Smiling On the Outside, but Hurting on the Inside.
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles. It is said that a Thai person has 15 different kinds of smiles. A smile for nervousness, a smile when one is upset, a smile for the funeral. You will see many of these different smiles when living here. This is a land that is very concerned about looking good on the outside and making sure people feel good. The Buddhist culture tends to be based in self pride and is very strong in the belief that people are to earn their own way to the next life in the karmic system of Tharavada Buddhism.
This self dependant religous system has resisted God's grace for over 200 years, and Thai people find it hard to understand why or how a creator God could send His son to die and then rise from the dead for human kind. It is just a very different and confusing idea for most Buddhist people. it is seen as irresponsible and too easy. But, despite all the efforts of the enemy, God is raising up the church in Thailand. More than any other time in Thailand’s history, the church is growing and there is a sense that now is a time of great harvest in Thailand.
Thai society is changing fast. Young people are chasing the dream of being part of a growing middle class that is much like the west in values. But, as they aquire a car, house and all they could want, they are finding their lives are filled with hoplessness. Thai poeple are starting to turn from religion and looking for power to fullfill them. They are a society that is not looking to see how to be delivered from guilt and find innocence, but instead they are looking for power to be set free from the sin nature. They are people who are wanting to be fulfilled and live a right life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is sweeping across the North of Thailand among mostly the minority people groups. These tribal groups are now becoming the leaders in the Thai church and starting to plant churches among the Thai Buddhist majority populations. This is exciting.
As missionaries, we have the chance to be a part of this and make a difference in casting vision for how to start churches and see them multiply. Westerners still have freedom to go outside of norms and start new paradigms. At this time, we are looking to reach creative type people in the city of Chiang Mai by using an Art and Music Center. These are exciting times to be involved in Thailand in church planting. Thailand is still only .58% Christian. It is still 95% Buddhist and 4% Muslim. There is a strong under curent of anamistic belief in Thailand that you can see and experience.
Out of all the South East Asian countries, Thailand is the least reached and the easist to come and do church planting in. There are less believers in Thailand than in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. It is an open harvest field with so much to be done. Please consider joining us in reaching Thai Buddhist people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing God glorified in this beautiful land.
Our vision is to see lives transformed through Christ-centered communities, raising up dedicated disciples, actively engaged in kingdom ministry in, through and beyond Thailand, to the glory of God.
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