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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 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 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. AFM missionaries live closely among the people, learn the Thai language, study local culture and religion, and build deep friendships to reach this goal. 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 planted and trained to plant new churches. In this way, the result will be a locally-led newborn Adventist Christian movement that continues expanding God’s kingdom in Thailand.

People-Group Facts

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

Frontier Stories

Emotional Intelligence

After she shared with him, he prayed for her. Then he looked into her eyes and said, “Don’t worry, teacher. Whatever happens in your life, I’ll always be here for you.”

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
January 01 2020, 9:44 am | Comments 0


Often in our work, it feels like we are swimming upstream against an impossibly strong current. But then we see the way that Namjai’s mother looks at her daughter now, with hope in her eyes—hope for a better future for Namjai and her siblings.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
December 01 2019, 10:13 am | Comments 0

Crisis Breeds Connection

Jared and Ming liaised between ADRA Thailand, local government officials and community leaders, aid workers, and the SDA church and school in Ubon. Though we are saddened by the losses sustained by so many here in our corner of Thailand, this tragedy allowed us to establish many relationships and new connections.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
November 01 2019, 1:39 pm | Comments 0

Upsetting the World

When we see the kids and our friends here forming real relationships with Jesus, finding peace in their lives and truly beginning to understand that there is a God who loves them, we know it’s worth it.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
October 01 2019, 10:10 am | Comments 0

The Snake and the Promise

Thank you for continuing to pray for us and for the kids we minister to as we work to help them form a biblical worldview where they each can find their unique place in God’s plan to redeem our world.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
August 01 2019, 2:16 pm | Comments 0

Caught Doing Right

I think the apostle Paul had it right when he encouraged the believers in Philippi to focus on whatever is good and admirable (Philippians 4:8), and I personally believe this applies to people, too.

By: Jared Wright
July 01 2019, 9:08 am | Comments 0

Why Are We here?

With a biblical worldview, they no longer fear ghosts or spirits or use charms and magic to protect themselves from those forces. They feel safe knowing that Jesus is watching over them and guiding their lives.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
April 19 2019, 9:24 am | Comments 0

Building a Children’s Movement

As she was watching, Boonsri leaned up against Teacher Ming and said, “I love Jesus.”

By: Keren Gomez Mora
March 01 2019, 11:09 am | Comments 0


Like all the kids we work with, Lamoon holds a special place in our hearts, and we know that Jesus loves him, too.

By: Jared Wright
February 01 2019, 3:46 am | Comments 0


Please continue to pray that, through our learning center, we can help change the trajectory of Malee’s life.

By: Tonya & Jared Wright
January 01 2019, 6:40 am | Comments 0

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