International Ministries

We are safe in rural Thailand

December 5, 2008 Journal
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Dear Partners in ministry,

Greetings from Ban Luang. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers for the ministry here.  The church at Ban Sra is doing well with four of the members taking a turn at leading the Bible study.  We hope to have them doing another round of teaching soon and pray that it will be a blessing to them as they take on new roles.

Lunch anyone?

Free alfresco lunches are available in Ban Luang, but the adage “there are no free lunches” is true.  The two hours of stooping to cut rice was well worth it though. Sitting on rice straw eating spicy papaya salad and banana trunk stew with our fingers is an experience that is hard to beat -- as is picking a ripe papaya growing at the edge of the paddy and passing it around, everyone cutting off a slice with their own curved rice-cutting knife.

Farming is an important economic and social event. The rice harvest is particularly important to our neighbors, who work for each other rather than alone. Larry jumps in when he has no other commitments.

Unfortunately this fellowship is not what is being felt around the country, with anti-government protesters taking over the main airports and incidents of violence being reported more and more frequently. We feel safe being so far from the capitol, but the country is hurting. Please pray for a resolution to the conflict before more people are hurt.

Loi grating is another event the whole community gets in on. For this year’s parade, villages were asked to make their floats out of natural materials. Asking forgiveness of the river spirit is the original reason for the festival. We have redesigned our floats to show our allegiance to Jesus. The cross reminds us that we are forgiven, the candle shows that Jesus is the light of the world, and the incense represents our lives given as a fragrant offering to God.

At this Christmas Season especially we are looking for Peace and not finding it in the government or the society. We pray that you can find the peace of the Christ child in your hearts and that we can all help to spread it around the world.  Merry Christmas

In the power of the Good News,

Larry and Jan

Prayer Points

Praise God that we have been able to get some help and advice for some of the community folk with disabilities.

Pray that God’s love will be obvious as we spend time with these families.

Pray for the political situation in Thailand, that a solution will be found quickly.

Praise God that the Smiths found a house here in Ban Luang. Pray for them as they study Thai this month and prepare to move here at the end of the month. Pray, too, for their work permit application.

Upcoming Events

Dec 8         Larry has a meeting in Bangkok

Dec 10 -11 Team meeting in Chiang Mai

Dec 24       Smiths move out to join us