The Kibbe Family | Serving in Thailand
The Way Foundation was founded in 2016 by Ben Kibbe as an extension of the Evangelical Friends ministry in Thailand. Ben and Charity were first sent to Thailand by Damascus Friends Church in 2012 to join an already thriving team started by Ben’s parents, David and Marilyn Kibbe, and their national partners.
After spending almost four years in language and culture studies it was time to formalize the organization and register with the Thai government. Since that time the Lord’s fav
or has been with The Way Foundation both in their relationship with communities and their standing as a Christian organization with the Thai government.
Since 2011 David and his Lahu partner, Charlee, have been developing and teaching Bible curriculum to men and women who want to have a deeper understanding of God’s word and who want to teach others. Pastors, Evangelists, and disciple makers have studied four days a month for two years in order to grow in their relationship with the Lord and be better equipped to study, teach, and most importantly apply God’s truth to their daily lives. There are currently 35 students. Charlee is also starting with two new groups in two places, both about four hours from Chiang Rai.
There are currently three groups representing a number of villages, meeting in three different locations in northern Thailand. Approximately 40 students are attending these monthly sessions. Charlee is training five men to help him in the teaching.
The Way Church is located in the city of Chiang Rai and has two main purposes. The first is to reach people (both Thai and Lahu speakers) in the city who don’t have a church. The second is to be both a model church and a missional church. The leaders of the church have a vision for training and supporting teams who will go out into the mountain communities and make disciples and plant churches. Pastor Solomon and the team have planted a second church in the village of Ja Saw Pa and are currently working in two additional communities.
Whole-Life Community Development
We believe that The Way to sustainable development is through looking at the whole life of a person and the whole community in which they live. Jesus did not separate the physical and spiritual needs of people. He also did not just address them as individuals, but also as a larger community. Every person in the world feels the effects of the fall in four broken relationships: the relationship between us and God, us and our neighbors, us and the environment, and us and ourselves.
Over the last three years our team has been working with D4D (Discipling for Development) and the Navigators. Our team has learned the theology of development and the results of dependency models and how oftentimes good intentions lead to an unhealthy relationship between outsiders and the communities in need of development. We have grown a lot as a team and started to take a different approach to the communities that we are connected to.
The Way Farm, directed by YawSaPa, is an educational farm used to learn better farming techniques and new cash crops that can be used by nationals in ministry to supplement their income and do more sustainable ministry as bi-vocational pastors and evangelists.
- For wisdom for each leader. We want to hear from the Lord, especially on how we prioritize our time and energy.
- For additional funding. We strive to be good stewards with the resources that God has given us. Right now, we especially need additional funding for training scholarships for volunteers.
- For the Kibbe family as we look at a potential 2021-22 trip to the US. Travel is still very uncertain, especially when considering a timeline of returning to Thailand at the end of one year.
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