Should we be encouraged or discouraged about the growth of Christianity in Thailand? Many are discouraged. They look at the fact that Protestant Christians are still less than 1% of the population and feel discouraged. It seems like this has been the case for almost 200 years. When will the gospel spread and be accepted by...
We are Ewoud and Gerjo and we arrived in Thailand early 2015 together with our daughter Joachine. We were born in the Netherlands and have lived there most of our lives, though prior to coming to Thailand we lived in Belgium to study Theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty. That is where we met, and where Joachine was born. We are sent out by the OMF International office in the Netherlands and in Belgium.
Ewoud: Why I serve in Thailand as a missionary has a lot to do with the sickness of my father. He suffered from a rare genetic disease which resulted in strokes and dementia at a very young age. When I was 15 he fell into a coma and has been thus until he died May 2014. I remember I was six years old when he suffered his first stroke. That was only the beginning of a very difficult time, because he was also suffering from dementia. When I was 12 years old, my father was also mentally at that level. In my teenage years I struggled a lot with all this, and when I was 17 years old I really could not cope anymore with all these problems and also with my own sinfulness. These circumstances forced me to bow down and give myself over to God. I said to Him do your will in me! That’s the time I started thinking about studying theology, because I suddenly was aware of all these people who did not believe in Jesus. I did not know where to go after my studies, only that God would show. Having met Gerjo I became interested in Missions. I did an internship with OMF in north-east Thailand and there it suddenly struck me: thousands of people live in this region and have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that is where I wanted to go.
Gerjo: My route towards Missions started almost as early as my walk with the Lord at 7 years old. It began when I watched the movie: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, which tells the story of Gladys Aylward, a Missionary to China in the 1930s. In the years following I became more and more interested in missionary biographies, which resulted in a longing to go overseas. After several short-term mission trips I had the opportunity to carry out a field research in North-east Thailand for my degree in Cultural Anthropology. That is where I really experienced the need to tell people about Jesus Christ, because nobody had ever heard of Him before.