything asked of him. We believe that God has a plan for Lit and his family. We have seen how God is using Lit in powerful ways among the Southeast Asian community in Bangkok.

Pray for Lit as he grows and continues to share with others. And pray for his family as they shine the light of Jesus in a dark village.

Names omitted or changes for security

January 17, 2017

He Knows Their Name: A REACH Update

By Paige, Team Thailand

The REACH teams have now been living in their outreach locations for almost two months and are starting to adjust to new cultures, roles, and climates. Paige, from Team Thailand, reflects on the struggles and joys of living in the city and experiencing God’s heart for the many people around her.

It's easy for me to want to not be in the city anymore. Especially seeing other teams’ pictures of beautiful mountains and beaches. I've realized how much nature makes me feel connected to God and I don't get much of that here. However, I think I would say this about pretty much anywhere I go, I love love love Thai people so much. I have a heart for them and struggle to process how I could possibly make a difference to them and effectively share hope with them. But I've been learning how important and powerful prayer is and how simply loving people sincerely and sharing joy makes a difference. If nothing else, I can return home and have a list of people I've met that I can commit to praying for and know that it is enough because God is in control and I may be the only one in their life lifting them up.

“I don't know these faces – and surely there is always a sea of them all around me – but he does.”Moments spent on dirty, stuffy, crowded buses provide me with such a refreshing perspective. You're crammed together with unfamiliar faces and poor communication abilities, yet you have the authority to invite the father's presence to come into that scene. It's like a race with time to pray for as many of those unfamiliar yet beloved faces as possible before they are off that bus and you whisk by them, knowing you very well may be the only one lifting them up. And you don't even know their names. But there is a mighty, jealous, unrelenting, merciful, and good God who does. So you begin to look at those unfamiliar faces in a new way. Your heart aches for them and suddenly you know you've been given the wonderful burden of feeling a fraction of what the father does towards his lost children. I don't know these faces – and surely there is always a sea of them all around me – but he does. More than that, He calls them each by name. He formed them. I want this to be my view in any place and time. Wherever we are, there are people – all of which he created and loves. He continually invites them to his table. And we're the ones who get to show them their seats that someone else paid for.

Please continue to lift up Paige and the other REACHers as they grow a deeper desire to show God’s love to those around them.

Do you want to join a REACH team in 2017-2018?
Click here to apply or learn more.

January 05, 2017

A Year of Growth

Compiled by Lydia Gingerich

In the last year, God has blessed Rosedale Mennonite Missions with the ability to send more workers to the field than in the past three years combined. RMM is so excited about the ways God is calling and using the people of CMC to reach the world with his light. Here are two updates from our workers discussing the new opportunities and life God is giving to their ministries:

Longing and Listening: Jake and Karly

Jake and Karly and their two sons moved to Bangkok, Thailand, in August; they are currently exploring ways to care for and bring freedom to the women and children who are oppressed by human trafficking.

Longing and listening — this is something we as a team are reaching for. We continue to long for God’s guidance and try to spend time daily listening to him. This week we are going to Pattaya, Thailand, about two hours from Bangkok.

Pattaya is known for being a home to one of the largest sex industries run by the Russian Mafia. Women who come from low-income living are being trafficked in and trafficked out. The numbers are numbing! We strongly believe God is wanting us to be a part of stopping this injustice. While there, we will meet with two organizations that are currently working with women who are being sexually exploited and children who are living in the slums with a higher risk of following into this type of industry. While there we will be spending a lot of time in prayer, seeking God for guidance in what he has for us in long-term ministry — whether that is in Pattaya or not, and what that ministry may look like.

This morning I was reading over the first two commandments. First, it says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and second, love your neighbor as yourself. We as a team believe God is asking us to love these women and children. We feel led to share the truth, teach them their value, and share with them the incredible truth about God’s character. Thank you so much for your support financially and through prayers. We are all one team as the body of Christ!

Sharing the Load: Raleigh and Opal*

Raleigh and Opal are in their second year of work in North Africa and recently experienced the joy of bringing a third child into their family.

Our daughter Beth* was born right after midnight on August 19. For various reasons, this pregnancy had been especially trying, but she was born smoothly at a clinic five minutes’ walk from our house (we did not walk there that evening, however!). We were so blessed to have Raleigh’s sister, a nurse, attend the labor and delivery with us. We were also blessed by our local midwife and doctor.

As we welcomed Beth, we were also welcoming new teammates! Raleigh’s sister and brother-in-law and family returned to the area from a year sabbatical. They have lived here for years and, in many ways, we came to participate in the vision and work they have begun here in the mountains.

A common sight when walking through our city is that of a load shared. Unlike my own culture, where we mostly carry our own bags unless we really are physically unable, I often see two people carrying a bag between them by the handles. I have even seen two young women with a plastic shopping bag carried between them in this way. The load was obviously not that heavy but the idea is not whether you can carry it or not. If you are with someone who carries a load, you share in the process. This shared life is a deeply ingrained concept in many areas of local culture. To our more independent minds, we are sometimes astounded by the lengths locals go to in order to share the load.

With the return of Raleigh’s family, we realize how great a blessing it is to be able to share the load. Suddenly we are surrounded by cousins, conversation, vision casting, encouragement and challenge in ways we only dreamed about in the past year. We are filled with thanksgiving to walk beside this family, carrying the load.

Please pray with us that 2017 will be a year of continued growth and that the Good News would reach more and more lives as we look to God for the ability to bring his love to the world.

*Names changed for scurity