The FISHERS 50th Anniversary

God’s Goodness to His Servants

The objectives of the Fishers magazine are to present the Gospel – the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ – and to promote spiritual growth through the sharing of the goodness of God in the lives of believers. Our God is awesome and His reach goes well beyond the confines of the local church. This article recounts His goodness to a humble servant in Thailand.       

In late 2019, I joined a missions trip to northern Thailand, a place filled with rice fields, orchards and vegetable farms. During the trip, we met a missionary from Singapore who had built a church, an orphanage and a farm. His missionary life, spanning over 20 years, had been spent in a village located in a region called Fang, about 150 km north of Chiang Mai.

As our van entered the village of this missionary, an unexpected sight caught our eyes – a modern double-storey church building in the middle of a vast rice field. We learned later that the building was his church. The missionary and his church members, with some help from professional volunteers, single-handedly completed it in 2019. This was the result of a ten-year-long period of progressive construction as the speed of building was dependent on receipts of financial gifts and offerings.
I was surprised that the church only had about 30 attendees. So, why did he build such a large building? The missionary explained that although he did not know what the future holds, his hope was for the church to grow and for the building to last for many generations. He was also waiting upon the Lord to enable him to build a school beside it to draw in more people.

The missionary’s peaceful and gentle demeanour belied a hard and demanding life as he recounted several of the challenges he faced. He recognised that through each of them, God guided and strengthened him for His work. Some of his experiences included:

  • The burning down of a children’s dormitory at the orphanage. Thank God that He protected the safety of the children. The disaster turned out to be a blessing for out of the ashes, a bigger and better dormitory now stands.

  • Thefts by villagers were common due to abject poverty. Some of the villagers even dared to sell the goods stolen from his farm (bananas, black rice, etc.) back to him! But, out of compassion, he gave them cash and used the opportunity to reach out to them.

  • Dangerous wildlife had destroyed his chicken farm and pest attacks on his organic farm of black rice were a recurring problem. He had to learn through trial and error, skills to repair and overcome the damages.

  • His greatest challenge is to guard his children against evil influences as the place is notorious for drug trafficking and prostitution. His wife, a local Lahu lady, took upon herself to home-school and discipline them.

The above is sufficient to show that this missionary’s life is full of challenges. Yet, it should not surprise us since Scripture teaches that trials of faith are allowed by God for the benefit of His servants (Heb 12:10). Though painful for a short time, it is God Himself who does the pruning of productive branches, so that they may bear more fruit (John 15:2). May we learn from the missionary to “consider it all joy” whenever we meet trials, and put faith into operation, while striving toward spiritual maturity (James 1:2-4).

God has wonderfully sustained the Fishers magazine for 50 years, a testimony of His goodness and faithfulness to His servants in this ministry. Like the missionary in Fang, we do not know what the future holds. Whether Fishers will continue for another 50 years or not, we carry on the ministry with our eyes fixed on pleasing the Lord alone, giving our best to Him. So, in faith, we keep to the vision and objectives of Fishers and trust the Lord to use the ministry for His glory.

To God be all glory, honour and praise!

Peter Ooi
- Peter is an editor of Fishers.

Back to FISHERS 50th Anniversary's mainpage