The following is a report from Sompong Koonsawang, who is working with her husband in Ubon Ratchathani. She writes…
My name is Sompong Koonsawang; recently I have been working in the Ubon church area in the South Eastern part of Thailand. I’ve been here since moving from Lampang. First of all, I really praise God that He brought me back to my home town. From the experiences that I had in Lampang, I really can see that God is with us through the medical missionary work. I believe that God will use it to do miracles for the people in Ubon, and the other churches in the southeast area too. Ubon church is located in the city and there are many smaller churches around. In January, I started by doing medical missionary training for lay pastors and church members at Ubon church. The training is to prepare our lay pastors and church members in Ubon church and all local churches to spread the gospel by using medical missionary work. I also set up a small treatment room in the church with help from some of our church members.
The next step was to have 3 day health seminars in each church starting with Ubon. I invited Dr. Pornwilai and the group to be the speaker. We worked together to invite people from around the city, as well as our own church members to come. We taught about high blood pressure and diabetes. The program went from Friday to Sunday. There were about 30 people that came, and most of them were women who had health problems. Because of this seminar I had opportunity to share more about health and the Bible with two old ladies that had high blood pressure and diabetes. They came to our church and asked me to do a 1 week treatment program for them. After the treatment their blood pressure and sugar level were lower than before; and they really praised our God for this result, and they have continued coming to church until now. Now we have 6 persons that sometimes come to our church as a result of this medical missionary outreach.
The local Ubon church has a radio station. It is on 105 mhz, and we call it the New Life radio station. It is online at www.newlife105ubon.net as well. I use this radio station to share about Health and our Adventist message. I believe in using Mrs. Ellen White’s books; such as Ministry of Healing, Adventist Home, Consult on Diet and Food, etc. as I teach on the radio. Most of the listeners are sunday church members. There are 10 of them that we have been visiting, and they come to worship in our church every Wednesday evening, Friday evening, and some times on Sabbath. I really can see the blessing from God through these people, they said that they appreciate the radio program so much and they also donate some money for electricity and other expenses.
During the time that I’ve worked in Ubon church, I also had an opportunity to do medical mission work in several other surrounding churches. I went to Fang Therng church, Na Doo church, Bark Choom church, Suan Son church and a small group in Some Ngoo.
The biggest problem for the church in the Southeastern area of Thailand is that the churches are often without a leader, a pastor, or someone to nurture members’ spiritually. Some, such as Nar Pong Pone church must be closed down. Some churches don’t have anyone to take care of it, and get old and run down. Then, the members don’t want to attend meetings because the bad condition. My husband Pastor Soontorn and I are trying to reform both church members and church buildings. For this, the medical missionary technique is working well. Now the reformation is going forward to several churches in rural areas, and this progress showing. Now previously non-attending members are returning to worship our Lord along with the new members.
Nar Pong Pone church was restored after it had been closed down for over 10 years. Many years ago a local man offered to buy the church property a small sum. Then unexpectedly, he had a stroke as he was driving on the way to pay for that property. He ended up having to use all that money to care for himself. With support from the Tailand Adventist Mission and the genourosity of donors and local members, we have been able to build a new building for this church congregation. Now we have group meetings there, starting with 4 or 5 people studying Bible together. The attracted the neighbors interest. We also had a 3 day health seminar where we taught them about natural remedies. Some catholic Christians from the area have also showed interest in our teachings. More than 50 adults and 20 children attended this meeting. We are praying for a lay pastor who can come and live there permanently.
Praise be to God, in March we had eight people decide to make a public commitment to Christ in Baptism.
I also went to help with the health training at some other churches in South Eastern Thailand. For this next year, we plan to do natural therapy treatments in the church compound for students, also we plan to brovide consultation to people with health problems. Some of the people we have been working with are interested in learning about Daniel and Revelation. Please pray for our work in South Eastern Thailand so that God’s abundant love that gives us every breath should spread into every house in these villages.
Please remember the work in South Eastern Thailand in your prayers Thank you so much for your support.
May God bless you,