Welcome to wdbydana.com the website of Dana and Cindy Bratton, former missionaries to Thailand. 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 couldnt because I hadnt 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 islands 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 schools 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 cant 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 Nathan 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 pigs 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 dont 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
Theres a call comes ringing oer 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 MED 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 Dana 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. About eleven years ago, Calvary Chapel Ban Khem
started an outreach and Bible study there. There are many new homes built by
Habitat for Humanity. The church has a core of about 30 people.
Mercy Ships raised funding to build a large community center that set vacant for
a year. It is a huge two level building with two auditoriums, class rooms.
We have a church service on Sunday and Bible study on Wednesday
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 from us, 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 our village, and one public school. There are a few small shops in our village and some people have motorcycle carts selling food, ice cream, soda, or snacks.
I have been in ministry for 34 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 Bible 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
The Lord has blessed during these 34 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 study trip with Talbot to Greece and Rome.
There is no large Christian outreach in Southern Thailand. I am not sure why but it seems that the South has been neglected largely by mission agencies. I think it is because up until the tsunami this region was very resistant to the Gospel. Many of the churches in Phuket and the neighboring province of Phang Nga did not exist prior to the tsunami. Thai Buddhists are very happy and peaceful, outwardly open to the Gospel but inwardly most want to remain Buddhists, it is such a major part of their culture and history. In February of 2008 we moved to Phuket after studying Thai for six months in Bangkok. I was the pastor of Calvary Chapel at the Bridge. Sunday morning I preached in English and a translator, translated it into Thai, we were studying through the New Testament and on Wednesday evening we were studying through the Old Testament.
I was affectionately known as ajan taat yaa (the pastor who cuts weeds). 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 become a Gideon which gave me many more Bibles to distribute to all the resorts that are near us in Thai and English.
We were led to return to the USA March 14, 2017 to help with our family and I am looking for a church to pastor. Before we left we called a Thai pastor to take my place, he has merged the church with two cell groups to make a good strong body of believers, now an extension of the Seed Church in Cheng Thalay.
Prayer concerns: Pray that the church will continue to thrive and many more people will be reached with the Gospel and discipled. The church is now known as the Seed Church Thachatchai. Pray for the dear brothers and sisters we left behind.. Pray for our next chapter as we search for a church in So. CA to pastor. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God. We need the Lord's wisdom.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
เพราะว่าพระเจ้าทรงรักโลก จนได้ทรงประทานพระบุตรองค์เดียวของพระองค์ เพื่อทุกคนที่วางใจในพระบุตรนั้นจะไม่พินาศ แต่มีชีวิตนิรันดร์
"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time"
-- Carl F. H. Henry
"People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives ... and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted." -- Nate Saint, missionary martyr "
That if you shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10
คือว่าถ้าท่านจะรับด้วยปากของท่านว่า พระเยซูทรงเป็นองค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้า และเชื่อในจิตใจว่า พระเจ้าได้ทรงชุบพระองค์ให้เป็นขึ้นมาจากความตาย ท่านจะรอด 10 ด้วยว่า ความเชื่อด้วยใจก็นำไปสู่ความชอบธรรม และการยอมรับสัจจะของพระเจ้าด้วยปากก็นำไปสู่ความรอด
What man is he that desires life, and loves many days,
that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking
lies. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the
LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
มนุษย์คนใดผู้ปรารถนาชีวิต และรักวันคืนทั้งหลาย เพื่อเขาจะได้เห็นของดี 13 จงระวังลิ้นของเจ้าจากความชั่ว และอย่าให้ริมฝีปากพูดเป็นอุบายล่อลวง 14 จงหนีการชั่ว และกระทำการดี แสวงสันติภาพ และติดตามไป 15 พระเนตรของพระเจ้า เห็นคนชอบธรรม และพระกรรณของพระองค์สดับคำอ้อนวอนของเขา
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.
Dana is a licensed and ordained Southern Baptist minister who worked for 16 years as a hospital chaplain. Cindy was a school teacher. She taught home school for our three children, kindergarten, and middle school science. They also were missionaries with Child Evangelism Fellowship for eleven years. Dana enjoys helping Christian ministries with web design too.
Did you know? There are 1.3 billion Moslems in the 10-40 window. There are 400 million Buddhists. There are 800 million atheists adopting Western consumerism. Who will go tell them about Jesus? How about you? Isaiah 6:8 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8 (NASB)
There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, (tsunami?) men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world ; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory."Luke 21:25-27 (NASB)
How do long do we have to tell them before Christ returns?
"I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would
rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with
light" -- John Keith Falconer
My book, The Perfect Storm: A Christian's Struggle with Depression, is now available on Amazon
Depression troubles many Christians. This book describes my struggle with depression and provides some biblical answers to deal with it. Cindy's book, Living Boldly: Acknowledging and Overcoming Fear is also 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!
Also check out Cindy's Creative Gifts.
Other Christian resources:
Mail address: Dana and Cindy Bratton
74711 Dillon Rd Sp 392
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92441