New Year Blessings
Happy Thai New Year Friends,
Most of you will remember that this is the time of year when the weather gets unbearably hot, work slows down - just because it's too hot to do otherwise, and Thai people celebrate the Thai New Year with water throwing. It's one of the wildest 3-5 days in the year. Our kids have gone out a time or two to participate. Tan and I prefer to hide in the shade.
Not only do Thai people have a beautiful tradition of blessing their parents like we do with Tan's mom (and Dad before he passed away last year) this time of year, but in our Thai church, the entire congregation blesses the elderly in a hand washing practice where we poor water over their hands and ask God to bless them. And they, in turn, ask God's blessing on us.
With the Thai New Year, the Mekong Minority Foundation (MMF) is coming into a new 'year' as well. Over the past six months, MMF has been trying to work out how it may be more effective in helping to mobilize local churches for ministry in their communities. As you know MMF has worked with denominational leaders in organizing events and seminars, but we have been looking for an effective approach that would help to motivate local churches to be ready to reach out to those in need in their communities.
Last month we arrived at a process which would invite groups in local churches to become involved in participatory Bible studies that are designed to ask the Lord to speak to them about what He may have them do to be salt and light in their own community. We are excited- and at the same time nervous - starting this new effort.
Finally, in the end we agreed that before we start down this track of encouraging churches to get involved in their communities, we ourselves in the MMF team, need to pray and seek God's leading in our own personal lives and as a team. Asking the question: How is He asking us to reach out to others in our community?
If any of you have experience in this area, we'd love to hear your stories.
Scott, Tan, Alisa, Silas and Sam Coats