Thailand District leaders receive SDMI training
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Bangkok, Thailand
For the first time in several years, a Thailand District leader led local leaders in a training seminar. About 20 Nazarenes from northeast and central Thailand gathered at Oikos Church of the Nazarene in Bangkok on November 16 and 17 for the first Discipleship and Sunday School ReTeach Training.

Duangjai Prathipsen, Thailand district Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International director, opened the Friday evening session by leading a time of worship and prayer. Afterward, a video featuring testimonies of students from nearby Ramkhamheng University challenged participants to consider how God can use everyday conversations to plant seeds, water His Word, and bear lasting spiritual fruit in lives of anyone who is willing to hear.

Following the video, Prathipsen opened a time for small group discussion about obstacles attendees face when trying to make disciples. The evening closed with a time of prayer as each participant wrote their obstacles down and placed them on the floor in the shape of a cross, symbolically giving them to Christ. Several participants lingered, praying late into the night for God’s Spirit to open the eyes and hearts of those who are resistant to the gospel. 

On Saturday, the ReTeach training targeted 12 attendees actively teaching Sunday School or discipleship groups in their churches. Prathipsen and her team presented a drama sketch on the importance of not just knowing about the Bible, but really treasuring God’s Word. Missionary Lisa Lehman then facilitated three training sessions: "Foundations of Discipleship Teaching," "Planning Lessons to Transform Lives," and "Teaching a Multi-age-level Congregation."

The 12 attendees concluded the afternoon by presenting what they had learned to the rest of the group. One adult teacher explained that "really knowing God is like drilling for oil. You have to go deep to find the treasure." Another presented a lesson from Luke 15:1-7, saying that "Salvation is more than outward change. It is heart and mind change. If we are in the 99, we must be calling out to the one who is lost." A youth teacher began a lesson on the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) by asking, "Why don’t kids want to stay at home?" The teacher went on to say that teachers must care about their students' families by helping students solve relational issues at home. A children’s teacher acknowledged that children who are hyper need to be understood before they can listen, and that games and activities that keep children involved will also help them grow.

"[This weekend] helped me see practical ways to disciple and teach others not just to know God’s Word, but to be changed by Him," said Wanna Pumi, Thailand district Nazarene Missions International president.

On Sunday morning, the Oikos church was filled with about twice the average number of attendees. Three young boys who have been taking guitar lessons from Pastor Panom Wongsuriya played the offertory, and parents and grandparents from the community came to hear the boys' debut performance. Before the families left, most of them also heard the gospel for the first time. Southeast Asia Field Strategy Coordinator David Phillip preached the sermon, his first with Thai translation.
--Church of the Nazarene Southeast Asia Field
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