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April 1, 2010

ELCIC members encouraged to pray for those affected by political unrest in Thailand; ELCIC Global Mission personnel Lori Endress safe

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) calls on its members to include in their prayers all who are affected by the situation in Thailand amid media reports of political unrest and instability.

Reports out of Thailand have shown anti-government demonstrations and rallies mainly centering around its capital city, Bangkok. Thousands of protestors have, brought Thailand's capital to a standstill, according to CNN.com, as they seek to unseat the leadership of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Media images show protestors, who are identified by their red shirts, collecting their own blood and splattering it on the gates of the Prime Minister's residence and other government buildings.

The ELCIC has one missionary in the region, Lori Endress, who has been serving for 10 years as a missionary in Thailand. For the past eight years, Endress has been based in Thailand's northern 'second city', Chiang Mei, at Payap University, Thailand's first Christian university and an institution of the national Thai Church, The Church of Christ in Thailand.

ELCIC Assistant to the Bishop for Global Mission, Rev. Carla Blakley, is in continued contact with Endress and reports that she is safe. Chiang Mai [where Endress is based] is in the Northern part of Thailand, away from the centre of activity and protest, although Chiang Mai has had isolated incidences of violence as well, says Rev. Blakley. Lori is safe and we will keep monitoring the political situation as it unfolds.

In this dominantly Buddhist country, Lori's work in leadership training and English upgrading has enabled the diverse faculty to become leaders at Payap University. Her particular focus has been enabling the Thai faculty, as well as Thai and international seminarians, to become leaders for McGilvary College of Divinity (Payap University), for the national Thai Church, its congregations, and for the Churches of Southeast Asia.

Further information on the ELCIC's Global Mission work can be viewed online: http://elcic.ca/Global-Mission/default.cfm

In addition to a call for prayers for the safety of those affected by the situation in Thailand, ELCIC members are asked to include ELCIC Missionary Lori Endress in their prayers; for her safety during this period of unrest but also she continues to recover from a mild stroke experienced in December.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 162,100 baptized members in 611 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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