One of the distinctive aspects of The Salvation Army is that we endeavor to serve our local community in whatever way is most needed. This means that our outreach ministries look very different from one location to another. Majors Betty and Bruce Keobounhom, officers of the USA Central Territory serving in Thailand, recently sent the following report on some very unique services The Salvation Army is providing there.
Once or twice a month we invite our members and unsaved people in our community to participate in different fun activities including picnics in the park, trips to various waterfalls, hiking, and kayaking. These are great opportunities to invite diverse people to spend time together and introduce them to our church family as a doorway to relationship and salvation.
Transportation to and Temporary Housing for Medical Appointments:
A big part of our community care is transporting people to and from doctor’s appointments, especially the elderly and people coming in from villages high up in the mountains. There is often translation needed during these visits to the doctor because many elderly from the mountain regions are not fluent in Thai, but only speak their ethnic language.
For many people from the mountainous regions surrounding Chiang Mai, they
have to travel a long distance to get to the hospital. Some travel many hours on bad roads by motorbike and many are subsistence farmers who have little income. These are some of the most oppressed and vulnerable people groups here, since they have little financial resources, education, and sometimes cannot speak Thai clearly. We host individuals and families for the duration of their appointments, letting them sleep in a spare room at the Center and helping them with meals and transportation depending on their situation. That way they don’t have to make many long and expensive trips for multiple appointments. They are able to stay with us and wait for the results of their tests before making the journey home.
Join us in praying for Majors Keobounhoum and their pioneer work in Thailand.