On August 25th-30th was an excellent youth camp in the north in Thailand. We expected about 100 young people to attend, but 150 people came! Yes, it was so good to have more people come, but there was a problem because the building fits only 100 people. There are only 3 washrooms! All the men slept in the church building but that also was not enough space. Some slept in the kitchen next to the church building, and some slept in our truck! There is only one building next to the church, which has 3 rooms. It was just enough space for the girls sleep. This was the first time that we had up to 150 youth come to attend at our youth camp in the north. There was not enough blankets, mattresses and mosquito nets. Yet, these things were not an obstacle to our people at all. Instead they were so thankful to God that they were able to come, and attend the wonderful youth camp. The reason more young people came is because recently more of the youth have accepted Jesus in the area. Many new house churches have been established. For instance, at our Medical Missions outreach this year, in the same area, 1,374 patients came from Laos to get treatment at our clinic. This was the most that we ever had in the past 20 years of our Medical mission outreach. Now we need to expand the church building, kitchen, washrooms, and add another place to stay for the people.
I often say that the hope, dream, and future for Christians depends on the youth today. To lead the church forward, to be better spiritually, educationally, and economically starts today with the youth of this generation. They are totally different from today’s leaders educationally, thought process, and world view. It is obviously seen at the teaching sessions. When the teachers and I talk to them, they are quick to understand and grasp the important points of the teaching. They are brave to ask, and answer the questions that were presented. At this youth camp I planned to do less teaching, but when I saw those young people who need spiritual food to feed their spiritual thirst and hungry for God’s word, I could not be silent. I need to use this opportunity that God has given me to challenge the youth. 80 percent of the teaching sessions were by me. I challenged them based on these topics:
· Build-up their spiritual life on the words of God
· Abide in His word because God’s word is powerful and is Life.
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63)
“Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
I use the story of Martha and Mary. I told them that if any one wants to be successful in life they need to do like Mary, who sat down at the feet of Jesus Christ. She listened to His teaching and did not worry about what to eat, drink, and like others who worry of those things. As Jesus said to Martha “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not take away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) I applied the teaching to the youth that if we want to sit down at Jesus feet and listen to His teaching every day, we have to wake up early in the morning, read God’s words, and meditate on it at least one or two hours.
I challenged them on Joseph’s story, Daniel and his 3 friends. I told them to see that having an education is very important, and a path way to success in the future. I helped them to look back at the K history 100-200 years ago, and see their parents today as well. Their parents who are still doing the slash and burn method in farming throughout their life do not have enough rice to feed themselves. “Do you still not want to change? Or you do not know what to do because you are stuck and hooked in the old ways? Now you are the new generation! Young men and women having much opportunities for a better future than your parents! Take this opportunity to pursue your dream and goals to be successful! We must have passion in life. Do not even think to go back to do the old ways of the life again!” This is what I shared to them. I also taught them on Philippians 3:10-14; Ephesians 5:1-20.
For the people in the northern part of Laos, they are quite poor economically, educationally, and socially. Out of those 150 young people, only 10 of them have been able to graduate from grade 12. I asked if there is any one of them who will not be able to go to school in September (Lao school term opens) because of financial problems. 17 people raised their hands. Most of them are in Grade 10. They cannot afford to pay the school fee, note books, pens, clothes, and dormitory charge. It costs about $60 USD person per year. Thank you God that He is enable us to help all of them go back to their schools this year. God is so good and faithful to those who love Him. All of them rejoiced in the Lord!
The theme and program is the same at our last youth camp on July 28-30, 2017. Our young people in the north seemed to be on fire when the time came for worship service. They were so enthusiastic, raising their voices and hands in praising God. They danced and were so excited throughout the one hour with songs and musical instrument. Then the youth sat down, some knelt, and cried. Their eyes were filled with tears of joy in the Lord. We all sensed the Holy Spirit of God was definitely moving among those young people’s hearts. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and I am so thrilled to see them so excited. There is no other joy in my life more than to see these young people who love God, who come from various provinces joined together to study God’s word, worship God together, love one another, and united together in one heart and love to the people. None of the youth fell asleep at the class room, and all of them were hungry for God’s words. Their intention is to learn and know Gods Word more than anything else.
I asked all of the people in the room if there is any one of them that did not hear me speaking on the air. Only one girl raise her hand. All the rest have heard my voice on the air, and some of them listen to the program every day. I did not have the time to ask the girl the reason she never heard of the radio program. Before they left, many took radios, Bibles, and Bible lessons back. Thank the Lord they crossed back to Laos safely. There are more than 40 new people who never came before. Most of the young people in the south listen to the program with their cell phones but in the north, barely no one.
We want to thank you God that everything went well without any problems. Thank you for the faithful prayers, and those who support us financially to enable us to bring those youth people to gather together for fellowship and study God’s word. The word of God will last forever in their hearts. We know that more than 150 youth will come if we had the funds, and the space, but we are limited. We do the best we can with the resources that have been blessed to us.
Your friends from Thailand!