After hearing so much about the Pak Panang church in the Callows’ missionary updates, I finally got to see and experience this church.
The church is small compared to our congregation back home, with approximately 10 adults and 10 children who attend on a weekly basis. Actually going in, our team would have outnumbered the number of people there. I remember looking at the rows that were not yet fully filled and wondering whether more people were due to turn up.
However, despite the small size of the church, it was encouraging to see nearly everyone serving each other during the service and at lunch afterwards too. Even though the service was conducted in Thai and we could only understand what was translated for us by Jeff, I realised at the end of the day that regardless, we are still worshipping one God, and that’s what matters. Our God is the same God for the Thai people, and no matter what language we were singing our praises, it was a great experience to know that there and then, God’s name was being lifted high in a country where Christians are few.
Speaking to Belinda, growing the church hasn’t been easy. Some have been attending church for a while but still on the journey to putting their full trust and reliance on Him. Helping these individuals on this journey is a long process that can take years, requiring a lot of patience and perseverance. What stuck with me in my conversation with her though, was that God has his timing, and His timing is what they pray for and what spurs them on each day as they reach out to those in their community.
This fit in very well with what we read together as a group during devotion in Philippians 2:12-13 – that God works through us according to his good purpose, not what we think is best, but what he has determined is best.
May we also continue to pray and trust in God’s timing, especially when we may not immediately see the fruits of our hard work in His name.
– Ellen Law