Newsletter from Tore and his family working in Northern Thailand among the Shan people from Myanmar

Here in Northern Thailand, it is the hot season and summer time now and the school holidays should have soon been over, but there is a third wave of Covid-19 here, so the school start has been postponed, and we don’t know how long? This applies to both our weekend school and our three children’s schooling.

I know most people are tired of hearing about Covid-19, and we all hope that it will soon be over, so we can start planning things again, and living normally. We are also very much looking forward to that, but we are a bit behind Europe and the States when it comes to vaccination, so possible we have to wait longer?

Just before the new Covid-19 wave hit here in Thailand, we were luckily to be able to have a big and successful Easter party at our weekend school, where we experienced a great openness. There was also a woman who recently wanted to receive Jesus who was at this feast.
This newsletter will be about this, plus some news from us as a family

 

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  Mawkkham talks with woman who wanted to receive Jesus
 

On Tuesday we had a prayer meeting with our staff, and we were a bit discouraged because we are not able to do so much outreach due to the third wave of Covid-19 here in Thailand.
We are unsure when we can start up the ministry for full again, and we must keep our weekend school closed at least until next month.
We talked together about the children and their parents, about the new Christians and how we could reach out to them when things get reopened, and we prayed for them.

In the evening of the same day, one of the parents of the children from our weekend school, who we have started to reach out to, calls and says that she wanted to receive Jesus. She had her birthday the next day and wanted to do it then.
We can not visit her this time, due to the Covid-19 situation, but we got to talk to her a lot and encouraged her, and we said we would come to visit her when the Covid-19 situation gets better. This was a very concrete encouragement for us.
This woman has come regularly to our monthly Sunday evening meetings, and I noticed that she was particularly interested when we had the Easter party in April.


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Grate Openness

We had a successful Easter celebration, where we reached out to well over 100 people with the message of Easter.

On Easter Sunday we had a program from early morning to late evening. I the morning we had games, where the children, among other things, were to find Easter eggs we had hidden on our land. This was very popular and the kids were thrilled.
In the evening the parents also came, and the children had prepared two dances and songs which they performed. We also showed 15 minutes of the Jesus movie, and explained why we celebrated Easter.

There was great openness among those present and I counted well over 40 people who wanted to be prayed for after the meeting. The woman who wanted to be saved was one of them.
We also gave food both in the morning and in the evening.

We are getting more and more in touch with people, and many people in the village, where we have most of our ministry, know us now.

The third wave of Covid-19 and what that means for us

There
have been busy times out here and in the ministry until the third wave
of Covid-19 hit us, which has spread rapidly, also in Chiang Mai area.

Since August last year, we have been able to run all the ministry that
we have, but then it suddenly came to an abrupt halt last month. From
the beginning of April until now, we have not been able to do much
external ministry. The only thing we do together as a team, of five
adults, is that we meet once a week and pray together.

The third wave has been the largest, and there have been more cases of
Covid-19 since the beginning of April, than there have been in a total
of one year in Thailand (think it has multiplied now). However, there
are only about 2,000 cases daily, because Thailand has been good at
keeping it under control.
There have also been around 48 people who have received it in the city
we live in, so it has come near to us now. (The virus has not been in
the city where we live, until now).

Getting infected with Covid-19 can be difficult in itself, but if we
were to be so unlucky to get it, the consequences are quite large beyond
ourselves, it is not like in Norway.

If we get infected, these are somethings that can happen:
1. We can not be in quarantine ourselves, like in our house, we must stay in a field hospital, even if we have no symptoms.
2. Because I/we are foreigners, it can have greater consequences if I/we
spread it further (we can actually be imprisoned, or get a high fine
for it).
3. If Shan people hear that one of us got it, they will probably stay
away from us (and the school) for a long time. Many people do not have
much knowledge about this sickness, and we can be a bit like a leper for
them. It’s a bit about karma too, and getting it will be in their eyes a
bad karma, and they will thus not send the children to our school or
come to our meetings.
So feel free to remember to pray for us in these times! For protection and that none of us should be infected by the virus.

They have also imposed heavy fines for not wearing a face mask when
leaving their home. The fine is from 200USD and up to 600USD. This
applies even when driving a car with family members (it is only OK not
to wear it if you drive alone), so quite strict. I think it would have
been an outcry if something similar had happened in Norway.

They have also closed down quite a few things, such as: Restaurants, markets, parks and schools.

There have thus been no excursions on us during the summer holiday and through the hot season.
We have only had to settle for our a plastic pool outside our house,
where we have (inside and outside) celebrated the summer holiday this
year (as last year).
We had planned a small hotel holiday trip with a swimming pool, but we have postponed it to a better time.

Despite this, we are in good spirits, and we have seen every time we
have had to shut down and reopen, that God has opened new doors, and we
have reached out to even more people. I think we have reached out to
more people in the last year than I can ever remember. So again, I have
faith that God will turn it for the good for us.

Now that we have to be at home a lot, we want to work on to get things
out online, such as new websites and teaching in Shan, which also
reaches many people.

 
 
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