Mark is back in Bangkok after an excellent time in Myanmar. The visiting pastors on the trip were inspired by the opportunities there and Mark’s preaching at General Council went well. Friday Mark leaves for northern Thailand for a week to help with a ministry team from River Valley Church. Please pray for a fruitful, anointed time as they work in a kid’s outreach center, 2 orphanages & 2 churches.
Political unrest in Cambodia has quieted down a bit, PTL. However, things are heating up in Bangkok with several shootings, bombings and violent clashes leading to hundreds of injuries and several deaths. PTL that these things are taking place in certain demonstration locations and neither we our missionaries are in danger, but please pray for God’s intervention, for Christians to shine despite the fact that they are split on the political issues, and for resolution to the problem.
Following is a summary of the protest activity from the US State Department for your information and for prayer purposes:
Political demonstrations have been taking place in Thailand regularly since early November 2013. Most protest activity has occurred in the Bangkok area, but on occasion there have also been smaller demonstrations in other areas, including Chiang Mai. … Beginning on January 13, 2014, protestors took control of these intersections, blocking most vehicular traffic, and occasionally redirecting pedestrian traffic. These sites draw large crowds, especially in evenings and on weekends. There is often reduced or no police presence at protest sites, where protest guards frequently control access. While demonstrations have been generally peaceful, some have resulted in injury and death. Violence, including gunshots, was reported on the night of November 30, 2013 in the area of Ramkhamhaeng University in the Bang Kapi district northeast of central Bangkok. At least four persons were killed and several dozen injured. On December 26, demonstrations at an official election event at the Thai-Japanese Sports Complex Stadium in Din Daeng in north central Bangkok escalated into clashes with police, resulting in deaths and serious injuries. On the afternoon of January 17, 2014, an explosive device detonated amid a protest march near the National Stadium and MBK shopping mall at Pathumwan intersection in central Bangkok, which resulted in at least 39 injuries and 1 death. On the same day, there was a confrontation near the Government Center on Changwattana Road in northwestern Bangkok. On January 19, an explosive device detonated in a crowd of demonstrators at Victory Monument, resulting in at least 29 casualties. Throughout the first half of January, additional assaults involving weapons and explosives related to the ongoing political situation occurred at protest sites, both during the day and at night. The Thai government has invoked its Internal Security Act (ISA) throughout Bangkok, which allows authorities to close roads, make arrests; take action against security threats; and increase police presence around government buildings and at other locations. Police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, and other measures to protect government facilities at several locations. In coordination with the government, Thai military personnel have provided additional security at some sites in Bangkok.