Thailand is affectionately known as the land of smiles. It is a country dotted with small villages and rice fields that all seem to flow toward the urban center of Bangkok. The population of Bangkok is anywhere from 9 million to 14 million on a daily basis. Like the lungs of a body, the population rises and falls with the daily influx and dispersion of people from rural to urban and back out. This urban center is the influencing force for education, economy and culture. At the same time, it is a city known for brokenness. Large concentrations of men and women are exploited for the sex industry. Impoverished families are stuck fighting for survival each day. The desire for money, power and status keep many dissatisfied.
While the gospel came to Thailand over 180 years ago, the country is still less than 1% evangelical. Many would say that to be Thai is to be Buddhist. While this is true, you will find that many Thais also worship and fear spirits. They have no framework for encountering the story of Jesus. We long for gospel movements that bring eternal hope and joy to the people of Thailand.
Our efforts are concentrated among the churches and ministries in Bangkok. We seek to foster a community of people that demonstrate the faith and love of the gospel. Goers will be plugged into the life and community of a church plant in Bangkok. While learning language and culture, they will also have the opportunity to experience what it looks like to seek gospel movements in the city. All goers will be involved in a development track that aims to grow their understanding of the scriptures, engagement in spiritual formation and tools for practical ministry involvement.
Goers in this position will focus on those that often get overlooked. Bangkok has concentrations of various refugees and asylum seeker groups from neighboring countries and beyond. In the last several years, thousands of Pakistanis have arrived to Bangkok seeking a safe place. Many were immediately thrown into local detention centers and held indefinitely. For those that were released, they have no status in Thailand. They cannot work, seek education for their kids, etc. Returning to Pakistan, could mean returning to a death sentence. They need practical help with food, education for their kids, medical assistance. Bangkok is also home to large concentrations of slums, human trafficking situations, etc. Goers will model ministry in these areas for Thai Christians while also seeking ways to connect the local church to these needs.
Relational - So much of engaging in ministry in Thailand is about engaging people and building trust with Thais and being able to move beyond the surface. This only happens if Thais sense a genuine desire to relate.
•Social awareness - In order to do well in Thai culture (and Asia in general) one must be able to pick up on all that is happening beyond the words being spoken. It is helpful to be able to sense/feel relationally and to use those social cues to navigate relationships.
•Strong personalities can have difficulty in Thai culture. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t consider this placement, it depends on how their personalities present itself. But if someone has a very strong personality and lacks the ability to adjust according to the situation or pick up on when to tone things down, then it can be difficult and overebearing for the Thais who are very gentle and cautious people (general more shy).
•Ability to handle change well - While we believe in structure, the nature of living overseas is that there is diruption to our plans. Part of our ability to remain engaged in ministry is our abiltiy to adapt when disruption happens. It is helpful for people to think about how they react when surprising change comes their way.
•Leader's Curiosity - Ideally we want people that posses leadership potential and an interest in not just what they can come and do, but also an interest in the bigger picture of ministry and a curisosity for the how, why, and what of things.
•Natural networkers and gatherers of people and resources will also do well with our ministry.
•Willingness to Engage in Community - We want to be a community that is comfortable going deeper with one another. The depth of community tends to show itself when people feel comfortable sharing struggles, fears and concerns. We desire to be a community that is gospel centered. The gospel gives grace. Where grace is present, a community feels freedom to vulnerable with one another for the sake of growing closer to the Lord.
•Strong background / positive experiences in the Church are helpful. We have a high value for the Church. It is a central part of our team activities. While some have a had negative experience with the Church, we hope they can be open to seeing the Church different if they join our team.
•Experience with discipleship. Our team will provide training in this area, but experience being discipled well and/or discipling others is a big plus.
•Active Lifestyle - Living in the city means lots of walking. It is common for somoene to walk a several miles a day just navigating the city. It is also helpful if people are ok with warm weather. Nobody can fully prepare for hot season or say they love it, but being ok with warm weather will come in handy.
•Hard Skills that Help - Creatives (artistic, design, videographer/photographers, writers, storytellers) Musicians. Entrepreneurs. Teachers.