Ministry in Thailand is…all over the map.
In January, I became the Asia One Team champion for the ministry in Thailand. Part of my role is to catch up on the history of ministry in Thailand. One way to describe Thailand’s past ministry: three-tracked.
In the past 30 years, the WELS helped start three different ministries with three different focuses in Thailand. One ministry focused on ethnic Thai people, another on Hmong people, another on various people groups around Northeastern Thailand. As they focused on different people, they focused on different regions in Thailand. Hence, the ministries were all over the map, literally and figuratively.
Unfortunately in those 30 years, some ministries fell off the map. Support changed. Circumstances changed. Ministries changed. Thailand also suffered from this change when some ministry fell off the map. The devil worked hard to push the entire ministry in Thailand off the map. But, God is good and he kept ministry on the map. He kept it on the map through the dedication of many leaders, both local and missionary. Therefore, ministry in Thailand continues today.
But ministry is not just about the past, but also the future! In the past year, the leaders in Thailand officially decided to pool their knowledge and start working together. All three-ministry tracks have connected and joined. The three strands have woven together. After two conferences of discussion, they started mapping out a plan for ministry going forward in Thailand. Their main purpose: to strengthen each other in faith, build unity, and spread the gospel. Their name (translated into English): the Lutheran Christian Confederation.
The Confederation asked the Asia One Team to help support their ministry. So, the Asia One Team continues to find ways to support. The Asia One Team supports conferences to encourage and build each other up in God’s Word. It supports the growth of the local leaders in God’s Word. It connects local ministry to other resources, such as Multi-Language Productions and Christian Aid and Relief. Lord willing, the Asia One Team will help the Lutheran Christian Confederation build up local leaders to then add new leaders.
As the various groups in the Confederation use the same ministry road map, Lord willing, he will put more ministries all over the map. As this happens, the more his Word can lighten the dark places off our map. After all, that’s what a map is for, to see where we have been and to see where we can be going. A map helps us see where the light is and where it needs to go.
May the Lord guide the ministry of the Lutheran Christian Confederation and the Asia One Team as they spread God’s Word all over the map.
Written by Missionary Mark Zondag, Asia One Team champion in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
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