Working in Thailand with Paul and Susan Brown

Matthew Villandry

The First Year - August 28th, 2020 marks the one year anniversary of our move to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our first year has seen its share of challenges and difficulties but God’s blessings abound! Two months ago we made the transition to MaeAi which is about three hours north of where we had been staying in Chiang Mai. These two cities are about as different as you could possibly imagine and as such the transition has been difficult at times. While we certainly don’t miss the traffic, pollution, and higher cost of living in Chiang Mai, we DO miss the ease of communicating and figuring out how to “do life”. Where we live now, there truly are very few who can speak any English, and figuring out where things are and who to talk to about problems that arise presents quite the challenge. However, these small challenges do encourage us to study harder and make better use of the Thai we are learning! We are also happy to report that we have running water at our house again...something we will not take for granted ever again! I didn’t know it was possible to miss something so much but regular showers and running water to do dishes and laundry have become something we now thank the Lord for on a daily basis. Since our move, we have also dealt with recurring stomach bugs, colds, and a concerning bout of allergy-induced asthma in one of our children. However, as the month comes to an end it seems as though we are beginning to settle in and find our place here in MaeAi. We thank you for your continued prayers!


Ministry Building/Property - Eleven months have come and gone since the contracts were signed and construction began on the ministry building! In just a couple of short weeks, it looks like we will be given the “all clear” to begin using the new building! Brother Paul and his family will move upstairs and on the lower level we have space for multiple ministry opportunities. The main room, which will hold about fifty men, is where we will hold preacher’s training each month for the men from the surrounding villages who come to be taught God’s Word. Adjacent to that room is another classroom that will get daily use as the learning center where Susan Brown teaches teenage kids from the nearby villages. We are so very thankful for the generous and sacrificial giving from each of our supporters which has assisted in the growth of the work here in northern Thailand. Upon completion of the ministry building, we are excited to announce that we have received enough support to get started on our house. I have the official house plans in my possession and I spoke with the builder yesterday and she is drawing up the contract so that she can begin construction as soon as she is done on the ministry building. Even though we are currently only a short distance from the property, It will be a blessing to be on the property so that we can be more engaged in the many open doors here in MaeAi. Again, thank you for your continued support!


Special Prayer Request - I would like to specifically ask for special prayer in regards to a profound burden the Lord has placed on me regarding the unreached here in northern Thailand. The Lahu and Lisu tribal villages in and around northern Thailand are mostly “Christian” by name. They need either Gospel clarification and/or ongoing instruction on doctrine and encouragement to evangelize the areas around them. These are all things I hope to help with as opportunities arise! There are also numerous tribal villages that are entirely unreached and need to hear the Gospel. Moreover, even our Thai neighbors in the area where we live have never heard the name of Christ! Everywhere I look, the doors are open wide! However, there is a problem...I need an interpreter. My Thai is coming along, but I am a long way from being able to effectively witness and preach in Thai. As I mentioned at the beginning of my letter, we are about three hours north of Chiang Mai which makes it challenging to find someone to move and work full time for me as an interpreter. But I know God is able! I have received applications and spoken with a few men who have applied for the position but none of them have been “the one”. Please pray earnestly that I can find someone who will share in my burden for the lost. Someone I can work with on a daily basis as I work to translate materials, create bible lessons, visit new villages and neighbors, and provide seminary/bible training courses to those in the area who seek to learn more about the Lord! Please earnestly pray with us about this need!