Malones in Isaan Thailand - Working amongst the unreached of Isaan

Follow the adventures of the Malones in Thailand as we work with urban and rural peoples in the Isaan area in Thailand. We aim to share the Good News of Jesus with the Isaan and mobilise for 5 teams across Isaan. Previously, we were with the poor in Samut Prakan (part of Greater Bangkok). If you would like to work with us (short or long-term) please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

29 November 2009

When prayer offensive takes place opposition is certain

Last week we were blessed by a group of Thai believers prayer walking with us one evening through our communities of ministry - the slum communities in which we work and the schools in which we teach. It was stirring prayer, in which we claimed territory for Jesus Christ, and in which we claimed the end of exploitation of human beings by the evil one. Also, I've been prayer walking through one of these communities almost weekly now for the last year and a half. One would think the job is done, right?

I'm afraid not. The very next day, Jen & I went as usual into one of these slum communities to teach the children, including opening God's Word together. However, this day we saw the greatest disruption we have had - with most kids being troublesome so that even the few that were interested could not have the opportunity to hear a story about the Lord Jesus.

Then last week both schools that we prayer-walked past contacted us to cancel our Christmas Day outreach (Note: Christmas Day is a normal working day here as it is considered a 'western festival' only and therefore is NOT a holiday). The reasons for cancelling seemed minor and irrelevant (i.e. an all-day 'teachers meeting' to close the school for the day, rescheduling of exams to take place on 25 December). This disappointment comes despite our excellent relationships with both schools and the credibility God has built up for us there over many years already.

I could slip into disappointment and depression about this, because it does tear my heart apart. But God has been speaking to me (no coincidence, of course) in Nehemiah chapters 1 and 2. After engaging in 4 months of prayer, Nehemiah sought the king's permission to rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. Yet he faced ridicule and opposition. Further reading shows he pressed ahead in strength claiming the power of God over opposition. It seems to me that this is what I need to do in this circumstance - not to give up prayer-walking or serving in these communities, but to press ahead in the strength and authority that is available from the Living God through Jesus Christ my Lord.

Some of "our kids" in one of our communities
- they get an opportunity to hear God's Word every Saturday

Will you pray with us, please? , because when a prayer offensive takes place then opposition is always certain !!

14 November 2009

An Attempt to Ease the Poverty Dilemma

Last month we blogged on the poverty dilemma that we see every day in our local communities. As we have prayed and talked with people and brainstormed with our local pastor, an idea that we have had in the backs of minds for a while now, is beginning to look like becoming reality.

There are many women in the slum communities who are constantly trying to find ways of making enough money to live on. We wrote about Mae Gulaap who looks after a baby for the equivalent of $3 a day. Others sweep streets, clean toilets or collect recyclable rubbish from rubbish bins. Last week when I visited a friend, Pi Eew in her home, she was putting pegs together. For 10 hours of this menial work she receives the equivalent of $2.

At the same time, another friend, Pi Anong, has craft skills that she would love to share with people in her community but has not been able to get any support from her community leaders. Another friend at church is ready to teach women jewellery making skills in order to give them another option for earning an income. The only missing link is a viable market. This is where you could come in.

If after looking at the accompanying photos of jewellery and Anong's handbag, you have ideas for selling these products eg, in churches, coffee shops, at parties, please let me know, as we can't begin a project like this without being sure we can draw an income from it for the women.

02 November 2009

A new fellowship birthed

God blesses us with times when we come across some extraordinary people. Charlee is one of those. He is blind - the result of a fight some years ago. Subsequent to that, Charlee met Jesus. As a result, he loves the people in his community and has never wallowed in his plight of poverty and disadvantage (in Thailand there is no Government help for those who are stuck in poverty because of their circumstances). We came across Charlee last year when we served for some months teaching English in his community. Charlee started a cell church in his one-room dwelling (no bigger than 9 square metres). As the cell church began to grow it soon became apparent that the accommodation was inadequate .... so Charlee approached us for help to move to a bigger dwelling.

We then adopted this church as one of our financial projects. Thanks to the financial generosity of some of our friends in Australia this little cell church in the slum community now has a place to meet. To our knowledge it is the only church operating WITHIN a slum community in Samut Prakan. Samut Prakan is the city province in which we live - an industrial city housing most of Thailand's major industries, but also a city with large tracts of people living in poverty and sub-standard housing.

Outside the cell church building

Dom (standing) and Charlee leading a worship service

Sitting on the floor waiting for church to begin

Jen interacting with some of the kids, while Charlee tunes his guitar in the background

Some of the kids perform a dance of praise to God

Please pray for this community that the witness of faithful people like Charlee (who have very little) will continue to touch the people around him whom he loves.