Taking Celebrate Recovery to Thailand
Several years before joining the Chapel Hill pastoral team, I remember having a growing desire to contribute in some way to the church in the two-thirds world. I didn’t sense a call to become a full-time missionary abroad, but I did want to help Jesus Christ’s Church in under-resourced places.
Next Thursday evening, January 18, a Go Team of eight people from Chapel Hill will embark on a ten-day mission trip to Thailand to serve at the House of Blessing. Pastor Soontorn, the visionary leader of the House of Blessing and its many ministries, has invited us to come and share what we’ve learned about Christ-centered transformation through the Celebrate Recovery ministry. Four members of our team are active participants in Celebrate Recovery at Chapel Hill. Two members of our team regularly serve in prison ministry. This weekend in the worship services, you will have a chance to hear a brief testimony from Aaron Espy, one of our team members going to Thailand.
Two years ago, a Chapel Hill Go Team gave a brief introduction to Pastor Soontorn and the staff about Celebrate Recovery. They’ve invited us back to give a more in-depth training. Our trip will also include visits to the men’s and women’s prisons giving our testimonies and sharing the hope that we’ve found through faith in Christ. We will also be staying at the House of Blessing spending time encouraging staff who take care of the babies and children of the women in prison.
This trip represents another example of our church’s commitment to “release leaders”—in this case, literally “beyond these walls.” We are blessed to be invited to train up leaders in another country to do transformational ministry that will further God’s kingdom. Celebrate Recovery is an effective discipleship tool that helps people become more like Christ.
The Thailand Go Team will be commissioned during this weekend’s worship services, and we will all have a chance to pray for them before they depart. We especially ask you to pray for God’s anointing and blessing as we each share a short part of our stories with men and women in prison. Pray that the words we share will bring hope and encouragement to those who hear them. Pray also that the leaders of House of Blessing will be excited about incorporating Celebrate Recovery as part of their prison ministry. House of Blessing is involved in over 60 prisons throughout Thailand. Celebrate Recovery has the potential of transforming many lives through the existing prison ministry network.
P.S. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming Marriage Workshop on Saturday, February 10, called #MarriedLife! Andy and Paulette Ainsworth, licensed marriage counselors will be sharing their experience and wisdom about marriage through the curriculum Intimate Encounters. This will be a fun, experiential time learning skills that will draw couples closer together. #MarriedLife will include breakfast, childcare in the morning, worship, fantastic teaching sessions, a lunch date, and a fabulous dinner with entertainment. Get more information and register HERE.