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God provides for Living Water Church

   
 


The newly constructed Living Water Church of Borabu

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Isaan Dance
A traditional Isaan dance

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March 10, 2008
-Deborah Froese

BORABU, Thailand — When Pat and Rad Houmphan  did not have enough funding for a new church building and fellowship centre in Borabu, Thailand, they trusted in God’s provision.

As joint Mennonite Church Canada Witness/ Mennonite Mission Network workers, the Houmphans are engaged in holistic Christian ministry in Borabu county, Thailand.  With dreams of a church home to replace crowded rented facilities for their growing community of believers, they began praying for land and building resources in early 2003.  By May 2006, they were able to purchase land.  In January 2007, construction of a church building began.  However, by that time the budget that they had  prepared in 2005 was no longer current, and more funds were needed. 

In an email exchange, Pat writes that he and his wife Rad began to worry about how to come up the rest of the money they needed. Requests for funding from Mennonite Church Canada could not immediately be met. They continued praying, trusting that if God wanted them to build, sufficient funds would be provided.  About two weeks later, their prayers were answered when  additional funding came from a variety of generous contributors.  “We give praise and thanks to God for his abundant supply and we know clearly that He wants us to build and expand His kingdom in Borabu,” Pat writes.

Total building costs of the project were about C$72,000 and included construction of the sanctuary, parsonage, fellowship hall, washrooms, various infrastructure and a fence around the property.  Contributions for the project came from several sources including MC Canada Witness, Mennonite Mission Network (MMN), congregations  in Canada and the US, individual contributors, the Schowalter Foundation Inc. of the US*, JoinHands**, believers in Borabu and congregations in Thailand.

One of the church lay leaders is Grandpa Nah.   “He is 74 years old,” Pat writes.  “He has been a follower of Christ for more than 50 years.  His dream was to see the church built in Borabu before he went to be with God, and now his dream is fulfilled.”

The first worship service in the new church building was held on Sunday, November 4, 2007.  “We and the Believers' hearts were filled with joy and thankfulness that we were able to worship God in  the beautiful house of God...”  Pat notes.  In their new Thai-style sanctuary they sang and offered traditional Isaan dances of praise and gratitude to God for the blessings showered upon the Living Water Church of Borabu. 

The congregation will have a special dedication worship service for the church buildings on Saturday, May 17, 2008.   Two representatives of MC Canada, Tim Froese, Executive Director of International Ministries and Mission Partnership facilitator for Latin America, and Gordon Janzen, Mission Partnership Facilitator for Asia will attend the service, along with Sheldon Sawatzky, Director for East Asia for MMN.  The congregation also plans to invite pastors, families and friends of believers and  government officials from other provinces of Thailand and Borabu  to help celebrate God’s generous provision.

*The Schowalter Foundation Inc. is a US-based Mennonite philanthropic organization named after Kansas farmer and investor, J. A. Schowalter.

**JoinHands is a ministry of Mennonite Men, a joint partnership of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA that provides building grants to new congregations in search of a home church.  Formerly the Tenth Man Building program, JoinHands assists newer congregations in North America and abroad.