Christian Mission to the Orient

P.O. Box 2363, Joplin, Mo 64803                                    July  2016 Report 

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This Mien lady traveled 40 kilometers for a pair of glasses.
rainy season has begun here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  It is a refreshing change to the oppressive heat of March
April, and May.  Our building dedication was accompanied by a day long rain.  Other  rain soaked events for June included an eyeglass clinic in Nan Province, teaching duties, and weekend trips to dormitories and churches.  In this edition we also introduce you to team members Nop and Hawm.
Independence Day   "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death,...for he who has died is [e]freed from sin.."  Romans 6:1-7 NASB
Occasionally we enroll students who, though believing in Jesus Christ,  have not been baptized into Jesus.  We take the opportunity to teach them what the Bible says about Christian baptism into Jesus Christ.  This semester two of our first year students dedicated to be baptized on July 4. While many of our US friends were celebrating Independence Day, Ms. Uan and Ms. Noi (first semester students at LTC) celebrate their own Independence Day. Freedom from sin and the power of sin over their lives. No fireworks but the host of heaven gave a mighty cheer.

LTC Professors David Filbeck and Subin Chiangnoon baptizing Noi and Uan.

"I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26 NASB
 June 11, 2016 began with
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Left to Right: Mr. Kiat, (Evangelical Fellowship of North Thailand) Mr Prawanwit (LTC board)  Mrs. Buakhap (president Evangelical Fellowship of North Thailand),  Mr Isara, President Association of Churches, Thailand), David & Sharon Filbeck,  Mr. Siohn (Khmu Christian Connection).
  rain.  All week we had been preparing for this day, praying for no rain.  But it came.  At first I was a bit aggravated and questioned God why He would would send on this of all days.  Butthen He reminded me I was not the only person praying about rain.  We have been going through a drought in this part of Thailand and farmers were beginning to worry about water supply for their rice fields.So there were many Christian farmers who were rejoicing this day because God had answered their prayers and sent rain.

And it was fitting that there should be showers on this day. Because as farmers were rejoicing in the rain, we too were rejoicing "in the rain"
.  We were rejoicing in the showers of blessing God has rained down upon us.   This day was a day celebration as we  dedicated for our new educational building on the new campus of Lanna Theological Center. 

Our staff and students worked hard in
300 friends!.
the month leading up to the service.  Committees were formed to plan and oversee each aspect of the day.  The leading up to the day we all worked together to get the place ready.  It was a great team effort.

We set  up chairs for 300 people.  With the rain we were afraid people would not come.  But come they did!  Every chair was filled and we had to get out more chairs! The only hitch the rain caused was our main speaker was delayed due to wet road conditions causing heavy traffic.  Someone started the service without checking to see that all the major participants had arrived. About halfway through the first song I noticed our speaker was not here.  So I told the worship leader to "sing more songs", I began to hastily put a few thoughts on paper. And one of our professors started calling our speaker's cell phone.  About 10
Students from Daughters of Ruth Foundation provide special music for the occasion.
minutes later the speaker arrived.

 Although we set up tents, everyone still got a bit damp, but even damp we all celebrated and gave thanks to God as we dedicated this building to His service and His glory.  You can watch a short video summary of the dedication here.

The building is being used every day to train and equip church planters and church leaders.  It is our prayer that God will use this building to shower blessings on the South East Asian church and community.

 Nop and Hawm: LTC Team Members
Nopachai and Kanlaya and their two daughters Hanna and Honey
Nopachai "Nop"and his wife Kanlaya "Hawm"  are both graduates of Lanna Theological Center. Nopachai is from the Karen people group. After graduating from LTC he enrolled in the law school at Rajabhat Univeristy.  Prior to coming to work full time with LTC he was owner-operator of a computer service center.

 Kanlaya is from the Lua people group where David and Deloris Filbeck began the mission in 1960.  We have known  her family since she was in grade school.  After graduating from LTC she completed a degree in psychology at Rajabhat University and is now working on her M.Div from Bangkok Bible Seminary.

Nopachai and Kanlaya are teachers and mentors here at Lanna Theological Center.  They teach regular classes and lead student outreach teams on weekends.  Both are also actively involved in different administrative roles at LTC.

