Central Thai

  • Pre-Entry
  • Pre-Evangelism
  • Evangelism
  • Discipleship
  • Phase-Out
  • Completed

About the People

The Royal Kingdom of Thailand (which means Land of the Free) was founded in 1238 in a declaration of independence from Khmer overlords. Bordered by Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Malaysia, the country also boasts coastlines on the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. Thailand exports large quantities of Jasmin rice, silk cloth, silver and silver jewelry, wicker weaving, cabbage, herbs and naturally dyed cotton. Open-air markets carry plenty of fresh produce at reasonable prices, and vegetarian restaurants abound. Temperatures range between 60 and 100 degrees year-round, and the political climate is peaceful.

Thailand is a deeply Buddhist nation, with over 92 percent of its population espousing the Buddhist faith. Missionaries have had very little success at penetrating this massive “spiritual wall.” Only about 1.6 percent of the Thai population is Christian. There are 37 Seventh-day Adventist churches in Thailand, most of which are in the north. Khon Kaen—the focus of the Central Thai Project—has no Seventh-day Adventist presence.

About the Project

The primary goal of the AFM missionaries on the Central Thai Project is to establish an indigenous church-planting movement among Thai Buddhists in Central Thailand. To reach this goal, they live closely among the people, learn the Thai language, study local culture and religion, and build deep friendships. Using what they learn, they will craft evangelistic materials in the Thai Buddhist context. They aim to share Christianity in a way that leads to conversions that are deeply meaningful and lasting. Local converts will be discipled to become leaders in the first church plant, and they will be trained to plant new churches. In this way, the result will be a locally-led, newly-born Adventist Christian movement that continues expanding God’s kingdom in Thailand.

In 2014, the Northern Khmer Project merged with the Central Thai project to begin a multifaceted ministry to Thai Buddhists in Khon Kaen. The newly enlarged team runs a music school and focuses on creating worship music and outreach materials carefully crafted to reach Thai Buddhist hearts.

People-Group Facts

  • Population: 67 million
  • Language: Thai
  • Religion: Buddhism

Frontier Stories

A Shy Seeker

As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded that people all around us are seeking more and are open to God’s Spirit.

By: Kyle Tumberg
October 01 2022, 9:43 am | Comments 0

Table Games

I thank God for bringing this beautiful couple into our lives.

By: Claudette Aleman
August 01 2022, 9:12 am | Comments 0

Missionary Puppy!

If I had known that puppies could help us meet people, I would have used this to convince my parents long ago!

By: Lina Aleman
June 01 2022, 10:44 am | Comments 0

My Friend Namon

The first day Namon came to class, we played with my toy kitchen. Then her grandma came and talked with my parents while Namon and I played with chalk; then she needed to go home. Please pray that my friends and their families will get to know Jesus.

By: Alison Grace Tumberg
June 01 2022, 10:33 am | Comments 0

Seeing God’s Hand

If I have learned anything over the past decade that I have served with AFM, it is that mission work is truly a walk of faith.

By: Kyle Tumberg
June 01 2022, 8:29 am | Comments 0

The First Sabbath

We truly give God all honor and glory for our new building. We know that it is His blessing that has made this a reality

By: Kyle Tumberg
April 01 2022, 3:20 pm | Comments 0


I am a Christian today because of the people who took an interest in my mom and me. They would call us, invite us to their homes, and even invite us to weddings of people we did not know.

By: Claudette Aleman
March 01 2022, 9:41 am | Comments 0

A Hospitality Blessing

Twenty years ago, this month, Shannon and I were just ‘kids’ out of college, with hearts full of love for God, a belief that there was a big world to reach for Him, and a faith that He desired and was able to do something great through little people like us in some small corner of His harvest field.

By: Christopher Sorensen
March 01 2022, 9:14 am | Comments 0


May the life that I live, that we live, baptize them—immerse them—in that message. It’s a beautiful message. Let it start with us.

By: Jared Ratcliff
February 01 2022, 9:20 am | Comments 0

Worth it All

“You came. You helped me. You stayed. You’re my friend.” I smiled but didn’t say anything. Loem’s words had touched my heart in a profound way that felt just right!

By: Christopher Sorensen
January 01 2022, 2:40 pm | Comments 0

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