I was part of a group of five people from three Adelaide Hills Lutheran churches which recently visited the Nan district in northern Thailand.
Our mission was to construct a hothouse on the church farm with evangelists from surrounding villages. The sale of the produce from the hothouse will provide income to support the training of evangelists and the purchase of much-needed worship materials. It also allows the evangelists to invite non-Christian villagers to train in new agricultural methods at the farm while witnessing to them.
Pastor Michael Dutschke from Grace, Bridgewater was part of the visiting group and led training in prayer ministry to help local evangelists with their gospel mission and pastoral care.
My faith was tested before we arrived and I had many questions. Would the materials for the building be there? Would we have beds and meals for our stay? Would our group get on well together? Would our group mix in well with the evangelists and villagers, especially as only one of us speaks Thai?
After eight days of building, laughing, eating and spending time with the local evangelists and villagers, the answer to all of my questions was ‘yes’.
We had a fantastic time and what hit home was how the Thai evangelists live out their faith. It is primary in everything they do every day. Even though I cannot speak their Lua language, I was humbled by watching what they did for their communities.
One day we visited an outlying Christian village with evangelist Min. He then took us onto the next village further up in the highlands and we sat and listened while he interacted with local people. We could not understand them but there was plenty of laughter. Later he explained through our interpreter Tana that this village was run by a powerful witchdoctor and that he had received death threats for trying to preach the word of God there. Min told us that, with God’s help, he has been slowly bringing people in that village to know Christ. Parked overlooking the village, we prayed that Christ would defeat evil there and that Min would be protected. To see his faith at work was so powerful and reminded me of the struggles of the disciples in the Bible.
It is such a blessing to go outside of our own country, from where we are very protected, to experience what happens in other regions of the world. If you have ever thought about going overseas for this type of experience, I implore you to take a leap of faith and speak to the LCA International Mission team about what you can do – it is a life-changing experience for those who go as well as for those who are helped.
Chris Sumner is a member of Spring Head Lutheran Church in the Adelaide Hills.
Your support brings good news
You support the proclamation of the good news of Jesus to the Lua people of northern Thailand through your prayers and the partnership between LCA International Mission and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand and the ministry of local evangelists. If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or serving in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on 08 8267 7300 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org