God has blessed our international house church with a Russian speaking Pastor and his family from Ukraine. By God’s grace they were able to get out of Ukraine and make their way to Thailand where some of their family lives.
Hearing their stories and their first hand experience about what is going on there has been heart-wrenching and deepened our faithfulness in praying for the situation there. One day, these people were living in a peaceful country, much like most of us today. The next day they were gathering up the belongings they could carry and fleeing to the nearest boarder as they left everything behind. Bomb blasts going on behind them and fighting around them, not know if they would survive the day, or especially the night. Would a missile happen to land near them, would a building blow up and fall on them. At these times they told us all they could do was pray and trust God that He would deliver them safely.
Praise God that he brought this amazing family to have relationship with us and join our church this past Sunday. As we sang a couple English songs they tried there best to understand and praise, then we put on a few Ukrainian Christian songs and they came alive, praising God like no one was watching. It was a wonderful testimony of God’s love and their love for our amazing God.
I believe God will bring much good from this as the father went to Bible school and was previously a pastor. We have begun to dream about the possibility of starting a Russian speaking congregation. Where all people from the previous USSR can come and praise, pray and worship God together. Phuket has so many Russians and Russian speaking people it has been on our heart for a long time to disciple these people to make disciples.
Can you imagine, we have thought, if we could disciple a number of these people who could then bring the Good News back to their countries? They would already know the language and the culture, something that can take Western missionaries a decade to do well. They would be able to show people the Love, Joy and Peace they can have in Christ and speak in their heart language. There could be revival and exponential growth in these counties like never before. Please God, let this be so, let a number of Russians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, and many others come to have a personal relationship with You and disciple others to do the same! Amen.
Please pray with us to follow the path God wants, pray that he will guide us step-by-step and that we will be receptive and obedient to His direction.
There needs are great. They have lost almost everything. We are helping them with school and their friends have given them a place to stay for now. If you would like to help them financially please let us know. You can give a tax-deductible donation via the link below and all money that goes into our ‘Alpha’ special fund will go to supporting them over the next few difficult months.
Al Massira is a program very similar to Alpha, but specifically designed for Muslims, by Muslim Background Believers (MBB’s).
It’s a very kind, loving and non-obtrusive way to allow our Muslim friends to experience the Truth of Christ. The program starts where we agree, with Adam and Eve. It then follows the prophets that we both share; Noah, Abraham, David and comes to Jesus. Throughout the videos the need for a sacrifice for sin is highlighted, as well as showing the personal relationship God has with those whom love Him.
The program has been extremely successful in other parts of the world and we’re asking that you would pray with us that the Truth of Christ would be revealed to many of our Muslim friends in the South of Thailand.
Many churches we and others spoke with shared a desire to reach out to the Muslims living with them, working with them and that they were friends with. But, the same problem consistent with almost all with whom we spoke, they didn’t know where to start, or what to do.
Al Massira gives them that start and allows them to build relationship with their friends, co-workers and those around them. It is also a tool that is easily replica-table. The videos speak for themselves and as with Alpha, the point is not to debate, but to lovingly discuss and seek the Truth together.
We have been working for the last couple of years to dub the video’s in Thai and a lot of thought and prayer has been put into the use of words. Many Muslim-Thai Background believers have been involved in the process to ensure the speech in the videos is as accurate as possible.
For the last year we have been training Thai leaders in using the program (often with zoom because of the circumstances). We have also been disciplining our Thai friends Kim and Ning to lead the program and bring it to Thai churches as we stay in the background for support.
We desire this to be a program that Thais bring to other Thais, in an effort to fulfill one of our greatest values, to make disciples who make disciples.
Whenever the Lord brings it to your mind, please be praying for the Muslims of South Thailand and specifically for Kim and Ning and the church leaders and individuals who will carry the Truth, in Love, to those around them.
These tracts are going out this week.
