Dear friends,

This letter is from my father Allan Eubank, whom many of you know has been a missionary in Thailand since 1960. Some of our team and friends from the US (the Geisz and Tulip families), recently accompanied him on a trip along the Thai-Burma border to a boarding school and clinic we help support. During this trip four Talako Karen and one Sgaw Karen asked to be baptized. This was the first known baptism of anyone of the Talako (a sect of the Karen) in this area.

God bless you all and thank you for your love and prayers.

Love, Dave, Karen, Sahale, Suu and Peter Eliya Eubank

Letter from Allan Eubank April 2008

"We have great news to share and ask for your prayers. After 51 years of waiting, we are celebrating the first baptisms of the Talako, (Talakone), Karen. Fifty one years ago this June, I read a report about the Talako while I was in the U.S. trying to determine where I should serve on the mission field. I immediately felt called to go to them even though I new little about Thailand or Burma at the time. After 3 years in seminary and a year in Bangkok studying the language, I made the first visit in 1962 traveling with another missionary. Paul Dodge. 2 days by boat up the Kwai River and 12 days by foot and elephant to the headquarters of the Talako at Laytongku, Tak Province, Thailand. They accepted us as their long awaited younger brothers but they wanted political and economic help and not Jesus Christ.

We made 4 visits in 5 years and then the Communist took over the area and controlled it for 16 years. After the communist gave up, we returned and went through a series of negotiations in which they talked with us as if we were the bridegroom and they were the bride discussing marriage. We even made a covenant "engagement" ceremony blessed by the most High God through a shared drink of water promising to be faithful. If we betrayed each other they said we would all be cursed to our children's children.

After this engagement, we tried to teach and lead them to commitment to Jesus Christ. They did gradually move to worshiping the most high God, Ka Sa Y'wa, but they always refused to be baptized. Later some did want to be baptized but the head man ordered that if they were, they would have to move from the village. (See Chap 3 in the book Where God Leads Never Give Up).

Four weeks ago that head man was shot and killed as he was traveling on a trail out of town. We went back to visit and there was a new interest in the gospel. Even though there was some fear of persecution, the one main believing family said they wanted to be baptized now. The wife said, 'We have wanted to be baptized since you first came many years ago. If you do not baptize us now, then do not come back.' On Wednesday, March 26, we went down to the stream behind the murdered headman's house and baptized the mother and father, their son and his wife. We also baptized a Sgaw Karen man who come up at the last minute, saying, "I want to be baptized too". We visited the newly elected head man, and he ensured us he would uphold the Thai constitution which guaranteed freedom of religion. Then we visited the hermit priest leader of the sect and discussed our commitment to each other. He was somewhat reserved but did affirm that they had to cooperate with their younger brother 'Pudaywa.' One of the very conservative leaders of the sect invited us to lunch and said, 'You must make three more visits and we will be wed.' To be wed in our understanding is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We left a mature Karen Christian with the new Christians to nurture and support them. In early May we will return to follow up. We have been waiting more than 50 years for these first baptisms. The mystery of God's timing and human obstinacies leaves us bewildered but happy and excited once more about the Talako.

Thank you all for sharing with us in this adventure for the Lord."

Allan and Joan Eubank

Chiang Mai, Thailand

click for larger image
Allan Eubank and Rev. Samuel baptize one of the five Talako and Sgaw Karen. March 26 2008. Lay Ton Ku Thailand