Thailand Covenant Mourns Death of Amnuay Srisuwan

Post a Comment » Written on March 2nd, 2007     
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CHAING MAI, THAILAND (March 2, 2007) – Four days of worship services have begun in memory of Amnuay Srisuwan, 55, who made a profound impact on the worship of the Thailand Covenant Church (TCC) before he died February 28 following a battle with cancer.

“In Thailand, the believers hold worship services for four nights and then have the burial or cremation service the following day,” says Evangelical Covenant Church missionary Randy Bevis. “Each night there will be different pastors preaching and music sung.” Srisuwan will be cremated Monday.

Amnuay SrisuwanMembers of TCC congregations are traveling from across the country to participate in the services, Bevis says. Musicians include some of Amnuay’s many students who will perform songs he has written for the church.

Amnuay served as music director at the Center for Faith and Culture in Udon Thani, where he worked with missionaries Jim and Joan Gustafson for 13 years before moving to Chaing Mai.

Amnuay, his wife, Anan (accompanying photo), and several other national Covenanters then started the Center for Church Enablement in Northern Thailand. One of the center’s main focuses was to produce worship music using traditional northern Thai musical forms that would touch the hearts of the northern Thai  people, contextualizing the gospel.

Through the Center, Amnuay taught hundreds of students to play traditional Thai instruments while also sharing Christ’s love with the students, baptizing many of them. “Some of the most skilled youth would regularly travel around to churches to perform and introduce the music to churches of all backgrounds,” Bevis says.

Western music translates poorly into the local culture, so Amnuay wrote numerous songs using traditional music forms, Bevis says. More than 30 of the songs were recorded locally. To learn more about the challenges of adapting Western music into the Thai culture, please visit the Center for Church Enablement.

“We will really miss Amnuay,” Bevis says, “the way he reached out to the youth he worked with, his soft-spoken ways, and concern for others. The good news is that
Amnuay prepared others to take his place. One of those young people, who Amnuay took in and raised like a son, will assume a leadership role. “He is still young and will have some big shoes to fill, but he certainly has the gifting,” Bevis notes. Amnuay’s 28-year-old son, Niew, also will help the church move forward, Bevis adds.

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