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Calvary Chapel at the Bridge Phuket ThailandCalvary Chapel at the Bridge

Welcome to wdbydana.com the website of Dana and Cindy Bratton, 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 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 to.      

       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 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,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save,
Send the light! Send the light!             Refrain:    
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

       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.  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 currently live in Thachatchai on the island of Phuket.  Where Dana pastors Calvary Chapel at the Bridge, an international church, and Cindy teaches English and leads worship.

       Thachatchai is a small village on the north end of Phuket island  that was hard hit by the tsunami.  About seven 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 speak any English at all.  Cindy teaches 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 31 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.  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 now pastoring Calvary Chapel at the bridge.  The Lord has blessed during these 31 years, I have a wonderful wife, three great children, two daughter in laws, one son in law, and 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.   We had intense study and application in a YWAM Crossroads Discipleship Training School in Perth Australia.  This is the abundant life.  A YWAM motto sums it up, Cindy and I do what we do "to know God and to make Him known".   My heart is for evangelism.

      But there is no large Christian outreach in the South. 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 am now the pastor of Calvary Chapel at the Bridge. Sunday morning I preach in English and a translator, translates it into Thai, we are studying through the New Testament and on Wednesday evening we are studying through the Old Testament..  Monday is our day off, Cindy and I go into Phuket Town about an hour drive and go shopping, eat some American food like Sizzler, and maybe see a movie. 

;Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I volunteer at the airport with Thai Tourist Police Volunteers.   I study most mornings and some evenings and pray and prepare detailed notes of the Bible study and sermon, plus Power Point presentations for Sunday and Wednesday plus the four radio programs.   The detailed notes really help my translator to be prepared. I write out all the scripture text in both Thai and English, using copy and paste from a computer Bible software program. Cindy also makes Power Point presentations of our worship music in Thai and English. Most mornings I also cut down weeds to help our neighborhood look better.    This has been a great neighborhood outreach.  I am affectionately known as “ajan taat yaa” (the pastor who cuts weeds).  When we have 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 I make 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.”   So for nearly four years we have been giving away Bibles at that bookstore.  Perhaps someday, if the Lord provides we will be able to get more Bibles distributed throughout the Se Ed nationwide chain of stores.  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.

Prayer concerns:    Pray that more people in our community will respond to the Gospel.  Pray for our radio program on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Pray for our Thai language study.  Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God.  We need the Lord's wisdom in leading and overseeing this ministry.   Pray that many more Thais will come to know the Savior. Pray too for outreach to the foreign visitors and expats and the teams plus the teams who come to help us.   Pray for the Gideon Bible distribution in the resorts, hospitals, and Se-Ed bookstore. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

เพราะว่าพระเจ้าทรงรักโลก จนได้ทรงประทานพระบุตรองค์เดียวของพระองค์ เพื่อทุกคนที่วางใจในพระบุตรนั้นจะไม่พินาศ แต่มีชีวิตนิรันดร์


"If you and I both were dying of the same disease and I found the cure, shouldn't I tell you?  If I saw your house on fire and knew you were inside sleeping, shouldn't I try to rescue you?" -- Dana Bratton

"The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time" -- Carl F. H. Henry

"As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both." -- J. L. Ewen

"The command has been to 'go,' but we have stayed -- in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth ... but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland." -- Robert Savage, Latin American Mission

"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.
Psalms 34:12-15

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.

 Previously we spent 6 months studying Thai in Bangkok.  We are long term missionaries to Thailand.  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) 

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Missions - What compels missionaries to leave home and family and go to the other side of the world? Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side." To go takes us out of our comfort zone, to the unknown, to the risky.

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

"Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us." -- Keith Wright

"No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once." "We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first." -- Oswald J. Smith

Donation checks for our missionary support should be made payable to Shepherd's Staff   Mailing address:  P.O. Box 53640, Albuquerque, NM 87153-3640 Reference account #2067 or online at www.ssmfi.org, monthly EFT is available. 

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Mail address:  Dana and Cindy Bratton
93/101 Moo 5 Soi Thachatchai 9
Mai Khao, Thalang
Phuket, Thailand 83110
Phone: 66 (0)85-641-6123 
Map of provinces and church density
 
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