Whenever we ask for prayer we always try to give an update so you can know how the Lord has answered your prayers. But sometimes we have a prayer request that requires a long time of prayer. This is one of them and now we have an update.
Last year, we asked for all of our prayer warriors to lift up Pastors Jerron and On and the Mai Ya church because they were facing systemic persecution by local government officials.
Here is the link to the original post from January 2012 http://msmorrissey.blogspot.com/2012/01/polar-plunges-and-persecution.html
|Members of the church at Mai Ya|
Every rural sub-district in Thailand has a life insurance program that is funded through the national government but fully operated and controlled by local government officials at the sub-district level. Members of the community can participate in the life insurance program by paying monthly premiums to the sub-district mayor. Many of the older members of the community have paid into the program for many years. This provides a safety net, so that the farm does not have to be sold to cover the expenses of someone in the household who has died. The sub-district mayor and the village chiefs of the sub-district of Mai Ya made a law a few years ago that anyone who became a Christian would not be allowed to participate in the life insurance program and would forfeit all of the money they paid into it through the years. This hit Mai Ya church very hard, because some of them had paid premiums for many years and then when family members died, they had to borrow money to pay for the funeral expenses. This debt was crushing them.
This law was clearly illegal. But we asked you to pray that we would find a solution that did not involve the courts. The reason why is that we could have won the case in court, but the public officials would have been humiliated and there would be broken relationships that would extend for generations. Pastors Jerron and On and the members of Mai Ya church decided to intentionally reach out to the sub-district mayor and village chiefs to build good relations. Ministries and events were done to help the local schools and community. They did this for a over a year, patiently bridging the gap with the local leaders and the community. Last month, all of the members of the Mai Ya sub-district met for their "town hall meeting". The members of the Mai Ya church presented their case, and the community voted to stop the discrimination against Christians and allow them to participate in the life insurance program. They also voted to retroactively reimburse the families of Mai Ya church who did not receive death benefits because of the old law.
Pastor Jerron reported that after this ruling, many members of the community have visited Mai Ya church and have expressed interest in learning more about Jesus. God is good!
We also thank everyone who prayed for our safety as we traveled all across Thailand these past two weeks. There were many people who replied with prayers by email and blessed us greatly. Last Sunday, we had near miss on an expressway, two semi-trucks had to swerve to miss a car and they came into our lane. It was one of those times that time slowed down. Sherri managed to steer the car, "threading the needle" between the truck that was 3 feet into our lane and the van on our right. It is a rare thing that we ask for prayer for our travels, and something moved us to do it this time. Well now we know that your prayers protected us from disaster. Again, thank you.