A letter from Leith and Carol Fujii in Thailand
Dear Family and Friends in Christ,
After a disappointing show of guests at our Christmas party in our neighborhood, I was rather skeptical if the international students from Nakorn Pathom University would show up at our home on Friday (please refer to our October 2010 prayer letter). The Bangkok Institute of Theology (BIT) missions team had previously invited these students to join us at BIT for a Christmas party last month but they could not come because it was their final exam week. It is also a challenge for our students who have little free time due to many weekly student activities and weekend field education at local churches. It was a spur of the moment idea to celebrate Christmas in the New Year as both BIT and the Nakorn Pathom students happened to be free that day. “Good,” I thought. “I haven’t put away our Christmas decorations yet. So, why not open our home to the students?”
About five of our students came over to help me cook and prepare earlier that Friday afternoon. What a blessing to have eager helpful hands assisting me to prepare dinner for a group of hungry college students. At 3:00 p.m. the door bell rang and 15 laughing, smiling students entered our home bearing gifts of fruit, along with the rest of our mission team who accompanied them to our home. The next couple of hours were filled with games, singing, laughing, eating and a time to listen to one of our master’s in divinity students share what Christmas meant to her.
It was so encouraging to hear one student named “Dan” say that it was his first time to join this group and he had so much fun. He told me, “I feel jealous because of your nice home and the love I feel here. That’s what I want for my family one day.” Leith later told me that Dan’s parents have both worked long hours since he was a young boy. Dan was left alone at home to fend for himself. He longs for the love that he has been missing. We pray he would find that love he longs for in Jesus one day.
As the last of the dishes were put away that evening, I was feeling so joyful and thanking God for the events of the day. It made me so happy to have our home filled once again with “family”! Mark and Lani had just left a week earlier and I really felt how quiet and empty the home was without them. It was so special having Mark and Lani home with us this past Christmas but I really missed them. I missed their voices, the teasing, the arguing, the laughter, the good discussions around the dinner table. So it was such a blessing to have 25 college students in our home. It was like having our kids home again! When we bid the students good-bye, we reminded them that they are always welcome in our home.
We thank God for our students at BIT who are growing in a vision for “unreached” people groups. Instead of sending a member abroad in 2010, the mission team chose to focus their time and energy in a “diaspora” ministry to internationals studying in Thailand. There are some local Thai churches who are also catching a vision to minister to international students, like a team from Maitrijit Baptist Church (under our partnering Church of Christ in Thailand). They have just begun an outreach to internationals from a “closed country” like our BIT mission team does. Please pray that this “mission” vision would spread to other Thai churches and that they would cooperatively network. One of our fourth year BIT students, Pim, will be serving on the staff at a local church when she graduates this year. She also desires to continue reaching international students for Christ. Please pray for Pim to follow God’s leading as she engages in a mission field on the campus.
Perhaps you are so surprised to hear twice from us in such a short period of time, but we wanted to communicate with you knowing that we leave for the United States in a month, and we are excited to see how God is at work around us. Please remember our BIT students as they reach out to these international students. Please pray for God’s grace and sustenance as they finish the academic year this coming March. This is a high time of stress with many succumbing to colds. I know they would appreciate your prayers.
Thank you for praying for us and for the BIT students.
Serving by God’s grace,
Carol and Leith Fujii
The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 133
Thanks, I pray for the students and staff just about everyday.
Clearly Holy Spirit is in, and among you, and your colleagues at BIT... and the fruit of the Spirit is in evidence in the faces of your students and friends. We look forward to seeing you both in Los Alamos and pray for safe travel. Bob