Orchids grow in abundance in Thailand’s tropical climate.

Thai Baptists rolled out a colorful carpet of entertaining singers, dancers, and actors Tuesday night as they welcomed global Baptists to Bangkok for the Baptist World Alliance‘s 2017 Annual Gathering.

Vocal offerings ranged from a throaty version of “His Eye is On the Sparrow” to praise songs like “How Great Is Our God” to more typical Thai music performed with live music and traditional  instruments.

An impressive introduction featured three young men who sang praise songs as various Thai Baptists in costume crossed the stage with props indicating plants, fruits, grains, occupations and activities typically found in the country.

Dancers in traditional costumes turned a beautiful and graceful art form originally associated with Hindu plays into an offering of Christian praise. Several young actors performed, in mime, a drama about the struggles young Christians face in holding faithfully to the gospel.

During the night, we heard from representatives of the Thailand Baptist Convention, the Thailand Lahu Baptist Convention, and the Thailand Karen Baptist Convention.

Thongchai Pradachananurat, president of the Thailand Baptist Convention, brings greetings.

Many Karen (pronounced ka-RIN) peoples, originally from Myanmar, live in large refugee camps in Thailand. The Baptist witness is strong among the Karen: many churches and several Bible colleges and seminaries operate within the camps.

A choir from one of the Karen schools performs with joy.

Video clips highlighted activities and accomplishments of Thai Baptists from each of those conventions.

The devotion of Thai Baptists to Christ is impressive, and their program of welcome was inspiring. Signs are that the remainder of the Annual Gathering will be just as positive and hopeful.

More on that to come.

Thai Baptists awaiting their turn to participate in the ceremonies sing along, offering offstage praise.

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