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Missionaries from Thailand

August 23, 2017

Two missionaries serving in Thailand will be visiting Iowa soon at the Cedar Valley United Methodist Church. For 39 years Gene and Mary Long have lived with the Mlabri, which means “people of the forest.”

Wikipedia describes this small ethnic group in southeast Asia as “a hill tribe in northern Thailand along the border with Laos.” They have been groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers historically, and the Longs have published several articles about what they have learned about the culture of the Mlabri over the course of their ministry.hammock

A recent article on their ministry sums up the Long’s accomplishments through their years of dedicated service:

The tribe now have Thai citizenship, the children go to a government school, their total numbers have increased to 400 and infant mortality was zero in 2013. “They plant their own rice on land we have obtained for them,” said Gene, and they “are able to earn more than the Bangkok minimum wage right here at home, making hammocks.”

A potluck meal for Gene and Mary Long will begin at noon on Sunday, September 3rd at the church, which is located south and east of West Liberty at 1791 – 155th Street (Hwy. F-70). The Longs will be speaking at 1 p.m.

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