Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good News from Far Away

News from our friends in Thailand--

Thailand Update March 2009

Often it is said that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. We are witnessing the truth of this statement as we watch a variety of crisis unfold in the U.S. and around the world. It is good to know the countervailing truth; “God’s unfailing love for us will not be shaken” (Isa 54:10) and “We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Heb 12:28)

Here in Thailand we are also experiencing some shaking both in the government and the economy. At the end of 2008, an effort to oust the ruling political party resulted in the closing of the international airport in Bangkok for more than a week. Many people were thwarted in their plans to travel to Thailand, and a large group of internationals was actually stuck here in Thailand for days with no way to return to their home countries. Although the crisis was resolved fairly peacefully, there continues to be underlying unrest and increasingly aggressive factions within Thai society who oppose or support different political leaders and parties.

The closing of the airport was an absolute disaster for tourism which is one of Thailand’s main industries. It will probably take years for people to begin to feel that Thailand is a safe travel destination. This economic disaster had been compounded as Asia begins to feel the effects of the current worldwide economic downturn.

We have seen however that shaking can be a good thing. It gets people thinking and tests the validity and dependability of the things which people have traditionally trusted in. With new challenges, there is an openness to new thinking and new approaches to life’s problems.

This month there will be a special focus on the needs of I.D.P.’s (Internally Displaced People) in Myanmar. These are tribal people who have been forced to leave their villages by the Burmese military. They live in hiding places in the jungle with no means of support. They have to be constantly on the move, hiding from the Burmese soldiers and traveling over terrain riddled with land mines. A mini marathon to raise money and collections of supplies to be sent across the border will take place in Chiang Mai this next week. This is in a run-up to the world day of prayer for Myanmar which is Mar. 9th. You can find more information about at

The largest Thai annual Christian gathering of Karen people also takes place this month in the town on Omkoi about four hours to the south of us. Karen and Thai people come to worship God and be encouraged by testimonies of deliverance from addictions, physical healing, reconciliation of relationships and blessing on their land, crops and businesses. You find that lives are transformed when people are not limited by fear, hopelessness, superstition, sin, and habits that drain their health and resources.

We continue to be involved in the ongoing ministry with the big brother-sister program at a local AIDS orphanage, and we have also been giving respite care to foster families who care for children who are physically and mentally challenged. We are also at present hosting a Thai Christian single mom and her son in our home as they are working on housing and employment options.

Please pray that:

1) The current economic, political and social shakings in Thailand will result in positive changes.
2) Pray that Thai and tribal Christians would be salt and light in their communities and live out the testimony of a life transformed.
3) Pray for Myanmar, for I.D.P.’s and for tribal people who are victims of military brutality.
4) Pray that we would make the most the time and opportunities that God gives us.

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