To the Ends of the Earth


God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us--Selah.

That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth. Selah.

Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.

The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us.

God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.

In my Psalm reading, I happened on this Psalm while Tim and Kristen were in Chiang Mai. It starts (and ends) by asking for God’s blessing, something we all desire, but goes on to say that His blessing is desired not so we can be more comfortable or at ease, but so that the nations will rejoice, that they may fear Him.

The people the TPS team were serving at the conference, including the 200 children, are some of those who are going to the ends of the earth so that some from every tribe and nation will hear the Good News. It was humbling for Tim and Kristen to be with those who have given so much. A number of M-s had lost children in the past year. One man had seen all converts in his church “disappear” in the past year. His assistant pastor returned to Islam. Then his home was burnt to the ground. Some were discouraged. Some Tim talked to were in serious need of prayer support as they seek to make inroads in areas that have been resistant to the gospel for generations. These people desire to see God’s kingdom advanced, to see his church living in places where it never has, or hasn’t for centuries. That is why Tim and Kristen both refer to those they were serving as heroes.

A "Tuktuk"

Part of the TPS team eating together

After the conference was completed, the team headed up the road to Chiang Dao, in the mountains. These are low mountains, more akin to our Smokies than the Rockies. They stayed at a beautiful place call the Nest. From there they did some sightseeing, including taking an elephant ride through the jungle. But the highlight of the trip for both Tim and Kristen was trekking up the mountain to visit a Karen (pronounce: Kuh- REN) village school.

Mountains near Chiang Dao

Pavilion at the Nest

There are several different tribal peoples living in the north of Thailand who are refuges from neighboring countries. During the Vietnam War hundreds of thousands arrived from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. More recently possibly 1 million refuges have poured over the border from Myanmar (Burma), where the “military government wages a brutal war against the ethnic minorities – especially the Karen.” (Operation World, 21st Century Edition, p. 621) Missionaries have worked with the tribal peoples for years, and many have come to faith. However, lack of leaders and nominalism now in second generation believers is a serious problem.

Tim crossing bridge into Karen village, carrying materials on his back

Some of the TPS kids described the hike as “uphill both ways,” and Tim said it had that feel since there were no switchbacks, but steep climbs all the way. The village itself was located in a valley. At the Karen village the team worked with kids at the school, and the children also showed them their church. Tim filmed an adorable video of the kids singing for the TPS team. The TPS-ers taught the children some English, and left them with books they brought in. The children taught the teens some Thai. Kristen’s friend Laura, a girl very given to languages, was able to count to 1000 in Thai in a short time. After leaving the Karen village they stopped to visit at a Lisu village. The previous night some from this village had come to the Nest to entertain. Kristen, my dancer, joined them in one of their dances. She was less excited when they asked her to play a flute, though. The next day the team was also able to visit a Thai school in Chiang Dao itself, and work again with the kids. The children were delightful. Upon leaving the school the team began the long trip home. When they finally arrived home they tired, but full of praise to God for what they had been able to experience. Talk to Kristen or Tim if you want to hear more!

Lisu House


Rebecca Nugent said…

Would you mind sending me your email address? I have a question for you, and can't seem to find your email anywhere. My address is rdnugent(dot)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks so much!

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