We recently completed a powerful and unique evangelistic series at our Buriram church plant. Usually, we study with people in advance, and then conduct a week of reaping meetings before the baptism. Since many attendees are ready for baptism, the presentations are just a review for them. But for newcomers, they are an introduction to Jesus and salvation.
This time, however, things were different. The work in Buriram is still young, so no one was ready for baptism. Also, the New Years celebrations and travels interfered with our meetings to the point that many of the people we had been working with were not willing or able to attend. We felt disappointed, but what could we do? It was like the parable of the wedding where all the invited guests made excuses.
However, our speaker, Pastor Samart, was unshaken. He read the situation and immediately changed his strategy from reaping to cultivation. He chose practical sermon topics including child training, healthy and happy living, persevering through discouraging circumstances, maintaining strong family ties, and experiencing success in the workplace. All of his presentations provided universal principles that can be practiced by anyone of any faith. At the end of each sermon, he always climaxed with powerful, practical passages from the Bible that touched on those topics. He very effectively presented the Bible as a universal handbook for happy living.
Though the series did not end with baptisms, we established friendships with many people, and one family asked to study more with us after the meetings finished.
Thanks for keeping our Buriram church plant in your prayers!