Lutheran Hour Ministries’ 2013 Online Mission Trip to Thailand didn’t end when the credits rolled on Thursday, January 31. Thailand ministry center Director Boom Denow has been busy on the Lutheran Hour Ministries—Thailand blog, posting (and posting, and posting) answers to students’ many questions since Wednesday, February 6!
Students from Lutheran schools across North America asked an amazing array of questions about the culture, the faith and the challenges of spreading the Gospel in the country of Thailand. Here are just a few items from Boom’s blog:
God’s blessings to you,
(Prajaow Ouay Praporn – พระเจ้าอวยพระพร)
Margaret, Beautiful Savior. How old is Thailand?
Boom: Thai people have lived in this part of the world since the 12th century A.D. The country name used to be Siam. About 70-80 years ago the name was changed to Thailand.
Shellie, Zion, Pierce, NE. What types of [musical] instruments do children play?
Boom: Guitar, ukulele, keyboards, drums and Thai traditional instruments like angalung, kim, ranard, etc.
Overland. What happens if someone hurts an animal like a fly?
Boom: According to Buddhist beliefs, if it’s an accident it’s okay. If it’s intentional, then the person will have some bad karma.
Huskers. Do Buddhist boys have to become monks?
Boom: They don’t have to, but everyone expects that they will study at a temple for at least one month. When they do, they earn good karma for their mothers, so that’s why most of them decide to do it.
Eighth Grade, St. John’s, Racine, WI. When did Christianity first get to Thailand?
Boom: A few missionaries arrived in Thailand in around 1550, but more extensive mission work began in the 1830s.
Dodge4. Can the children speak English well?
Boom: Thailand has never been ruled by a Western country, so we don’t have a history of using English. English is taught in all of the schools, but most Thai children don’t speak English very well.
Marissa, Redeemer, Pittsburgh, PA. What does the King of Thailand do?
Boom: Because the king is 85 years old, he isn’t as active as when he was younger. But, the king and his foundation still have hundreds of projects to help people develop better agricultural practices, irrigation projects and programs to teach Thai people how to improve their standard of living. The king also sometimes advises the government leaders.
Heidi, Zion, Independence, KS. What are some of the Buddhist holidays?
Boom: We have one holiday for the Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment and when he entered Nirvana; another holiday for his first sermon; and another holiday a time when many monks gathered to hear Buddha teach.
Katrina, Immanuel, Broken Arrow, OK. Why do people believe in other gods instead of the one true God, Jesus?
Boom: When they are small children, they learn about those gods from their parents, other family members and most people in their society. Many Thai people don’t know anything about Jesus or God.
Leticia. What jobs do you have that Americans don’t have?
Boom: Motorcycle taxis, tuk-tuk drivers, elephant keepers.
OSS, Excelsior. What do the children usually eat for breakfast?
Boom: Steamed rice with vegetables or meat, boiled rice, noodles, cereal or bread.
Huskers. Since LHM has been there, how many people have turned their lives to Christ?
Boom: We don’t know the exact number, but LHM has connected several thousand people to churches.
Napa. Why are there more Buddhists than Christians in Thailand?
Boom: Buddhism came to Thailand long before Christianity did. Most Thai people are Buddhists because their parents, relatives and neighbors are Buddhists. As small children they naturally followed Buddhist beliefs that they learned from their parents. Many Thai people have never learned about Jesus and his teachings, so they haven’t had a chance to become Christians.
Tinley1. Do people have VBS there?
Boom: Sometimes volunteers come from the United States to lead VBS for churches in Thailand. Otherwise we don’t have VBS.
Thank you – Khob Khun Kha,
Thanks to all the students in schools across the continent for being a part of Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Online Mission Trip to Thailand! Thanks also to Boom and the staff at Lutheran Hour Ministries—Thailand for being such great hosts and sharing how they reach out to others with the love of Jesus.
Want to read more of Boom’s responses to student questions? Visit http://lhmthailand.wordpress.com.