Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Special guests in our BSF classes; Oct 14-15, 2013

What an honor and a delight!  After spending three amazing days at the BSF Leaders Retreat in Singapore, we had the special privilege of having several staff members from BSF headquarters and the BSF Board of Directors visit the Bangkok classes.

Our distinguished guests included Susie Rowan (Executive Director of BSF) and her husband Roger Rowan, Melinda Burnette (Director of Training), Anthony Tan (Board of Directors) and his wife Shirley Tan, and Susanne Sloan (Board of Directors) and her husband Sam Sloan.

Their visit to each of the three Bangkok BSF classes was an enormous encouragement to leaders and class members alike. Susie took the opportunity to speak briefly to each of the classes…and our class members loved it!

Gary & Claudia Walthall
GA’s serving in Bangkok, Thailand

Susie Rowan (BSF exec Director) speaking to the Evening Men's class in Bangkok 

Susie Rowan sitting in a one of the men's discussion group

BSF Leaders Retreat in Singapore; 11-13 Oct, 2013

 There’s just nothing like attending a BSF Leaders Retreat!  They only come around every 3 years. The last one we attended was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  

On October 11-13, forty-one leaders from the three Bangkok classes attended the Asia BSF Leaders Retreat in Singapore. Many of our leaders were attending their first BSF Retreat. I think all of us would agree that being in the presence of the 2,800+ BSF leaders from the Asian classes was a powerful and overwhelming experience!

The teaching and the training were powerful and life-changing. The singing was worshipful and spirit-led. The food and the fellowship were warm and filling! Bonds were developed, lives were changed and precious memories were made. To God be the glory…great things He has done!

We hope you will enjoy seeing a couple of pictures from the retreat.  Thank you so much for your continued interest in the work God is doing in Bangkok, Thailand.

God is Good….All the time!

Gary & Claudia Walthall

Claudia's Leaders (above) dressed in Traditional Thai dress

Gary's leaders (above)

Gary & Claudia 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thankful for the "small things"

Our Evening Men class in Bangkok has always had a struggling School Program. But, this year, it has been exceptionally difficult to get the students to come to class. While in previous years our numbers were small, this year the “new norm” unfortunately has been zero students for several weeks with an intermingling of 1 to 2 students. We continue to pray that the Lord will convince men in our class to bring their students.

However, last Monday night (21 Oct), we were excited to have three students come! For us, it was a real victory.  Praise be to God!  One of the students was a young girl who was attending BSF for the first time. I can only imagine that she was fearful of being the only student, or at least that she might be the only girl. However, by God’s grace and plan, there was another girl (14 year old) who also came. Praise God for his perfect timing and provision!

In addition to the three students, God also reminded me of His faithfulness to bless the work done in and thru our School Program. Two young men who recently graduated from our School Program, are now attending our adult class! Both of them understand the importance of continuing their Bible study in the men’s class.  As an extra bonus…one of the young men is a gifted piano player and he plays the piano for us as well. What a blessing!

Sometimes I get caught up in the numbers, but God gently reminds me of the greatness and wonder of how He works… even in the small things.

Just thought you might want to know.
Blessings from Bangkok, Thailand


Please continue to pray with us for the success and growth in our School Program.

New Life

New life of any kind should be celebrated, because all life is from God.  But, I am especially excited because this new life is in a 40 year old Thai man who has been in the BSF Bangkok Men’s class for about 2 years.

After lecture tonight (21 Oct), this Thai class member shared with me that he had been baptized last weekend while in Hong Kong! He said that since coming to BSF, he had come to know Christ through the study of God’s word.

He was enthusiastic as he told me about his baptism and was genuinely appreciative of  BSF where God had brought him to faith. Because he is the only Christian in his family, he was pleased to share such good news with me and others at BSF.  

One of the greatest joys of teaching God’s Word is in seeing God change lives. This is just one example of how God is working in Bangkok.

Praise God for the fruit of new life from the study of His Word! 
Thank you for your continued prayer support.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chiangmai trip & Class update

NOVEMBER. was a great month for us. As part of the training of our STL‘s (Substitute teaching leaders) we schedule them to teach a few weeks during the year.  And so, Claudia & I had our STL’s take over our classes for the week of  12/13 November. They led the leaders meeting and did the teaching as well.  In meantime, Claudia & I went to Chiangmai for a little rest & relaxation. It was our first time to visit Chiangmai, which is a northern city in Thailanad - about an hour flight from Bangkok. Generally when we have  some free time we usually opt to go south to the beach, but we finally broke out of our rut or normal routine.

