Frederick Family – New Directions

May 2023

 

Greetings in the name of our wonderful Lord.

Well, the day has finally come. As of 1 June, we are resigning from the mission field. No, we are not quitting! Please allow me the space to explain:

Mission Accomplished: A little over twenty years ago we arrived in Thailand with the goal of planting a local indigenous church among the Thai people. By Indigenous, we mean, a locally led, locally maintained, outward (evangelistic) looking church. This describes New Life Baptist Church. While not a large church, the church body is led by a Thai man that was saved and trained in our church. He is competent and forward looking, not just someone maintaining the status quo. Thanks to the generous gifts of so many, we were able to purchase a building which allows New Life to be self-sustaining concerning their regular budget and the pastor’s salary. Therefore, except for my pride, there is no need for me to remain at New Life Baptist Church. We praise the Lord for this day. There were many times we weren’t sure it would ever arrive. We can say with great certainty that the mission is in fact accomplished.

Starting Another Church: We considered the idea of starting another church in Thailand for a long time. After much prayer and counsel, we have decided that we will not try to start another church primarily because the time-line for a church plant in Thailand is at least 20-30 years. I don’t have peace about starting another work knowing that I cannot see it to a likely conclusion. We therefore believe that the responsible course of action is to not try to remain on the field, just to be here. We feel it is better to open opportunities for our supporters to use their mission support more effectively by supporting other missionaries. This is a very difficult decision as Thailand is our home and has captured a part of our heart that we can never take back to the States with us. No matter the difficulty, we firmly believe this is the most responsible and prudent course of action. While this is a heart wrenching decision, the Lord has given us peace about it.

What about the Future? We will be returning to the states where Mike desires to transition to the pastorate. The challenges will be different but we believe that our mission background makes us a great fit for a stateside ministry. What is most important is that we continue to follow the Lord as we make this difficult but necessary transition.

Other Factors: There are mitigating factors that we considered. First, we weren’t able to see the church move into the new building yet as there is a hang-up concerning the property getting an address. I know, it sounds bizarre and I won’t pretend that I understand it, but bureaucracy is alive and well in Thailand. Without an address we can’t get the electricity turned on and cannot start substantive repairs. Lord willing they will get the address at the end of May and will be able to move forward with the needed repairs and move in shortly thereafter. We wanted to wait until after they moved in, but realized that it was not responsible to just hang around for what “might” be. I have worked with the church’s pastor and there is a great plan in place for the repairs and move.

Another unexpected factor was shortly after returning to the US, I (Mike) had a stroke while taking out the trash. Fortunately, Frances got me to the hospital within a few minutes and, thanks be to God, I am doing fine with no residual problems. However, while doing the workup for the stroke the doctors noticed another issue which they are investigating as well. They seem to think that I may have either prostate cancer or Multiple Myeloma. Nothing is for sure yet. The doctors seem pretty confident there is some sort of cancer, the Myeloma being the most likely suspect. I share this, not for sympathy, but as a testimony of the Lord’s providence and confirmation concerning His timing. After two cardiac events (a heart attack two years ago and a stroke now) and the possibility of cancer, it is best that we are in the States at this time.

Conclusions: There is much I would like to share with you, space is limited however. I am so grateful for each of you and your participation in our ministry to the Thai people. I know it seems cliché, but because of your faithfulness and partnership, there is today a mission minded local church in Hang Dong, Thailand! Lives have truly been changed. This is no small feat. We count it a privilege to have been a part of your missions program. I hope we have represented each of you and especially our Savior well. As we make this transition, I hope that you would consider supporting us for 1-3 months beyond 1 June to help us pay for our move and transition expenses. As we move our separate ways, I would like to recommend Thomas Britten, our missionary in England, sent from New Life Baptist in Chiang Mai as more than worthy of your support. He is very under supported (less than 50% of what a typical missionary would require) and is doing a fantastic job in England. I would be happy to forward his information to you if you’d like. As I close this letter, again, thank you for your participation in world missions. The members of New Life Baptist Church asked me to send their thanks for your participation as well. They are very much aware of your participation and are very thankful. I will conclude as I have for so many previous prayer letters by saying…

For the Lord’s glory,
Michael & Francisca Frederick
Missionaries to Thailand

mike@thaimissions.org

856-285-4192

 

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