Welcome to wdbydana.com the website of Dana and Cindy Bratton, former missionaries to Thailand.
I am a licensed and ordained Southern Baptist pastor who worked 16 years as a hospital chaplain. Cindy was a school teacher. She taught home school for our three children, kindergarten, and middle school science. We also were missionaries with Child Evangelism Fellowship for eleven years. We are both graduates of California Baptist University and I am a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Serminary. We served in Thailand for 11 years, I was pastor of Calvary Chapel at the Bridge for 9 of those years. I was in full time ministry for 28 years. I surrendered to the gospel ministry in 1983, the same year our youngest son was born. I led a home Bible study, taught Sunday school, drove the church van and started a children's church, and began studying for a bachelors degree in religion in those early years at the First Baptist Church of Woodcrest.. Then the Lord led to full time ministry in 1989 when I became the director of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Riverside and subsequently became a hospital chaplain. My heart is for evangelism. I pioneered the Caleb Community, the senior adult ministry at Magnolia Avenue Baptist. The Lord led us to be a part of several churches - Gavilan Hills Community Church, a church plant, children's ministry at Harvest Christian Fellowship, children's ministry at Faith Baptist Church, Sunnymead Baptist Temple where I was ordained, and Magnolia Avenue Baptist. The Lord led me to pursue a seminary degree at Golden Gate and TESOL studies at BIOLA. Then in Khao Lak Thailand we affiliated with Calvary Chapel Ban Nam Khem, then in Bangkok with Calvary Baptist where we taught the new believers and English learners class, and then pastoring Calvary Chapel at the Bridge
December 26, 2004 a tsunami struck Southern Thailand following an earthquake in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. At the time I was serving as a hospital chaplain at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana. As I watched the news reports on television, it was just like my pager going off to come to the hospital for a death, I needed to go to Thailand to see what I could do to help. I tried to go with the Southern Baptist disaster relief, but couldn’t because I hadn’t been through their training, same with the Red Cross. I searched on the internet and found a website of a Thai government officer in Krabi province who recruits native English speakers to come to Thailand to teach English. I emailed him to tell how I had seen what had happened in his country and wanted to help. He invited me to come and assured me he would put me in contact with many people who could use my help. I arrived in Krabi on December 31,. and stayed for three weeks. I stayed at first in a guest house in Krabi town and assisted at the makeshift morgue where they were trying to identify bodies. Then I went out with disaster relief workers to Phi Phi island. I sat next to a young man on the boat and introduced myself. He spoke good English and told me that he was the island’s medical doctor. I shared the gospel with him and he later gave me book on Buddhism. I asked him if I could hang out with him. He said that I could and showed me what was left of the hospital and his office. We then spent the day in a hospital lobby where he and his nurses had a first aid station for any disaster relief workers requiring assistance. My host then suggested that I might teach English at a school in a neighboring village that had never had a native English teacher, and live with the school principal and his family. Some of the school’s students had been affected by the tsunami and I agreed to go. In preparation I had three long sleeve shirt tailor made for the next morning and went to various book shops new and used looking to buy a Bible for my new host. There were none to be found. This really bothered me, “how will the Thai people ever come to know Jesus if there are no Bibles here?” I thought. “Somebody had to do something about that,” kept going through my mind. I did find a Baptist church who had been given some Gideon New Testaments. I gave my host one in English and one in Thai. I had five classes a day, and asked the principal, Pi Yong, if I could teach Bible stories and songs to the children. He said, “Yes, no problem”. I thought, “wow, I can’t do that in the USA.” The school had a Thai English teacher, who served as my translator. The teachers were all Buddhist and the students were all Moslem, coming from a jungle village and seaside village. Two teenage girls accepted Christ after four or five days of teaching. I became very excited and more burdened for ministry in Thailand, desiring to come full time. But I must approach it gently with my wife and be sure that God would call her too.
In August 2005 my wife and I made an exploratory trip to Thailand with a team which included our oldest son Nathaniel and two women. We ministered in Bangkok and Krabi, revisiting my new friends. While in Bangkok we went to the Grand Palace which consists of many buildings overlaid with gold leaf and mirrors. Outside the temple of the emerald Buddha was an altar supported by black bulls and a pig’s head on the altar. This reminded of the abomination of desolation in the book of Daniel and all the gold reminded us of Heaven. Cindy said, “the Thais are wanting heaven but don’t know how to get there.” The next day we taught English a large private secular school. They had a marching band and they were playing the school anthem at the beginning of school. The song was the hymn, “Send the Light” by Charles H. Gabriel
There’s a call comes ringing o’er the restless wave,
We moved to Thailand in August 2006, after spending a year studying TESOL at Biola University in La Mirada. Our first task was volunteering at the Step Ahead center in Khao Lak, where we taught English and shared the Gospel, as well as helped people to recover from the Tsunami. Since I would no longer be doing hospital chaplaincy work, we affiliated with YWAM Thailand. After five months in Khao Lak, we moved to Perth Australia for three months of YWAM training called Crossroads Discipleship Training School in Perth, Australia. A YWAM motto sums it up, Cindy and I do what we do "to know God and to make Him known".
