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Entries in Thailand (2)

Thursday
Jul152010

CBC Students Embrace the Thai People

CBC's Thailand Mission Team 2010
(Click to enlarge)
At Charis Bible College (CBC) foreign mission trips are viewed as a valuable part of the student's training. The student's primary focus during their second year trip is on sharing the almost-to-good-to-be-true news of the Gospel with as many people as possible during their weeklong stay on foreign soil. Every effort is made to reach those in need of receiving Jesus as their Savior. Students attempt to share the Gospel through a variety of ways, holding tent meetings complete with worship, preaching and prayer, as well as through street ministry, by performing skits, and canvassing neighborhoods. While many CBC teams have been given the opportunity to minister in foreign lands, it is a rare occasion that a team has the opportunity to go to areas that have never before heard of Jesus Christ. This year was an exception as students visited small villages in Thailand.

CBC Graduate and full-time missionary to Thailand, Jeff DeVine, ministered with the CBC team. (Click to enlarge) CBC graduate, Jeff DeVine, full-time missionary to Thailand, hosted nine CBC students in May 2010. The student team was the first from CBC to visit the region. Thailand is a primarily Buddhist country, peppered with temples and religious idols, where the people are preoccupied with superstition and fear.

Not only was the team the first from CBC to visit Thailand, but they were also the first to share the Good News in a village called Bon Kamuang. It was a great honor for the students to minister the Word of God to the Bon Kamuang villagers for three nights. Each night, more than two-hundred people attended the meetings, received a free meal, enjoyed praise and worship music and heard the Gospel.

CBC team performing a skit.
(Click to enlarge)
One night, after performing a skit illustrating how Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed, the team members explained that the story was true, and that Jesus is still healing today. The students also explained that the villagers could read more about Jesus for themselves in the Bible. Many Thai people received the truth from the skit, and when prayed for were instantly healed. Deaf ears were opened and pain in people’s bodies left. More than two-hundred bibles were distributed to villagers who wanted to know more about Jesus. CBC students were overwhelmed by the receptive hearts of the Thai people.

Part of the ministry in Bon Kamuang included sharing fellowship and food with the villagers. (Click to enlarge)During the last night of ministry, rain threatened to end the meeting early. Not to be shaken, the praise and worship leader encouraged everyone to agree in prayer that the rain would stop. As they joined in agreement and praised the Lord, the rain did stop and the meeting continued. Praise God!

The missionaries recognized a distinct shyness in the Thai people, noting that they were reluctant to make eye contact and were not very affectionate. By the third day however, it seemed as if a barrier had been broken, as the people began giving and receiving warm embraces; a sure sign of changed hearts.

The team canvassed Bon Kamuang and made the most of every opportunity to minister to the residents. (Click to enlarge)Apprentices and mission trip leaders, Alex and Julie Palomares noted that each of the students were very willing to put in extra time and effort to perform the skits with excellence. The fruit of the extra time and effort became obvious as the Thai people received the message. Three salvations and twenty-five instantaneous healings were reported as a result of the CBC student’s ministry efforts.

The work begun in the small village continues, as a pastor of a church from a nearby town goes back to Bon Kamuang each Sunday afternoon to teach and disciple those who are interested. He has reported that an average of 15-20 adults and many children regularly attend his meetings.

The organization of the trip details and Jeff's infectious enthusiasm for the Thai people was appreciated by the entire CBC team. To learn more about Jeff’s ministry in Thailand visit, Jeff DeVine Ministries.

Monday
Mar292010

The DeVine Plan

Andrew with Jeff DeVine at the 2008 CBC graduation. (Click to enlarge)Jeff DeVine, a 2008 graduate of Charis Bible College in Colorado, has been living and ministering in Thailand since August of 2009. Jeff and his two 12-year-old daughters, Arisa and Ariya, have found fulfillment in sharing the Gospel with the Thai people, and teaching them about relationship with their Savior, Jesus.

Although Jeff knew God as a child, and was very aware of His presence and of a call on his life, he had chosen a different, worldlier path; one he soon realized was dissatisfying. In 1997, Jeff decided a new adventure was in order for himself and his then ten–year–old son. The two moved to Thailand, where Jeff opened an exporting business.

Despite his abventurous life, Jeff was still missing something. Although he had come to the end of himself, he assumed he had run too far from God to make the journey back into a relationship with Him. But, as he cried out for God’s mercy, Jeff with his daughters, Arisa and Ariya. (Click to enlarge)Jeff realized he had been wrong. Jesus was right there to comfort him.

“He [Jesus] assured me he had never stopped loving me and had never left me or given up on me. For the first time in my life, I truly asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior,” Jeff explained. Jeff vowed to give God the rest of his life from the moment of his salvation.

Jeff and his son soon moved back to the United States and were living in Alabama. Despite the fact that Jeff was living the Christian life he thought was expected of him—working, taking care of his family, tithing, and attending church religiously, he was still unfulfilled.Jeff ministering the Word to the Thai people. (Click to enlarge)

“I was totally and completely dissatisfied in my heart. I knew there was more to life than to just tuck my “ticket to heaven” in my pocket and patiently wait for Christ to return. The quality of that life was no better than that of the Buddhists I had met in Thailand,” Jeff said.

Through fasting and prayer Jeff sought the Lord for His divine plan, and on the fourth day of his fast, God showed him a very clear vision of the direction He had for Jeff and his family. He was calling them to take the Gospel to the world, with a particular focus on the northeast region of Thailand.

Arisa and Ariya leading worship.
(Click to enlarge)
Jeff knew he needed preparation before they could fulfill his calling, but didn’t know where or how that was to happen. However God knew just where he wanted him to go. Jeff attended a Gospel Truth Seminar in Alabama where Andrew talked about Charis Bible College. After attending an informational meeting, he knew that the college would prepare him to share the nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news with the world.

In ministering to the Thai people, Jeff has finally found the fulfillment that had escaped him for so much of his life. Today, the DeVine family enjoys ministry together under the banner of Jeff Devine Ministries. Jeff recalls, In ministering to the Thai people, Jeff has finally found the fulfillment that had escaped him for so much of his life. (Click to enlarge) when they arrived in Thailand in 2009, that his daughters turned to him and said, “Daddy, we’re home!” Both girls love being part of the ministry and the calling. They often participate in skits that demonstrate the true nature of God.

Unlike other times in his life, Jeff describes his work in Thailand with a full and satisfied heart, “I know I am in God's perfect will. I have found nothing in my life more fulfilling than to minister the truth of God's love and grace and to see lives changed. To see people that formerly had no relationship with God, now have their lives completely transformed by a relationship with Jesus Christ; there is nothing more wonderful than that.”

To learn more about Jeff and his family's growing ministry visit the homepage for Jeff DeVine Ministries.