"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
July 1, 2004
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In this Issue:
THE TIME HAS COME THAT WE MUST BUILD A SCHOOL BUILDING IN THAILAND
BOUQUETS AND BRICKBATS
THE MINISTER'S TRUE ORDINATION
THE TIME HAS COME THAT WE MUST BUILD A SCHOOL BUILDING IN THAILAND
2 Kings 4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
2 Kings 6:1 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.
As I think of the Sovereign Grace Independent Baptist School of Theology in Thailand, the two verses above come to mind. In the first we see that Elisha was responsible for feeding the sons of the prophets who were in his school at Gilgal. In the second, we see that Elisha was also providing a place for them to live while they were in school. And, the number of students had grown to the point that they needed more room.
STUDENTS IN FRONT OF PA SAK'S NEW BUILDING
During our last school term, November 2003-February 2004, we were crowded in the chapel of the Hill Tribes Children Center. Though we were able to crowd into the room some of the students had a difficult time seeing the projected transparencies that we used most of every six-hour school day. The overhead projector is very important since I print the transparencies in English and leave room so that Bro. Anond can translate them into Thai and Lahu. It is therefore essential that the students be able to see the white area on which we project the outlines of all our studies.
FRONT VIEW OF PLANNED SCHOOL BUILDING
FLOOR PLAN OF PLANNED SCHOOL BUILDING
Last year we had a top attendance of a little over 50 with an average of about 40. Even if we only sustain that average, we need a larger, better-arranged classroom than we have now. We already have 53 registered and more are registering. We expect about 60 students this year. This will require more classroom space and one more student house.
A while ago, after conferring with Bro. Bill Lee, I drew a sketch of a floor plan of what we thought was the minimal building we need for this next year. Later we will need to add a second classroom. I sent this sketch to Bro. Anond, who, as most of our readers know is a licensed architect, and asked him to design a building and give me an estimate of what it will cost to build the building. On page six (6) you can see a sketch of the front of the building and on page seven (7) there is a floor plan.
To build this of more durable materials (concrete blocks and steel roof structure with tile roofing material) will cost just under $ 35,000. We need to raise this amount, if at all possible, by October 15, 2004, so that construction can start shortly after I arrive in Thailand for the next school term. A temporary building could be constructed (bamboo walls and leaf roof) for about half that price but we believe that the best stewardship of the Lord’s money would be to construct the more permanent building in the beginning.
One church, as soon as they heard of our plans, voted to give $1,500 toward this project and one individual has already sent $300 for the new building. We are praying that others will join this effort and help us to raise the $35,000 as quickly as possible so that the building can be completed as quickly as possible. I hope that we will be able to move into it by January 1, 2005.
At this time it also appears that we will have students from the countries of Laos and Burma. I believe these brethren from Laos and Burma will be of the Lahu tribes. This will open doors for our work to expand more into those countries as we teach the word to young preachers from there. The students from Thailand will be of the Pa Long, Lisu, and Lahu tribes.
Those churches and individuals who feel they can support this endeavor should send their offerings to one of the two following addresses:
Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church
2065 Tompkins Lane
Millington, TN 38053-5107
Central Baptist Church
PO Box 876
Grenada, MS 38901
Please indicate that these special offerings are for the school building.
REPORT ON THE WORK IN GENERAL
Things are going very well in the work in Thailand. Bro. Anond is working very diligently in the mission work, the prison ministry, and with the children’s home. I have some form of communication with him almost daily.
Bro. Anond preaches in five prisons each month. The Thai officials in charge of the prisons are mostly Buddhist but they like for our people to come and preach and teach in the prisons. One top official, who speaks English and is a Christian, told me last year when we went to lunch together after one of the prison services that those who attend our services have two characteristics. First, they rarely cause any problems in the prison. Second, they rarely get into trouble again. This is not true of the Buddhist prisoners. For these reasons, the prison officials like for our people to hold services as much as possible in the prisons.
I should also point out that the prison ministry benefits the churches. Several of the members of our churches were saved in prison and now serve in the churches. I know of two deacons in two of the churches who were saved in prison. When released they returned to their villages, presented themselves to the churches for baptism, and were baptized. Both of these men have been in their respective churches since I first went there in October, 2000, and remain faithful servants of the Lord. They are two of the most respected men in their churches. These are only two of a good number of men and some women who have been in prison and were saved.
