Christian Mission to the Orient

P.O. Box 2363, Joplin, Mo 64803                        November-December 2017 Report 

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The Wonder of Christmas.   
November and December are always extra busy months for us as I am sure they are for you. In addition to our normal duties at Lanna Theological Center, we are also involved in different church festivities. Some language groups celebrate the New Rice festival in November. This festival is similar to American Thanksgiving. Our students and staff are always invited to attend and participate in New Rice celebrations in many different churches. We no sooner get through the New Rice celebrations and we start with Christmas.   This year we spent the Christmas season celebrating with churches in Nan, Province. We also had the dedication of the New Testament in the Mal Language.   We were also blessed this year with the presence of family. Brother, Ken and nephew Samuel were here. We also enjoyed an unexpected visit by David and Sharon's daughter, Rachel.
Preach from a Wheel Chair!

Christmas is a time of Hope and Joy. We often speak of hope and Joy we have in the birth of Jesus. But what does that look like in living from day to day? What hope and Joy does Christ
Above and Below:  Christmas dinner, Nam Rii Church
mas bring to those who are living in desperate circumstances? Christmas week was spent celebrating in the Lua Churches in Nan, Province. Five nights, five churches in villages scattered through out the mountains that border Thailand and Laos. Some of these villages are located in an area that was under control of the communists during the Asian conflict that did not end in Thailand until 1992. Just down the road from one of the churches is a memorial built by the Communist to memorialize "the struggle"

One evening we were at the church in Nam Mao village. We spent some time visiting Mr. Denai, a former student at Lanna Theological Center. Three years ago he was in a motorbike accident and was paralyzed form the chest down. For two years he was severely disabled. He could not move his limbs and was unable to talk.  In the last year or so he has made remarkable recovery. He has just recently regained some movement in his arms and when we visited him he was able to talk. Although confined to a hospital bed, in a remote village on the side of a mountain, he spoke with joy and hope and a smile on his face.

Mr. Denai shows David L. Filbeck how movement had returned to his arms.
At one point one of our Thai leaders, Mr. Prawanwit, made the observation that Mr. Denai's ability to speak with joy and hope in Christ has not been diminished. He encouraged Mr. Denai to continue to gain strength, then consider finishing up his Bible Studies and become a preacher. Mr. Prawanwit said "You can still preach and serve God, even if confined to a wheel chair" I can not describe the look of hope and joy that flashed across Mr.Denai"s  face when he heard this. This is the joy and Hope of Christmas.  In Christ and through Christ we have joy and hope even when paralyzed.  Please pray for Mr. Denai's continued recovery. Pray that God reveals to him how he can serve the Kingdom regardless of his physical condition.

50 Years--New Testament Translation
David & Deloris Filbeck, and Translation team dedicate the Mal New Testament.

The highlight of December was the dedication of the New Testament in the Mal Language. David Lee Filbeck has worked on this translation for close to 50 years. Satan placed many road blocks  to halt our delay the translation. In the early years the Indo-china war interrupted the translation work as the area in which the Mal people lived fell under the control of communist insurgents. This conflict did not end here in Thailand until the early 1990s. During the early 1980s a drug war erupted between two factions here in Chiang Mai. In an attempt by one side to eliminate the leader of the other side, a truck bomb was driven into the compound where our parents' house was and detonated. The goal was to destroy the next compound over, but all it did was destroy the houses in our parent's compound. All was lost
Baptism following the Bible Dedication.
-except for the translation work.   One last road block: we sent the final copy to the printers. Something went wrong during the transmission from one computer to the printer's computer and in the final printing there was one misspelling all the way through. After a year or so of trying to figure out what went wrong, and looking at different options, the decision was made to finance a second printing. This printing was successful. December 24th we held the official dedication of the New Testament at the Ban Ta Luang Christian Church. David A preached the dedication sermon. David Lee and Deloris along with the translation team officially presented the Mal church with the New Testament in their own language. The day ended with a baptism of a family that traveled down  from the mountains to attend the dedication service.

July 2018 Medical Mission Trip  
We are taking applications for the July, 2018 medical mission trip. Dates are: July 1-11 2018. We are making arrangements to do a dental and vision clinic at the Ban Dek Suk Jai Orphanage in Chiang Dao (about 2 hours from Chiang Mai) We will also be offering a dental and vision clinic in two or three Lahu villages in the area. Costs: $600 (does not include your airfare). This covers all in country expenses: food, lodging,
transportation, medical supplies, and scholarship for LTC students who will serve as translators. Contact David Filbeck at if interested in joining us.

Upcoming Travels
David and Sharon will be in the US for board meetings April 21 through May 5th.  They will be in North Texas April 22 and then Illinois-Missouri April 29th and May 6th.  They can come give a report or talk with you about planning an upcoming medical mission trip. On a Sunday or mid week.  Contact David at to schedule a visit.

Carmen Filbeck will also be in the US for Board meetings. Contact her at to schedule visit,
An Unusual Award
David serves as a volunteer Unit Commissioner for the Far East Council, Boy Scouts of America. As a Unit Commissioner he provides consultation for Cub Scout and Boy Scouts units in Thailand (5) Vietnam (2) and Cambodia (1) One of his responsibilities is to make periodic visits to each unit on behalf of the Far East Council (headquarters in Okinawa). In December David visited Troop 711 in Chiang Rai, Thailand to present a couple of awards to members of the unit. One award, the District Award of Merit, was
David Filbeck (left) presents the William T. Hornaday Award
presented to one of the Adult leaders. This award recognizes outstanding service to Boy Scouting and only two are awarded in the district each year. The second award was given to a Boy Scout and generated a bit more excitement. It was the William T. Hornaday Award for conservation. This is a very rare award in Scouting. Since its inception over  80 years ago, only about 1,100 scouts have ever earned this award. Many scout leaders and scout executives serve their whole career and never see this award given to someone. It really was a "once in a lifetime" event for David to present this prestigious award to a Boy Scout living in Northern Thailand.

We are grateful for your continued support in helping prepare Christian leaders in Southeast Asia.  You may click here for a Print version of this newsletter.   




 The CMO Team 
Carmen Filbeck
David & Sharon Filbeck