SOUTHEAST ASIA MISSION HUB
Enter Fields with Emerging Needs
Myanmar: It borders India and Bangladesh to the northwest, China to the northeast, and Thailand and Laos to the southeast. The capital city is Naypyidaw. As of 2023, the total population is over 54 million, comprising of 135 ethnic groups. The country is divided into seven states, seven regions, and two self-administered zones. The major religions are Buddhism (88%), Christianity (6%), and Islam (4%). The average life expectancy is 67 years, and there are approximately 1.63 million Chinese people living in Myanmar.
After the 2021 coup in Myanmar, the people engaged in non-cooperation movements, strikes, and refused to pay taxes to paralyze the military government, but this led to poverty and hunger. Protesters were brutally detained, and many villages and churches were burned while the international community looked on. With the economy declining, the Myanmar currency depreciated, prices skyrocketed, and there was widespread unemployment and crime in the cities. With the added severity of the pandemic, the healthcare system collapsed, medical personnel were lost, and many infected individuals died without medical treatment. Myanmar urgently needs assistance in daily life, education, and religious faith from all sectors.
Vietnam: By 2023, the population will reach nearly 100 million, with 73 people groups, over half of which are unreached. There are about 1.3 million ethnic Chinese. Buddhism accounts for 15%, no religion 28%, Christianity 9%, Roman Catholicism 6.5%, folk religion 45%, and others 4.6%. The proportion of Chinese Christians is one in a thousand. In 2011, it was the 100th anniversary of the Gospel entering Vietnam. Since 2005, the government’s religious policies have been slightly relaxed, and now public evangelism is allowed in addition to home gatherings. In recent years, the door of evangelism in Vietnam has opened, and people’s hearts have been loosened. Economic growth has also been rapid, but there was the anti-Chinese incident in 2014, and almost three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the Vietnamese government’s internal struggle and the election of a new conservative communist leadership, the situation is still changing.
Thailand: Formerly known as Siam, Thailand is located in the heart of mainland Southeast Asia, with a population of about 70 million and its capital in Bangkok. The Thai people make up the majority of the population, accounting for 75%, while the Chinese account for 14%. Over 90% of Thai people practice Buddhism, which deeply influences their daily lives. Christianity has been present in Thailand for a long time, with the Portuguese mercenaries and priests bringing Christianity to Siam around 1550. Christianity, including Protestantism and Catholicism, has played an important role in Thailand’s modernization process, particularly in social and educational institutions such as orphanages, secondary schools, and universities. Christians make up 0.7% of Thailand’s population.
Preach the Gospel
Myanmar: GLEC has been involved in evangelism work in Myanmar since 2007. Despite being in the early stages, we recognized the urgent need for the gospel in a country with few Christians. With the strong support of a few dedicated donors, we took on this heavy burden. With the political turmoil in Myanmar in 2021, the society has become even more unstable and in need of Jesus Christ’s peace and blessings, which is also the purpose of our organization.
Vietnam: GLEC has been dispatching missionaries to Vietnam since 2014. Starting with Bible study classes, there are nearly 30 colleges and universities in Hanoi, making campus ministry a significant field. Each year, there are thousands of exchange students from China who stay for an average of one to two years. In addition, Taiwanese businesses are an important economic pillar in Vietnam, and Chinese has become the second most widely spoken foreign language after English.
Thailand: The Chiang Mai Chinese Christian Church was established in 2015. GLEC began providing substantial support and assistance in 2017 and has sent missionaries several times to help shepherd the church. Starting with mothers who accompany their children to study, the Chinese church has also established theological training courses to cultivate local ministers and hopes to train local members. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2019 brought a temporary halt to these efforts.
Myanmar: We help disadvantaged children and bring the gospel into communities by establishing children’s centers.
Yangon, southern Myanmar: Currently, we have children’s centers in some impoverished areas, where we also establish libraries and cultivate kids.
Lashio, northern Myanmar: We support more than ten local ministers’ livelihood and ministry needs through seven poor children’s centers [Mei Hua Children’s Home, Joy Children’s Center, Faith Children’s Center, Hundred Stones Evangelistic Center, Bang Ke Evangelistic Center, Nan Pa Ka Peace Church, Liang Shan Gospel Station], as well as help with the education needs of the community’s St. Grace Chinese School. At present, three children’s centers have received local recognition for their educational achievements and increased numbers of underprivileged children, and are expanding their building projects to help children in need receive an education. In order to continue the education of ministers, we also hold regular worker training and youth camps each year to cultivate young leaders for the next generation.
