I had previously been a Youth Counsellor for SHWALLY for many years including two trips to Malaysia with the assistance of LCA International Mission. After having a couple of years’ break from doing anything major for the church, I was at my desk at work one day thinking that it was time to get out […]
I had previously been a Youth Counsellor for SHWALLY for many years including two trips to Malaysia with the assistance of LCA International Mission. After having a couple of years’ break from doing anything major for the church, I was at my desk at work one day thinking that it was time to get out there and re-engage again. I wasn’t sure what or where and a few days later an email appeared in my inbox from Erin Kerber, program officer for LCA International Mission, inviting me to travel to Thailand. Isn’t it amazing how God works! After clearing this with my better half, I was excited to go.
After some planning, Pastor Michael Dutschke, Erin and myself set off for Thailand on the 21st of February 2018. Our Mission was to “look, listen and learn” to see how we could further assist the Lua people, living in the Nan region of Northern Thailand, in coming to know Jesus.
The following are my impressions of Thailand and our unique experience which we hope to share with others who will come with us on this journey in the future.
As we moved further North and left the smog of Bangkok behind (thankfully) we soon were the only three white people around. We ended up staying with the acting Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand at the small town of Ban Sapan. This is in the North of the country near the border with Laos. It is a beautiful part of the world with high mountains surrounding us and perfect weather, no pollution and very few cars. The people were all very friendly and we were privileged to be able to visit six villages and the church’s farm project over the next few days with Pastor Tovo, a missionary from the Malagasy Lutheran Church. A few of these villages were only accessible by four-wheel drive. Imagine having to cross through a river to go to Church! Before I left, I said to my wife that I would love to meet a witch doctor. We ended up meeting a few witch doctors who had become Christian and one that had not and were very blessed to attend the Sunday service in Ban Napan, where the former village witch doctor was baptised. I have great respect for the witch doctors who have come to know Jesus. These are the most respected and feared people in each village, and they are also the wealthiest. Imagine giving up all of your wealth, power and privilege to follow Jesus? Honestly, I don’t think that I could do that. It reminded me of the following Bible passage from Luke’s gospel: Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
The evangelists (pictured above) were also inspiring – many quite young and just so passionate about the Christian faith. They were a great team and the female evangelists who held a very strong presence, impressed me. This struck me as true equality amongst the genders. I am looking forward to the future, working in partnership with these great people.
If you would like to know more about being involved in the trip to Thailand in 2019, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more stories about our partner churches in Thailand at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/thailand/