The weight and difficulty of Shepherding God's people is something real to us at LTC. Often times, our graduates are ministering alone, in far away, remote and difficult areas. You see, while there are shepherds, there are just too many small pockets of Christians scattered throughout the region. Many are either without consistent leadership or have leaders who simply cannot guide them through the maze of persecution, community pressure, discrimination, false belief systems and materialism.
The Church in Asia is desperately in need of shepherds who can "correctly handle the Word of Truth and can fight the good fight of the Faith".
So, when looking for places to take the COB clinic teams, these are the preachers I look for so that we can come along side and offer encouragement. As I prayed about where to take the team this year, the Lord brought Pastor Prasit to our attention.
Prasit is one of the reasons LTC exists. A 1993 graduate of LTC, Prasit preaches and ministers in a remote area of Thailand. And he does so with the heart of His Savior, which means that his job is not an easy one.
On our survey trip, I asked Prasit to share his greatest struggle in ministering in this area. This was his response. "Competition. There are many belief systems here and all are trying to win the heart of the people. Some have money and will often distribute free stuff to the people. So, when I share the Gospel, they will ask me...'what do you Christians have to give us?' "
I asked how he responds and he said, "Oh, I have nothing to give them except God's Truth and love. So, I just keep loving them and preaching whenever I can."
Our medical team spent 4 days with Prasit in 4 different villages. The turnout was good and we had a great time with the villagers. Eye glasses were distributed, tooth aches were relieved, medical exams were administrated and medicine was distributed.
The clinic didn't result in new converts, but Prasit reports that it certainly attracted attention. Prasit says there are many women who are interested in leaving the worship of spirits, but persecution and community pressure continue to hold them back. Prasit is shepherding a difficult situation.
I asked Prasit how we could pray for him. He said, "Oh teacher, it is hard up here. I can't be in each village all the time, so I can't help the people know how to respond to the pressures. I need co-workers to help me."
Prasit's challenge as a Shepherd is a common situation throughout this region. One preacher, assigned to a remote place, shepherding multiple congregations over a large area. They are simply stretched too thin. They desperately need co-workers.