Lectionary Selection: Luke 24: 36b-48
Prayers for Thailand:
Loving and grace filled God,
We are grateful for your unconditional love and comfort through all the seasons of our lives. Sometimes we grow frustrated with one another, but we are reminded that our actions and words must carry a sense of patience, justice, harmony, and love despite differences. Sometime we question ourselves, but we know you are always present with us as a guide. We are taught through you that we must bring edification to people and situations rather than demolition. Sometimes we are not sure what the future will hold, so we treasure the time we have now. As we learn and grow by building relationships with people around the world, we are grateful for the many blessings and individuals you have placed in our lives.
In all these things we pray, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Thailand:
The most significant and meaningful parts of my time as a Global Mission Intern have been the relationships I have formed with many people in Southeast Asia. It is only when you become less of an outsider that you really learn about the lives and culture of others. These relationships have not only changed my viewpoint and confirmed my dreams in life, but created bonds which will continue for many years.
For the last year I have been living, learning, and working in a beautiful remote Karen village known as Huay Ma Lai, on the Thai and Myanmar border. Jamaree, also know as Pi Niew, (Thai people often have two names- a given name and a nickname), is one Karen person I will never forget from Huay Ma Lai. Although her life ended suddenly in a car accident, the marks she left on her village and the way we recognized her life was beautiful. When someone dies in Thai culture, the whole community gathers to comfort and care for one another, until the day of burial.
After leaving her village to study at university, Jamaree returned with a political science degree and a new understanding of child rights. She then decided to dedicate her life to helping the disabled children in our village, the school children at the primary school, and students at the nearby Bible Institute as well as visiting people out in the community. She was the only Christian in her family. Her actions, faith, and the deep relationships she created with others were inspiring; I was honored to call her my friend.
Karen people have faced many hardships over the years. Being in a civil war with the Burmese government, many individuals have fled to Thailand for safety. Thailand, however, brings with it new sets of challenges. Many Karen people along the border live up in the mountains, far from any medical care when they get sick. Often in refugee camps or away from their families, they do not have access to the same work or rights as Thai citizens. Often selling fruit, vegetables, or fish from a nearby river is their main source of income.
Nevertheless, their hope for the future and faith are strong. They are thankful for a school, Saha Christian Suksa School (a primary school of the CCT- Church of Christ in Thailand) that helps Karen children receive a complete Thai education, for worship groups, and for other opportunities Thailand provides to them.
Thank you for your support, prayers, and desire to learn alongside and join with me on my journey spent with the Karen people.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Nicole Betteridge)
Mission Partners in Thailand:
- McGilvary Faculty of Theology at Payap University
- The Church of Christ in Thailand
- The Thai Burma Border Consortium
More information on Thailand:
Global Ministries Missionary in Thailand:
Nicole Betteridge, member of Decorah United Church of Christ, Decorah, Iowa, serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Church of Christ in Thailand. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Week of Compassion, Disciples' Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.