Locals in World Mission
Local Church people in world mission
My wife Colleen and I have been volunteers at an orphanage near Phetchabun in Thailand for 18 months now. This orphanage is one of three run by Mercy International and has 90 children, many having lost parents through the AIDS epidemic.
Our involvement with Mercy International began 10 years ago when our church in rural South Australia wanted to sponsor a child and we hosted the director of MI who introduced us to the organisation. Lucindale UCA, a small congregation of 30, not only sponsored a child but later sent a desperately needed building team to Thailand. My annual involvement with that building team led to a clear call from God for Colleen and I to commit to 2 years working at the orphanage. Since my retirement from teaching we moved back to Adelaide where we are now supported by our ACC affiliated congregation at Glenunga.
At the Ban Meata (House of Mercy) orphanage I have worked in a range of areas from financial administration to building supervision while Colleen has been sponsorship coordinator and teaches English to the staff and to children. We have become very much a part of the family atmosphere here and have fallen in love with the children and staff. We have discovered that you can't out-give God and we have been blessed so much by these wonderful children and their carers.
It is a privilege to share the gospel with the people here and I get the chance to preach regularly at the worship services (with a translator because my Thai is limited!). Ban Meata is in a Buddhist community and many of our carers are Buddhist but many of them, through the teaching and worship, are learning to be followers of Jesus. The impact of the Holy Spirit on their and the children's lives is amazing and we have seen many miracles of healing in broken lives. They children are cared for in houses of ten children and it is a delight to sit with them during the evening when they pray - aloud and all at the same time!
There is so much to tell about God's grace at work here. Anyone with moments to spare may like to find out more of MI at http://www.mercy-international.com or even read some of our impressions at http://www.roninthailand.blogspot.com .