Mr. Bruce and Marijane Wurdeman
From late night on November 4 through November 10 Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) hosted two special visitors from St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Bruce Wurdeman and his wife, Marijane, spent time in Bangkok and in southern Thailand, learning about Thai culture and the various ministries of LHMT.
As the new Executive Director for Lutheran Hour Ministries, Mr. Bruce is eager to learn about the work of each of the Lutheran Hour offices around the world. During his time in Thailand he was able to hear about and experience personally some of the unique challenges and opportunities for LHMT to Bring Christ to the Nations and the Nations to the Church in this society.
To gain as much understanding as possible during the visit, Mr. Bruce and his wife had a very busy schedule. While in Bangkok they toured the LHMT building, observed the various ministries of each of the LHMT staff and spent time getting to know each other. They also visited the Luther Institute Southeast Asia, stopped in the CGM Center and Into Light Lutheran Church, and observed a live radio broadcast being aired by one of the LHMT speakers.
On Saturday evening, November 6, they attended the annual Thanksgiving Banquet that LHMT hosted for nearly 200 friends and supporters. The people who attended the dinner appreciated being able to meet the Executive Director and Mr. Bruce enjoyed speaking to the group for about ten minutes.
Mr. Bruce and Marijane were able to see more of Bangkok and learn about the local culture as they did some shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market and ate dinner on a boat on the Chaophraya River.
Although they only had time for a quick two-day trip to southern Thailand, Mr. Bruce and Marijane were able to visit the tsunami area, where LHMT did several relief projects to help tsunami victims and their families in early 2005. These projects were accomplished in partnership with the Concordia Lutheran Churches in the town of Takuapa and Khok Kloi. During the Sunday afternoon worship, Mr. Bruce preached the sermon and met some of the 40 tsunami victims who have been baptized and joined the church. The topic of his sermon was, “What a Homecoming!” based on Revelation 7:9-17. Mr. Bruce reminded those present in the church that they all were brothers and sisters in Christ with Mr. Bruce and his wife and other Christians around the world. Through their common faith in Jesus, they will one day join together in praising Jesus around his throne in heaven.
Monday morning was filled with a meeting with the mayor of the Takuapa district, a chance to talk with some students at a private school run by a local Christian family, and a stop at a commercial radio station operated by the Thai government. The station director said that he is very pleased with the daily “Cheerful Life” program provided by LHMT for this radio station. He said that he always receives positive comments from the listeners.
An unexpected bonus for Mr. Bruce was an invitation to go golfing with the mayor, his assistant and a local businessman. The mayor then treated Mr. Bruce, Marijane, the Lutheran Hour Asia Counselor, the LHMT director and other friends to dinner at a local restaurant. This was a wonderful opportunity to get to know some local leaders more personally and for them to understand more about the ministry of Concordia Lutheran Church in Takuapa and Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand.
After a short flight back to Bangkok on Tuesday, November 9, Mr. Bruce and Marijane had a special evening with the LHMT director and the Lutheran Hour Ministries Asia Counselor. Following an excellent international buffet meal, they watched a Thai cultural program that included 150 performers, some goats and a few elephants. The stage on which the program was performed is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the highest stage in the world. Throughout the 90-minute program they enacted the history of Thailand through singing, dancing, special music and lighting and sound effects.
A visit to the Grand Palace and temple and a ride through some Bangkok canals on a long-tail boat on November 10 brought this portion of the Wurdeman’s trip to Thailand to a close.
The LHMT director and staff are very thankful for this great opportunity to get to know Mr. Bruce and Marijane and to share with them some aspects of Thai culture and the LHMT ministry. We pray that God will continue to bless them as they visit Vietnam from November 11-15.
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