More than 130 People Were Happy to Attend the “Cheerful Life” Listener Gatherings

Khok Kloi Lutheran Church, in the town of Khok Kloi in southern Thailand, was the site of our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) Listener Gathering on February 18, 2012.  Before the event began our LHMT staff spent time interacting with people in a local market and promoting the LHMT radio programs.  They met some people who already listen to our programs and found 11 other people who said they would like to start listening.  When they heard about the Cheerful Life program, they said it sounded very interesting to them.

 

Including church members, a total of 69 people attended the Listener Gathering from 3:00-5:00pm.  Although some regular listeners weren’t able to attend, 24 long time listeners joined the activities.  Also attending were 13 people who have been listening to Cheerful Life for just a short time.  Seven of them have never been to a church before.  As a follow-up with these 7 people, LHMT is sending them the Bible Correspondence Course, so they can begin to learn more about the Bible and who Jesus is.  The pastor and church members also will follow-up with the other listeners who attended.

Everyone enjoyed the games and songs that the LHMT staff led.  It was the first time that many of them had met the pastor and church members.  Pastor Suchart Choojit gave a message about the true love that comes to us through Jesus. 

The main purpose of these events is for LHMT staff to meet listeners personally and to work closely with the pastor and church members.  One highlight of the day was meeting members of one of the families that were victims of the 2005 tsunami in southern Thailand.  We got to know this family when we did a relief project for all tsunami victims in their community.  Although they haven’t visited the church for about 7 years, when they heard about our Listener Gathering they came back to see our staff again.

The next day our LHMT staff traveled to the town of Takuapa to conduct a Listener Gathering at Takuapa Lutheran Church.  A total of 63 people participated in the activities that afternoon from 2:00-4:00pm.  Our staff met 16 long time listeners and 25 people who recently began listening to our radio programs.  This was the first time that 14 of them had ever been to a church.  Pastor Suchart Srigagarn, pastor of Takuapa Lutheran Church, also gave a message about the true meaning of love. 

When our staff promoted our radio programs in the local market in Takuapa, 19 people said that they were interested and would start listening.  Our staff were glad that everyone was happy to join in all the singing and games and that the pastor and church members were able to begin building relationships with so many listeners.

We are sending the Bible Correspondence Course to the 14 people who never visited a church before and the pastor and church members will be doing follow-up activities with all listeners who attended.

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Flood Relief Cleaning Packs Project Extended

When we had used all of the funding that was provided for our flood relief project, we thought that we wouldn’t be able to help any other flood victims.  However, several more donations arrived, so both Lutheran Hour Ministries and LCMS World Relief and Human Care decided to send additional funds.  This gave us the opportunity to assist another 1,000 families.

On Saturday January 28 our Lutheran Hour Ministries Thailand (LHMT) staff and two volunteers took 400 flood relief cleaning packs to Sinsamut Community in Thanyaburi District in Patumthani Province.  When we distributed the flood relief packs in the past, the residents gathered together and we gave them the packs in one place.  This time we had to do it a different way.  Because it was close to the time for the election of the new community committees, the community chairman decided to not have the residents meet in a large group.  He was afraid that it might seem like he was trying to affect the election.

Instead, he asked our LHMT staff to deliver the packs individually to each house.  Although this meant a lot of extra work for our staff, it also provided a good chance to spend a few minutes talking with the residents in their homes.  Throughout the morning we delivered 310 flood relief packs to people who owned their homes.

Another 90 families were renting their houses, so they were not eligible to vote in the community elections.  These families collected their flood relief packs later from the community committee.  Although we had to do things differently, the day turned out very well.  We were able to interact more personally with many people and they all appreciated our help very much.

On Sunday afternoon, January 29, the LHMT director, LHMT staff and LCMS missionaries traveled to Sainoi District in Nonthaburi Province.  This area is quite far from any big city.  It’s mostly a lowland farming area, so it took much longer for the flood water to recede.  Many of the residents are orchid farmers.  Almost all of their orchids were destroyed or badly damaged in the floods.  The financial loss to their families and community was very great.

We distributed 570 flood relief cleaning packs to 4 small villages.  We gave 170 packs to Village #8, Village #9 and Village #11.  In Village #12 we delivered 60 packs.  The people in these villages were very surprised that anyone would still be helping flood victims in January.  Because their farms were some of the last to become dry, they thought they wouldn’t receive any help.

Most of the residents are afraid that the water will come again this year, so they are not starting their farming again.  They don’t want to make the large financial investment necessary to get their farms operating again, if they will lose everything in the coming rainy season.  The LHMT director plans to make follow-up contacts with the village chairmen in the coming months to find out how they’re doing.

After delivering 570 cleaning packs, we still have 30 packs left.  So we plan to deliver those packs to the churches where some of our staff attend to help their members who suffered from the flooding.  Our thanks to LCMS World Relief and Human Care and the Lutheran Hour Ministries headquarters in St. Louis for providing the funding for this project.  We thank God for the opportunity to help another 1,000 families.

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