Having recently moved to Chiang Mai in August 2016, our family had yet to replace some of our family Christmas traditions with something new that would fit within Thailand and the church ministry of which we are a part.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we happened to visit a young Karen girl on the paediatrics ward at a local hospital; and as we looked around, we saw the ward was completely full with children undergoing various long-term treatments. Our own children, 4 and 6, had lots of questions about where the young 5-year-old girls’ toys and games were (she had none) and how she didn’t get bored. And so, God planted the idea to come back with a few Christmas goodies and Christian tracts to share with each child on the ward as well as something to leave with the nursing staff.
And so, along with several members from our young adult Karen church, we put together gift bags complete with Christmas tracts, colouring, and small toys for each child on the ward plus homemade baking and a large gift basket including for the nurses. On Christmas Day, we returned to visit the ward at the same hospital not knowing what to expect. Often within Thailand, Christians are turned away from witnessing or visitations; however, just as we arrived, a nurse appeared who happened to also be a Karen from the same part of Thailand as the majority of our young adults. She explained our presence to the senior nursing staff and stayed with us the entire time as we went room to room greeting patients and their families while handing out the gift bags, speaking with various patients and their families, and singing a few Christmas carols. With the presence of the Karen nurse, were also allowed access to the adult treatment area on the same floor, and even had the opportunity to pray for many of the patients and their families. It was amazing to see God’s hand so clearly at work opening doors, as prior to our visit, we were unsure as to whether or not we would be able to hand out the bags much less sing and pray with the patients. God’s work done God’s way did not lack His supply from the idea of visiting through to the staff supports and welcoming reception. And now, our family has a new way to celebrate Christmas in Thailand!
Will you pray for Mekong Minorities?
- Give thanks for how God has used this unique way of celebrating Christmas!
- Give thanks for open doors to visit, serve and witness to patients.
- Pray for lasting fruit from these visits.