A letter from Leith & Carol Fujii in Thailand
Beloved and Valued Family and Friends,
The gleam in Tum’s eyes and excitement in his voice warmed our hearts as he spoke of the surprises that God had for the mission team that just returned from their time in an RAC (restricted access country). This was the third trip that our BIT (Bangkok Institute of Theology) student mission team organized to pursue relational ministry with the large unreached people group (UPG) that shares a common cultural heritage and similar language with the Thai. And each time God has proven that II Corinthians 2:9, 10 is as true today as when the apostle Paul penned these words, “What no eye has seen nor ear heard, what God has prepared for those who love Him, He has revealed to us through the Spirit…” We should expect GREAT and unexpected things from our GREAT and beyond predictable God, Who continues to amaze and surprise us with delight!
Focusing significant attention on mobilizing the Thai Church to gain a heart and vision for participation in global mission was a key part of this year’s T2Z (Thai to UPG) Project. Four years ago, when the project was launched with just one person, it was a BIG step of faith and a challenge for the BIT community to send a student into this uncharted territory and raise the financial support necessary. We have experienced much of God’s grace and guidance, and so this year’s goal went beyond the challenge of the budget to send three students; it included the bigger challenge of recruiting at least 10 Thai churches to prayer and to receiving an offering in support of global mission. Tum and his partners, Pod and Boy, were amazed to find in various churches, members whose hearts God had already prepared and burdened to see the Thai church become a mission-sending church—people who dreamed of seeing a new pattern emerge from the past 190 years of being a mission-receiving church. Of course they also encountered the disappointing reality of churches that weren’t ready…but they kept on knocking on doors, trusting God! God blessed, raising up 13 churches!
But the team’s even bigger surprise lay ahead! Industrial pollutants, contaminating the city’s major water supply, and a closure of the Thai language program at the city’s university campus where we formerly sent the team required moving the project to a new city without any contacts we knew—except, of course, the LORD! And again, God proved that He is our SUFFICIENCY! Within days of arriving in the new city, God had amazingly orchestrated providential events and contacts, and the team was naturally developing relationships and sharing their lives of faith with UPG friends studying Thai at their university campus. Relationships begun by others four years ago led to other friends, leading to other new friends and an overheard conversation on a bus…and then an open door that we could not have imagined or arranged. Our AMAZING God…training the next generation of missionaries!
Many of the students Tum, Boy, and Pod met earlier this year are currently studying in Thai language programs at different universities in Thailand. There are many who, after finishing the language program in Thailand, stay on to find work in translation, business or teaching their native language. Working and living in Thailand is very attractive to many of these from an RAC who enjoy the freedom and wages that they couldn’t have if they remained in their own country. Please pray that God would continue to open doors to minister to these students. Conflicting schedules make it difficult to meet as a group. Please pray that the Thai church would catch a vision to minister to these international students.
October is a busy month for us. Leith is involved in a couple of camps, one to unreached Hmong. Pod, mentioned earlier in this letter, will lead a group from BIT’s mission team to his hometown and one nearby where one of our graduates serves. In Pod’s mountain village only 10 of 500 families are Christians. Please pray that God would open doors for him to minister and serve his community and that they would be touched by God’s love through these students. Right after that, another group from BIT’s mission team will be receiving training in how to relate to, understand and minister to persons of other faiths. Please refer back to our June 2012 letter. In the midst of this, tropical storms are threatening to bring even more flooding in Thailand. Please pray that we would know how to respond in the event that Bangkok is affected. Life is exciting as we live for and serve our great God.
Thank you for your prayers, support and heart for world mission!
With love and appreciation,
Leith and Carol Fujii
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 183