Lectionary Selection: Matthew 3:13–17
Prayers for Thailand:
Dear God, just as your spirit washed over Jesus’ baptism, we pray that your spirit washes over the Church of Christ in Thailand. Renew her community and refresh her with open hearts and minds each day to do your will and to be a blessing to others. Inspire and sustain the generous spirit in the church as she continues to bring HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to so many communities. Build up the church’s vocational training for those vulnerable women who long to escape sex slavery for life-giving work. Strengthen Global Ministries partnerships that continue to bring education, seminary training and refugee resettlement to these brothers and sisters in Christ. We especially ask for your prayers and support for The Thai Burma Border Consortium as they work to rebuild after the December fires in Mae La and Ban Mai Nai Soi camps that left over eight hundred without shelter. Thank you God for the grace and generosity of compassionate community.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Thailand
In October, I moved from the bustling capital of Bangkok to the city of Udon Thani, a short distance from the border with Laos. While there are churches in the city of Udon Thani there are also Christian groups reaching out to work with the people in nearby villages of Nong Khai and Khon Kaen. Community building among the people of Udon Thani and the exchange among people of gifts and talents is a witness to God’s abundant grace! In this outreach we form mutual relationships of trust and lay the foundation for long-standing partnerships - some to educate, some to work toward justice and peace. Building partnerships calls for a two-way open-hearted patience and a willingness to learn and adjust.
The Border Consotium (TBC) a long-standing Global Ministries partnership was established in 1976 by a group of organizations, including the Church of Christ in Thailand. This partnership was a response to those fleeing the oppressive Myanmar regime. TBC’s main focus is to provide food, shelter and capacity-building support to Burmese refugees and displaced persons. The largest refugee camp is Mae La which has a population of 44,672 and holds a space for those trapped in these camps at the Thai Burma Border until they can be placed, which may take many years - if ever. Your support enables Global Ministries to stand each day with our brothers and sisters and walk with them to confront powers that deny the fullness of life.
Thailand is in the grip of an unusually cold winter and tents without walls don't offer much warmth in Mae La. The comfort of a warm fire turned to tragedy this past December consuming 57 shelter homes, mandating the dismantleing of 86 additional households (a standard proceedure for fires in densely-populated refugee camps) and demolishing a boarding school for children. There were no fatalities. There were however those who already suffer tremendous hardship, left in the cold without a place to call home. Thank you for your support of Global Ministries and these partnerships. Together we are pouring out God’s radical love.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Benjamin Ewert)
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 : http://globalministries.org/sasia/countries/thailand/
Global Ministries Missionary in Thailand:
Benjamin Ewert, member of Congregational United Church of Christ, Harlan, Iowa, serves with the Church of Christ in Thailand. Ben serves as a teacher at the Udon Christian schools in Udon Thani, Thailand.