The best day we had in Chiangmai was traveling about an hour north of Chiangmai by car to Maetaman Elephant reserve.  We started the day floating down the swift current of the river on a rather flimsy  bamboo raft (our feet did get a little wet). Then on to an elephant show with elephants doing tricks and actually painting on canvases like artists. If that was not enough, we rode on an ox driven cart to a small village and then hitched a ride back on an elephant. But, before we returned to the main camp, the elephant we were riding on took a cool & leisurely stroll in the river itself.  That was awesome! Oh, and there was lunch time in between all that fun. It was a great day.  I am posting a picture of Claudia & I on the elephant and our bamboo rafting trip.

meandering down the river on a bamboo raft

An elephant strolling in the river with her baby

our first night in Chiangmai we went to an outdoor Dinner & Cultural dance 
(they did the all the dancing, not us!)

Back to business...
However, it’s not all play and no work.  We are so pleased with what God is doing in our BSF classes here in Bangkok.
The Bangkok Day Women’s class, it is a vibrant group of almost 100 registered women. Although life in Bangkok can be unpredictable, the average weekly attendance of 60-70 women is remarkably consistent. God continues to draw women from all parts of the world to attend this class…giving it an international flare. God proves His faithfulness every week as He helps prayerful, committed class members overcome language issues, cultural differences, age and denominational diversity as we study the Word of God together.

God has recently answered our prayers for a new Children’s Supervisor and one new Children’s Leader. Please pray with us that God will provide three additional children’s leaders and an Assistant Children’s Supervisor… enabling us to reopen our Preschool Program in January 2013.

As to the evening men’s class, God has been bringing more new men our way.  In just the month of November, we have added 10 new men!  We continue to pray the Lord will add to our numbers so that we can grow the class for a long term future. Currently, the men’s class has about 60+ men registered class members. Please help us pray that God will continue to draw new men to us & for 1 more Group leader. Also, we must also give praise to God who has recently brought us 2 new leaders; a new group leader and a new Assistant Class Administrator.

What can I say, but God is good to us to grant us the blessing to live in this beautiful land of Thailand and also to give us the privilege of serving & teaching his word to the men and women of Bangkok. God is good indeed!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

BSF Men's Luncheon

The BSF men's class is well underway in the study of Genesis. We are already in week 14 of 32 total weeks.  Genesis is definitely my favorite study that BSF offers. 

The men's class has 3 discussion groups & we have about 40 men attending each week. However, in an effort to boost our numbers we decided to host a luncheon for our class members to bring a friend. The event was Nov. 24 (Saturday) at the Sheraton Grande Hotel. One of our class members (who has been truly transformed since coming to BSF over 2 1/2 years ago) graciously proposed & generously sponsored the whole luncheon at his expense. I love how God provides and uses special people like this class member to do His work.

We had almost 20 class members bring 20 new men to our luncheon.  The response was better than we had expected. Praise God!  Now, that they've had the free lunch, the hard part will be to get them to actually come to class on Monday night.  We are praying that all of these men will come & SEE what Bible study is like with BSF.

Just thought you'd want to know what's happening in Bangkok. God is Good...All the time!

Genesis 15:1 ".... I am your shield, your very great reward"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Chinese (Lunar) News Years!

Happy Chinese (Lunar) new year!
In this part of the world, Chinese news year is a big deal. While, in Thailand, it is not a national holiday, the holiday is still celebrated with great fan fare. Since moving to Thailand, I am amazed at the Chinese influence in, not only Thailand, but in all of Southeast Asia. Whether they are from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or other nearby countries, most will say they have Chinese ancestry. And, even if you are not part Chinese, most will celebrate the festive Chinese New Year. Apparently, this is the year of the dragon which one of the 12 yearly symbols.

 We just wanted to share with you some pictures from Monday (23 January) as we celebrated the Chinese New Year with some of our dear friends (most of whom are BSF'ers).

The above picture is of the ladies that attended the Chinese luncheon at the Shangrala Hotel in Bangkok (from left to left to right)
Doreen (BKK Day Women's class Class Admin), Jessica (not in BSF but is our landlord and good friend), Candi (BKK Day Women's class Substitute TL, Claudia (BKK Day Women TL), Charlene (Dehli, India Evening Women's class serving as Assistant Class Admin) & Dorothy (BKK Evening women's class member)

And, here are the men that attended the Chinese luncheon (from left to right)
Mark (BKK Evening men's class Class Admin), Lay Tee (not currently in BSF, but is our landlord and just so fun to be around), Gary (BKK Evening Men's class TL), Mike (use to be by STL in BKK, but is now in Dehli, India serving as Substitute TL) & Howard (BKK EM STL & host for our luncheon)

We are thankful the Lord has brought us to Thailand & we are enjoying serving the Lord here!
thank you for your interest & your prayers

Gary & Claudia Walthall
Serving in Bangkok, Thailand with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)