Inside Out 230: Thailand

12.21.11 | Martha Manikas-Foster

Here’s a question I’ve been asking myself: when I think of ministry, do I automatically think of feeding and clothing those who are suffering? Feeding, clothing, visiting and reaching out with material resources---all of that’s good. In fact, it’s fantastic. And it’s godly. But the root of my question is this: do I focus on meeting physical needs to the exclusion of passing along the hope found in Jesus Christ, the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ, the peace from self-recrimination and performance-related acceptance found in Jesus Christ?

People in our world need Jesus. It’s an old story that’s still true. Case in point:  of the 67 million people in Thailand, less than half a percent know the hope of Christ. The people of this kingdom in Southeast Asia have weathered great tragedy: in 2004 Thailand was hit with the tsunami that followed that December’s Indian Ocean earthquake, and, right now, the nation is cleaning up from the worst flooding in 60 years. Thailand’s notoriety as a destination for sex tourists has been at the cost of many of its youth, who have been kidnapped or enticed into the nation’s well-publicized sex trade.

Today on Inside Out we talk about Thailand with Jake Janzen, CEO of the mission organization Vision Thailand. Janzen says that while many in Thailand “put on the famous ‘Thai smile,’ hidden behind that smile is often despair and hopelessness. Thais are a resourceful and resilient people, and they can cope with tragedy more easily than most of us can.” Tragedy, as it happens, has almost become a way of life.

But Janzen has hope for Thailand and the Thai people. He sees Thais listening to God’s Good News of hope and breaking out of the cycle of hopelessness and bondage to karma.

Join us to hear what he has to say. Then find out more, about Thailand and Vision Thailand, by following this link: http://www.visionthailand.org

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Inside Out airs Wednesdays at 12:20pm EST during the Family Life Noon Report.

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