Then we returned with them for two months of outreach, one in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai. We then moved to Bangkok and studied Thai in language school for seven months.
We lived in Thachatchai on the island of Phuket. Where I pastored Calvary Chapel at the Bridge, an international church, and Cindy taught English and led worship.
Thachatchai is a small village on the north end of Phuket island that was hard hit by the tsunami. In 2007, Calvary Chapel Ban Khem started an outreach and Bible study there.
After Cindy and I finished our Thai studies in Bangkok, the late Pastor James Garwood of Calvary Chapel Baan Naam Khem, asked me to take the Bible study to pastor and make it a church in February 2008. Since we were located next to the Sarasiin Bridge, I called the church, Calvary Chapel at the Bridge. Sunday morning I preached verse by verse through the New Testament in English and a translator, translated it into Thai,and on Wednesday evening we were studied through the Old Testament. The Wednesday night meetings were well attended by children. In 2010 the Lord opened the door for radio ministry. I started God's Word for Today radio program preaching through the Bible with a Thai translator. At the first radio station it was three days a week and the last two years it was six days a week. Since I never was able to be completely fluent in Thai I am so thankful for the translators I had through the years. Thanks goes to Jum, Gahn, Ree, Ohn, Sana, and Wanta. I led Sana to the Lord in 2011 and she soon became my church translator every Sunday. Ohn was our housekeeper at first, but then helped us learn Thai and she translated for me on the radio and on Wednesday nights. .
Mercy Ships raised funding to build a large community center that set vacant for
a year. That became our church building. It is a huge two level building with two auditoriums,
and class rooms. As the years passed we had a handicapped
ramp built, we had a dividing wall built on the second floor to host teams
of volunteers - short term missionaries from YWAM and World Race, that came
to help us.
Very few people in our village spoke any English at all. Cindy taught English at two schools in Thai Muang in Phang Nga province, four days a week. Thachatchai is very poor many are fishermen, they harvest jelly fish, shrimp, and squid and dry the fish on a large wire screens on the street. Some people work at the Marriot Resort which is just a few miles away, some work in downtown Phuket about an hour away or in other neighboring villages. Also there is a very large police station and border patrol in the village, and one public school. There are a few small shops in the village and some people have motorcycle carts selling food, ice cream, soda, or snacks.
The Lord has blessed during these years, I have a wonderful wife, three great children, two daughter in laws, one son in law, two grandsons. and three granddaughters. I have done ministry in Mexico, Nairobi Kenya, Campos Brazil, New York, and New Orleans. I went on a study trip with Talbot seminary to Greece and Rome.
You can read Legacy and Ministry Adventures of Dana Bratton
On this website, you can also read about Salvation, Our Family, our old Missionary Newsletters, Ministry Trips, find out much more about Thailand Ministry, Thailand Churches, the KJV Thai Bible, Thai Flash Cards, Thai Language Course, see my Sermon Notes in English and Thai, plus you can see a list of Bibles, Children Ministry sites I recommend, other Christian websites, Daily Devotions, ESL EFL Textbooks, some Medical websites, and HHow to do Hospital Visitation
I was affectionately known as “ajan taat yaa” (the pastor who cuts weeds). I bought a weed cutter to care from my own front yard. But kept expanding to cover more and more of the village in helping my neighbors and claring the street. Magnolia Church in Riverside, CA. helped us buy a riding mower. When we had YWAM teams, World Race teams or church teams come we put them to work cutting weeds also in addition to helping at church, teaching English and sharing their testimony on the radio. Plus we made visits with both church members and those not saved yet. The desire of my heart to supply Bibles to the Thai people has been realized in some amazing ways. I found a source of King James Thai translation Bibles. I approached several book stores in Phuket offering them free Bibles. The Se Ed bookstore said I needed to contact the corporate headquarters in Bangkok for permission. The director of foreign publications said,”I have never seen a Bible could you send me one.” I sent it and then called him about three weeks later. “What do you think?” I asked. I read it, and I liked it” he replied. “My boss read it, and he likes it too. So we have already contacted the store manager, made a poster for you, and directed her to receive you and your Bibles. She will put the Bibles on the front counter.” Those Bibles led to an invitation from the Gideon Camp of Phuket for me to join with them which gave me many more Bibles to distribute to all the resorts that are near us in Thai and English.
