We plan to use Thailand’s religious freedom as well as its proximity to closed countries to serve as a hub for ministry in S.E. Asia. Part of our plan for Thailand has been to systematically and strategically “sow” down different regions by tract distribution. We now have nearly five hundred students in the Bible Correspondence School. Our goal is for God to raise up some men who can be trained and who will later establish Independent Baptist Churches that are self-financing, self-governing, and self-propagating.
Recently our ministry has taken on a new dimension as weekly trips are now being made to a Hmong refugee camp in Petchabun province, five hours away. The Hmong people were a nomadic tribe of farmers and began a never-ending quest for land that took them throughout China, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. They began life in this country in refugee camps, having fled persecution in neighboring countries. They believe the Thai government will soon forcefully return them to Laos. Once there, the Lao government will surely continue their brutal attempt at ethnic cleansing.
The general physical state of the Lao Hmong is very bad with 6,000+ refugees living on the side of the road. They are hungry and in great physical need. Metropolitan Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas, began a relief organization to provide funds for giving the refugees rice. This humanitarian aid, while not the focus of our ministry, has been a tremendous testimony of Christ’s love and has helped to give us a hearing among the people.
I started teaching the Bible to a group of 12 Hmong men, and the numbers continued to grow. These refugees have little to do day-to-day and are hungry for the Word of God.
In September we were approached by 110 men who claimed they wanted to become Christians. At the same time the Christians that I was discipling responded to the teaching on the local church, leadership, and the Holy Spirit. They then requested that we start a church. We decided to officially begin a church. We were able to baptize 15 leaders and start the Nam Kao (White Water) Baptist Church with this group. The church has been growing rapidly since then. It now has 150 baptized members. The average Sunday service has around 250 people (not including 100-150 children).
Please pray as we continue to bring the hope of the glorious gospel of Christ to these people. The Hmong are not wanted by their own country (Laos), by Thailand, or by the United States; however, Jesus Christ died for them and He wants them to be His children.