We love Thailand. A few years ago Sara and I got to spend nearly 6 months in Thailand working at The Life Center, a church plant, in Chonburi, Bang Saen. There was a lot that we didn’t know about Thailand before we left. In fact, we didn’t know much at all! It was a huge step of faith for us. As we boarded the plane we’ve never felt as nervous and comfortable at the same time. Eventually, the comfortableness wore off…say after 5 hours stuck in the airplane…and we still had 18 hours of travel left! Below is a recent email sent to our denomination’s missions director and it should help explain a bit more about what we experienced and look forward to in the near future…
….Sara and I first arrived in Thailand not really knowing what to expect. We still remember being VERY concerned about the spicy food, hot weather, and difficult language to learn. We didn’t know why God had laid Thailand on our hearts, but went with an open mind and heart to find out once we got there. A lot of statistics would lead people to want to work in Thailand. Thailand is a country in the 10/40 window. It is also a country that despite having Christian workers living there for nearly 100 years, still boasts less than one percent of the population being Christian (95 % Buddhist/ nearly 4.3 % Muslim). Thus, Thailand makes a lot of sense to the head as to why to begin a work there. It is a difficult people to reach. They say they have nearly 4,000 years of Buddhist influence in their culture, while they would also say that Christianity is only 2,000 years old. The Thai people believe that “to be Thai, is to be Buddhist”….it is who they are and permeates nearly every aspect of their culture and daily lives. But, despite all the head knowledge we can learn about Thailand prior to going, it wasn’t until we actually went and the Lord allowed us to fall in love with the Thai people that it all began make sense. God’s purposes and plans began being revealed to us in mighty ways…and we just couldn’t say no.
In the future, we plan to begin a lengthy work in Thailand. We feel so strongly about our calling to Thailand and the Thai people that we are looking to commit at least 10 years off the bat to see churches being started in this needy nation. In order to accomplish this, we very much see the need to partner with the few Thai Christians that are in the country and help them by enabling and equipping them to reach out to their own people….where the cultural differences are far less for a Thai person to overcome than it would be for my wife and I. Thailand is so entrenched in its Buddhist ways that it really takes trust, time and a Living God to impact the Thai people to the point where they are ready to step out in faith for Christ. We look forward to working alongside our Lord and the small Thai Christian population to see their communities and lives transformed by the mercy, grace, peace and love of Jesus Christ! For my wife and I there will be no better sense of joy and fulfillment to take our step in faith and work alongside our Father as He calls a nation to Him in mighty ways!
Here are a few images from our trips:
For the rest of the set visit our Flickr photostream: