In 1989 I was a lay adult Sunday School teacher in a small UPC church in Oregon while working full time as an engineer and I was praying at home before going to a church service. The Lord shocked me greatly by an unmistakable directive (not a voice) to "Go to Thailand to minister!" At that time I was not only not a minister but had never had any thoughts about going to any other country to live. My mind was flooded with images of jungles, snakes, tigers, unknown peoples and languages, strange foods and other images I had seen often in the news during the Vietnam war. I also had no concept as to how I could support my wife and me if I quit a secure job and left the USA. But I had learned that any such life-changing directive needed another unmistakable confirmation. So I kept this experience totally to myself, not even telling it to my wife, and waited . . .
Several months later, while in prayer before church, the Lord startled me by saying (not in a voice) "Tonight you will have the confirmation about going to Thailand!" I was very excited and went to church certain that there must be a missionary from Thailand, or other such event giving the confirmation . . . but there was none. I was very confused because those two messages were clearly from the Lord, but there was no confirmation. My wife and I were just pulling into our garage at 11:45 PM when she said "Last night I had a strange dream. I dreamed I was praying for three young THAI ladies who were dressed like students. . . " This was an absolute miracle - we had never talked about Thailand during our marriage, I knew nothing about the country, she knew nothing about what the Lord told me months prior to this time, and it was nearly the end of the day! "THIS DAY you will get your confirmation" He had said. I was so excited I nearly shouted to her "Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!" to which she was at a loss as to why I was so excited. I then told her that we were going to Thailand, and told her the two messages the Lord had given to me about this. So we prepared . . .
I talked to my pastor and entered the ministry with a local ministerial license for two years and then received my general ministerial license as Assistant Pastor and continued preparing for another three years. Then in 1993 at the age of 52 the Lord spoke to me to leave my secular work, sell our small house which was located in a lovely wooded area, and relocate to Thailand as an "AIMer" (helper to missionaries.) I competed the necessary interviews to become an "AIMer" and we moved to Thailand, arriving in March 1994.
The first year in Thailand we studied the Thai language full time (a VERY difficult tonal language for us to learn) and worshipped in the local UPC church in Bangkok. During the next four years we taught a few young people Sunday afternoons in that church and ministered in churches and conferences as we had opportunity. We also traveled to Cambodia several times to teach in Missionary Robert Frizzell's work in that country. However I was at a loss as to what the Lord wanted us to do which would be of greater benefit. I have always loved the teaching ministry and had thought that surely the Lord had called us to Thailand to help in the Bible School in Thailand . . . but we soon found out that there was no UPC Bible School in Thailand, so we were confused . . .
Then in 1999 the Lord impressed upon me that He wanted US to open a Bible School for UPC of Thailand! THAT was His purpose in calling us to leave all and come to Thailand!
With this direction given by the Lord, the UPC of Thailand General Superintendent took us to northern Thailand, some 15 miles east of the small city of Chiang Rai, and asked the local Thai church in that area to allow us to open a school using their church building. We were not at all certain that there would be any young men interested in coming to a full time boarding school of two-and-one-half years in duration in order to prepare for the ministry. But, blessedly, when the doors opened in that small church building, there were 17 that came, including a husband and wife who were Baptist who soon saw the Truth of the message of Oneness of God, Repentance, Baptism in Jesus' Name, Infilling of the Holy Ghost, and living a Holy life. Twelve of these stayed the entire time to graduation and that formerly Baptist couple are now two of our teachers!
The Lord is truly wonderful! Because of the continuing flow of young men wanting to study, we were encouraged to become appointed missionaries and to design, construct and open a permanent two year boarding school in this northern area, which opened in September of 2002. The Lord not only provided the majority of the funds for this school from offerings from the families, churches and friends of the late Isaac A. Keyes in California, but also the entire staff of the school came from our early graduates! The school dean/superintendent and the four teachers are all early graduates of that temporary school. Not only this, but they along with the school secretary and food preparers, are permanent residents of this small community we live in! This has given the school a permanent, spiritual, knowledgeable, dedicated staff of Thai people for the school. It is truly a miracle to have such a staff in our small community of perhaps 2,000 people in total. Surely the Lord is Good!!!
The school, its staff and graduates are an increasing blessing to the Thai people as this Oneness message is spreading at an ever-increasing rate to the furthest corners of Thailand. The Lord is surely gathering His end-time harvest in these last days before His soon coming!