Johnny and Ann McClean write:
Bangkok is the size of County Cork; it’s half the size of Northern Ireland. Our family moved to Bangkok in 2011 to pioneer International student ministry in the many universities there. Thailand is an open country where we can talk to people about Jesus. But just like Ireland we have a mixed response, interest, excitement, apathy, hostility…
Karn had just arrived in Bangkok from an upcountry province. He had the language ability and the right grades to join the international programme at Thammasat University. The transition from a small town to Bangkok had been quite traumatic, he felt lonely and overwhelmed. As he sat at a table on his campus moping to himself he glanced up and saw a poster advertising a CU camp at the beach. Karn was a strict buddhist, but he had heard a little about Jesus and wanted to know more. The poster put up by a team from Ireland has been the starting point, he now comes for Bible study every week and is asking very searching questions both to himself and to us.
Lukas came to Thailand from Austria on a one year placement as a business studies student. A member of the Irish team invited him to our camp, he came and listened had lots of questions which led to some very late night discussions! After the camp he texted me to say “Thank you for everything, you are very nice people, I still have questions about God, but I want to hear what other religions have to say now.” Please pray for international students coming to Bangkok looking for truth.
Onti and Thato are the only students from Botswana studying at their Bangkok university, having both been granted scholarships by their government to join the four year undergraduate engineering programme here. Not only are they both outstanding students but they are both believers too. The first two years in Bangkok were hard for them as they struggled to find Christian friends and failed to get plugged into a local church. Last year they joined the ICS Bible study on campus and this year are actively involved in the group. They are hungry, growing and eager to serve. It is a joy each week to take the one hour commute to their university in order to sit in a coffee shop and open a Bible together, to watch the Word take root in their lives as we read and serve and pray together.
How can you help? Pray for our students! You can get info from our blog, Facebook or using the Prayermate app on your phone. Link up with an international CU in Bangkok (we can send a photo, prayer points, Skype…be creative!) Come over to Thailand and continue your studies as an exchange student, be a catalyst for helping or starting an international CU on your campus. Get some friends together and come over in August, help us meet first year students, help us organise a fun camp at the beach. Who knows the lives from around the world that can be touched through you?
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org