Our Ministry Heart
Developing Leaders in Bangkok to Multiply Laborers Throughout Asia
NEED: Currently there are not enough new missionaries committing to serve long-term among the unreached in Asia. Nearly 2.6 billion have no practical way of hearing the gospel.
VISION: More Christian leaders serving throughout Asia. We want to see Bangkok become the gateway city to Asia when it comes to serving in ministry.
STRATEGY: Form a ministry community for young adults, where we can develop, equip and launch leaders into missional service throughout Asia.
Over the last several years, there have been TWO MAIN PROBLEMS that seem to keep coming across my desk. Kate and I hope to be part of the solution.
- There are 2.6 billion unreached people in Asia. That is billion with a B. That means that those people do not have a viable way to hear the gospel. There isn’t a church that exists among them. There isn’t a large enough community of Christians nearby that can introduce them to Christ in their indigenous language.
- We have a mobilization gap in the world. We currently have many missionaries serving globally (with UWM and other organizations) but it will take thousands more to tackle such a large number of unreached people in hard to reach places of Asia. We are also recognizing an age and leadership gap in the missions world. Young people desire to serve globally, but need to be equipped and developed as leaders before they can be sent out to serve.
We believe that God desires for the people of Asia (and all of the world) to experience His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We are committing our efforts to see that happen. But, we also recognize that the actual plans will change as we take steps toward Thailand. After 9 years of mobilizing others, we can testify that change will happen. Visa laws will change, political situations will change, teams will change, our support account will change, etc… and we must trust that God is working in all things along the way.
We have noticed that people are committing to serve in shorter increments of time these days. Usually these segments build on their previous experience. A person may start with a one or two week vision trip. Then, they will go for a summer or 6 month internship. Eventually, they will commit to several years of service.
The reality is that usually these first several steps of commitment are developmental for the person serving. It is really in year two that people begin to see their ministry develop and produce fruit. By then, they have begun to adjust culturally and learn language. We want to create on-ramps for people to come serve for a summer, several months, and one to two years. These initial experiences overseas are important in determining whether or not they will remain engaged in overseas ministry for the long-term.
We want to be intentional in how we structure that time for participants so that they develop a clearer picture for how God has gifted them for missional service. We will emphasize things like exposure (world religions, urban poor, trafficking, business as mission, indigenous church movements), equipping (spiritual formation, biblical literacy, discipleship), envisioning (field visits, connecting with ministry partners).
WHY BANGKOK? It is already the gateway in terms of people coming and going into the region. Our sending organization has missionaries serving in countries like India, China, Tajikistan, Thailand, etc… Our Asia families gather in Thailand for prayer, planning and refuel each year.
It is also a strategic location. Within Asia, more and more people are moving into major urban centers. This means that future ministries will be focused on an urban context. From Bangkok, you can catch a non-stop flight to five of the six largest cities in the world. Bangkok is a great training ground for ministry preparation in urban context. It contains about 14 million people and 91% are Buddhist. Bangkok is less than 1% evangelical Christian at this time.
This is a God-sized vision. We know what could be and what should be. We sense it in our hearts, but we also know that by ourselves we are not capable of making this happen. The only one that can make this happen is God. God has set this whole thing in motion and we eagerly wait to see what He in unfolding in these plans.
Billy, Kate, Rush & Finn Dempsey