It may be a universal experience for teenagers to feel different from everyone around them. But this is particularly true for Lutheran teens in Buddhist Thailand, where only 1 person in 35,000 shares their faith.
That’s why the youth gathering of the Concordia Lutheran Church in Thailand (CLCT) in May was particularly important to 60 teens who came together for fun, fellowship and study of Scripture and Luther’s Small Catechism.
“The theme for the gathering was ‘Stand Firm,’” said Rev. Ted NaThalang, president of CLCT and project coordinator for LHF. “Youth in Thailand are living among Buddhist friends and family. It is very hard for them to keep their faith.”
In fact, Rev. NaThalang said that one teen girl talked about how, when she told her parents she was Christian, she was kicked out of her family’s house.
“Some of our young Lutherans are not able to attend churches regularly because they attend boarding school and have a lot of school activities,” Rev. NaThalang explained. “It is good for our youth to meet and encourage each other. They need each other.”
Each day, leaders taught the kids about the faith from a different section of the catechism, provided in the Thai language by LHF. They were then divided into small groups where they discussed questions about their faith.
“It’s amazing how some aren’t able to go to church regularly, and yet in the camp activities, they are the leaders,” Rev. NaThalang reflected. “One night, each group had to come up with their own skit, and they were really good! They all told about living their Christian faith in this evil world and how to stand firm in God’s Word, promises and love.”
Each teen received their own personal catechism from LHF to keep.
“We’ve required them to read, learn and memorize the catechism,” said Rev. NaThalang. “They are to carry it with them when they go to school, riding on the bus, so they have it to read and stand firm when they are tempted by Satan.
“These gatherings help them to affirm their faith,” Rev. NaThalang concluded. “They are a good way to keep our youth together and in the Word and church.”
Only with your help can this important work continue. Prayerfully consider how you can help support LHF projects.