Stories from Thailand
From homes for children to prisons, God is moving in Thailand
"These beautiful children rise at 5am each morning for self-led prayer and worship before breakfast. They are shining lights for the Lord in their local school, and it was our privilege to worship with them all." - Barb Peck
Words: Barb Peck Published: 12 December 2023
At the end of November Barb Peck, Angela Bertram, Becky Wauchope and Pastor Ian Walton headed over to Thailand to reconnect with our friends and partners there.
It had been four long Covid-locked-out-years since the ladies last visited, and they were excited to introduce Ian to our extended Thai family. We were all so encouraged to see all three of the main ministries we visited growing and flourishing, and all the ministry leaders doing so very well.
Here are some highlights from the three places the team visited:
1.House of Blessing Prison Ministries in Bangkok, led by Pastor Soonthorn is thriving. The teams of ex-prisoners (now pastors and leaders) are kept busy running gospel presentations and Bible studies– up to 3 prisons or juvenile detention centres every day! The half-way house with its educational and strategic job training opportunities is amazing to see. The church, comprised of 85% ex-prisoners, is really growing too. We got to preach at the church and share testimony at the Men’s prison while we were there. This whole ministry continues to expand exponentially as they step through each new door opened to them in faith.
2. Hope Alive Foundation / Destiny Children (formerly Hope House) in Chiang Mai is is led by Jeph and Apple Garcia. They really are living out the mission God gave them more than 20 years ago to plant churches and create leaders for the future. While we were there, we were privileged to be asked to officially open their newest churchplant – River of Life in Doi Suket. Such a wonderful celebration of God’s faithfulness and goodness! They now own the land that the home and church are built on and can therefore never be ‘moved on’ again, except by the Lord. Past students led the opening worship service, which was incredibly special and moving. They have witnessed a whole generation of hill-tribe children, who would not otherwise have had access to education, growing up through school and tertiary education and now working and living their lives sold out for Jesus. Amazing!
3. Shalom, a small Thai-run home for 23 children, is also doing so well. These beautiful children rise at 5am each morning for self-led prayer and worship before breakfast. They are shining lights for the Lord in their local school, and it was our privilege to worship with them all, and then take them to a simple all-you-can-eat dinner where some of them must have doubled their body weight in food! The kids and teenagers in Destiny Children and Shalom Home were so thrilled to receive hand-made cards, photos, and letters from our Riverlife Girl’s Brigade, and we really want to thank every girl who went to so much trouble to package love into a beautiful card.
We all left Thailand feeling so grateful for what the Lord has done and is doing through these partnerships and friendships over the years.
So many of the wonderful people we saw over there asked us to send their heartfelt greetings and love to everyone at Riverlife – and so we do that here!