Kiwi Alan Collingwood and his team in Thailand were granted special permission to have a baptism service for 16 men in prison. Many guards and prisoners watched the ceremony with great curiosity, particularly as the baptismal was a trough of water used to raise fish! The fish were caught and put into a bucket, with the same fish tank water used for the baptism.
Most of the men had been following Christ for a number of months, being discipled through regular visits and correspondence courses. Somjit was serving a 24 year sentence for drug related offenses when he tuned into an FEBC radio station by “chance”. Somjit heard the good news and was hungry for more. He wrote to FEBC requesting reading material and they forwarded his name to the WEC International church planting team in Thailand.
WEC International missionaries first visited Somjit about 18 months ago and had the privilege of leading him to the Lord. He has devoured God’s Word ever since and become a firm evangelist inside the prison. Alan said, “Somjit knows what he did was wrong, and that he must finish his sentence accordingly. But for as long as he is inside he sees himself as the apostle Paul, bringing hope to other prisoners.”
Alan and his wife Rosina also celebrated the official opening of a new church building rented in Chachoengsao. About 120 people attended the function, including the mayor, many neighbours and new English students attending classes at the building.
“The location is absolutely ideal” they explain. “It is near a busy intersection and shopping mall, opposite the university, and just down the road from a famous Thai temple, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each month. There is a constant flow of cars and pedestrian traffic past our new church, and many have stopped to enquire what we are doing. A Thai family has also joined us in the church planting work. We’re very excited at the potential of what the Lord will do here. We know that he will use our combined vision and gifting to continue to build his Kingdom.”