A role for everyone

Tags: Asia, Thailand, Discipleship, Story

SEND's workers around the world see our new vision statement — a global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached — taking root in each place they serve. Today we focus on “Jesus followers.” The Great Commission offers a church-building, disciple-making role to all who believe — the missionaries who go, but also those who stay and support by praying and giving. Today we share the encouraging ripple effect of one financial gift — an educational scholarship for a teen-age girl in Thailand.

• • •

By a SEND worker in Thailand — Ning lives in a poor village on the northern border of Thailand. Her family largely survives by selling coconut ice cream in the market.

Several years ago, SEND workers befriended Ning's family. The Filipino couple with SEND would offer medicine and wellness education to improve the health of the Shan villagers. Ning began visiting the SEND-run community center where she studied English and learned to play the drums. She was fascinated by stories from the Bible. Before long, Ning chose to make Jesus her Lord.

Ning's parents seemed supportive enough at the start. But before long, the pressures of the village community, locked in folk Buddhism for centuries, came crashing down. Ning was forbidden to have any more contact with the SEND workers.

At first, Ning rebelled. On Sundays she would make some excuse to run an errand, but then race off to the center to play drums in the Shan worship service. Once the SEND workers realized what was happening, they encouraged Ning to obey and respect her parents, and wait to see what God might do.

All the other Shan believers prayed like crazy for Ning. She was dearly missed. Before long, Ning noticed a softening in her parents’ hearts. Little by little, she was allowed to have contact with the SEND workers and the small community of faith. Soon she was playing the drums again with all her might to the glory of God.

But Ning faced another threat. Shan girls of her age usually are sent off to earn money for their families, often by working at massage parlors and urban brothels.

To help Ning and 14 other girls avoid this fate, SEND offered educational scholarships. Not only did Ning’s parents allow her to study, they let her live at our center, where she can be tutored by a Shan dorm-mom who is discipling these precious girls.

Just a few weeks ago, we hosted a blessing for the dorm. We prayed many of the girls’ parents would come. Guess who provided the coconut ice cream? Ning's mom!

We pray for a great movement of God to transform the lives of the people in this village. The transformation has already begun in Ning and her family.

• • •

Which role will you play in the global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached? Explore opportunities to pray, give or go.

• • •

More disciple-making stories

Continue in Christ: Alim’s story exemplifies how SEND workers are making disciples all over the world.

From the nations to the nations: Multinational teams that effectively use each member's unique strengths help fuel our disciple-making efforts.

Better together: No one organization can (or should) do it all, so SEND collaborates with like-minded organizations to tackle the enormous task of reaching the unreached.

Couched in love: A Central Asian believer takes what he's learned from SEND workers and uses it to reach a troubled man in his community.

Growing in a new land: Hours spent studying the Word with one of our workers have prepared a student — the only Christ-follower on his campus — to serve as a powerful witness.

Mentoring Aigerim: Sometimes, ministering among the unreached means sharing a kitchen and letting discipleship naturally develop.

More stories from Ning's community 

Brothel or school?

Nina and her Bible

Full class 

(Ning's name has been changed for her privacy.)