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Week of Prayer – Day 1

November 28, 2010

Thai Prison ministry

The day Arti was released from prison, his aunt brought him to a Christian halfway house in Bangkok.

Arti had served five years for a drug conviction. During that time, his Christian aunt visited him, bringing a Bible and daily devotional readings.

But he didn’t really understand what he was reading until he arrived at the halfway house.

“I studied the Bible until I [was] sure that God loves me and Jesus died for me,” he said.

Pastor Soonthorn Soonthorntarawong established the house when he saw that newly released prisoners, often rejected by their families and Thai society, needed help. The first church in Thailand for former prisoners stands nearby.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® helped make the halfway house and church possible. Both are outgrowths of a prison ministry begun in 1971 by IMB missionary Jack Martin. In the early 1980s, Pastor Soonthorn joined Jack in the work and eventually assumed leadership of the ministry when Jack and his wife, Gladys, retired in 1999.

Arti remembers the hopelessness that prisoners feel.

“They … feel that no one cares and no one loves them,” he says. “Only Jesus is the answer.”

Pray for the work of the Christian Prison Ministry Foundation that reaches into 60 of the 120 prisons throughout Thailand.

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