Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Beginning of Something BIG in Bangkok!

Last Friday night, The River Bangkok held its first ever 'English Games Night', an evening full of fun, laughs, connections and of course some English learning thrown in there. What a huge success the night was, with over 30 people joining in the fun!

Most were students from Chulalongkorn University, the top university in Thailand, who were eager to learn English in a social environment and make new friends. These have been connections we have made in only two weeks, so it is clear something BIG is beginning in Bangkok, and we are so excited to be a part of it. 

As the night approached, everything seemed to be working against it: the rain, the university calendar and the time of month. Yet we couldn't have asked for a better night and God showed His hand is on this. One girl said she didn't want to leave, because she enjoyed the night and meeting our team so much. 

We can't wait for our next games night in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space to find out more of the exciting things taking place at The River Asia.

We Have This Hope!

As you may have seen, a bomb shook the city of Bangkok on Monday 17th August 2015. Twenty-one people were killed and over 125 people were injured from the blast, which took place in the centre of the city at Erawan Shrine, a popular place for tourists and locals alike. It is also really close to Chulalongkorn University, where we have many friends and connections. Our heart goes out to everyone impacted by this awful event.
The following day, all city schools were closed and many classes at Chula University were cancelled. Our friends shared about the fear they were feeling, how they wanted to stay at home and didn't want to go out at night. Because of this hope we have in Christ Jesus, we were able to speak life, comfort and hope into their situations. We have been able to have many hope-filled conversations with students, taxi-drivers, people in cafes, new and old friends and even strangers on the streets.
While people are feeling calmer now, there is still a sense of fear in this city we love. Please keep the beautiful people of Bangkok in your hearts and prayers. Our work here in Bangkok is more crucial than ever before!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pizza Party, New Friends!

KK is one of the young men in our work in Bangkok.  He is a very bright, hard working, and passionate man with a huge heart to see people connecting with Christ.  He has the ability to connect with people and connect people to people. 

 (Some of the great people at KK's Pizza Party!)

Recently we partnered with KK for a pizza/connecting night. KK had invited about 35 people, from all different walks of life: from highly successful business people, to UN and Government representatives, to University students. About 50 people turned up to the local Pizza Company in MBK and spent the night eating, laughing and exchanging Facebook and line addresses. 

The crowd was about 50% followers of Christ and 50% still to be. The night was an incredible success!  Since then, our awesome team have been busy reconnecting with these new friends, going out for coffees, karaoke and whatever else it takes to make new friends. We are now planning another fun night to connect once again with the incredible people of Bangkok.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mother's Day at Kids Club

Every year on the 12th August, the nation of Thailand celebrates HRH Queen Sirikit's birthday. As the beloved 'Mother of the Nation', this day also acts as Mother's Day. At The River Asia, we always take this opportunity to honour all the women and mothers in our local communities: in Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Sungai Kolok. It is such a great chance to show how much we love and value them as individuals.
This year The River Kids Club prepared a special 'Mother's Day Event' for all the mums in our surrounding buddhist communities. We had over 100 mothers, women and children join us on the day, with more than 20 coming for the first time! What a sense of community and family there was.
As the mums and kids entered The River Centre, which was beautifully decorated in bunting, balloons and love hearts, they could tell they were in for a special day. And it only got better! The children in Kids Club performed special songs and dramas for their mums, everyone got involved in fun games, they heard an incredible testimony on the value of family, got professional photos taken at our Kids Club Photo Booth and were served a special lunch complete with desserts! It was a really special time, and both the mums and kids felt so loved.
Many who were there have not experienced this kind of love and service before. We were able to connect with so many of them on a deeper level and we know this will be the beginning of many great relationships.
To see more pictures taken on the day, check out our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theriverthailand

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Children's Day in Thailand

Most nations don't get the opportunity or the joy to celebrate a day that is dedicated to Children - In Thailand - we do!

Children's Day in Thailand is not simply a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children around the globe that have succumbed to violence in forms of abuse, exploitation and discrimination.

The River firmly believes this and takes Children's Day very seriously!

We were invited to be involved in Children's Day events all around the country.  
We participated in 2 events in the south, 2 events in Bangkok and in Chiang Mai we were involved in 2 more events.  Combined, close to 1000 children were reached, through fun, activities, which affirmed their value and purpose!

We had games, prizes, jumping castles, and as always, the most popular activity was face painting!  The kids loved it, our team loved it, and we continued to build stronger relationships with our local communities.

Check out some great pictures from some of these events.

Our Fearless Leader handing out prizes in Bangkok!

Our Team doing incredible work in Hang Dong

Bek, one of or Master Face Painters!!

Our army of volunteers in Bangkok, putting smiles on kids' faces

Thank you for your ongoing partnership with The River.  Through you, we are changing lives in Thailand!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

She is Priceless

Over the past four years, a family of five has become close to The River in the south. The experience of unconditional love and acceptance, as well as the evident devotion of our team to grow in the character of our Lord, have broken the walls of fear. Genuine friendship and trust has formed, resulting in eagerness to understand the source of this supernatural love.  

Just a few days before our annual women’s conference three months ago, a miracle took place! Ordinarily the belief system of the deep south would not allow this: The wife of the family joined our team girls on her first-ever trip out of her region to be part of a life and eternity changing experience of her life.  On the Sunday before the conference started, she heard the message about the Good Shepherd, who left the 99 sheep to go after the one that was lost. Our beautiful friend wept throughout the message and by the end of it made the decision to follow the true Good Shepherd. A joy that she had never known filled her heart.

During the women’s conference, she listened to the messages about worth, strength and purpose. She discovered that her value is not based on her gender or barrenness, but is actually priceless because of her Saviour! She asked to follow His example by being immersed in water and then shared her joy with all of her sisters afterwards. There was not a dry eye amongst us that day.

She is now back with her family and community, growing in His love and learning to extend it towards others.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Christmas 2014 at The River

Christmas at The River was a very exciting time for the River and all the communities that we are involved with.

We had our first ever River Christmas in Bangkok on the 16th of December! We had a Christmas party for all our Bangkok connect groups with over 100 people attending. It was an amazing time of fellowship, friendship  and fun! Gifts were shared, people were encouraged and the message of Christmas was shared. It is was amazing to see how many new people attended and how fast The River is growing in Bangkok. On the following Saturday, The River team spread the Christmas Spirit by giving gifts to people in the community.

Christmas gifts galore!

Christmas time in Hang Dong was filled with activity and festivity. The River team worked together with local community leaders to  bring a night of fun, food  games and a message of joy to over 200 people in the San Pak Wan community in a wonderful community concert. There was singing, dancing and drama presentations presented by both The River team and local community members.
Santor School invited the River team to be apart of their Christmas celebrations. The students welcomed our team with open arms.

 Our incredible team at Santor School on Christmas Day!

On the 21st Of December we celebrated Christmas as a church community. The place was packed with so many people! It was an atmosphere of excitement and expectancy! Four teachers from a local school that we teach in attended our church for the first time!
One woman experienced a miracle of provision, by receiving a simple bag of rice as a gift.  Only God knew that it came at exactly the right time.

Our beautiful angel!

Christmas in the South was also extremely successful and wonderful.  Families that our team work with helped prepare and present the Christmas concert. Over 100 people attended and 50 gifts where given!  People left with full stomachs and happy hearts!

Thank you so much for your ongoing support and prayers over the Christmas period.  Over 700 people attended River Christmas events and over 500 gifts were given out!

The whole of The River Team wish you a wonderful 2015!