April 2023 Prayer Letter Update

For a one-page printable version of this letter click here

Here in Thailand, we are just a few days away from the big holiday of Thai New Year. Several of our regular activities are cancelled this week because of it, so it provides an opportunity to write about the busy last few months.

Of course, the most recent event was a special Resurrection Sunday service. One person was baptized, and we had several visitors who were friends or relatives of (mostly) new Christians. It was an encouraging Sunday.

Two weeks before this past Sunday, our family, and a few others from the church in Bangkok traveled to the province of Surin in northeastern Thailand to participate in a medical clinic put on in cooperation with Surin Baptist Church, the local Surin government, and a team of about 50 doctors, nurses, dentists, and other volunteers from Medical Mission Outreach. Hannah and I worked as translators for doctors and nurses, David and Autumn helped the eye doctors, and Ben took patients around. Over four days more than one thousand people went through the clinic at two locations.

One goal was to try to give the gospel individually to each person who came through the clinic. As the people finished their visits, the last step was to go to the evangelism section where Thai Christians would share Christ with them. Among those who went to help from our church were two young men, Siridet (“Gun”) and Punsip. They worked full time in evangelism all four days.

Gun (above) and Punsip sharing the gospel with patients at the clinic


While Hannah’s and my normal work was translating for the doctors, I tried to help with the evangelism when I could. My limited time there gave me an appreciation for the mental, physical, and spiritual energy spent by those who worked all four days, morning to evening, trying to share the gospel. Some patients clearly had no interest, many politely listened, but some listened and engaged in conversation with genuine interest. What struck me is how very, very few people had any knowledge of God or the gospel of Jesus Christ. I asked one of the men working in the evangelistic section if they had encountered anyone who was already a Christian. He said there had been two who said there were already believers. Just two, out of hundreds and hundreds of people. As far as we know a couple people trusted Christ as Savior, and there were many other significant conversations. Please pray that God continues to water the seeds that were sown.

About a month before this medical outreach, our family all attended or worked at an MK (missionary kids) camp. Our good missionary friends Matt and Courtney Jones have spearheaded this beneficial ministry for seven years now. As word spreads about this camp, interest continues to grow. This camp was the biggest yet with many on a waiting list.

Speaking of missionary kids, just one week ago we took our son David to the airport to send him off to Minneapolis. He plans to work for the summer and then, Lord willing, enroll at Bob Jones University in the fall. So this Easter we had two less children at home with us than we did a year ago.☹

In the last letter I asked for prayer for five people who were not yet believers who had been coming to church. Thanks so much for praying. Within days of that letter, and in the months since, there have been significant conversations with most of the people I mentioned, some on multiple occasions. None have become believers yet, but several seem to still be open. Please continue to pray.

I am also thankful to God to report that there are several people presently preparing for baptism. As this letter is already long, I will have to wait to tell some of their stories in the next letter, which, Lord willing, I can write after their baptisms in a month or two. Thank you for praying for these new Christians in the meantime.

Your Partners for the gospel, 

Duane and Hannah