United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

United Methodist Missionaries serving in Thailand

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We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission

We serve with the Thailand Methodist Mission
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Akha Pastor in Pattaya is a Pioneering Pastor

Mike and Pastor Ahlong of the Pradumri Pattaya Akha Church beside the motorcycle given for his ministry through the Pioneering Pastors Program.  I did not smile in this picture because a friend in Illinois named Bob said I always smile in pictures and I wanted to get one picture where I was not smiling.  But I want everyone else to know that inside, I am beaming with joy.
Pastor Ahlong, the pioneer pastor of the Pradumri Pattaya Akha Church has a unique situation among church planters.  His church focuses on those of the Akha tribe in the city of Pattaya.  And this group presents several challenges.  The firs challenge is a wonderful one.  Starting out, he had over 100 members.  This is great!  But these Akha people are spread all over the city in 4 different precincts.  To visit his members, he would walk in the steaming heat of the day for many, many miles and was only able to visit a few each day.  Church planting pastors must focus on visiting their members, especially the first year, and they need a motorcycle or some form of transportation to be able to visit as many people as possible each day.

We are pleased that Pastor Ahlong is participating in the Pioneering Pastors Program, and were able to supply him with some of the equipment needed for church planting, like this motorcycle.

Please pray for Pastor Ahlong, who is planting a church in perhaps the most difficult place in Thailand, Pattaya, the center of sex tourism in Southeast Asia.  This setting is another one of his challenges.  Most of his members sell hand-made crafts to tourists, and they are seasonal workers.  Although some of his members live in Pattaya year-round, most will go back to the mountain villages in the North.  This reminds me of the Hispanic congregation at our home church, College Heights UMC in Elizabethtown, KY.  That was a congregation that had members who were seasonal workers as well, and it always presented a challenge.

Your prayers are needed.  Thank you for your faithfulness.