Mission Thailand 2012 bigger and better

The Thailand mission team has tested the ‘bigger is better’ theory with its biggest-ever contingent: 19 people. They ranged in age from 14 to 66, and represented six Lutheran congregations and one congregation of another Christian denomination.

For ten days, 6-16 January, the ‘MT2012: Disciples of all Nations’ team assisted LCA missionary Pastor Simon Mackenzie and local evangelists, and served the people in the LCA-supported mission field in northern Thailand.

Simon King, Thailand volunteer program coordinator for Thailand, said that during the initial planning phase he was pestered by doubts that the trip would even go ahead.

‘Obviously God had a very different plan. Literally, as I was about to advise those who had expressed interest that the trip was off, my email and phone exploded with people wanting to come along.

‘On arrival at the hotel in Chiang Mai, I realised how big a group of 19 people can look. The word “daunting” kept popping into my head.’

Simon says he was ‘amazed’ how people representing so many age groups and backgrounds—farmers, soldier, engineer, nurse, police, telecommunications, students—worked out their respective strengths and weaknesses, ‘and helped each other with seemingly constant smiles … even when it was raining and we were walking down quite steep slippery slopes to visit a village we had never been to before’.

Working with such a large team in difficult conditions was a challenge, Simon admits. ‘But the rewards, friendships and what I learnt about faith will live with me for the rest of my life.’

He says that while the ‘bigger is better’ theory hasn’t been absolutely proved by this latest mission trip, in this particular case the 2012 event was indeed the biggest and the best ever.

If you, your school or your congregation, would like to know how you can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email erin.kerber@lca.org.au. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/start-a-partnership/

Read more stories about congregational partnerships at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/congregations/