Some Highlights from the Mainland Southeast Asia Gatherings
21 Jun 2023
Early June 2023, in Thailand
As the Member Care and Development Facilitator for Aussie members serving in Mainland Southeast Asia, I had the immense privilege of attending the Regional gathering in Thailand in early June, the first to take place since the pandemic-caused hiatus.
The setting was a relaxing resort on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand sea, where members could enjoy much needed rest and relaxation, participate in exuberant worship, listen to stimulating teaching from the Word, as well as go deeper together as teams. Mr. Parker, a pastor in the USA who has served overseas with his family, brought a challenging Word each day from 1 John around the theme of Quest: Into God’s Heart, Into Koinonia with Each Other, and Into God’s Heart for the Nations.
It was such a joy to meet many of the members I serve face to face for the first time! In attendance were seven Aussie families and one single person. For me it was certainly a case of ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep’, Rom 12:15, as they shared the joys and challenges of serving in hard places where there are least reached peoples. Balancing family and ministry, experiencing loss and grief, and misunderstandings in communicating with indigenous peoples were some of the challenges shared. What a privilege it was to listen, offer some reflection, and ultimately surrender in prayer all these matters to the Lord as the Master Carer!
We were delighted by the presence of Mark and Ruth Syn, International Director who shared where the Lord is leading PI as a global movement, and Uncle Fred and Evelyn Dimado, Associate International Director for the MSEA region, who urged us by the Spirit to go as one Bride… and of course brought a song from his heart.
In attendance were approximately 80 adult members from four areas of the region. The focus for prayer, reflection and God stories each day was on one of these areas.
Children and teens were blessed with age-appropriate, engaging and spiritually encouraging programs staffed by amazing volunteers who came from across the globe to serve them. This was such an integral part of the week as these programs enabled parents to be ministered to in an undistracted manner perhaps for the first time in years.
The Mainland Southeast Asia gathering has certainly been a joy and highlight for me in my first year in this role.
Wendy Marshall | Member Care & Development Facilitator
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