Krabi Boats 8

Screenshot 2021 07 25 110410Meeting with other Christians became extremely challenging in 2021. Around the end of April, Thailand was gripped in it's third wave of COVID-19. New cases each day was soaring and meeting sizes were limited to 10. Some of the Christians in Pak Phanang didn't want to travel into town and the neighbours of the Pak Phanang ACTS Church didn't want anyone showing up anyway! ...

I was in my hometown, Brisbane, Australia the previous year when some churches had stopped meeting during the COVID shutdown. The churches that kept meeting online continued to function well - even if it was not the way they were used to. Churches either livestreamed services or used Zoom. Fellowship happened via Zoom or other video conferencing software. Those that just stopped meeting for months took a long time to get back to normal once they could meet together again in person.

With this in mind, I quickly encouraged the church to meet online. There's only a small number of members, so it seemed best to use the social media with which everyone was already familiar - Line. We set up a Line group just for the church members then initiated a call every Sunday morning to which the church members would join. It felt a bit weird for the first two meetings, but after a while they became comfortable with the medium and settled into regular, online worship times. While other small churches struggled, the members of the Pak Phanang ACTS Church thrived. Mutual encouragement continued, as did good biblical teaching. And it wasn't too long until we could hand over the job of starting the church meeting to others in the church.

Now the church is meeting back in person again. But the neat thing is that they have started meeting online mid-week to pray together. It's always been hard to get them to meet together in the evening, because most people in this farming area go to bed early and don't like going out in the evening. But meeting online solves these problems allowing the church to get together in ways that weren't possible before. And it's all thanks to the "new normal" caused by COVID-19!!