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A scene taken during the annual Phuket assembly camp. Popular with foreign tourists, Phuket in the south of Thailand, has two well established assemblies.



“Prince of Peace” is what the prophets proclaim
Of the Son of the virgin, the Saviour who came;
A beacon of light in a world dark with sin,
He came to illuminate the way back to Him.
Oh, how amazing is the love of the One,
Who came to be with us in the form of His Son.

May the Christ of Christmas bring joy and peace,
May your love and devotion to Him never cease,
May you ever give thanks to the Saviour who came,
To take away all of our sin and our shame,
May you, like the wise men, keep looking above,
And keep seeking His guidance in response to His love.

Our prayer is that the Prince will be your source of Peace this Christmas and throughout the New Year — Russ and Ruth Keanalley


Upon Reflection

As we write, we are nearly half way through our fifth year here in Thailand as missionaries. For the second year running we will spend Christmas here in Bangkok, but Lord willing, next Christmas will be a “Keanalley Family Christmas” in Australia.

Our ministry continues to keep us very busy, although it is a delight to serve the Lord here in Thailand amongst mostly “first generation Christians” who have a hunger for the Word of God, and a desire to please Him. To mention just a few highlights of the year not covered elsewhere in the newsletter, in January we drove to Laos for two weeks and were excited to see the church in Laos powering on. In April we went to the annual Phuket assembly camp where Russ took the studies for the week.

We have had to travel much further distances since the commencement of our ministry at the Phrasiri church last year,  and it has  taken a toll  on our  thirteen year old car.


Lord willing, we plan to trade up to a newer model next year.

Our families continue to be a delight to us and we look forward to the arrival of our fourth grandchild next month. See “Family News” for more. It’s a little hard not seeing more of our grandchildren as they grow up.

Overall, we continue to enjoy good health, although during the past year Ruth had a few minor problems and Russ had a bout of the flu that laid him low for a few days. Russ has had a problem with his left eye, and a check-up revealed a “well developed” cataract, so he is booked for surgery in Toowoomba, Australia on 11th March 2004. Following this surgery, we plan to be in Australia for seven weeks.

Finally, to everyone of you who have supported us in prayer during the past year, we thank you very, very much. May God richly bless each one at this Christmas time, and during the coming year, may He be your Lord, and guide you in His will.


Apprentice Preachers

Without doubt, one of the most valuable contributions we can make to the future of the Lord's work in Thailand, is to train young people as leaders and ministers of the Word of God.

For some four or five months, Russ had the privilege of training three young men with great potential.  They have already had experience teaching in small group situations, having been sharing the responsibility of  teaching at the regular Wednesday night ministry meeting for the past year or more.  They each have a great testimony, and their knowledge of the Scriptures is very good.

Russ made arrangements with an OMF missionary for each one to preach at a small country church north of Bangkok, over a period during August and September.


Preaching at Rangsit

They have since spoken at the Phrasiri church for the first time, and now take their turn along with three other more experienced young men.  Please pray for these capable young men, that they will realise their potential for the Lord.


Outreach Camp

This year’s outreach camp was held in the far north east of Thailand, close to the border of Laos. Along with twenty four of the Phrasiri church young people, we travelled by road for about nine hours and camped at a local church in the Nakhun Yai village.

The week’s program included a combined meeting  with  the  local  church  on  the  first


Witnessing to children in the local school

night, and then for the following three days, we visited three surrounding villages during the day, and held special outreach programs at each village that night.

Broadcasting from the local FM radio station

We were also provided the opportunity to visit the local school one afternoon, and were given time on a local FM radio station each morning for a couple of days.

The  night  programs   were  very  well  attended  and  the


Gospel clearly presented using music, drama, personal testimonies and Gospel preaching. Two of the villages had no  church   witness   at   all,   but  our  witness   was  well

Presenting the Gospel in drama

received, and the local church has put a follow-up program in place.

These outreach camps provide an excellent opportunity for the young people to use their talents and develop a burden and desire to serve the Lord.


English Program

In July, we commenced an English tutoring course in the local university as an outreach program, using the Gospel of Luke as the text for modelling spoken English.

There are over 100,000 students at the Ramkhamhaeng University and so there is a lot of potential for outreach. English is a compulsory  subject for all students,  and there


are also many students taking English as a major.

This was our first attempt at such a program and we learned from the experience.  We had over 20 register for the program, but our publicity was such that most were already Christians. The program ran until September.

We found that the lecturing style was not conducive to establishing personal contacts that could build relationships, so we feel we need to modify our approach for future programs.


Points for Prayer

For those in email contact, we can keep you up-to-date with prayer points and information throughout the year. If you are not already in email contact with us, please email us and we will give you more details.

At the annual meeting of assembly leaders and missionaries (held in Phuket this year), the plan to hold a combined  Thailand assembly camp for young people next


year was confirmed. Please pray for this camp.

Please pray for Russ as he continues his ministry in the Thai language, and for Ruth as she teaches an English speaking group of young people. Please pray that we will continue in good health.

Please pray for the doctors and medical staff as Russ undergoes cataract surgery next year, and for a swift, trouble-free recovery.


Family News

Both our young families moved from England back to Australia last December, calling via Bangkok en route.

After doing some relieving work in Brisbane hospitals for a while, Simon took up a permanent management position in a hospital group based in Port Macquarie. Their exciting news is the expected  arrival  of their second child



in mid January. Jake will be two years next March. They are involved in the Port Macquarie Baptist church.

Ben and Joy settled back in Warwick, Ben continuing on teaching at Killarney after taking leave from the Education Dept for one year. They had a new home built and moved in last October. Their girls, Natalie and Katelyn, are now one and almost three years old respectively. They continue to be involved in the Warwick Baptist church.

Joy, Katelyn and Natalie

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