After the Vietnam war, Laos isolated itself from the rest of the world, especially the West which limited resources and outside help and the consequence was that Lao fell back into more serve poverty. After 1990, Laos slowly opened its door to the free world and accepted more helps. Even though today, especially in the rural areas, people still have no access to jobs, education, healthcare, justice, equal opportunities, and religious freedom.
In May 2000, the General Board of Global Ministries sent the first mission team to explore the country of Laos. On February 2nd, 2001, they held the first meeting in Laos, with three couples. Eight years later, the UMC in Laos has grown from three couples to 97 congregations! Over five thousand people have received new life in Christ and joined the United Methodist Church and hold worship service every Sunday!
While the churches are continuing to grow, leaders are also being trained. As recent as September 3rd 2009, Bishop Larry Goodpaster went to Laos and credentialed the first 40 license local pastors and Mission pastors. 59 lay preachers are currently in the process of theological training, 38 of them are in their second year and 21 are in their first year. Lao Bibles, Lao hymnals and tuition for Phayao Seminary students are urgent needs. New church leaders with basic and advanced training are also needed in order to meet the demand of increasing congregations. In addition to leadership training, money is also needed for new church buildings, pastor's support, church development, evangelization, women awareness, children scholarship, seniors and youth ministries, and agriculture development.
God is on the move in Laos, will you like to be on board? For more information please contact:
(Association of HUMC Chair)
3015 W. Mitchell Street
Milwaukee, WI 53215
5226 Wright Ave.
Racine, WI 53406