A great deal has happened since our last newsletter which resembles more like a roller coaster ride then mission work. Sinte, Ewing and I have moved into our new home and began some new work along the border. Sinte has started a nursery which provides free education to many of the poorer families in our village. Fifteen to twenty children who are about three to five years old are now coming to our home three times a week. It has been a great success and so with that has come some resistance in the village.
There is a select group within the village who are very much opposed to what we and the church are doing in the village. Just a few days ago during the night the signs which pointed to the church throught the village were destroyed. A group within the community has also complained to their local leaders about our work as they are afraid we will brainwash the children to become Christians. The local leaders (who are Buddhist) see our work as helping the community but they are growing tired of the complaints. They’ve requested through the local pastor that we move the nursery to the church. I plan to meet with the local leaders and share about what we are doing and why we hope to keep the nursery at our home. However, we also want to be good witnesses and we will submit ourselves to their authority as we desire to be servants to the community. Please pray for these meetings and also for peace within our village as this is a challenging time.
While Sinte teaches children in the village I teach bible at a nearby refugee camp and also am visiting churches and other small groups of believers in further away villages. We live in probably one of the most remote parts of Thailand and so I hope after the rainy season I will be able to do a survey of more outlying areas and see how we might share God’s love to them. I’m definitely looking forward to the adventure!
As for Rakchat, he recently returned from Northern Karen State and checked on some of our projects there. He has completely taken over our development, relief and education projects in Northern Karen State and is doing an outstanding job. He’s also looking towards the future and developing plans alongside community and local leaders on how Farthest Corners can serve in these areas even better. He would like to thank all of you for your support and prayers and has asked me to inform you all about what is happening inside Northern Karen State at present.
Our projects have made great strides this year as you will see in the below pictures.
At Happy’s Home we have forty five children that we are supporting this year (about 10 of these children are new students as some of last years students had to leave for educational or family reasons). The children appear to have a lot of encouragement in their hearts to do their studies this year.
We now have three pieces of land which are supporting the rice needs of Happy’s Home.
Our farm has been able to plant about 3 acres of rice for the first time this year. We now have a motorized plow there and have used it to work up the land. The irrigation has been a problem but God is working and so are the farm hands as well. The rice continues to grow and we are looking forward to a bountiful harvest this year.
While there is much more to talk about, I will share about those things in next months mission update. Please be in prayer for our work as there are always challenges spiritually, emotionally and physically. A special prayer should be made for peace inside Burma. Lately, there have been some divisions within many of the ethnic armies. Some have joined the Burma Army while others have now agreed to fight against the Burma Army. This could mean more fighting in the near future in the area where we live. While we are safe, the Karen people whom we love and serve are in greater danger. So please lift them up in your prayers. As always, thank you for your love, prayers and support. May God bless you!