Foes, funerals and fellowship

By November 18, 2008

Thailand (MNN) — Although tension in Thailand remains high between the newly-elected prime minister and his adversaries, a recent funeral has helped to somewhat unify the people, according to Roger Thomas with AMG International.

Political unrest in Thailand began in mid-2006 in response to the upcoming election for a new prime minister. Now that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has been in office for nearly a year, the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) continues to protest.

"There's a difference of opinion between the people in the rural areas versus the ones in Bangkok, in the urban areas. There's different insight about how the government should be run, including what part the king should play," explains Thomas. Most PAD supporters are also strong advocates for the monarchy.

Despite these differences, protests have recently subsided in a response to the six day cremation ceremony for the king's late sister, Princess Galyani. The ceremony cost nearly 9 million U.S. dollars and called for a three-day, all-black dress code for Thais.

In the meantime, AMG maintains a newspaper ministry by placing ads in local papers with contact information for getting involved in Bible courses. When asked if the political uprisings have negatively affected this ministry, Rogers responded with an emphatic, "No."

"Last year in 2007, [newspaper evangelism] resulted in nearly 500 people enrolling in a Bible correspondence course, which led to 36 decisions for Christ. This year just so far, through September, 404 people have enrolled in the Bible correspondence course, and 41 have accepted the Lord as their Savior."

Rogers explains this growth as being partially a product of political stress, which has caused several people to question. "Any time there's strife in your life, people start looking where they are and where they're going to be and how it's going to affect them."

Rogers asks people to pray for the spiritually thirsty people of Thailand and other countries in which AMG is ministering. "These people are seeking the answer, and yet their religion that they've been brought up in just doesn't provide the answer for them. They need Christ, and they need to be connected to someone who can tell them where they can read about it or [help them] find Christ."

If you can help AMG in their newspaper evangelism, click here.

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