Isan of Northeast Thailand

  • 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 good prices, and vegetarian restaurants abound. The political climate is peaceful, and temperatures range between 60 and 100 degrees year-round.

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 northern Thailand. Hua Hin—the focus of the Southern Thai Project—has no Seventh-day Adventist presence. **

About the Project

The primary goal of the AFM missionaries on the Isan Buddhists project is to establish an indigenous church-planting movement among the Isan Buddhists in 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 for the Thai Buddhist context. Their aim is 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 that is planted, and trained to plant new churches. In this way, the end result will be a locally led new-born Adventist Christian movement that continues expanding God’s kingdom in Thailand.

People-Group Facts

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

Frontier Stories


Even though I might travel to the ends of the earth to be reunited with my brothers and sisters, I know that I’m already home.

By: Jared Wright
April 01 2017, 1:11 pm | Comments 0

Life Witness

Maybe we can’t always effectively communicate our beliefs, but we can always demonstrate how much we care.

By: Jared Wright
February 01 2017, 7:05 am | Comments 0

Living Without Fear

I could see the emotion in her eyes, and I knew she was trying to process the full meaning of my words.

By: Jared Wright
January 01 2017, 5:17 am | Comments 0

The Father of Every Thai

His Majesty the King was the heart and life of the Thai people.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
December 01 2016, 4:54 am | Comments 0

Jesus. Period.

When doubts begin to creep in, a young Buddhist girl reminds me of why I’m here.

By: Jared Wright
November 01 2016, 7:18 am | Comments 0

Small Bennings

We’re just one small family. But we take courage knowing that God can use us to help establish His kingdom from small beginnings.

By: Jared & Tonya Wright
October 01 2016, 12:21 pm | Comments 0

Everyday Lives

The Thai Buddhists of Isan are waiting for someone to introduce them to a God intimately involved in their everyday lives.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
September 01 2016, 7:53 am | Comments 0


Maybe that’s what Jack really needs most right now anyway: a friend to listen.

By: Jackie Berglund
August 01 2016, 1:21 pm | Comments 0

Under Pressure

Pray that our language school will be a place where students can find peace in the midst of life’s pressures.

By: Jared Wright
July 01 2016, 6:34 am | Comments 0

Never Alone

I was filled with happiness knowing that my classroom is a place where she feels safe and loved.

By: Paige Nettland
June 01 2016, 12:49 pm | Comments 0

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