We greet you all in Christ Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with each of you.
Our journey is just beginning in Chiang Rai Thailand and we’re thankful for the prayers of the saints and the Lord’s sustaining grace that has helped us reach a level of normalcy here. Our primary motive for involving ourselves in God’s plan to bless all nations is that God might be worshiped by all peoples, receiving the glory due His name. (John Piper).
As you all are aware, the pandemic created challenges with our initial transition, yet the Lord saw us through. When we arrived there had been no Covid 19 cases in Chiang Rai for quite some time and the number of cases had previously been low. In April, Thailand was hit with a third wave which was more significant in number than the past. Schools closed, as did many businesses.
Having limited access to people creates unique circumstances for a newly entering missionary family with little to no local language. We are so thankful for technology that helps keep us connected to family and friends across the waters, access to sermons, podcasts and music, as well as home-based learning and language learning online. It’s all different and not ideal, but the Lord has been bringing us to a place of contentment in our circumstances as we abide in and worship Him.
Our children finished well academically despite the transitions within transition as their new school moved to home-based learning. They’ve worked hard and have maintained positive attitudes with each change. We’re thankful.
Covid Among the Thai Yuan
Thailand’s economy relies heavily on tourism, so the government has allowed most businesses to remain open under certain guidelines yet due to lack of tourists, businesses have suffered, local people are without jobs, and many without hope.
According to a recent survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, 73% of Thais surveyed currently feel "hopeless". When asked about the causes, 88% cited the worsening Covid-19 situation in this third wave and 75% referred to the economic slump. (https://www.bangkokpost.com/.../73-of-thais-feel-hopeless...)
We all know hopelessness increases desperation, vulnerability, isolation, trauma triggers and mental illness. Yet with Christ there is hope. Pray with us, that Thais will come to a knowledge of and hope in Jesus Christ and reject fear and experience God's peace.
This song from House Fires reminds us of a truth that seems important right now. The song is called Joy, and you can find it in the link. Despite the ongoing changes and challenges we face with transitions within our transition and the burden we feel for the Thai people to know our Living God, we do feel a pervasive and constant sense of well-being. We feel joy.
Our utmost desire is to love the Lord with all our hearts, all our souls and with all our minds which compels us to love our neighbors to the ends of the earth, declaring to them the glory of our God. Thank you for your generosity in sending us to Chiang Rai Thailand. May God richly bless you.
That All May Hear,
Luke, Lydia, Micah & Ezra
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! ~ Psalm 96:3