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Asia Church Planting Field Story Thailand

Sprouting Ministry

"The beginnings of ministry are a lot like the beginnings of plants. We talk about church “planting” and “sowing seeds” of the Gospel, but do we truly understand what these things mean?"

     When I first moved to Thailand I decided I would have a garden. I dreamed of tilling my tiny plot of land in the 100+ degree heat, humming as I went along. (I may have overestimated how I would tolerate the heat when I first arrived.) My first task was understanding what plants grow in Thailand. I was delighted to pick out which plants would reside in my 2ft x 4ft rectangle of dirt. Coming home with a slew of seed packets and borrowed tools, I got to work. It wasn’t long before Reagan (my housemate) and I were enjoying a crop of spinach, basil and lemongrass. Things tend to grow quickly here in Thailand. Shortly after our first yield, I sprained my ankle and was unable (and a bit too lazy) to continue work in the garden. It wasn’t long before our veggies and flowers were choked out by thorny weeds (and a bunch of terrifying bugs that lived in those weeds).

     The beginnings of ministry are a lot like the beginnings of plants. We talk about church “planting” and “sowing seeds” of the Gospel, but do we truly understand what these things mean? Here in Thailand, we are joining with a work that started over 150 years ago, yet where I live there is still no church. Planting a church here requires some of the same things that were required back in my little garden. We must understand the soil, or in this case the language, the culture and the needs of the people so we know “what to plant” or what ministries to start. We must then select the best of seeds to go with that soil, or choose ministries that we think will thrive here and plan for them well. After we’ve done all that we wait and see what comes out of the ground.

     As we kick off these ministries we have so many questions, some as simple as “should we eat together?” and others that have much more weight. We fear future “weeds” and “terrifying bugs” that can choke out the ministry here. We ask ourselves regularly, “How does this decision affect the future church?” Please be in prayer as we get the cell group and other ministries going. Please pray that we have discernment and humble hearts as we listen to the voice of God and the opinions and thoughts of the Thai people.

     Please pray that we have discernment and humble hearts as we listen to the voice of God and the opinions and thoughts of the Thai people.

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