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Vicar writes: Our ministry visit to Lat Krabang, Bangkok

posted 12.10.2014

had a fruitful time participating in the annual Anglican Church in Thailand (ACTS) Leaders Retreat at Lat Krabang, Bangkok (2-4 Oct).

The Retreat was led by Revd Yee Ching Wah, the Dean of Thailand. Pastor Ong Swee Geok spoke on mentoring and discipleship and led in some team-building activities. Burton Chen also spoke over two sessions on how a lay person must prioritise and manage his time in order to serve the Lord in every area of his life i.e. family, work and church. New leaders and pastors who have joined ACT recently were also introduced.

I was a quiet participant and observer throughout. It was humbling to be a “minority” in language terms and I had to figure out what was going on as most of the retreat was conducted in Thai. The Anglican Church in Thailand has certainly grown and judging by the spiritual commitment and how gifted many of the pastors and leaders are, the future is indeed bright. Missionaries from the US, UK, Singapore and Malaysia also seem to have integrated well into Thai life and ministry.

I was also encouraged to meet some young Singaporeans who are serving at Lat Krabang. Four of them are from St Andrew’s Cathedral and one each from St Matthew’s Church and Yishun Christian Church (Chinese). Ranging from two months to more than a year, their short-term service there has been a great help to Andrew and Diana.

We also had a chance to visit the recently purchased 3-acre plot of land which will be the site for the new Lat Krabang Anglican Church, the new HQ for ACTS and a training cum retreat center.

On Sunday, we visited the one year old Lat Krabang Anglican Church which is currently housed in a rented shophouse. This fledgling church is pastored by Revd Andrew Yap and Revd Lee Marlins. Lee Marlins is an American missionary who has committed himself to serving long-term in Thailand. He also gave the message during the Service. Revd Andrew presided over the Holy Communion (on every first Sunday of the month) in Thai. We enjoyed a delicious Thai fellowship lunch together after the service.

It is hard for us to imagine what it is like to grow a church in a vast country like Thailand and having to do it in a different culture and language.  SJC can do a lot to help through caring, giving, praying and going. Your concern for the work means a lot to the Ching Wah, Andrew and Diana. As we grow into a “Missional Church”, we will need everyone to do their God-gifted part.

The coming Missions Conference on the morning of 18th Oct (Sat) is a wonderful opportunity for us to hear and discuss in greater detail how every member in SJC can do their part.  Revd Yee Ching Wah and Asst Bishop Designate, Kuan Kim Seng will be leading the sessions. Ample time will be given for discussions. The Conference is for anyone who wants to know how they can do their part to help. Don’t miss it!