Church planting in the villages of Isaan

1 01 2014

Esarn Harvest is a Christian ministry to the rural people of North East Thailand.

This region locally known as “Esarn” or “Isaan”, is a large, flat,semi arid plain where 22 million people live.

In fact about one third of the entire population of Thailand live in Esarn/Isaan.

Isaan people are a distinct people group within Thailand. They look different, they have their own language, which is related to Lao, they have unique customs and beliefs and most of them have never heard of Jesus.

In fact the Isaan people are among the least exposed to the gospel in a country with few Christians.

99.5% of Isaan people are Buddhists, with a fair dose of Animism thrown in. Only 0.1% of Isaan people are Christians.

It’s their turn to hear the gospel! 

So are they resistant to the gospel of Jesus Christ?  No, not anymore than other Thai Buddhists, they simply haven’t had the opportunity to hear the “Good News” of Jesus. In fact many districts in the region don’t have any Christians living there to be a witness. Also there are few missionaries and evangelists working in this region compared to other parts of Thailand, so the need is great.

The aim of Esarn Harvest is to further the spread of the gospel among the village people of rural areas through evangelism and church planting. Our mandate is Matthew 28:18-20.

Our Vision is to see a network of village house churches raised up that would themselves plant other churches in neighbouring villages. In effect a church planting movement where leadership comes from within each village church rather than from outsiders.

What are the churches like?

They are simple, House Churches, meeting in someone”s home, or outside and much akin to the 1st century churches of the Book of Acts.

Esarn Harvest’s aim is to establish, buildup then release these churches and their members. We aim to be initiators, trainers and mentors, rather than controllers. To build the Kingdom of God rather than a denomination.

We encourage the churches to develop an indigenous expression in worship and flavour and we try to avoid the transfer of western cultural baggage.

So, how has it been going?  Check out more on this site.