Wayne Hannah, the GBIM director responsible for southeast Asia, is currently concluding a visit with Ted Rondeau to the area of Thailand most affected by the tsunami. He gives this gripping and optimistic report:
As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel room of a half-demolished resort a few yards from the beach area in Kao Lak, Thailand. This is where the worst of the Thailand Tsunami hit causing unbelievable damage.
For the last two days, Ted Rondeau and I have been touring the devastated areas accompanying the national director of Campus Crusade for Christ. The whole story is a very long one…one that describes a number of amazing events that caused our path to lead us here.
Briefly…the Team Asia Family Conference ended on the 3rd of January. It was a tremendous success. Everyone praised and thanked the Lord for this first-ever and extremely profitable event. But that is another story.
After Gina and Alex returned home, I proceeded to Battambang, Cambodia. There were some wonderful things we experienced there…a team of six young adults checking out future ministry in Cambodia and a celebration among a new minority people group among whom we are working.
I had intended to go to the northeast where Ted Rondeau has formed a number of contacts over the years, but I kept feeling a compelling “nagging” in my heart to go south to the Phuket tsunami area to see if we could help. Ted was having the same impulse. We agreed the Lord was speaking to our hearts and re-directing our path.
We called a Campus Crusade worker who is from our Waterloo, Iowa, Grace Brethren Church, Mike Christian, who “happened” to be in Bangkok, to where we had just returned.
Mike had been at the disaster sites in the south and was full of information. He immediately invited us to join a small group of Thai Campus Crusade workers, including the national director, to go back to Kao Lak. We had prayed so much for guidance and we knew that we needed to go.
The story has many details, but here is the bottom line. The national director and several of the Campus Crusade team have invited us to connect with them in sending teams here to Thailand over the next year. Some may be very soon. Others will be spread out to provide later relief…which is even more important.
Along with the invitation to bring teams, there are other long-range discussions involving church planter training and planting churches in the areas where the tsunami hit. Brokenness, hurt and questions are already opening the hearts of these Buddhist people. Decisions for Christ are already being made.
Could it be that the Lord is guiding us this week to be the first seeds of another possible ministry area in Thailand? We just do not know. Will you please pray for us? That’s all we are asking of you for now.
We do not know what the Lord is leading us to do. We DO know that we have an open door here to provide both immediate relief to these suffering people and the potential for more future possibilities. I need God’s wisdom as I take steps toward understanding and developing these possibilities.