Alliance Workers Safe after Bangkok Protests

“All of our mission personnel are safe, and the unrest has not personally affected any of our workers,” said Steve Strong, C&MA field director for Thailand. Strong was referring to anti-government protests at Bangkok airports that had stranded thousands of travelers and paralyzed the country.  
The demonstrations ended December 3 after the Constitution Court dissolved Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat’s ruling party, effectively ending his government. According to The Nation, Thailand’s business news daily, “the eight-day siege has caused incalculable damage to the country and the economy.” 
Though no Alliance missionaries were in danger during the protests, “the airport closures have had some impact on our mission here in Thailand,” said Strong. Mission-related travel was disrupted, and a short-term medical team was unable to return to the United States as scheduled.  
Also, a short-term volunteer from Canada was forced to return home from Singapore without being able to enter Thailand. Rev. Doug Welbourn of the Mendham Hills Chapel C&MA Church in New Jersey, who had spoken at the Chaengwattana Community (Alliance) Church retreat before the airports were taken over by protesters, had to take a 12-hour van ride in order to get on a new flight out of the country. 
“Our Bangkok missionaries met for prayer on Monday afternoon, and we prayed for the airport to be reopened soon,” said Strong. “Within a few hours of our prayer meeting, the People’s Alliance for Democracy announced that it was ending its siege of the Bangkok Airport and would be returning to their homes. Praise God for this quick answer to our prayers!”


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