Pastor Pairat is a 40-year-old Bible study leader from the province of Chiang Mai in Thailand. Two years ago, he started his ministry in eight surrounding villages, dominated mainly by the Buddhist community. It was a challenge, to say the least because most of them elude Christian teachings because they are dedicated to their religious practices. But when God brought the Project Philip Bible study program into the area, that changed. Dr. Narong, the Bible League’s National Director in Thailand, worked closely with Pastor Pairat and the other church leaders to incorporate the Bible study program into secular activities to get the community’s interest.
As a soccer coach, Pastor Pairat was able to share the Gospel through a new league. “I was able to reach out to the young people in the area by training them in sports, particularly soccer, every week,” Pastor Pairat said. “And after each training, I lead them to study the Bible using the Project Philip Bible study program.”
The soccer community has grown to more than the players; the players’ parents have embraced the program because of their children’s involvement. The Bible study program is igniting a fire in the hearts of many of the players; they are encouraged to attend the Sunday worship service. Through Project Philip, they are growing in faith and knowledge of the Lord. “We did not experience any persecution in the community because they could see that what I was doing was good for the young people in the area,” Pastor Pairat said.
Although Pastor Pairat was born and raised in a Christian family, he was not interested in becoming a pastor. Just like Jonah, his resistance to God’s calling did not succeed. “God taught me to trust and obey Him in all circumstances,” he said. God called him into ministry and gave him lofty goals.
Pastor Pairat prayed to achieve 100 new believers in 5 years. God has already provided half of that vision in only two. “It was a challenge for me to teach people, especially those who came from the Buddhist religion, to read the Bible for the first time. That was, until the Project Philip Bible study training program came,” he said. “I am thankful for the Project Philip Bible study program; it has a very clear direction for teaching God’s Word in a short time.”
In addition to the soccer ministry, Pastor Pairat’s church provides the community with practical needs like portable water filters, blankets, and medical things like prescription eyeglasses. They do the medical eye examination by having the patient read a Bible passage; it opens not only their vision but also their eyes to see the truth written in the Bible. Two years from now, Pastor Pairat’s vision for his community is to see them grow spiritually and participate in ministry by continuing to read and study the Bible.
“Please pray that more young people will come to Christ and be saved. Pray that young believers will not turn away from their faith,” he asks.
“Thank you, Bible League, and to all the donors who have supported us so much that we would have our Thai Bibles and Project Philip Bible study materials that we use in evangelism, discipleship, and planting churches. I pray that God will bless you, your families, and your ministry as well.”