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Partnership to Support Thai Students

The Thai Christian Students Association (TCS) is a student movement in Thailand whose motto is “To Share the Gospel, Disciple Believers and Serve the Churches”

TCS is a student movement because Christian students are urged to take ownership of the movement to start Bible study groups in their campuses and be salt and light wherever they are.

The beginnings of TCS involved two OMF missionaries gathering groups of Christian students on campus to study the Bible, pray and do outreach in the late 1960s. In 1972, TCS had her first full time Thai staff and today, TCS is a member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) and has 16 Thai staff serving in campus ministry, high school ministry, digital and media ministry and administration.

The role OMF missionaries play in the Thai student movement presently is that of a partner under Thai leadership. Together with missionaries from other agencies, OMF missionaries serve as extra hands and feet to visit campuses and disciple student leaders alongside Thai staff, and also help with training local staff in some areas.

The partnership has allowed TCS to cover more ground especially in the outskirts of Bangkok, which can be harder for Thai staff to travel to if they live in the city and do not have a vehicle to move around conveniently. Missionaries and local staff also exchange resources and build one another up. Missionaries share teaching materials, books and experiences from outside Thailand and Thai staff share Thai resources and help missionaries in language learning and understanding Thai culture. They are also a local support system for missionaries as they adapt to life in Thailand.

Missionaries have also helped TCS develop their outreach to international students. Since international students speak English, it was easier for missionaries to reach out to them. Now, TCS is working towards enabling Thai students to step up and reach out to their international friends in the campuses.

Being a multi-cultural team is not without its challenges. In recent years, TCS has been partnering with various mission organisations and now has missionaries who are staff and volunteers from the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore and Australia. The coming together of different nationalities means that there needs to be more communication to prevent misunderstandings. Humility to listen to each other and ask questions to better understand one another is essential. Yet, it is also a wonderful snippet of heaven as a diverse group of people come together in unity to serve God.

Cherlyn Oh
OMF Thailand

Please pray with us:

  • May the love and unity between missionaries and TCS Thai staff impact Thai Christian students to love each other, that ‘everyone will know that you are my disciples’ (John 13:35)
  • Pray for wisdom to know how to disciple Thai Christian students to step out of their comfort zone to reach international students
  • Pray for God’s grace and empowerment as missionaries and TCS Thai staff work together to disciple student

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