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Growing Church in Thailand Receives JoinHands Building Grant


Sarmarn Senavong, associate pastor of Living Water Church of Borabu, Thailand, takes a break as parishioners weed a tapioca field that will soon be home to the congregation’s new meeting place. Mennonite Men’s JoinHands church building ministry contributed $10,000 to the church building project. Proceeds from the tapioca harvest will also provide cash to help construct the church.

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Mennonite Church Canada/Mennonite Men joint release
March 13, 2007
-by Krista Allen

Borabu, Thailand — The Living Water Church in Borabu, Thailand is ten thousand dollars closer to realizing its dream of building a new meeting place, thanks to a grant from the JoinHands church building program.

Pat and Rad Houmphan, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers in Borabur, are helping the Living Water Church achieve its dream of worshipping in its own Christian temple.

Temples in Thailand represent the centre of peoples lives, with many non-believers often seeking the Christian “temple”, when they first learn about Christianity, say the Houmphans. “The need for a proper Christian temple is great,” says Houmphan. “The Living Water church needs a place to come to for fellowship and to worship God.”

Increasing numbers of people responding to God’s call means the group has to find larger space alternatives. Currently, the Living Water Church worships in a two-story row house, which according to Pat Houmphan is not adequate. “We are currently renting a facility for church activities. Rent is expensive and the church congregation is growing,” said Houmphan.

The people of the Living Water Church envision a multi-purpose building with a sanctuary/fellowship hall, office for the pastor and Sunday school rooms. The building will be situated on land just outside of Borabu and will be a central gathering place for all believers in the district. The new building will allow the group to run programs more effectively and will be an important new element for growth.

The $10,000 grant from the JoinHands program will contribute to the building of this dream. “The people of the Living Water Church are very grateful for the assistance and help from their brothers and sisters in the Mennonite church,” said Houmphan.

Construction is set to begin in the middle of March, and will take an estimated 4-5 months to complete.

JoinHands is a ministry of Mennonite Men, a joint partnership of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. JoinHands (formerly the Tenth Man Building program) began in 1985 and provides church building grants to newer congregations in Canada, the United States and internationally. The program has provided nearly $1.3 million to 46 congregations worldwide. Since 1999, JoinHands has given a tithe of all grants to help build churches internationally with this years’ tithe going to the Living Water Church.