Leeann visited Life Center UMC in Pattaya, which is the sponsoring church of Blessing Home. This church is special in that it is in the most difficult place to plant a church in Thailand because it is a spiritual combat zone, with all of the sex and drug trade. Next, she visited the Chiang Rai Akha church in the mountains of the very far north. This church is an Akha hill tribe church in a very poor and isolated area. Most of the people living there are seniors who are taking care of grandchildren, while their adult children work in the cities and tourist areas to make a living and send money back home.
Later in the week, Leeann visited Blessing Home during the daytime, to see the normal activities of this ministry that protects orphans and street children from sex trafficking. In the afternoon, we had a special outreach event for the families of the children of Blessing Home. The next day, Leeann had a very sobering visit on a Saturday night in Pattaya, where she was able to walk up and down the miles of streets packed with sex tourists and places of prostitution. She was able to see why the children here in Pattaya are in such grave danger.
Next, Leeann visited a second Akha church, this time in Pattaya. Here she was able to view the other side of Akha life. This church has few children and a handful of seniors. Most are the middle generation of adults who work hard selling handcrafts to tourists so they can send money home to their parents and children in the mountain villages. They usually work from 10am to 1am everyday (yes, 15 hour days). Life is tough for them, but they have the joy of the Lord, which they show on their faces as they worshipped. The church was packed with joyful Christians, all of whom warmly greeted us.
|Rev. Leeann Young-Johnson visits the Pattaya Akha Church|
|A Korean elder came to Thailand and build beautiful wood furniture for the Korat Weslay International School.|
|Rev. Leeann Young-Johnson and Rev. John Kim survey the large plot of land which was purchased for construction of a high school for the Korat Wesley International School.|
|Two members of the Almighty God UMC in Nonsomboon with some of the baskets and bags they make to supplement their farm income. It is through projects like these that churches become self-sufficient, and a self-sufficient church is a permanent one.|
Leeann also visited Pradumri First church, to see an older, fully developed congregation and to visit with Pastors Sila and Wassana of the Bangkok United Methodist Church. There at the church in Bangkok, we met a new member of the church who also lives there as well. This member is a diabetic who had lost her eyesight and could barely walk. When she received Christ 4 months ago, she immediately received a miracle from the Lord and she received her sight back... FULLY! She can read and see very clearly now, and can walk as well. God is good! On the mission field, we see miracles like this frequently. When people experience the power of God, they will then pay attention to the Word of God.
Leeann made it back to the States, and we know she has many stories to tell.
Please be praying for us as we receive a mission team from Wichita, Kansas tonight.