In Vietnam, we are also working towards this goal of cultivating local believers to become leaders and shepherd the church. We have also established theological courses in Thailand to allow local believers and ministers to pursue further education.
Plant Reproducible Local Churches
Myanmar: After taking over the mission, GLEC reorganized and divided the Myanmar district into five departments: church ministry, theological college ministry, charity ministry, children’s ministry, and youth ministry. Each department has dedicated workers who form a new ministry team. We have also developed Burmese, Karen, and Chinese churches that are pastored by local ministers. In recent years, through children’s ministry, we have been able to further care for their parents and families, establish churches, and create a comprehensive network of care.
Vietnam: The Vietnamese Chinese Church has 13 churches in Ho Chi Minh City and 2 in Hanoi under the Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship, but there are many scattered home churches without pastors who can speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. GLEC currently has Sunday worship and two weekly small groups under the Hanoi International Fellowship.
Thailand: Despite being hit hard by the pandemic over the past three years, the church has managed to maintain normal operations thanks to the faithfulness of its staff. Since 2023, local seminary graduates have been rehired as resident pastors and elders have been ordained to oversee the pastoral care and governance of the church. Currently, the average attendance at Sunday worship is about 60 people, and there are usually 20-30 people attending weekly Bible study and prayer meetings. Given the current situation, the capacity of the church building is no longer sufficient, and efforts are being made to find a suitable new venue.
Engage in Local Cross-Cultural Ministries
In Myanmar, we have preaching stations in Burmese, Chinese, and Palaung languages to spread the gospel in the local languages. We also establish children’s centers to educate and assist children in need, bringing the gospel deeper into the community. We also hold annual youth camps with short-term mission teams from various countries. , Through mission, education, and charity, bring the abundant life of Jesus Christ, to people, family, community, and the world.
In Vietnam, it is the same. Currently, our missionaries in Vietnam are Vietnamese-American who are educated in the United States and fluent in Vietnamese. We establish fellowship groups specifically for the locals and training courses for local preachers. We also participate in Bible translation and printing for ethnic minority groups in need.
To bring the abundant life of Jesus Christ
To people, family, community, and the world
Through mission, education, and charity
Myanmar: Spreading the gospel in a country where Buddhism is the state religion is not an easy task. We use a charity approach to build relationships with villagers, such as the “Gospel Pig Project” which helps them raise pigs for income, and helping them dig wells for clean water. In addition to improving the economy, we also use drug rehabilitation programs to help villagers with addiction transform their lives. During the pandemic, we launched emergency relief efforts in Yangon, assisting over 1,000 families with their basic needs through overseas donations. We also established good relationships with hundreds of impoverished children by giving them new shoes during Christmas in Yangon and Lashio. We hope more churches and business owners can participate and support them, or become partners in our missionary work to jointly run this eternal kingdom ministry.
Vietnam: Although it has only been a few years, we have been working with local churches and ethnic minority groups in mountainous areas to spread the gospel through our ministries of providing clean water and addiction rehabilitation to ethnic minorities and unreached people. We enter communities through Bible study classes, distribute flyers and share the gospel on university campuses, and establish English and Chinese classes. Through mission, education, and charity, we hope to bring the abundant life of Jesus Christ to the local people.
Taiwan: In addition to collaborating with churches and organizations, we also focus on ministries for vulnerable groups, such as caring for ex-offenders, indigenous families, street people, dropouts, rural campus evangelism, media outreach, helping small churches, and pastors. We usually accept invitations to preach and share our vision at various churches every Sunday. We also actively participate in prayer meetings and activities of gospel organizations in different areas. In central Taiwan, we have a mission partner called “Disciple Gospel Association” that holds gospel crusades every month in different parts of Taiwan to spread the good news. In recent years, we have assisted in establishing the “Taipei Police Light Fellowship” with 100 police officers who are Christians, 80% of whom are still on duty. They hold weekly online prayers, monthly gospel gatherings, and also give out Bibles to various police units. Our goal is to pray for 300 police officers to shine for the Lord as Gideon warriors throughout Taiwan.