BORABU, Thailand (Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Mission Network) — When Pat and Rad Houmphan did not have enough funding for a new church building and fellowship centre in Borabu, Thailand, they trusted in God’s provision.
As workers through Mennonite Mission Network and Mennonite Church Canada Witness, the Houmphans are engaged in holistic Christian ministry in Borabu. With dreams of a church home to replace crowded rented facilities for their growing community of believers, they began praying for land and building resources in early 2003.
They bought land in May 2006 and began building in January 2007. By that time, the budget that they had prepared in 2005 was no longer current. They needed more funds.
In an e-mail, Pat Houmphan wrote that he and his wife, Rad, began to worry about how to come up with the rest of the money they needed. They sought help from Mission Network, which began searching for alternative funding sources, and Witness, while they continued praying. If God wanted them to build, they trusted, sufficient funds would be provided.
The Houmphans decided to write letters to their mission partner churches, but before they started, God answered their prayers when additional funding arrived from JoinHands and Mission Network. JoinHands is a ministry of Mennonite Men, a joint partnership of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA that provides building grants to new congregations in search of a home church.
“We give praise and thanks to God for his abundant supply and we know clearly that He wants us to build and expand His kingdom in Borabu,” Houmphan wrote.
The total project cost about $72,000, including building the sanctuary, parsonage, fellowship hall, washrooms, various infrastructure, and a fence around the property. Other contribution sources included Witness, individuals and congregations across North America, the Schowalter Foundation Inc., believers in Borabu and congregations in Thailand.
One of the church lay leaders is Grandpa Nah, 74, who has followed Christ for more than a half-century. “His dream was to see the church built in Borabu before he went to be with God," Houmphan wrote, "and now his dream is fulfilled.”
Houmphan said when the church opened in November, his heart was filled with joy. In their new Thai-style sanctuary members of Living Water sang and offered traditional Isaan dances of praise and gratitude to God for the blessings showered upon the Borabu church.
The congregation plans a special dedication worship service for the church buildings on, May 17.