Each child to receive a tract will join us Christmas morning where they will receive a present in a Jesus loves you bag. We’ve been partnering with a church in the community since last Christmas, over the last year the church has grown and we’re excited to see what God does as we move into 2022.
We’re looking to raise about 160,000 Thai Baht ($6000 CAD), each child will receive gifts worth about $12 in a bag with the Logo Jesus Loves you – It will be so cool to see all the kids with ‘Jesus loves you’ bags running around the community in January and throughout the year. Click here if you’d like to give to this ongoing project in the sea gypsy community.
We’re especially excited this year as the pastor of the church will be bringing the Gospel message to the families as they arrive. It might seem obvious, but we’re seen so much more fruit as we’ve partnered with the local church pastors in ministry here. These partnerships often take a long time to develop as we build trust and live life with our co-workers here. Too often they’ve had foreigners come, make promises and then not deliver. We’re trying to change that narrative as we commit our family to being here for the long haul and see this place come into the kingdom of the light.
The Covid restrictions died down for a few months here, allowing us to bring some support to a community near us. We’ve been friends with many people in this community for the last number of years. Many of the people here have chosen to follow Christ and we’ve even seen some new disciples discipling others.
We were able to provide food and Bibles for over 300 families. Most families are in a really bad situation, some have lost houses, most have lost jobs and some are losing hope. It was great to be able to go into the community and bring a little bit of joy. Our friend commented that she saw a few of her friends smile and laugh for the first time in a while.
Thank you for giving, supporting and praying for us and everyone here.
Be the hands and feet of Christ
to the world in Love.
April 20, 2021
Four of our friends recently asked to be Baptized. These are people that we have been journeying with for years and it is so amazing to see them take the plunge. Please be praying for them as we continue to disciple them to make disciples. God is so good!
- Dan will be introducing Al Massira to about 100 leaders in Thailand, both Thai and international. Pray that this program will open the door to discussion and a movement of Muslims toward Christ.
- Lighthouse International School – God is opening up amazing doors for growth. Please pray that God gives us wisdom and also that he will provide the needed funds to begin these endevours. Also that many children will come to faith, grow in faith and change this nation and others around the world because of their time at Lighthouse.
- International Alpha is going well. So many people are asking the right questions and getting closer to God. Holy Spirit weekend will be coming up in about 10 days, please pray for open hearts and minds.
- Ramadan is starting now. Please be praying for our Muslim friends that they will find the one true God during this time. That he will appear to them in dreams and visions and that we will have opportunities to share with them.
What is Al Massira
We ARE Christ-centred & Trinitarian Al Massira believes in a God that is communal – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who is consistently revealed through all of Scripture. The Trinitarian God revealed Himself through Jesus Christ who is the cornerstone. He is the beginning and the end; the way, the truth and the life. Al Massira seeks to be faithful to these two truths in the way it presents the message of the Bible and in the way it equips and disciples people into ministry.
All the following core values find their source in this first and most important value.
We provide a new voice
There is no other modern material, of which we are aware, that presents the Good News of Jesus from within the Middle Eastern culture. In this sense Al Massira is a “new voice”. Al Massira emerged in response to believers from Middle Eastern backgrounds wrestling with the same theological questions that the Islamic world has been wrestling with for 1400 years. When those from any background, who are created in His image, become followers of the Messiah, they will discover a distinctive, God-given role to reveal the Messiah and His work to all nations.
We work in partnership
The Trinitarian God of the Bible is an intimate and deeply interconnected partnership. From the beginning, Al Massira, has been a partnership of Christians from different ethnic, cultural and denominational backgrounds. We attempt to reflect this aspect of the nature of God in our fellowship and work. A platform of unity has been built in the task of fulfilling the ‘Great Commission’ to the most unreached peoples of the world – it is also a place where diversity is welcomed and celebrated. This platform is a place where people can contribute their time, gifts and abilities towards the vision and mission of Al Massira. Al Massira aims to encourage this pattern of partnership at every level of its operation.
