Like most nations in our world Thailand has been greatly affected by the spread of Covid-19. The Thai government has closely followed the path the US government has taken to curb the spread of the virus. Since a large portion of the population lives on a day-to-day income, the economic stress this has placed on families in our area is extreme. God has given Bangjak Baptist Church a way to minister to those struggling in our community.
In late March, a Christian restaurant owner called our mentor missionaries, Ricky and Tammy Salmon, to see if they could meet with our missions team. They knew we were working to find ways to minister to our community during the Covid-19 pandemic. They wanted to use their restaurant to cook some meals for those in need. They asked if our church could use this as a way to connect with people and distribute the gospel. God had quickly given us another way to share Jesus!
On Good Friday we began distributing meal packages. Every package contained rice, chicken, and a gospel tract. We personally distributed information about ways to watch our online services, gave invitations to attend services (once gathering is permitted), and included information about our English outreach classes. Teenagers were invited to come to our soccer outreaches and children were given gospel comic books and toys.
On our first day we distributed 100 meal packages but had to turn many people away empty handed. God increased our capacity with donations from churches, Christian businesses, and individuals who gave to help purchase food and supplies. We have now distributed 200 meal packages a day in a variety of ways.
Food is picked up at a distribution location where people line up and are ministered to while they wait. The elderly, and those unable to travel, can register and have packages delivered by church members. We’ve also started to take 30 packages to lines of cab drivers who are waiting and hoping for fares. Each day as we walk back to the truck I see cab drivers eating their meals and reading gospel tracts.
In all of this we are reminded that the gospel thrives in hard times. People are looking for answers. As churches support and send missionaries we can focus on providing them THE answer in Jesus Christ. We are thankful God has given us a way to share Jesus one meal/gospel package and conversation at a time.