For several years, the UMC of Sturgeon Bay has been supporting the emerging mission in Laos. Our point of contact is missionary Beverly Barte, and her family. The family recently visited Sturgeon Bay for a personal interpretation of their work.
The UMC is new in Laos. They recently celebrated their tenth anniversary. New Christians are at some risk in the Buddhist and Communist nation. Since the church is not recognized, pastors have been arrested at times. Yet the church is growing and spreading across Laos.
One of the primary opportunities is to provide training for new pastors. The images that follow this story show one of the gatherings of training. The church also provides small loans to provide an economic foundation for families. Areas include the raising of mushrooms and fish which then are marketed. Some of the profits are then gifted to provide the same opportunities for other families.
Education and training is essential, especially in a country where few can afford an education. Included in the church’s offerings is providing an annual scholarship to Khonesavanh Bouaphapanh, age 18, as she prepares for church leadership. Without this help, college education would have been impossible. You will enjoy seeing her image.
For the next few years, one month each year will be set aside for receiving contributions to Laos. Gifts may be provided at any time. In fact, 100% of each amount given will go directly to the project. We are grateful to the many who have contributed to this mission.
Rev. Dave Harsh – Committee on Missions