Christmas is a time of Hope and Joy. We often speak of hope and Joy we have in the birth of Jesus. But what does that look like in living from day to day? What hope and Joy does Christ
mas bring to those who are living in desperate circumstances? Christmas week was spent celebrating in the Lua Churches in Nan, Province. Five nights, five churches in villages scattered through out the mountains that border Thailand and Laos. Some of these villages are located in an area that was under control of the communists during the Asian conflict that did not end in Thailand until 1992. Just
down the road from one of the churches is a memorial built by the Communist to memorialize "the struggle"
One evening we were at the church in Nam Mao village. We spent some time visiting Mr. Denai, a former student at Lanna Theological Center. Three years ago he was in a motorbike accident and was paralyzed form the chest down. For two years he was severely disabled. He could not move his limbs and was unable to talk. In the last year or so he has made remarkable recovery. He has just recently regained some movement in his arms and when we visited him he was able to talk. Although confined to a hospital bed, in a remote village on the side of a mountain, he spoke with joy and hope and a smile on his face.
At one point one of our Thai leaders, Mr. Prawanwit, made the observation that Mr. Denai's ability to speak with joy and hope in Christ has not been diminished. He encouraged Mr. Denai to continue to gain strength, then consider finishing up his Bible Studies and become a preacher. Mr. Prawanwit said
"You can still preach and serve God, even if confined to a wheel chair" I can not describe the look of hope and joy that flashed across Mr.Denai"s face when he heard this. This is the joy and Hope of Christmas. In Christ and through Christ we have joy and hope even when paralyzed. Please pray for Mr. Denai's continued recovery. Pray that God reveals to him how he can serve the Kingdom regardless of his physical condition.