We arrived safely back to Thailand early October and immediately heard the reports that the king of Thailand's heath was declining. Within two weeks, the king passed away. We are sad for the people of Thailand because they loved him dearly. This is something that has been anticipated for some time, but the passing of the king has been a significant and overwhelming experience for the Thai people. In the days leading up to his passing many Thai's had taken to the streets near the hospital where the king was being treated wearing pink to signify their hope that his health would improve. They were also visiting the temples to pray for the king's health. Hospital staff were shown on TV lifting up the king in song from the hospital lobby. Unfortunately, on Thursday night at 7 pm, the Prime Minister addressed the nation to inform them of the sad and dreaded news of the king's passing.
We were in the company of some Thai friends when the news was announced of the death of the king, and it was difficult for them to hear. There were tears and hugs, but few words spoken. For 70 years King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been a strong stable leader for their country. For most of the country, he is the only leader they have ever known. There will be a one year period of mourning and 30 days of no celebrations, concerts and other activities. During the 30 days people are asked to wear black to show respect for the king.
On Friday, thousands of Thai people lined the streets as the motorcade moved from the hospital to the Grand Palace carrying the king's body. Flags were lowered to half staff, schools were cancelled, and many places of business were closed as well. Around the area where we are staying, the streets are quieter and the mood is somber. There has been an attitude of respect and honor by all we have observed. We are trying to love the Thai people and show our respect for them and their king, we are grieving alongside them and for them. We too are wearing black or white.
We pray for the Thai people and their leaders as they move through this very difficult process. We ask that you join us in prayer for Thailand and it's people. Please pray for the new leadership and for the new era in Thai history. Pray that they will come to know the King of Peace.
Thank you all for your support for us and for your love and prayers for the Thai people.
We had to cancel our October moral camp in Bangkok because it was scheduled the day after the passing of the king. Because of the mourning period and out of respect for the families the decision was made to not have camp. Students from Roi Et were very disappointed and we too were grieved they did not have the chance to come and study the scripture and learn more about Jesus. Please continue to lift them up and our Thai teammates Kat and Patdy who had spent a lot of time preparing for the students. Pray for the Lord to provide more opportunities for the Thai to hear about and experience the peace and hope that Christ offers.
Much love to you. We will keep you posted.
In His service,