I wrote once before about Bro. Anond and I being in a church for the first time near the Burma border in extreme Northern Thailand. At the end of the service we were sitting around talking and two ladies spoke up and asked him if he remembered them. It turned out that both had been saved in the women’s prison in Chiang Mai in services when Bro. Anond preached. They had united with this church after baptism. This church was a Baptist church and is now working with the group of churches that Bro. Anond has been instrumental in starting or setting in doctrinal and gospel order. The man who was pastor when we went there is from Burma originally and has connections with churches that descend from the Baptists that were converted during Adoniram Judson’s mission work in Burma. In a recently published biography of Judson I read that his translation of the Scriptures is still the only translation in the Burmese language.
HILL TRIBES CHILDREN’S CENTER
We have sixty children in the Hill Tribes Children’s Center. Most of these are orphans. Others are from villages where they do not have access to a school and are brought to the center so that they can get an education. The children currently range in age from four years to nineteen years. Two have stayed on to go to college. They work at the center helping with the other children, especially on weekends. Pray for the officials and others who work faithfully to care for these children.
The churches continue to grow in faith and doctrine as well as in membership. The church in Pa Koe is really increasing in number. They are close to the border of Burma and, due to greater freedom in Thailand, people continue to migrate into that area of the country. You can stand on the hill where the village and church are located and see the Burmese-Thailand border. When Bro. Lee was recently in Thailand he tells me that the house was filled for the services at Pa Koe. Not all the churches are growing as rapidly as the one in Pa Koe but all are doing well and experiencing growth. A small number of the churches are still meeting in homes but most have land on which to build if they have not already built a building.
INTERIOR OF PA SAK'S NEW BUILDING
The church at Plang Hok was enlarging their building when I left there in February. They too were filling their building on a regular basis. Of course, the first church started, Pa Sak, completed their building while I was there this past winter and it was my privilege to preach their dedicatory message.
Bro. Anond continues to take medicine to the various churches. Some of them are located a long distance from a hospital or doctor and this is the only medical treatment they receive unless they get very ill and he, or another, takes them to a hospital. I am sure that the lives of many of our people are made easier because of the medicine.
Please keep Bro. Anond, the pastors and churches in Northern Thailand in your prayers.
AN EXAMINATION OF THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF CHRIST
By Brad Harrub, Ph.D. & Bert Thompson, Ph.D.
Click here to go to the sight on which this article is posted.
Bouquets and Brickbats
TEXAS: I received your April 1, 2004 GP&P Tuesday. I appreciate your article on the homosexual issue. Thanks for standing up and speaking up. How long can our nation survive as we see it legalize homosexuality?
IRELAND: I was researching on the internet about Christ's blood. I came across one of your note pages on this issue.
I was wondering if you could tell me more about yourself and how you came across this information, if you would please.
I recently had a friend inform me that she had a hard time believing that Christ has his own blood and that he was born through the power of the Holy Spirit. I informed her that when a baby is in the womb, the baby does not derive it's blood from the mother. I told her that I would research this information to be sure. When I had my first son, my Christian mid-wife told me that the baby's blood is not from mine. I believed her word. But now my friend does not believe this is true.
I would appreciate any information you could give to me on this matter.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: I responded to this lady and sent her several articles on the virgin birth, absolute deity, and impeccable humanity of Jesus Christ. Here is her first response:
Dear Pastor Camp,
Greetings from Ireland. I want to thank you for writing back to me so quickly.
I would like to share that I am a missionary in County Tipperary, Ireland. It is very interesting to find that you have served 13 ½ years in the mission field. (I actually said I had served as President of IMBI 13 ½ years).
My husband and I also have a Christian heritage. We are originally from Southern California and moved to Ireland 9 months ago. We received our calling from the Lord to serve the Irish people in August of 2002. We both have been Christians for over 10 years. We have three small children with us.
We are ministering the Love of Christ to the local Irish people as the Lord leads us to. We are also currently planting a church here with our emphasis on teaching the Word of God expositionally, through the power & gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I have come across one lady in town who is having a hard time believing Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit. I believe she wants proof of it. I am glad to hear that you were provided with proof from medical personnel. I will be contacting my local doctor or a medical firm to obtain some kind of documentation and or article from them. I believe this would help my friend to understand it from a medical viewpoint.