We are relational & incarnational
Our Lord is Himself a relationship and has chosen, as his primary means of revelation, to come in the flesh. He has also invited us to come and be family with his family. We are called to make disciples of all nations which starts with evangelism and continues through salvation into the maturing and equipping of believers into church and into the purpose that God has created us for. We believe that relationship is the best medium for discipleship and Al Massira functions best in this context. It is important to build relationships with those we are equipping so that we can encourage one another with stories of what God is doing. We encourage people to use the Al Massira resource and methodology in the context of relationship and community as this provides a natural opportunity for relationships to grow and for groups to develop into discipleship groups which could subsequently and naturally lead to church growth and multiplication.
We build a new house
Al Massira is dedicated to revealing the message of the Bible and what Christians truly believe. We do this though the building of a new house from foundation upwards – showing the construction and consistency of God’s revelation. Al Massira uses the biblical and chronological narrative to reveal the person and work of Christ and the nature of God as revealed in Old and New Testaments. Al Massira explores the stories, signs and prophecies of the Old Testament to show the consistent nature of the message. Al Massira attempts to neither destroy other belief systems nor reinterpret the Christian faith from within another framework of belief. We therefore do not use other religious texts, nor refer to other key religious figures. Comparisons between Biblical texts/characters and other religious texts and characters are also not explored.
We create a safe and open space
Al Massira encourages the creation of a safe place where friends can share their opinions and enjoy open discussion without being put under pressure to all agree or accept a particular point of view. The telling of stories and asking of questions is encouraged as well as the exploration of the whole Bible giving space for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and prompt any response. Al Massira group participants are also encouraged to re-tell the stories and share the materials within their own social and family groups.
December 25, 2020
We had the amazing opportunity to bless some friends in a community near us. The Moken people, or Sea Gypsies as they are often referred to as, have been living in Thailand, Myanmar and the surrounding areas for the last few centuries.
They have never considered themselves citizens of certain countries and, as a result, this had caused them some issues over the years.
- Land they thought was theirs was sold off and they were kicked out of their homes
- With no citizenship they often were denied access to schools and basic health care
- Having their own language hurt their ability to gain employment and they were often seen as second class
- Over-fishing in their primary fishing grounds hurt their ability to be self-reliant
- As drugs and alcohol were introduced to their communities many became addicted
- They desire to keep their culture, language and heritage, but that seems to stand in the way of integration into a society that wants conformity
As a result of the above; addiction, teen pregnancy, disease, poverty and a general feeling of helplessness have taken over the community.
Thankfully we know a God that can heal this place, this people and this land and His name is Jesus!Pastor Daniel Skitch
We do have faith that Jesus can heal this place and the people. We’re thankful to have been able to support them with presents for Christmas. The children were given toys and things to play with, while the parents were given hygiene items and diapers for babies.
I think the saddest part of the day came when we gave one of the children a gift – it consisted of new pencil crayons, notebooks, stickers, pens and pencils, shampoo and toothbrush. She was about 12. We also gave her diapers for her baby. This is their life and just like us, they need Jesus!
Some wonderful helpers as we packed bags for the children to be taken to their community. In total over 350 Christmas gifts were given out.
The Gospel was preached to many and we are connecting with their church in the community. Pray that from this many more will come to Christ and this place will be transformed. Pray that Christ would touch hearts and that the plans of the enemy would fail.
December 19, 2020
It is always a joy when someone chooses to make an outward expression of their inward decision. This week our dear friend Charapon decided to make public his decision to follow Christ through baptism.
For the last nine years Charapon has been reading about Christ, researching other religions, struggling to understand his religion and culture of Buddhism and what it means to him.
God has walked with him through that journey and through many people Charapon started to understand the joy, peace and love that are available through Christ.
He began to see that he can have forgiveness of sin, relationship with our creator and this was all made possible through the shedding of blood by Christ on the cross and confirmed through Jesus rising from the dead three days later.
We rejoice with the angels as a child of Christ is welcomed into the loving family of our God!