26 January 2000

Fundraising Update!

Praise to God for his faithfulness! It is less than three weeks since we sent out our letter requesting support, and already we have received support gifts that completely cover our estimated $6000 in expenses for the upcoming mission trip. Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed to making this happen. We have been very moved by your immense generosity, and we are very encouraged as it seems more clear than ever to us that God is preparing the way for us to go to Kwai River! We are now in the process of prayerfully determining how to use any "extra" funds that are raised. The people served by the Kwai River Christian Mission have many needs, and we are very excited about the possibility of being able to partner with you and God in the meeting of some of these. We will keep you informed as we dialogue with Dr. McDaniel about possible options.

Ratchaburi Provincial Hospital Hostage Ordeal

Many of you may be aware that earlier this week Thai military commandos ended a 22-hour hostage ordeal by killing the ten members of "God's Army" (a fringe ethnic rebel group from nearby Myanmar's (Burma) ethnic Karen minority) who had taken hostage the staff and patients of the Ratchaburi Provincial Hospital (located approximately 80 miles southeast of the Kwai River Christian Mission). We will certainly be in touch with Dr. McDaniel, but as far as the incident and the associated conflict between Karen refugees and the Myanmar army concern our plans to travel to Kwai River this spring, the bottom line is that it is very unlikely that such issues will preclude our being able to make the trip. It is, of course, very distressing that the members of this fringe group chose to use violent threats against innocent people to try to arm-twist the Thai government into supporting their fight for independence from Myanmar. Does such action reflect a sentiment representative of the majority of Karen Christians? Absolutely not. However, the oppressive policies of the current anti-Karen, anti-Christian Myanmar regime are, in fact, what has created many of the needs that are met by the Kwai River Christian Mission. We look forward to serving the many refugees (the majority of whom are not Christians) who have been forced out of Myanmar into Thailand. These are people without a home. Our prayer is that they would find their home in God's Kingdom through Jesus Christ! If you would like to learn more about this issue, check out CNN's web page at www.cnn.com (go to the "Southeast Asia" subsection of the "World" section).

Prayer Requests

  1. Guidance regarding the use of "extra" funds.
  2. Peace in Thailand and Myanmar and freedom for the people of both countries to be able to enter into a relationship with Jesus and then worship and serve him freely.
  3. Strength and grace to persecuted Christians in Thailand, Myanmar, and around the world.

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