As I write these words, I’m sitting in a classroom with ten Thai pastors who are ministering in environments that are pagan in nature, and incredibly harsh and difficult. They come face to face with cultural and spiritual resistance.
Yesterday we listened to each of them preach sermons, following a day of teaching by other members of the Board of Ordained Ministry and Bishop Scott Jones. Overwhelmingly, their messages were centered on the being joyful in the Lord, being content with what you have, being faithful servants of God, being in relationship with God, and loving involves forgiving one another and sharing with those in need.
The last pastor who preached is from a remote village in northern Thailand who used John 10:10,11 as his passage. He began his message with, “Do you believe in ghosts?” Then he began talking about how Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. My companions and I thought, “Oh, no! They started out so well, and now we have one who has gone astray.” But as we continued to listen, he described his ministry environment where the tribal rituals are still very much in practice. These rituals including the killing of one twin if twins are born, the killing of babies who are defected, human sacrifice, and Satan worship. One can only begin to imagine the fear of those to whom he ministers and the fear of the village chiefs he faces every day. But he is persistent. His message concluded with the importance of sharing the Good News of our faith that out of God’s love for us, Jesus came and died a sacrificial death for us so that we will live – here on earth with a loving God and forever.
My friends, I’m asking for you to pray for these pastors in Thailand. Pray that they will continue to be encouraged in the faith, strengthened in their resolve to share God’s love, and the courage to face the adversities they face every single day of their lives.
I am blessed to serve in this manner, to encourage and equip these fellow servants in the faith.
In Christ, Linda Christians