In addition to serving at LTC, Nopachai and Kanlaya are the pastoral team at the Philakolia Church.  Phlakolia Minestry was a ministry established by Jerry and Pam Headen that for over 20 years helped families dealing with HIV/AID.  Over the years as the Thai health system was able to help these families live more normal lives through ARV treatment, the purpose of Philakolia Ministries changed.  AsJerry and Pam transitioned out of service in the Thailand the ministry was  reorganized as Philakoilia Church.  Many of the members are those same families that struggle with HIV/AIDS.

Members of Philokalia Church. Nopachai 4th from left front row.  Kanlaya 2nd from right, back row.
Nopachai writes "Right now our family is serving God at Lanna  Theological Center in tandem with Philakilia Church. Sometimes we get tired and discouraged. But when we think about the promises of God, our family gains strength, and we have peace in this opportunity to serve God"

We are so thankful for this family's commitment to serving God.  Please keep them in your prayers, pray God continues to give them the strength (physically and spiritually) to continue their faithful service to Him. 
New Friends

The day after the dedication we welcomed a team of 8 from Frankfort Kentucky. This wsa their first trip to visit the ministry here, and hopefully not the last.
New friend from Kentucky and LTC students on final day of Community of Blessing Eyeglass Ministry trip.
  The team was here for a very short 10 days, but got so much accomplished.  A major accomplishment was transferring about 2,500 pairs of eyeglasses from old cardboard boxes into new plastic holders. Sharon and the four women on the team started this project while the four men helped some soil from plastic bags into large plastic tubs.  (Our new building is a earth building and we have a stockpile of two different types of soil used to make repairs).  The men joined  the ladies for two more days of eyeglass inventory, and training on the equipment.

Several members of the team joined my Cross Cultural Communication class for a real experience
COB team member Rich from Kentucky checks eye prescription using portable auto-refractor.
in cross cultural communication.  I spoke very little, letting Thai students and the Americans try and communicate.  Ms. Tuey, one of our Thai students, got to practice her English skills and learn how to translate. Some used a translation app. A fun time was had learning about each other's culture and trying to communicate across a language barrier
An exhausted and hot COB soccer team with youth soccer team from Ban Ta village.


We then took the team and our LTC student translators to the town of Pua,  in Nan Province and did a  one day eyeglass clinic followed by a one day children's event at the church.  The American team was invited to play a friendly football match (that soccer for American fans) against some of the youth.  It was a hot day, rain did not fall this time.  Some of us declined the invitation to play, and opted to watch the younger members of our team flirt with heat stroke in the blazing afternoon sun.  

 Other News

David and Deloris Filbeck have moved from Nixa, MO, to Spring River Retirement Village in Joplin, MO.  Carmen Filbeck has been in the US this summer helping to get mom and dad settled in their new home in Joplin.  She writes:

"We closed on the Nixa House today. God certainly moved and affirm the decision. So many things could have made this a more complicated process. When we bought it 3 years ago, we thought...'finally a place to call home, a place to plant some roots'. But, Alas, God didn't allow that and once again we face change. As we pulled out of Nixa dad summarized it all up, saying "We do live a strange life."

Now, we begin a new chapter and God has already blessed so much. Folks and Catherine are settling in and really like Joplin. I will return to Thailand July 30th. Thank you to all who helped us through this transition"

So many people helped make this move, too many to even attempt to mention in this newsletter.  Just know we know, and more importantly God knows your service to His kingdom in all this.

Carmen has also been working to coordinate the January 2017 COB trip. She has made trips to the Dallas area to work with the North Texas COB team coming out from Compass Christian Church, Valley View Christian Church, and Cornerstone Christian Church.

David and Sharon are  returning to the US to continue helping  mom and dad adjust, attend the International Convention on Missions in Lexington, KY, and visit supporting churches.  If you would like to have David & Sharon visit your church and give a report on the ministry in Thailand, please contact them ASAP at  They will be in the US for about two months and Sundays will fill up fast.

David & SharonScheduled Dates:

Oct. 1-2  CMO Board Meeting, Dallas Texas, N. Texas COB team orientation (January 2017 trip).
Oct. 15-16  1st Christian Church, Anna IL.

Nov.  13-20, Lexington KY area, attend the ICOM.

We are grateful for your continued support in helping prepare Christian leaders in Southeast Asia.  You may click here for a Print version of this newsletter.   




The CMO Team 
Carmen Filbeck
Ken & Kathy Filbeck
David & Sharon Filbeck