“I also reconciled with a sister-in-Christ after 10 years of misunder-standing. Only God made this possible. I thank the camp speaker and our pastors who made this camp happen.”
Youths in Thailand are not that much different from youths anywhere else in the world.
They are distracted by boy-girl relationships, checking out the latest trainers to buy, messaging on their phones and yearning to be recognised and acknowledged by their peers.
In the rural villages of northern and north-eastern Thailand, there is also family pressure to help out during harvest-time, together with the irresistible pull and bright lights of Bangkok, the capital city which they often aspire to go to seek work and to attend university. Exercising and practising their Christian faith can then be a real challenge.
What could possibly gel them together, so that they are well-grounded in their faith before they leave their home villages? How can we lead them to study at the Bible seminary and attend Rangsit Methodist Church in Bangkok?
Our work with youths in the two ministry areas in Thailand – the northern region where the Lahu and Akha tribes live, and the north-eastern region of Udon Thani – is vibrant and growing. One programme that we organise every year to gel them together are the youth camps, which took place recently in April.
The testimonies were many. The youths affirmed their learning, and came away assured that God would not forsake or leave them. We sensed a
growing desire among the youths to follow Christ regardless of their circumstances in life.
Liew, a Payakapum Methodist Church youth, said: “I felt uneasy on the first day, as we did not know each other yet. But through the activities and working together, God’s love bound us together. On the second night, I had an intimate encounter with God. I felt His presence and was very touched by His love in my life. He reminded me that He is my help and refuge.
“I also reconciled with a sister-in-Christ after 10 years of misunderstanding. Only God made this possible. I thank the camp speaker and our pastors who made this camp happen.”
Plam, a Rangsit Methodist Church youth, shared: “Knowing God’s love, that He is always with me and will never leave nor forsake me, has changed everything. I have surrendered my heart to Him. I have repented and started a new journey with God. I will share His love with those around me, and I want to live in His love daily.”
It is our continued prayer that these youths will share their experiences with their families and friends in schools and colleges, and that they will be protected from any form of persecution as they commit their lives in service to the Lord.
Photos courtesy of the Methodist Missions Society
David Khew is Country Coordinating Officer for Thailand with the Methodist Missions Society (MMS). He wrote this article with input from Mr Loong Aphichai Chenrungrostakun (MMS Missionary in Thailand) and the Rev Henry Yeo (Northern District Superintendent in Thailand). David worships at Grace Methodist Church, and is married with three grown-up children.