01 Mar Easter Mission Project: Ministry Center in Thailand
Global Ministries is launching a major mission effort in Chiang Rai, the northern-most provincial capital in the once infamous “Golden Triangle.” We will focus on reaching Thai Buddhists. A team of United Brethren missionaries from three countries—the United States, Honduras, and Hong Kong—will begin arriving in 2016.
This year’s annual Easter Offering will help prepare the way. We hope to raise $50,000 to renovate our ministry center in Chiang Rai.
Global Ministries and Hong Kong Conference, together, bought a two-story building in a fast-growing part of Chiang Rai. This will be our base of operations for a number of ministries. The building sits on the corner of a busy street in what would be a middle-class neighborhood. To get anywhere, people in that neighborhood pass our building.
The building was previously owned by a doctor and her family. She works at a nearby hospital, and is very excited about the types of ministry we hope to bring to the neighborhood.
It is a solid building, structurally sound, with a very good roof. However, it has sat empty for a couple years and needs a lot of work. We want to expand the upstairs and turn it into classrooms for teaching English and other subjects. The downstairs will include a large space for group activities. Other major renovations are needed.
- Nearly all windows must be replaced.
- The interior walls are very thin. The exterior walls have no treatment on the inside.
- The decrepit bathroom needs rebuilt.
- The stairway needs repaired.
- A new air conditioning system will be installed (this is very important in that part of the world).
- A new kitchen area is needed.
Nearby are the city’s three major shopping outlets. A few minutes away is the Big C, which is like a full-size Meijer or WalMart. Across from the Big C is a very modern mall, similar to what you would find in North America. Further up the highway is another major store, like a Costco. This is a developing part of the city. In addition, the area is home to many out-of-town temporary workers employed at the malls.
Across from our ministry center is a simple but clean extended stay hotel. Several UBs from Hong Kong stayed there, and intentionally walked to our building at 11pm just to see what it was like. They felt very safe. Many small vendors were still selling their food and other goods. Motorcycles and cars zipped by.
We have a large vision for this building. We will offer language learning in both English and Mandarin Chinese—the two most sought-after languages in Thailand. We will offer activities to engage the surrounding community. We will build caring relationships that open doors to love people and share the Gospel. Others will use the building to reach into the community—visiting teams, local Thai Christians, and partner organizations in the region.
Over time, we are praying for a discipleship multiplication movement to begin among the Thai Buddhists, resulting in new churches being planted.
We United Brethren have just over 20 years of experience in northern Thailand. Three United Brethren churches have been planted among the Akha hill tribes, along the border with Burma, under the leadership of Hong Kong Conference. Chiang Rai is the closest large city. It gives us the opportunity to possibly help people from the mountain churches who come to the city for jobs and education. But it provides an even greater opportunity to spread the Gospel to Thai Buddhists—the least-reached people group in Thailand.
You can donate online to the 2016 Easter Offering. Your financial support would be greatly appreciated.
(Thanks to Google Street View, you can drive down the street right past our building. The building is on the right, just after you begin seeing a silver pickup truck ahead of you on the road.)