Lectionary Text and Prayers for Thailand: John 1:6-8, 19-28
O God of all nations—
Whose mercy is unfailing
and Whose love is steadfast and everlasting,
You are our refuge and strength
in times of prosperity and joy,
in times of trouble and despair!
We thank you for the kingdom and the people of Thailand.
We thank you for its glorious past
for its past prosperity and peace
for its wise and compassionate rulers
who have allowed the preaching of the gospel go unhindered,
We pray for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the current king,
that he may continue to enjoy good health,
so that he may be able to see the fulfillment of his visions
and compassionate projects for the people of Thailand.
Now the kingdom faces uncertain future.
There is some dissatisfaction in the land,
causing chaos, disarray and fear.
More than ever, we need your help!
We pray for those who govern this kingdom.
Give them wisdom to rule justly,
Give them patience to listen without prejudice,
Give them compassion to serve the needy,
Give them courage to uphold the right,
And give them strength to follow the truth.
We also remember the Thais who have special needs--
- the poor who are in search for daily food,
- the ethnic people who constantly face prejudice,
- the HIV-AIDS sufferers who increasingly live in hopelessness,
- the refugees who are unwelcome, living in anxiety and homesickness,
- the unreached in the hinterlands who are twisted by fear and superstition,
- and the people who go to share the healing faith, hope and love of Jesus Christ.
All these we humbly pray in faith and with thanksgiving, in Christ's name. Amen
(Prayer by Salvador T. Martinez)
Global Ministries International Partners in Thailand:
- McGilvary College of Divinity at Payap University is dedicated to preparing quality leadership for the Christian church in Thailand and in the region with its international program. Payap University is a Christian institution that offers an excellent education and training in a variety of subjects. Both Payap University and McGilvary are attended by students from several nations of Southern Asia in addition to Thailand, including China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Recently, Global Ministries missionary, Salvador T. Martinez, has spent fourteen years teaching at McGilvary and directing the International M. Div. Program.
- The Church of Christ in Thailand has active programs in HIV/AIDS education and prevention. They also are providing vocational training to tribal women in the hope that this will reduce the numbers of women joining the sex industry
- The Thai Burma Border Consortium provides only basic food and shelter for refugee populations, but the need exceeds the available assistance. They have estimated that as many as 600,000 Burmese are internally displaced persons (IDPs) The Burmese Army destroys homes in areas where they have found ethnic resistance and as a result the population flees to resettlement sites. Many of these IDPs are used for forced labor and many flee the country becoming refugees by crossing the border into Thailand. The Consortium has reported that this year has seen the worst human rights abuses across the border since 1997. They are seeking support for their Emergency Rice Assistance Program. Thailand does not wish to accept any more refugees and would like to begin repatriation of those already in Thailand. The situation in Burma (Myanmar) has not substantially improved, however, and although repatriation will be an issue at some point, it does not seem likely to happen soon.
Global Ministries Missionary in Thailand:
Salvador T. Martinez, a member Silliman University Church of United Church of Christ in the Philippines, has been appointed to serve the Church of Christ in Thailand through 4/30/09. He has been teaching ethics, theology and church history at McGilvary College of Divinity, Payap University since 1993 and has been directing the International M. Div. Program of the College since 2004. He has also helped in the HIV-AIDS ministry of the Church of Christ in Thailand.