Thailand (MNN) — The Thai government dismissed proposed
peace talks aimed at ending a deadly nine-week crisis with anti-government
The protesters known as "Red Shirts" demanded the dismissal of Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva's government, the dissolution of Parliament, and new elections.
However, on Wednesday, troops stormed the protest zone and
dispersed thousands of Red Shirt protesters who congregated in downtown Bangkok
for weeks. The protest's leaders surrendered, enraging followers who threw
grenades and set fire to landmark buildings. A 10-hour curfew followed
Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders says the unrest has
not had much impact on the team working in the cross-border areas. "We do
have a team that's in Laos right now, but they don't seem to have been affected by very much. It's very centrally-located in the downtown area, more in the tourist area by the 5-star hotels
and the really nice shopping malls."
There are some concerns that unrest could spread to rural
heartlands. In speaking to a Thai
believer, the worst may be yet to come. Klein explains: "He thinks that there will be some de-stabilization for awhile. There may even be civil war, but he
thinks that eventually it'll settle back down because people in Thailand really
want freedom, and they want democracy."
What will happen with evangelism as turmoil increases? "What
I've learned over the years," says Klein, "is that you can't stop doing the work of the
Lord just because there's opposition or there are government problems. We may have to change our strategies a little
bit, but we still have to get the Gospel out. We're actively sharing the Gospel
with people, and people are open."
VBB also works with several church partners and orphanage
programs in nearby Burma. Land farther
away from the Thai/Burma border has been provided for a refugee camp, almost all funding has been raised. Construction is ready to begin on a new
facility, but Thai government approval is still pending.
Pray for the work of Vision
Beyond Borders and the influence of the Gospel to grow in the region. Click here for more information about the ministry of VBB.