Thai Prison Ministry Reaps Bountiful Harvest

Editor’s Note: TEAM Isaan is an Alliance church-planting initiative among the Isaan people, a largely unreached group in northeast Thailand. The Alliance has a long history of ministry to the Isaan dating back to 1929. Because of that investment, today there are at least 30,000 Isaan believers in 650 local churches from various denominations. TEAM Isaan was mobilized to help bring Christ’s message of salvation to the 2.5 million people among this group who have not yet heard.

The first time EQ heard the gospel in a Thai prison, he wasn’t ready to ask Jesus to be his Savior. His friend Montri, who did receive Christ, took it upon himself to share with EQ on his own time the Bible stories he was learning from members of TEAM Isaan, which has been ministering in several prisons. To date, approximately 80 inmates have received Christ through this outreach.

Because Montri poured himself into EQ, he eventually received Jesus as his Savior. Since then, both men have been released from prison and have brought the truth of the gospel back to their home villages.

EQ and Montri spent weeks sharing the story of God with EQ’s family and friends, who received Jesus and have since been baptized. Recently, a leader of a neighboring village approached EQ’s mother and asked that TEAM Isaan come and share God’s truth with his village as well.

“Last year we prayed that entire families would come to Christ, and we praise God that EQ and his family have all come to know the Lord,” says Alliance worker Kathy Sappia, who serves with TEAM Isaan. “We also prayed that whole communities would be changed because of Christ. EQ’s village has been so changed by God that surrounding villages are taking notice and are asking us to come [and teach them about the Lord]. We praise God for the many ways He has been answering our prayers!”

Since then, prisoners have continued to put their trust in Jesus through TEAM Isaan’s ministry. Last month, a number of believers in the prisons were baptized. “For lack of a baptismal tank, we borrowed a large-size ice chest-minus the ice!” says Kathy. “It worked great!”

 To watch a video of the baptisms, click here.

This spring, TEAM Isaan began renting property to establish a Job Training and Development Center for Isaan believers who have been released from prison. “It is our prayer to use this center not only as a place to teach and equip the Isaan to share the truth of Jesus with others but also as a job training site,” says Kathy.

“One of the main hardships the Isaan face is finding legitimate sources of income in their own villages, so we are researching viable forms of micro-businesses such as mushroom and pepper farming or raising pigs to use their dung to sell as fertilizer. We pray that they can implement these methods in their own villages and thus have a stable income,” Kathy adds. “This way, they will not need to relocate to the cities to seek work.”   

A recent obstacle to TEAM Isaan’s ministry has been the virus epidemic. Alliance workers have been denied permission to enter both the Sakon Nakhon and Sawang Daen Din prisons until further notice for fear that the virus may enter the prison and cause an epidemic. Pray for a quick end to the spread of the disease so that Alliance missionaries and their national partners can minister freely again.

What You Can Do

Pray that God will watch over believing prisoners who have been transferred to other prisons and provide them with Christian fellowship and the continued opportunity to share His love with others.

The Kut Khao Poon Church (a member of the Gospel Church of Thailand, the C&MA national church) has a growing vision for prison ministry. Pray that this church and others will have an increasing burden to minister to “the least of these” in area prisons and that the movement of God among prisoners will continue to grow.

Donate now to Alliance Great Commission Ministries to support God’s work around the world.

Learn More

Check out our Alliance work in Thailand.







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