The following is a report that Rusty Savage, EFC-ER Ministry Director of Multiplication, provided.
|Who Was on this Trip?|
The team was made up of:
- Ben Kibbe (EFC-ER)
- Scott Calhoun (EFC-ER)
- Rusty Savage (EFC-ER Director of Multiplication)
- Stan Leach (EFM Executive Director)
- Dan Cammack (EFM Field Director)
- David Thomas (EFM Missionary, Whole Life Discipleship)
- Solomon Sangking (The Way Foundation, Thailand)
- Charlee Kunakorn (The Way Foundation, Thailand)
|Where Did We Travel and What is the Need in the Area?|
Our team met in Chiang Mai, Thailand where we were all able to participate in the EFM Worldwide Missionary Gathering before departing for our Luke 10 Exploration Trip destination three hours to the north in Chiang Rai. The city of Chiang Rai is located near the “Golden Triangle” where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Our focus there was on an ethnic minority group known as the Lahu people, who are spread out in each of these nations.
In 2012, EFC-ER sent Ben and Charity Kibbe to Thailand to join a team started by Ben’s parents, David and Marilyn Kibbe, and their Lahu ministry partners. In 2016, The Way Foundation was established as an extension of that ministry, focusing on coaching and training Lahu pastors and church planting.
Since that time, led by national workers, Charlee, YawSaPa, and Solomon, The Way Foundation has been praying for and exploring opportunities to expand church planting efforts across the borders of Myanmar and Laos to unreached Lahu villages in those nations. Our Luke 10 team went to Thailand to meet with representatives of The Way Foundation and consider possible opportunities for partnership and collaboration in opening up a new ministry for the Lahu people in Laos and Myanmar.
|Stories and Testimonies|
- Our team was welcomed into the home of David and Marilyn Kibbe who have lived and served in Thailand for 30 years. Although David was still recovering from COVID-19, they hosted a gathering for members of The Way Foundation and our Luke 10 Exploration Trip team. We shared a meal and a time of worship together under a beautiful full moon.
- We met a group of church planters from The Way Foundation who are making connections in Lahu villages in northern Thailand with no Christian church at present. The Lahu are divided into several different clans and many of these church planters are ministering to subgroups other than their own.
- Members of our team traveled to three different remote Lahu villages. Ben, Scott, and Rusty spent a night camping in the jungle with several Lahu men from Ja Taw before gathering for worship with the small group of believers there the following morning.
- We heard several testimonies from The Way Foundation leaders, Solomon and Charlee, about contacts they have made with Lahu villages in both Laos and Myanmar. They believe the people in those villages have been very receptive to their efforts. Charlee, Solomon, and their team are deeply committed to expanding ministry outside of Thailand and are anxious to receive coaching and training to help them do it.
- Before leaving, our Luke 10 Team and members of The Way Foundation decided to meet remotely once a month to pray for unreached Lahu people in Laos and Myanmar and continue the conversation about opening new fields in those nations.
|What’s Next?Luke 10 Exploration Trips continue into 2023 as teams explore potential sites with first trips and/or follow up trips. Our next benchmarks include hopes that the EFM board will approve a commitment in November 2023 to launching at least five new fields.
How Can You Join?
Are you interested in exploring missionary service? Do you know of anyone of any age who might be interested in exploring the idea of serving as a missionary overseas for two or more years?
EFM is currently looking to contact and connect with people about opportunities to explore serving as missionaries with the Friends Church!
To learn more, visit here or fill out this interest form!
We look forward to sharing more news as it becomes available about what we are finding and discerning in EFM’s Luke 10 Initiative as we continue to explore where EFM may launch new mission fields.
Director of Mobilization
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