Our deepest desire in our work is that we would serve to empower national Thai believers to be at the forefront. Stronger Together is doing just this, by empowering local church leaders and members to serve their communities. Our partners in Chiang Rai have been doing home visits and providing encouragement and connection within their networks. At the forefront of this effort is Pastor Tan. He began serving with us at Family Retreat about 9 years ago. 8 years ago this month he embarked on a trip to the USA where he participated in a Joni and Friends Internship in Arizona to learn more about disability ministry. Now he is the co director of Stronger Together and co director of our Family Retreats with us. This summer will be his first time working fulltime for both Retreats and hosting our own Joni and Friends interns! It is amazing to see the full circle and we rejoice that we are so blessed to be able to see this come to fruition. We like to say we want to work ourselves out of our job in Thailand, and Tan is a big step toward that. (Not that we desire to leave Thailand, but we do desire to see our local brothers and sisters at the forefront of all we do!)
Part of what has made Tan so impactful is his relational attitude. He is constantly talking with pastors and leaders, reaching out to schedule visits and trainings. He has been serving part time for many months and has already logged many hours of drive time all over Thailand. It has been such a blessing to see Tan flourish in this role and we are so grateful for all he brings to the work here.