There are about 20 churches in province/island of Phuket with a population of 500,000. The statistics overall in Thailand are the country in 95% Buddhist, 4% Moslem and less than 1% Christian, however in the South the percentage of Moslems is much higher, at 35%. Thai Buddhism is mixed with animism, there is a great fear of spirits here. Many homes and businesses have spirit houses where they place food and drink for the spirits to try to appease them. There is a pretty good networking between the churches in Phuket especially for major events such as Christmas and Easter
We were led to return to the USA March 14, 2017 to help with our family and seek the Lord's direction for the next chapter in our lives. Before we left we called a Thai pastor, Levi Nok, to take my place, he has merged the church with two cell groups to make a good strong body of believers, an extension of the Seed Church in Cheng Thalay. The church is now known as the Seed Church Thachatchai.
Pray that this church will continue to thrive and many more people will be reached with the Gospel and discipled. Pray for the dear brothers and sisters we left behind.. Pray for our next chapter in life as we have settled in Desert Hot Springs, CA.. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God. We need the Lord's wisdom. Pray for our books to be widely read, resulting in encouragement and changed lifes.
What are we doing now?
Cindy wrote a book, Living Boldy: Overcoming and Acknowledging Fear. available on Amazon..
Fear is a big part of many people's lives today, and Christians don't seem to be exempt. What if you could overcome fear and live in boldness? This book will be a springboard to all kinds of adventure!
We both sing on the worship team at Grace Church in Desert Hot Springs. We have a home Bible study on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m at our home 17625 Langlois Rd. Sp. 86, Desert Hot Srpings, CA. We are teaching a Good News Club with others from our church at Bubbling Wells Elementary.
I serve as an online missionary volunteer with Global Media Outreach. I do followup discipleship with contacts from around the world who visit Godlife.org. I answer the contacts from Thailand. I help with the other language desk and reassign contacts to speakers of their language.
I am writing Christian non fiction books. My first book, The Perfect Storm: A Christian's Struggle with Depression, is now available on Amazon KIndle and paperback. The perfect storm refers to a particularly bad or critical state of affairs, arising from a number of negative and unpredictable factors. It is an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically. In my case, it was a coming together of physical, spiritual and emotional issues at the same time, started by dengue fever while on the mission field in Thailand. Depression troubles many Christians. This book describes my struggle with depression and provides some biblical answers to deal with it.
My second book, Legacy and Ministry Adventures of Dana Bratton is also now available on Amazon, Kindle and paperback.
You will read of my adventures as a missionary to children in Child Evangelism Fellowship, my experiences as a hospital and hospice chaplain with the Health Care Chaplains’ Ministry Association, and my thrilling years as a YWAM missionary and Calvary Chapel pastor in Thailand. I have shared excerpts from many of my missionary newsletters through the years, describing wonderful things the Lord did. My intention is to let you know my thoughts and feelings about the life I have lived, to honor the relationships that have enriched my life, to express my gratitude for friends and family and my love for God. I want to share the life lessons I learned to know Him and to make Him known. I am very thankful for those who have prayed for and supported Cindy and me through the years. The most important thing in all of life is knowing God, having a relationship with Him. My life experience has taught me that God can always be trusted to guide and provide. God can use a sinner with few abilities to do great things for Him and take you around the world doing it. If you surrender to Him.
I hope this book will encourage aspiring pastors and missionaries; and will draw attention to the great need of evangelism especially among children, the sick, the elderly and in countries like Thailand, that are sometimes neglected by main stream Christianity. Ephesians 4:11-12 And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Verse 12 gives the main job description of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers – that is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. That has been my life work to equip the saints, through preaching, teaching, and providing resources such as songs and flannel backgrounds, and web sites so that other believers can also do the work of the ministry. Find out what it's like for an ordinary man to do extraordinary things through pastoring, child evangelism, and hospital ministry. Read of how God worked to bring thousands of people to faith in Christ.t.
I expect to have 20 volumes in the New Testament Expository Sermons series, one set in English and one set in Thai.
This series of New Testament expository sermons I prepared and preached at Calvary Chapel at the Bridge in Phuket, Thailand. Useful for devotional study, sermons, and Bible studies. Lots of simple practical explanation and application. This is an evangelistic exposition verse by verse study of each book of the New Testament, with the ESV scripture alternating with NASB scripture included in the text followed by commentary, includes quotations from William Barclay, Jon Courson, David Guzik, Gotquestions.org, John Mac Arthur, J. Vernon Mc Gee, J.C. Ryle, Chuck Smith, and Warren Wiersbe. I pray that the messages will be a blessing to you. I preach and teach to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry,” to effect life change, to edify and encourage and to magnify the Lord. So that “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.”
Currently volumes 1-6 are available, in Kindle and paperback. www.amazon.com
My latest book, Twelve Important Basics for Living and Growing as a Christian. Is a good handbook for all Christians but is especially suited for discipleship of new believers. It covers twelve important basics: To help the reader to be confident of salvation, to be a student of the Bible, a prayer warrior, active in church, happily married, victorious over sin, filled with the Holy Spirit, loving and forgiving others, a good and generous steward, a humble servant, and increasingly more like Jesus. The book includes an overview of the Bible with Scripture in the text alternating between the ESV and NASB translations.
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