A letter from Leith & Carol Fujii in Thailand
Dear Faithful Family in Christ,
The second semester at the Bangkok Institute of Theology (BIT) is quickly coming to a close and we are wrapping up things on this side in order to prepare for our home assignment ahead in the U.S. for three months. Many things have changed at BIT after becoming a part of the Christian University (CTU). We are not only a theological institution but an educational one as well. This means that BIT needs to be in constant compliance with CTU and the Thai Ministry of Education’s department standards. It has been challenging to adjust to the often changing policies and requirements. To say the least, it has been a stretching year especially for both our director, A. Virat, and our colleagues at BIT. Thailand’s anticipated participation in the Asean (10-nation) partnership in 2015 only adds to the pressure. Our leadership faculty and staff have worked diligently and (we feel) have often been stretched beyond their capacity.
As we reflect on what God has been doing at BIT, in particular about mobilizing toward world mission, we thank God for the good things He has been doing. The BIT missions team (around 20) meets weekly to pray for world missions and receives teaching through an elective course. This past year we have focused on missions within Thailand but with a cross-cultural emphasis toward people groups largely unreached for Christ.
In October of 2012 there were two short mission projects during BIT’s two-and-a-half week term break. One team focused on two Hmong villages in the mountains of north central Thailand. Even though many ethnic hill tribes have been very responsive to the gospel, the Hmong peoples in this area have not. For example, of the 500 families in the village of Nam Juang, only about 10 families are believers and they do not have a pastor. This is the hometown of our current missions coordinator, Woropod, who has had a special burden for his village. He and a team of five students had a wonderful opportunity to encourage the members of his small church while also making new relationships with other villagers. The only school in his village welcomed the BIT students as they shared their testimonies of faith and engaged the children in an assortment of activities that introduced them to Christ. A number of children responded very positively, taking first steps in their relationship with Christ. A similar form of ministry occurred in another Hmong village where one of our alumni, a Lahu minister named Dom, is learning the language and trying to reach that village for Christ. This village has a much darker atmosphere; spiritism is very prevalent. The team really was Christ’s Light shining in the darkness and brought great encouragement to the young minister and the few young believers in Christ.
BIT’s second mission team was invited to learn from and join in the work of a team reaching out to M's in Bangkok. For the most part the Thai Church has no contact with this population of 6 million M's, perhaps due to lack of awareness and feelings of fear. Our students had the opportunity to pray for, serve and spend time in M communities, learning about customs and respectful ways of relating. Our hearts’ desire is that the Thai church will develop an informed understanding and burden for M's. We would like to see the church receive training in relating and communicating with M's in ways that open doors to a relationship with our Lord, “ISA al Massi.” We thank God for the first step of training we received and for opening new doors of friendship with M's.
Thank you for praying with us:
1. Please pray that God would grant our faculty daily grace and strength as they seek to be faithful in the many responsibilities they have.
2. A growing vision and burden for the Thai church to be globally mission–minded. The willingness to sacrifice and send missionaries as well as to work cooperatively with other churches to send them, versus through just one church’s efforts.
3. That God would raise up those who would minister to unreached Hmong people. That God would sustain Dom as he perseveres in his community.
4. That God would raise up Thai Christians who would have a burden for Thai M's.
As we head home for a three-month home assignment (March through the end of May), we hope we will be able to connect with many of you during this period. Also we look forward to time with Carol’s 92-year-old mom and time with our children.
Thank you for your support, both prayerfully and financially, which has allowed us to serve in Thailand for these past 14 years
Leith and Carol Fujii
U.S. phone number to leave messages: 1-505-695-1966
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 195
Read more about Leith and Carol Fujii's ministry