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To be Thai


is to be Buddhist

talking-to-Aun.jpgOur heart aches for the Isan region of the world.  Tucked away in the north east of Thailand, it is an area where only two people out of a thousand know Jesus.  Most others have not even heard His name.

Recently we have been prayerfully exploring Ubon, over near the eastern border of Vietnam.  We wanted to dedicate this time to prayer, before getting involved in ministry of any kind.  As we've done so, it seems that God had raised up a few people with whom we are to begin spending time.

One of those people is a young lady called Aree (not her real name).  During these past three months, while praying in and through Ubon, we had been going to the local park one evening a week to pray and be amongst the many people who gather there to do exercise, feed the fish and generally hang out. Two weeks ago Aree, who is in Year 11, started talking to Jenny once she noticed I could speak Thai.  Over the next hour or so we chatted about many things, including the good news about Jesus. We learnt that we live very close to each other, and that, in fact, we had been buying somtam (papaya salad) from her mother. Aree was very keen to keep meeting and study the Bible together so she could learn more about what we believe.

The next time we were walking past her place, her family called us over to join them as they ate their evening meal. Theirs is a very warm loving family and her father is happy for Aree to learn about Jesus from us in order to increase her knowledge. He is of the common opinion that all religions teach us to be good and so there is no reason for anyone to change, especially since "to be Thai is to be Buddhist."

Aree and I met again soon after that, on a Wednesday evening at the park, and we began to look at God's story in the Bible, planning to move chronologically through about 20 stories.  I encouraged her to share what we read with her family and to talk through with them the same questions about what we can learn and how we can obey it. We prayed, thanking God for being our Creator and asking Him to help her with a problem she had shared with me.

Please pray with me that Aree's interest will not fizzle out, but that her faith in God will continue to grow as she sees Him answering her prayers, and as she learns more about His gift of salvation. Please also pray as Aree shares each week with her parents and sister that God will work in their hearts so they too will see their need for salvation and that this is not just another religion but a relationship with the Living God. My dream is that her father will so embrace our Living God, that he will in turn begin other small groups and spread the Good News among people who might otherwise not have a chance to hear.

Do you want to encourage the Malones that you just prayed?  Email them at ----.  Do you want to learn more about this region of the world and the team vision for this area?  Click here to find out more.

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