March 2011 – In the Communist country of Laos, Christianity isn’t easily accepted. Many believe that the Christian faith is a western religion, and others associate westerners with the Central Intelligence Agency. Because the CIA helped Hmong rebels fight the Communist Lao government, Christians are considered the #1 enemy among some government leaders. But the Holy Spirit will not be constrained by man! In this Laotian spiritual void, a fledgling Christian church is slowly taking root.
The Lutheran Heritage Foundation is helping spread the Gospel there by translating and publishing A Child’s Garden of Bible Stories into the Laotian language.
In February, the books were distributed to children who attend the only Christian school in Laos (pictured at left). Books were also given to families who attend Lutheran house churches.
“This book will be very important for the development of the Lutheran church in Laos,” said Rev. Ted NaThalang, who coordinates LHF projects in Southeast Asia. “It includes lessons that are very important to the Lutheran faith, including Jesus’ baptism and the first Lord’s Supper.”
The Laotian children like the book because it’s easy to read and has beautiful illustrations, but the youth aren’t the only ones benefiting from Child’s Garden. Rev. NaThalang has talked with many adults who have learned about Jesus through the book, too.
“Most countries in Southeast Asia are Buddhist,” he explained. “The people have a very different religious vocabulary. When they try to read the Bible, it’s almost like it would be for Americans to read the Greek or Hebrew. They may be able to read the words, but they don’t understand the meaning. Because Child’s Garden is simple enough for anyone to read, all can learn of their Savior, Jesus Christ and share in eternal life,” he said.
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.