Thailand is made up of approximately 1,430 islands. It is the only country in Southeast Asia to have never been colonized, and it has a constitutional monarchy much like England. Its beautiful beaches and tropical climate draw millions of tourists each year. In Thailand, there was a time when all males under 20 were required to become Buddhist monks—if only for a short period. Today, there are over 41,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand and 90 percent of the population is Buddhist.
We were never intended to live in poverty, divided against one another, with little hope for peace. In the Kingdom of God, poverty, violence, division, and hopelessness will not exist. We believe the Church is God’s primary transforming agent in the world, and that the local church exists to make its community more like the Kingdom of God.
We partner with local indigenous leaders as they minister to the communities and cultures that they themselves are from. We start projects and programs in the hardest places and set up a plan for them to be self-sustaining in order for them to know independence and the value of reinvesting in their own communities.
Read on to learn how communities are being transformed in Thailand.
We have been working with our partners in Thailand since 1995. Holistically ministering to the peoples of the Mekong River Delta (spread throughout several countries), our partners in Southeast Asia are planting churches, discipling believers, and developing leaders. With a strong belief that all of life is sacred and spiritual, our partners in Southeast Asia are building bridges to minister to communities through vocational training, entrepreneurship, and leadership training—reconciling the concept of work to God's intent in creation.
Our partners in Thailand largely focus on education. With the largest K-12 school in the region, 1,000 students are being equipped for a better future and an early introduction to the gospel. Nearly 150 students attend our partner’s theology and vocational training school, empowering young adults to learn marketable skills and become self-sufficient, contributing members in their communities.
Jesus' life, death, and resurrection carry more collective and cosmic tones in South Asia than we often perceive it does in the United States. Cultures largely influenced by Buddhism have stronger family and communal ties, meaning a decision to follow Jesus is often made as a group. It is easier for people from South Asia to see the way the gospel addresses the conflict between different groups of people. Because of these dynamics, the Church is uniquely equipped to care for the needs of refugees and the poor.
Working with local leaders in Thailand, Mission ONE addresses the important topics of honor, shame, and what the gospel says about these cultural influences.
To learn more about how honor and shame interact with the Bible and how this affects our Western theology, check out The Global Gospel, written by Mission ONE Vice President, Werner Mischke.