time for hope NEWS FROM THE MINISTRY OF RIC AND SHARON BRUCE
Cute kids we met in Thailand.
Greetings from cold, snowy Michigan! “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” -Acts 4:20
Holding a baby in a small village like the one we hope to work in one day.
Ric and Sharon Bruce 617 Haslett Rd. Williamston, MI 48895 517-490-1032 firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve been back from Thailand for two weeks but the excitement continues to build here in Michigan and across the US. Many people now share our sense of hope for Thailand and for the wonderful people we met there. Our dream of moving there this summer is looking more like a reality each day. A few of the milestones we’re celebrating recently include receiving a formal invitation to join NTM Thailand, receiving invitations from churches and individuals to share our ministry, exploring the country with supportive staff from our home church, and seeing our support level continue to rise.
Hope. A confident expectation that God is and He works and He cares when the winds of change blow. Thank-you for your interest in our ministry and for your prayers, financial support, and encouragement. Words fail to fully express our gratitude for your love and support. We will continue pressing on toward our goal of planting a church in Thailand and keep you informed every step along the way. Below you will find our contact information. Please feel free to call, write, or email any time. Of course our website will continue to provide you with the very latest news. God bless and keep you!
THE CHURCH IN
With future co-workers and leaders in Thailand.
THAILAND Thailand is a Buddhist country but God’s church is alive and well. Discovering the health of the local church may be the single most important and difficult thing an expat missionary can do. Unfortunately few take the time to do the research, perhaps because they feel their own ministry is more important. One of our primary goals in visiting Thailand was to begin painting this picture. We wanted to know where the churches are, what the needs are, who the key players are, and how we can help. This information will help not only Sharon and I in our future ministry but enable our churches, partners, and friends to get involved with what we are doing at a deeper level. New Tribes Mission is committed to engaging with the local church in Thailand. That’s one thing that impressed us so much about interacting with our future leaders while we visited Thailand. NTM’s faithfulness and careful planning has resulted in very deliberate, methodical works that produce results. We’re excited about the possibilities the church in Thailand offers.
Thailand’s “Black Hole” Multiple missionaries, pastors, mission leaders and key contacts informed us of the needs in Northeast Thailand. Many refer to this region as Thailand’s “Black Hole” to illustrate the point that much more work is yet needed here.
Summary of our Trip to Thailand: We spent our first night just a few minutes from the airport in Bangkok. We knew we were in another country that very night (it was the rock-hard bed that gave it away). Waking the next day our team flew to Chiang Mai and began our break-neck tour of the country starting with Grace International, the school our children could attend one day. The next few days became a blur of meetings. We met with missionary leaders, individual missionaries, local pastors, and believers from tribal villages. These meetings confirmed a number of things: 1. The years we spent in training with NTM will be invaluable. 2. During the meetings the missionaries constantly referred to Northeast Thailand (where we want to work) as “the black hole of Thailand” indicating how little work is happening there. 3. Various missionaries from different organizations expressed their willingness to help us when we arrive in Thailand. Next we took a quick trip over to Northeast Thailand by airplane to visit an area we’re considering as a final destination in Thailand. We were so encouraged by Mike and Sandy, NTM missionaries working in the region. Their lives of humility and service inspired our entire team and left a lasting impression of what it means to live sacrificially. We can’t wait to make a few trips out to visit them in their village when we move to Thailand next year. We returned to Chiang Mai and made one of the most important discoveries of our trip during our final meeting. We met Dwight Martin, a man who has been encouraging and growing the local church through a website dedicated to providing Thai pastors with materials for church services as well as maps of the country detailing what areas of Thailand have no churches. When we looked at the resources he’d gathered from his years of work in Thailand we discovered there are no known churches within several districts of the Mike and Sandy’s work! We were blown away. Please pray with us as we seek to head to Thailand this summer. God is at work and we’re just a small part of what He’s doing in Thailand. Thank-you for your help!
Ways you can help: •PRAY - please pray for us as we prepare to leave for Thailand •GIVE - consider supporting us monthly or giving a special gift •LOVE - missionaries need an occasional email or phone call too