SSDL01-1 Frontline Discipleship Assistant – You will live in a Great River People neighborhood totally immersed in their tight knit community. Collect stories and cultural values you pick up and report to your missionaries. Together you will develop tools that will make coming to faith in Jesus Good News to them. Then participate in field testing these resources (written, audio, video or oral) to assess effectiveness in addressing areas of societal brokenness and quick reproducibility.
The Great River People are an unreached Muslim people group in Southeast Asia, numbering around half a million. The rural Great River People practice folk Islam, mixing veneration of the dead with magic and Muslim tradition (a blend of Animism and Islam). Outside efforts to promote Islam have stepped up recently, and the Great River People define themselves more by their religion than their historical origins. There are no known churches or scriptures among this people group. The opportunity for them to hear about the Savior and His truth for these last days is now! Muslim missionaries from overseas are seeking to make them more orthodox.
Bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand, the nearly 70,000 square-mile country is 95 percent Buddhist (mostly Khmer people), three percent Islam (mostly Great River People), and only two percent are Christian. Textiles and tourism provide most of the hard currency. This region’s temperatures range from 50-100 degrees Fahrenheit. The wet season (May-October) and dry season (November-March) are both ushered in by tropical monsoons.
As our missionaries convey that we are people of faith—through simple prayer ministry, spiritual conversations and kindness—they gain people’s confidence and, by God’s grace, win their hearts for Jesus. The goal is to plant groups of believers who can spread this message throughout the entire people group.
One of the keys to reaching the Great River people is health ministry. By using simple health remedies, assisting the sick to find organizations able to help, and through the work of short-term medical teams, AFM missionaries have won many people’s confidence and hope to begin a small health clinic to meet the overwhelming need better. The Great River people have a tremendous desire to learn English, and teaching English to elementary-age students is an avenue to reach these people. Plans include expanding classes for older learners in the future. To learn more, view the project page for the Great River People.
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