Created to serve
The Legacy team recently visited WOI missionaries, Kevin and Jeh Sie Chan in Isaan, Northern Thailand. As part of a new breed of young missionaries, pioneering work amongst a Least Reached people group, Kevin and Jeh Sie have an inspiring story to tell. As our video crew travelled north on the four-hour bus ride from Bangkok, we were impacted at the number of elaborate Buddhist temples that lined the country roads – with not a cross in sight.
Christianity has been in Thailand for more than 200 years, but in Isaan, it is still only 0.1% Christian. Most of the cities, villages and towns don’t even have one church in them, which Kevin says, “means the traditional style of missions obviously hasn’t worked, so let’s not do it the way everybody else has done before, let’s do something different.”
Kevin and Jeh Sie Chan established a language school and cafe – the Global Connections Centre, as a Business as Missions venture in 2009 to build natural connections with the community and facilitate church planting. Business as Missions has three bottom lines – financial, social and missional. You need to make money, be and be seen to be good for society and also have spiritual outcomes. The Centre has become a signpost to God in the community where 90% of the cities, towns villages don’t even have a single church in them.
On the bigger call Kevin says, “There are so many outs that we give ourselves, family, loans, children’s education, ageing parents, so many reasons why we wouldn’t do mission. It’s not easy. It’s always easier to stick to the status quo. Every time I’m faced with that decision, I keep the vision that God gave me at the start and remember that my life is not my own, my life is God’s. Everything I’ve earned is not my own, it belongs to God anyway. Every decision I made was with God’s bigger call in mind. If God’s calling is a primary thing in your life then everything else is secondary.
Loving God is putting aside what you want to do for what He might want you to do, and quite often they come together because God loves us and He built us. Sometimes we think we want a certain kind of life but actually a lot of people later on in life, end up realising they didn’t know what they wanted and if they had just followed the life God had for them, they might end up in quite a different place – one that He had built them for in the first place.
Are there other things I could be doing? Probably, but I keep coming back to that verse, ‘Who have I in heaven but you?’ God built me for this, He made me for this purpose. It’s like a cup that’s designed to hold water, so God has designed us for this purpose.”
Watch Kevin and Jeh Sie’s story and be inspired!
For more information on the Isaan click here.
Kevin and Jeh Sie Chan relocated to Malaysia in May 2017. Jeh Sie is serving as PA to the Field Ministries Director and is also the Field Administrator for the senior field leadership team of WO.
From July 2011- Jan 2017, Kevin and Jeh Sie ran a Kingdom Enterprise among the Isaan Least-Reached People group (22 million, 0.1% Christian). They ran Global Connections Language Centre on the northern edge of the city for the first three years, and at the end of 2014, they moved to the other side of Korat city to start BORED? Board Games Café to reach university students. BORED? is now run by a local team and continues to reach out to Thai young people in Korat