LAST month, I visited Thailand where the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) has eight churches or preaching points:
• One in Bangkok,
• Two in Chiang Mai,
• Three north of Chiang Mai among the Lahu people, and
• Two around Khon Kaen among the Isaan people (I had never even heard of Khon Kaen before!).
What a joy it was for me to meet our missionaries (Henry and Tuk, Seng Kok and Sharon) and the Thai pastors.
Together with our MMS Chairman, Mr Andrew Tay, and Pastor Don Roscoe from the US, we conducted training seminars for the pastors, lay ministry staff and church leaders – using the very practical “Growing a healthy church material” which had already been translated into the Thai language.
We extended the invitation to other pastors besides our own:
• 30 attended in Chiang Mai, and
• 80 attended in Khon Kaen.
Although we worked through an interpreter, the materials seemed to connect. The Rev Wirot, who oversees 100 pastors among the Isaan, said: “This is exactly what my pastors need.”
Plans have already been made for a follow-up training seminar with his pastors. I will be arranging for a coaching session with our own Methodist pastors – once in three months to help them apply the material. Build Your church in Thailand – Lord!
The Rev Dr Norman Wong is the Executive Director of the Methodist Missions Society.
Your chance to support MMS
THERE are two opportunities for our church members to understand and support the Methodist Missions Society (MMS).
1. Miss A Meal for Missions:
Ask your Pastor for a “Miss A Meal for Missions” collection box which will come with a short booklet that will give you up-to-date information for you to understand and pray for our missionaries and national pastors.
2. CAC May Day Retreat – “Faithful in Little Things”:
Join the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) Day Retreat on May 1, 2006 at Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church from 9 am to 1.30 pm. The cost: $3 (includes tea and lunch!)
The CAC has invited the MMS to share its vision with the conference. The programme will be conducted in English and Mandarin.