Lectionary Selection: Luke 14:25-35
Prayers for Thailand:
You ask us, Gracious God, through the words of Jesus, to “count the cost” of the holy journey. Help us to appreciate the freedom that comes from placing our life and our hopes in your hands, God of mercy. Let us, like the Christians in Thailand, be brave enough to appreciate “sacrifice,” and to trust that the Way of Jesus brings new life and beloved community. Then let us be that community for others, through Christ. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Thailand:
I've noticed two things in these recent years in Thailand. The first is that Christians often give thanks for the "sacrifices" made by the early Protestant missionaries, who came in the 1820s. Of course, those Christian workers did make great sacrifices—long, dangerous sea travel, no guarantee of ever seeing family or friends again, questionable immunity to tropical diseases, and so on. While sort of getting used to such prayers, I began to notice that I seldom hear such praise of "sacrifice" among the Christians I know in the USA.
But for Thai Christians, it’s perhaps easy to see because every Thai Christian must sacrifice being "normal," at least somewhat, due to the widespread cultural assumption that to be Thai is to be Buddhist. There can be all sorts of ways that a Christian no longer fits in, or struggles to decide even small things, because of uncertainty as to whether they may offend their culture or their faith. This can be true even though Thailand is one of the most religiously tolerant countries in the world.
Secondly, the Christians I know make every effort to encourage one another daily. At first, seeing such words of support on social media every day, I wondered if it might be a bit over the top. Then I came to realize how much people need this kind of encouragement when they wonder if their chosen faith might make them into strangers in a foreign land. And then, I began to think to myself, “Behold, how they love one another.”
Prayer and Mission Moment by Anne Gregory
Mission Partners in Thailand:
More information on Thailand: https://www.globalministries.org/thailand
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Thailand:
Anne Gregory serves with the Church of Christ in Thailand. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, WOC, OGHS, and special gifts.