Daniel and Marica planted a church into Chiang Rai, Thailand just over three years ago. Their family, originally based at Southlands Church in Southern California, have seen a remarkable amount of Kingdom advance in this short time. We asked Daniel to share some of the headlines from their last season of ministry. We think you will find it incredibly encouraging!
Daniel, you and Marcia have planted into Chiang Rai city but you are also working further afield? Can you tell us a bit about that?
Overall, around 90% Thai people live in rural villages with no access to churches or other Christians. Over the past 2 years, we’ve really focused on trying to evangelize and church-plant among local people who are not able to access church communities in Chiang Rai city.
We now have two local Thais working with us as full-time evangelists. We have seen God open up opportunities for evangelism and discipleship in a number of different locations.
What sort of initiatives, or programs are you running in these external locations?
Last year we launched an English outreach at a boarding school for underprivileged children, that are part of tribes living in the hill region outside the city. We saw more than 25 kids come to faith during this time! Currently, we have a growing group of about 40 kids (between the ages of 9 and 17) that gather to worship God every Sunday evening.
We have also started a Bible study at a local vocational college that has grown from 1 student to close to 20. We are now seeing salvation and baptisms there too.
Finally, there is a nearby rural, animistic village with no electricity called Baan Yafu. It is inhabited by an unreached people group called the Red Lahu people. They have been very opposed to the Gospel and even killed 2 evangelists as recently as 2 years ago.
We started with a Christmas outreach last year and began seeing conversions almost immediately. In a village that only had a single Christian family for the past 19 years, we’ve seen it grow to seven families in less than a year! At a recent evangelism event, we saw 12 people come to faith on the same day!
Overall, over the past 2 years, we’ve seen 3 separate gatherings of believers form, 50+ salvations, 60+ baptisms, countless healings, and many doors doors for ongoing evangelism, discipleship, and church-planting.