I also want to thank you for the articles you sent me. I will read them.
It is a pleasure meeting you pastor. We would welcome anything you would like to share with us about your experiences and or expertise on missions.
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you, Pastor Camp!
PENNSYLVANIA: Are your articles on promise keepers available in a printed book/booklet?
WWW: I have been concerned lately about my roommate because she has been gambling every other night with a few friends. She is a Christian and says it's okay cause they just recycle the money between themselves and do it cause they're bored. But I have felt uneasy about it. Your internet sermon about gambling really helped to clarify my feelings. I will continue to pray that God convict her heart and will try to council her with the wisdom you provided. If you have any more advice, please let me know.
WWW: I am priveledged to read your articles and also thankful for them. I was wondering if you use KJ only for your Bible? Also are you a "Calvanist"? I'm not quite sure what the difference of a 5 point calvanist or a 7 point one is, I'm just asking because I visited a non-denominational church that teached calvanism, they had no visitation program either.Personally, I believe I disagree with calvanism. I currently attend an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.
I was saved by the grace of God last Dec. and am thankful for the Lord Jesus, who paid my sin debt on Calvary. Enough about me though. May God bless you and the Church.
WWW: Appreciated your study on the Blood of Christ and His Humanity.
THE MINISTER’S TRUE ORDINATION
[From C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Volume 1, Chapter 31]
By C. H. Spurgeon
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel’ therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.” — Ezekiel 3:17.
The office of a gospel minister in some respects resembles that of the ancient prophets. Though we cannot, like Elisha, raise the dead; nor, like Isaiah, pour forth eloquent predictions; nor, as Ezekiel, foretell certain coming and immediate judgments; yet, like them, we are commanded to teach, to warn, and to encourage. So much are we like Ezekiel, that his commission will suit any gospel minister even of our day. Let us consider,
I. THE MINISTER’S COMMISSION.
Here is a scrap of ancient writing worthy of a place in the museum. It ought to be in every minister’s study. It is the ultimatum of the King of Heaven to us in our doubts as to our calling. It is our Emperor’s protocol to all His legions. It is the minister’s true ordination, a real installation, worth more than a thousand Papal bulls from Rome bearing the mark of the fisherman’s ring; yea, worth more than all the charters of universities, or the appointments of archbishops. notice, —
1. The wording of this ancient commission. It is worded in the Court language of Heaven, and each letter is Divine. “Son of man.”
Here is the title by which Ezekiel is addressed; — not Right Reverend, nor the Very Venerable; but he has given to him a graciously-humbling title. Ezekiel is called “son of man” no less than ninety times. This is the name Jesus often took to Himself when He was on earth, and therefore it is a truly glorious one. The gracious and all-wise Father saw that too lofty an eminence might tempt Ezekiel to pride. He therefore styles him son of man, as much as to say, — “Your visions, rank, talents, and office, must not exalt you, for you are, after all, only man. You must not lean on sell:, for you are utter weakness, being only the ‘son of man.’ You must sympathize with each of your fellow-creatures, and deal with him, not as if you were a prince, or a master, but as being, like him, a ‘son of man.’”
“I have made thee a watchman.” Here we read, on this ancient manuscript, a true account of the making of a minister. God alone can do it. Two things are absolutely requisite to make a man a preacher, viz., —
(1.) Special gifts, — such as perception of truth, simplicity, aptness to impart instruction, some degree of eloquence, and intense earnestness.
(2.) Special call. Every man who is rightly in the ministry must have been moved thereto of the Holy Ghost. He must feel an irresistible desire to spend his whole life in his Master’s cause. No college, no bishop, no human ordination, can make a man a minister; but he who can feel, as did Bunyan, Whitefield, Berridge, or Rowland Hill, the strugglings of an impassioned longing to win the souls of men, may hear in the air the voice of God saying, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman.”
“Unto the house of Israel.” Ezekiel’s was a limited commission; but ours is not, it is as wide as the earth, and as long as time. The world is our parish. We are not ordered to cast the net alone in the pools of Heshbon, or the streams of Jordan, or the Lake of Gennesaret; but we may cover all seas and rivers with the gospel fishing-boats, — the navy of Jesus. Yet, still, it is for the sake of the true Israel that we go.
