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7th Feb 2023 Vientiane – Laos

Father, remind believers in the Buddhist World of their connection to each other through their covenant with you.


Tai Lue in Laos

Introduction / History

Laos is a small country located in southeastern Asia, just south of China. It is entirely within the tropics and occupies a rugged strip of the Indochinese peninsula. The Tai Lue inhabit many villages of northwestern Laos in the Nam U Valley, and along the Tha and Beng Rivers. Their tonal language belongs to the southwestern group of Tai languages.

The Tai Lue are part of the Tai people cluster which is pronounced as Dai in China, where over 700,00 Lue people live in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture (known in Thailand as Sipsongpanna, “Twelve Thousand Rice Fields”) in southernmost Yunnan province. China is the original homeland of the Tai Lue people, but many have migrated south due to pressure from the Chinese. During World War II, when the establishment of a communist regime ended the Tai Lue kingdom, they fled to Burma and Northern Thailand. The Tai Lue made their homes along the Mekong River, and found themselves in the landlocked country of Laos, completely dependent on others to survive. After years of invasions, a series of land wars, and possession by the French, Laos has finally entered into good relations with all of its neighbors.
What Are Their Lives Like?

The Tai Lue have preserved much of their traditional way of life as it was before their expansion into Indochina. Most are farmers living in river valleys where they grow wet rice for both consumption and sale. They still use wooden equipment drawn by buffalo. They are also good fishermen and clever silver smiths. Some men fabricate the famous Tai Lue swords, and the women’s specialties include weaving and embroidery.

Some traditional dress for men includes blue coats, dark blue bell trousers with bands of red, yellow, or white; and large white turbans. The women traditionally wear light blue embroidered jackets that are adorned with small pieces of silver and red or scarlet skirts and turbans.

When a Tai Lue a couple is married, their living arrangements are decided according to which household most needs the services of the couple. Households are tight knit have generally have a large network of extended family in their village. Grandmothers often take care of their grandbabies and young children while older children go to school or to the Buddhist temple and parents work in the fields.

Tai Lue villages are located either on raised ground surrounded by rice fields, or on high ground on either side of a road or pathway. Their houses are often the characteristic Thai “pile” dwellings, with floors made of split bamboo and straw thatched roofs. Each village has a headman who is paid by the Lao government and organizes village meetings and makes infrastructure decisions. In the past each village had a shaman who the people visited when they were sick, but now more and more people go to the clinic or hospital when they are sick.

Prayer Points

Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Tai Lue so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
Pray that God will call out more prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that the Gospel will spread rapidly throughout the Tai Lue people and Christ will be glorified.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower the Tai Lue believers to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, discipling others who disciple others among their people and beyond.
It only takes a couple of Tai Lue believers to catch God’s vision for their people and become the beginnings of a movement. Pray for a Tai Lue church that is on fire for Christ to rapidly reproduce throughout the Tai Lue people of Laos and beyond!

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