Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings! As we step into this last season of the year, I thank God for his love and his protection. It is time to count his blessings and move forward by the strength that he has granted me. I would also like to thank all of you for being so supportive to me and my ministry. Through this update, I would like to share with you what is happening in my ministries and prayer items. Your prayer and support are always my strength.
Recent COVID Situation in Thailand and Myanmar
The new COVID cases in Thailand surged since April. Although it is more stable now, the slow vaccination and the plan to reopen up the country has made the situation very worrisome. The churches remain worshiping online. The schools are running online, in-person or hybrid. Education is facing big challenges under the pandemic.
In Myanmar, the political situation and the pandemic continue to challenge the lives of the people. Recently, many pastors were infected and passed away due to COVID. Churches are facing many challenges. Life is even becoming more difficult because of inflation. Most of the children in Myanmar have not been able to go to school for almost two years. Please continue to pray for Myanmar and may these dark days be over soon.
Ministries Under the Pandemic
Thailand Bethel Theological Institute has switched all the courses to online since June, the start of the school year. Teachers and students are still waiting for vaccinations. There are 80 students in the Chinese department and 36 students in the Thai department this year. The first semester wrapped up at the end of September, and I have completed my teaching for two online courses. Teaching online is still difficult due to unstable internet connection and electricity problems, but these did not affect the overall teaching. Teachers and students have been working together to overcome the challenges for the online classes. I learned that teaching online is a new teaching model in itself, and not just simply a matter of moving the traditional way of teaching to online. We must learn using new tools and techniques. In this semester, students are getting better adapting to the new way of teaching. We rely on the grace of God so that we can participate in equipping his people even under various obstacles.
During the pandemic, the Lahu ministry continued to accomplish the goal for the last quarter. Pastor Thaw Thu has finished his trips to the villages and the multi-functional church building in Ba Bao village is fully completed. In the past three months, Pastor Thaw Thu and the team have made 3 mission trips to the villages and brought 20 villagers to Christ and provided free medical treatment to 4 Lahu villages. The past three months have been very hard for Lahu villages because the political situation and the pandemic have made the villagers unable to travel down to town as frequently as before. This also affected their normal income because they are not able to bring their products to sell in town. More than that, the heavy rain has washed away many of their crops, so the villagers have encountered greater difficulties than ever. The good news is some local churches have donated funds to help the villagers to get through this difficult time.
The children in Zheng Zhu student center are not able to attend school under the restrictions of the pandemic and the political situation in Myanmar. A small number of students can attend the online classes, but most of the children need to be taught by the pastors and the teachers in the center. As the children need to stay in the center all the time, the teachers in the center have planned and arranged for the children to learn to live independently by training them to do the housework and taking care of themselves. Pastor Zhao, the director, shares that he expects the children will grow in a holistic way and they will eventually find God’s plan in their lives, so that they may become good disciples of Jesus Christ.
My Personal Situation
I have completed teaching two online courses at TBTI for the first semester and will teach two more courses in the coming semester – one in November and one in January next year. So preparing lessons has taken up a lot of my time. Nevertheless, I love teaching and I am grateful that God has given me the opportunity to serve his people through teaching. But I need to learn how to manage my time better to handle all the workload. Working from home is very challenging especially with time management and self-discipline.
My family members are still waiting for the vaccines, and we hope to get our first dose by the end of this year. By the end of September, about 30% of Thailand’s population will be fully vaccinated. The government is currently seeking a more effective way to speed up the vaccination for more people. But the daily new cases of COVID in the country are still challenging the country’s re-opening plan in November. We pray that the COVID situation in Thailand will improve soon.
My daughter Sophia is currently in sixth grade and learning online at home. This has been a challenging year for her studies. She also needs to prepare for middle school. We are praying and looking for a suitable middle school for her. May the guidance of God be with her and lead her to walk on the path of God.
- Please pray for the COVID situation in Thailand and Myanmar. Pray that people will be able to access vaccinations and the government will distribute the vaccines fairly and effectively to the people.
- Please pray for the residents of Lahu villages to have adequate living resources in this time of political unrest and pandemic.
- Please pray for the health and safety of the teachers and the students in Zheng Zhu student center.
- Please pray for TBTI teachers and students to have wisdom and strength to continue online courses.
- Please pray for me and my family to have wisdom in our ministries and pray for my daughter to grow healthily and to have wisdom in her studies.