Thailand Team Is Set To Go!
The team is set to leave early Wednesday, February 3rd.
Team members include (from left to right): Lori White, Margie Dickerson, Kathryn McIver, Nikki Davidson, Dawn Muench, Tan Jenkins, Noel Jenkins. Not pictured: Desiree Jordan, Laurie Dawson.
Just a reminder to be praying for our Thailand Go Team Prison Ministry team as they head to Bangkok to support the many ministries of the House of Blessing.
More than 20 years ago, a young seminary student named Soonthorn Soothorntarawong began visiting prisoners with an older pastor and friend. When a small group of prisoners finished their sentences at approximately the same time, Soonthorn invited them to his church to continue building on some of the things that they had been learning in the Bible studies that he had helped to leading. Much to his dismay, the pastor and elders of his church actually asked the recently released prisoners to leave the worship service because of the severe stigma that they brought on the entire congregation. He was told that “if the prisoners are here, other people will not come to our church to hear about Jesus” The same scenario repeated itself in other churches, so one day, the newly minted Pastor Soonthorn used his own money to rent a room and started a church “where all are welcome – prisoner or free.” The church quickly outgrew its rented room and eventually grew into the House of Blessing.
Today, the House of Blessing continues to provide numerous worship services where all are welcome – including those who have served prison time. The complex also includes a 1/2 way house for young men who have recently been released from juvenile prison, vocational training and classrooms, and an orphanage for children of incarcerated women. The House of Blessing also provides weekly programming and encouragement for the churches within the prisons and the Bible studies that inmates have initiated.
Our team will be helping to support all of these efforts (in addition to providing some training in the Celebrate Recovery curriculum that Chapel Hill hosts at the church and at WCCW). Your prayers are coveted as the schedule will be quite full. More than anything, we want to communicate with our words and actions that these precious people are dearly loved children of God and not condemned by their pasts.
We anticipate learning much about God, his people and ourselves!
Thank you for your prayers.
Nikki Davidson (Go Team Coordinator) on behalf of the team