“Therefore hear the word at My mouth.” The ancient seers spoke not at random; but they declared what they had been taught of God. Sometimes, in dreams, they heard Heaven’s message; sometimes, by a. voice from on high; but, most commonly, by vision, did the Word of the Lord come unto them. The soul, inspired by God, seems at times to leave the body, and that narrow tube of vision which we call eyesight, and, with its own eagle eye, to pierce the thick cloud, and to mount into that remote region which the ordinary eye cannot see.
The prophets heard the spoken Word, but we have the written Word; and this we must devoutly read. It becomes a minister diligently to study the Scriptures, with all the assistance he can gain from holy men who have gone before, but chiefly from the most excellent of all instructors, the true Interpreter, the Holy Ghost.
“And give them warning from Me.” There are other duties; but as this is the most arduous, it is specially mentioned. We are to warn the Christian if he is found backsliding, or sinning; and to warn the sinner of the consequences of his sin. of the strict justice of God, and of the tearful hell in which the ungodly shall suffer.
2. The high office conferred by this commission. It is that of “watchman.” Every soldier of the Cross is bound to watch; but the minister is in a double sense a watchman. He is so called because —
(1) The ministry requires great vigilance. We must not sleep: we must watch against false doctrine and false brethren; we must be ready to help benighted travelers, and to give alarm to any who may be in danger. The true minister is to sit like the shepherd in the wilderness by night, or like the whisper-hearing sentinel.
(2.) The ministry involves toil and trouble. Few think of the watchman who tramps by their door. Hark! there is a scuffle, a fight! Who is sure to be in it? The watchman. How the wind blows! The snow must be a foot deep; pray put list on the doors, and stir the fire. Surely no one is out of doors to-night, — except the watchman! His bare face is cut by the driving sleet, his fingers are numbed with the cold, his eye-lids are almost frozen.
“Well, well,” someone says, “never mind about the watchman and his trials; that’s his work, and he is used to it.” Some of you come here, and sit, and smile, and enjoy the sermon; but there are some who criticize, and find fault, and slander, and calumniate. The minister must bear it all, for he is the watchman. He had need be a very tough veteran, who has swallowed many “Nor-westers” and I know not what to fit him for the task he has in hand.
(3.) The ministry should be arousing. If there be a fire, or a thief, or a door or shutter unfastened, the watchman must not spare, but cry aloud. We must cry out with all our might, — not being afraid to disturb, or alarm, or hurt the feelings of the sleepers. We may as well be asleep as be mumblers, or speak in such a way that none can really make Out what we mean; we must preach the truth in plain, blunt, honest language which none can mistake. Every man, who labors in Word and Doctrine, should ponder over this commission, and wear it next his heart, and on his brow. It is to be feared that many, who profess to preach the gospel, are not alive to a sense of their position; but, having the next presentation to a living, or having purchased a benefice, they rush in where angels if. like them, uncalled, would tear to venture.
II. THE MINISTER’S RESPONSIBILITY.
The watchman holds a responsible office. If the sentinel, by sleeping, causes the death of a single person, he is a murderer. It the prisoner escapes from his charge, he shall be required to answer for his neglect. So, if the ungodly man is not warned, he shall suffer for his own guilt, but my unfaithfulness will lie as a crime on me. If the professing Christian falls, his fall is his own; but if I have not warned him, [ also am guilty. It I do not utter the whole truth, — the threatenings, the promises, and the invitations of God, — I shall be a sleeping sentinel, a careless captain, a negligent railway guard, and I shall be the slaughterer of my fellow creatures, Or if, to the professor, I give wine instead of medicine, a plaster instead of a lancet, or a stone for bread, — I shall be a guilty wretch, and God help me, then, for no one more requires help than an unfaithful minister!
III. THE MINISTER’S COMFORT.
1. The Lord’s call to the office: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman.”
2. The promises peculiar to that call, for every call from God hath the strength to perform it enclosed within itself.
3. The blessed brow-hardening Spirit, who makes us despise alike the frown or the smile of man, and thus keeps us from unfaithfulness.
4. The fact that success is not required of us, — but faithfulness. O my Father, keep me clear of the blood of all men! Amen.
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