Christian Mission to the Orient

P.O. Box 2363, Joplin, Mo 64803                             March-April 2017 Report 

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Graduating Class of 2017
The months of  March and April saw a whirlwind
of activities. Highlights of the last semester of the school year include our bi-annual Lanna Theological Center homecoming and graduation March 17-18; student recruitment teams  out in churches and youth hostels every weekend;  students from Laos  able to complete the last two courses they needed to graduate. 
Boonserm & Nathawadii-Leaders in Church & Community  
Boonserm Pan-in graduated from the church leadership program in the mid 1990s.  He is from the Lua language group in Nan Province where David and Deloris Filbeck started the  ministry. ฺBoonserm and his wife, Nathawadii, serve

Boonserm & Naphawadii Pan-in
at the Phra Siri Church in Fang District, about 3 hours north of Chiang Mai.  In March he brought about 30 of the youth in his church for a weekend event hosted by Lanna Theological Center.  The following is an excerpt from a conversation David had with Booserm.

Boonserm: "When I was very young, about 5 or 6, I fell off the porch of our house and a stick pierced my skull.  I suffered a server disability from my injury.  I was not able to keep up in school and dropped out after the 4th grade.  I did not have any future. Then David and Deloris Filbeck visited my village and presented the Gospel.  A small church was started an my parents became believers. When I was about 17 years old my mother asked David and Deloris if they would take me as a student in Chiang Mai.  They were skeptical because they knew I had a disability that made it very difficult for me to study, but they said they would give it a try.

Phra Siri Church, Fang
I got enrolled in the adult education school to try and finish high school, and studied the Bible at the Bible center.  It was very hard, and I didn't know if I would finish. But with God's grace and a lot of help I completed high school and got my Bible certificate.

After that I went to study at a Bible College in Bangkok and then in Phayao.  I then got more education in Technology at state university.  It was getting easier for me and I really believe God brought healing to my head injuries.

I have been the lead minister at the Phra Siri Church in Fang for about 12 years now.  A few years ago we reached 100 members.  Many of the members came from long distances so we took 50 members and started two daughter churches in two areas of Fang District to make it easier for members to attend.  We are now building back up to 100 members and when we reach that number plan to start a third daughter church.
Boonserm broadcasting his radio program.

We currently have about 100 young people in our church.  Many of them come through the sports outreach program I run through the church.  We sponsor various athletic events in the community through the Sports Friends ministry.

In addition to being preacher, youth minister, and running the sports outreach, I am also a DJ for the Thai Christian Radio Network. I host a radio program everyday in the evening. You can log in over the internet and listen to my program anywhere in the country.

Boonserm is one
Boonserm (R, blue shirt) and youth group.  Hosting an anit-corruption seminar..
example of how your support of the Leadership in Community programs offered at LTC are pre paring leaders to impact their communities for Christ. When you support the Leadership in Community Campaign, you are preparing more men and women like Boonserm and his wife for service in God's Kingdom here in South East Asia.

Click on this link  Leadership in Community Campaign to learn more about how you can partner with us in preparing more Christian leaders.
Graduation and Homecoming 2017
Professors Kanyala (L) & Lydia (R) MC homecoming activities.

March 17 and 18 was homecoming and graduation at Lanna Theological Center.
 Homecoming began on Friday as over 100 alumni from all over Thailand and Laos arrived on campus . The faculty and staff of LTC planned the event from beginning to end.   Events and activities were planned throughout the afternoon and culminated with a buffet dinner and variety show that evening.  Professors Kanyalani and Lydia were the MCs for the show.

David handing out diplomas.

On Saturday LTC held
graduation at the ABBA House Found ation worship center.  Over 200 friends and family came to celebrate 34 graduates of the Leadership Training programs offered through LTC. There were 18 who completed their BTh in Church leadership and another  16 who received their certificat e in Ch urch Leadership Development. This second group are church lay leaders in Laos who are unable to participate in a tr aditional college program.


Carmen Filbeck talks with LTC Alumnus Prawit Khaosan.
LTC Students skit for homecoming variety show.
Friends and Family celebrate.

LTC Alumni enjoying homecoming dinner.

Homecoming Buffet Dinner.

Sharon Filbeck (L) visits with Laotian CLD grads.

Leadership in Community Outreach
This spring David and Sharon took turns with Carmen leading a student outreach team out almost every weekend. The teams were in churches, camps, and Christian youth hostels located in Nan, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai
Khun Yuam Hmong youth camp.
and Mae Hong Son Provinces.  These included two huge camps with the Mien language group, and a Hmong youth camp.  The outreach teams have two goals.   First it is an opportunity for LTC students to practice their organizational and leadership skills.  The activities and program are all student led.  Faculty who travel with the team drive the vans, and 
San Jaroen Church  Mien youth camp. This church was established by CW Callaway.
do what the student team leader assigns to them.  On one occasion the team received last minute information about the start time and age group of the youth camp.  The team leaders spent the four hour van ride revising the program to fit the new information. They did a good job adapting on the run

A second goal is recruitment.  The churches in Thailand need leaders who can lead the church in community.  Fewer young people are considering entering into full time Christian service.   This past year we have implemented a plan to build relationships with different youth organizations in the Northern provinces.  Many of these organizations provides educational services for youth through high school but
LTC students lead youth camp activities.
do not have a program beyond 12th grade.  Many of these young people become nominal believers when they leave the Faith based organization to attend college or enter the work force. 

Our goal is to visit those organizations with whom we have  contact at least once and year and  encourage young people to consider Christian service, and to consider attending
Carmen Filbeck talks with prospective LTC student.
Lanna Theological Center for training and preparation to serve in church and community. 

At the same time we recognize not every one is called to be a minister, but that all are called to serve.  So we encourage young people to consider how God might be calling them to serve in different occupations.  They are encouraged to consider the dual degree program LTC offers in conjunction with Rahabhat University.  In this way they can live in the safe environment of our dorms, take Bible and Leadership courses at LTC, and figure out how to use their secular education in Christian Service.
New Video 

We have  produced a new video featuring some of our alumni who are serving in Laos.  You can access the video by clicking on this link.

Kara Filbeck Film Internship  with FREEDOM FILMS 
 Sharon (L) & Kara Filbeck (R) Kara is preparing to do a summer  internship with Freedom Films, Asia.
David and Sharon's daughter, Kara, is a student at South East Missouri State University. She is in the mass communication program for television/radio/video production.  This summer she is doing a internship with Freedom Films in Thailand.  Freedom Films was founded by Tom and Gayle Silkwood to make Christian films and video for South East Asia.   The internship will be from  June 14th-August 15th.  Kara is raising the last of the funds she needs for the trip.  You can find more information about her mission trip and how you can support her at her GoFundMe page.
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