Lutheran mission trips in Thailand

By Kendrea Rhodes

Simon King is the volunteer Thailand Program Assistant for LCA International Mission and has been involved with trips to the Nan Province since they began in 2009. The Thailand trips are an organised annual volunteer project and have really helped make a difference in the lives of the area’s indigenous people. ‘This is frontline mission work – […]

Simon King is the volunteer Thailand Program Assistant for LCA International Mission and has been involved with trips to the Nan Province since they began in 2009. The Thailand trips are an organised annual volunteer project and have really helped make a difference in the lives of the area’s indigenous people. ‘This is frontline mission work – if the harvest or season is bad, these people starve’, said Simon.

The Lua people rely on harvests of rice to keep going and if that harvest fails, adults  often head to the cities for work – leaving children behind with extended family. ‘They’re really shy, and would quite easily carry on without us; … they would just keep doing what they’ve always done’.   So why bother then?

‘Because Jesus said, go and make disciples of all men … and this is how we are doing it … and it’s good …’ said Simon. He’s talking of the example they are setting through their actions; the Thailand Mission Teams are putting their love of God into practice.

Over the years, the volunteers mission teams have helped demolish and rebuild homes, fix roofs, concrete a road up to the church at Ban Den and have given hope to people who live on the fringe of society. They’ve helped build roads, they’ve painted churches, maintained pews and renovated preaching points. They’ve prayed in schools, villages, churches and homes. They’ve built, rebuilt and extended salas. These open pavilions are used for worship and community gatherings, and the volunteers have prayed with the villagers and shared the love of Jesus together, under the very roofs they’ve helped build.

This all takes a lot of planning, both at home and overseas.  Simon King organises the Australian end of the mission trip, but without people on the ground in Thailand, it would be difficult. Pastor Simon Mackenzie is the Lutheran Church of Australia’s missionary in Thailand, who lives in Nan. He works closely with Thai Lutheran Pastor Amnuay, who lives in Ban Den and ministers to the people daily. There are also evangelists in the Nan Province, who are financially supported through the LCA International Mission.

Between them, a well organised, well run and well received mission trip has been in operation since 2009. Many other hands make this work much lighter for everyone involved, including the very generous donations received from LCA members to support the work of the Thailand Mission Trips.

Simon feels it’s important to ‘show’ how to live your faith, every minute of every day, in good deeds and prayer. He said that if even only one person remembers us and our presence in their village – and because of that, becomes a Christian – then I’m a happy man, I’ve done my job.

Simon has noticed enduring changes within all of the people involved in the Thailand trips; not only improvements in the quality of life for the people they are helping, but in life long lessons and memories for the mission team members themselves, ‘it’s not easy though, it can be difficult and frustrating working in such a different environment … you simply have to let things be and work with what you have’.  Simon has witnessed the love of God through different cultures praying together. He’s been motivated by a group of people who simply want to serve, time and time again. And he’s been moved by the Lua people of Thailand who welcome them, and Jesus, into their lives, year after year.


If you, your school or your congregation, would like to know how you can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email erin.kerber@lca.org.au. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/start-a-partnership/

Read more stories about congregational partnerships at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/congregations/

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