Our names are Kennedy and Wendy. We have two grown children, Poppy, 23 and Jasper, 20 who live in the United States working and attending college. 20 years have passed by since we arrived in Thailand. We come from Northern California and are long term church planters among the Thai majority Buddhist people. We spent 3 years in Chayaphum, Eastern Thailand, 9 years in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, 6 years in Phang-gna Southern Thailand and 6 months in Lop Buri Central Thailand, and now we live in Nakhon Ratchasima, the gateway to Eastern Thailand.
We have been involved in 4 church plants so far involving many small groups of beliefs and most of our time we have worked directly with Thai co-workers. We are proficient in Thai and read and write in Thai. We are life long learners of the Thai culture and language.
Kennedy is an artist and uses his art as a way to do evangelism and discipleship with the Thai Buddhist people. Wendy is very good at language and loves to use different ways to disciple and share with Thai women.
We hope that the Lord will give us the opportunity to stay in Thailand as church planters for as many years as we can. At this stage of ministry, we feel we are now entering into more productive years because of language ability and our age. We are excited about this harvest field and would love to be used to see more Buddhist people come to Christ and be set free from an endless cycle of hopelessness.
Title: Ministry Area Leader, Leadership Development and Church Planting
We are focused on doing discipleship with the Thai believers to raise them up as leaders. We have the goal of modeling and coaching Thai believers to reach the Buddhist community with the gospel. Bible storytelling is an approach we use to share the truth about who Christ is. We also incorporate other ways of doing discipleship that are easy, reproducible and free grounded in the Bible. In the end, we want to see this turn into indigenous, biblical, churches that have the burden and means to start other groups within their communities. Prayer, evangelism, discipleship, vision casting within the local traditional church is also done. We want to honor the Thai church that is in place and be a blessing by being an example and inviting others into training and action as we do this task. We have a focus of unity and a desire to empower the local church to be it traditional or any other model of church. In the end, we want to see Christ the center and see people set free from sin and have new life that glorifies God. We have a plan, but we are very flexible and open to the shifts and surprises God brings.
Thailand is 95% Buddhist 4% Muslim and about .55% Christian. It is a Kingdom with democracy in place. It has freedom of religion. It is a culture that is very concerned about face and saving face. People are deep into spiritism and under religion, they turn to the spirits for help many times. Thailand is changing fast. People are getting more money and have more options. Society is focusing more on material gain than family and young people are leaving Buddhism in large numbers. Most Buddhist are very nominal but very proud of being Buddhist and see Christianity as a lower religion. They are very hospitable people and treat you very well. But, they are hard to get to open up and let you see what is really going on. They look happy most of the time, but it is said that a Thai can smile 15 different ways and that has 15 different meanings. Body language is very important here. Thailand has alcohol and drug problems. There is a large problem in human trafficking. Most Thai don’t think about this and they see it as bad karma or just the way it is. I believe the Thai people more open to the gospel more than any other time in history. The Thai church is growing at 4% a year. Their population is growing at 1.6% a year. This is good news. There approx. 500,000 believes here out of a population of 69,000.000 people. almost 40% of those believers are tribal and not Thai Buddhist background. Almost half the churches in Thailand are located in the North. We see The Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai areas as sending places and the rest of Thailand as a major mission field.
Nakhon Ratchasima, where we now live, is about 2.6 million people in the whole province and about 500,000 in the city limits. It has 94 churches with 4800 known believers in the whole Provence. Most of these believers live in the capital city of Nakhon Ratchasima. There are 0.18% in the population of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Primary Prayer Request:
1. For Thai Buddhist to come to Christ in Nakhon Ratchasima and they would be true disciples.
2. For wisdom in how to best use culture and language to best share and disciple and see more Thai come to faith and grow in their faith.
3. For the local people to respond to the gospel and prayer as we live here.
4. Poppy and Jasper to grow in their faith.
5. For the Thai church to be on fire for God and be active and not asleep.
6. Vision casting within the Thai church, to do more of it and have more partners to do ministry in public.
7. For great unity as we work this a Thai family to do discipleship with local Thai people who have not yet believed, but are interested and are learning.
8. See more missionaries mobilized to Thailand.