Dear Family and Friends,
We have several things we want to share with you. The first is an unfortunate tragedy that hit our school. Almost three weeks ago, two of our senior students had a motorcycle accident. One died the night of the accident. The other died after two weeks in a coma. Their names were Chainarong and Manachai. Both were male hill-tribe students. Chainarong was the only Christian from his village. We did funeral services in Chiang Mai and many of his family and friends attended. They seemed genuinely moved by the evidence of our love for him. May they understand this love as the love of God and follow Chainarong into faith.
Manachai was from a Christian family. They brought his body back to their Lahu village. Most of our student body and faculty were able to attend the services. The burial was on the top of a hill -- a 20- to 30-minute walk through woods, grasses over our heads, and up a very steep hill. The explanation of this custom was that the walk to and from the grave site was to be a time of meditation by those who accompanied the casket. We were to remember that while one of our loved ones had gone on to be with God, we were returning to a life of genuine struggle against the forces of evil and temptation in our world.
Earlier this week some of us met with the fourth year students in one of the faculty member’s house. We listened as they shared their pain, doubts, concerns, and future hopes. It was an intense three hours, but blessed by God’s presence.
Please pray for the families of Chainarong and Manachai. Pray for our students. Pray for our faculty.
Even during this time of sorrow, we have rejoiced that I have finished the English copy of a book on the history of Christianity in Asia. Another faculty member will work with me (via email) to translate the short book into Thai. It will be a much needed resource for our students as they reflect on the presence of Christianity in Asia and what that presence looks like in its various settings.
Finally, Pat and I will be returning to the States for our U.S. and Puerto Rico assignment. We are scheduled to be back for six to seven months. We will arrive in the States on Sept. 21. We already have some speaking engagements set. We will be in West Virginia from Oct. 2 to through Nov. 9. We have two dates set in December. On Dec 3 we will be speaking at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, GA, and on Dec 7 we will be at First Baptist Church in Montezuma, GA.
If you would like for us to speak in your church, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work on a date for you.
Peace, LaMon and Pat