Building and growing the church across Thailand.
Thailand is a beautiful country. It is known as “the land of smiles” for its welcoming tourism industry and friendly people. Thailand means “the land of the free,” and Thai people are proud that their nation has never experienced colonization. As a global tourism destination, tourism contributes almost 20% of its GDP. Tourism sometimes also exploits and contributes to the nation’s challenges, primarily the sex trade and drug trafficking. Like other countries, Thailand struggles with many internal struggles – social and political. While Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, the political situation is anything but stable with regular coups by the military. Thailand has an industrious and diverse population of 69 million people, made up of 113 different people groups.
Most of Thailand’s villages and districts have no church. There are many people groups throughout Thailand’s urban and rural environments without any Christians. There is physical poverty in Thailand, but even more spiritual, emotional and social deprivation. Despite the presence of foreign missionaries for 400+ years, only about 1% of the population are followers of Jesus. Many of these believers belong to a few ethnic minority groups, not the majority ethnic Thai. Seventy-seven of the people groups in Thailand classify as unreached. Most Thai people are Buddhist, with a large Muslim population existing in the south.
Our Thai partners have a bold goal to reach their people with the good news of Jesus. Together we plant churches that holistically minister to Thai people’s spiritual, social, emotional and physical needs, primarily in unreached rural environments and big cities. Our Thai partners serve different tribal groups, with several churches reaching out across shared borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Church planting, evangelism, leadership training and compassion ministries are the four key areas we support. Historically, drug rehabilitation and orphan support were typical compassion ministries. Today we are responding holistically through water projects and livelihood sustainability. The Thai church is very resourceful and carries out many effective, caring initiatives, including care of disabled people, prison ministry and ministry to migrant factory workers.
To learn more about our partnership in Thailand visit www.vtm.asia