When they started their evangelism centre, Thaung Myint and Yu Mar Lar were sometimes the only people attending the Sunday church service. But, with time and faith, their ministry was able to reach out and touch the marginalised community around them.
Samut Songkhram in Western Thailand is home to thousands of migrant workers. This includes many Mon — a minority group that have traditionally lived north of Myanmar, and sought safety in parts of Thailand.
Mon people are subject to discrimination and have limited access to employment. It can take three Mon family members working sixty hours a week just to make an average wage. This can leave many people with few options. It also makes it easy for them to become exploited as workers.
Language can also create problems in Samut Songkhram. Mon people are disregarded because of their language, culture and ethnicity. It is difficult for them to communicate with authorities, or go to hospital when they are sick. Thaung Myint and his wife, Yu Mar Lar, saw these problems and wanted to meet the needs of their community. They started The Samut Songkhram Evangelism Centre in 2017.
Global Mission Partners’ International Church Partnership program is beginning to support this exciting new outreach. It is the first of its kind among the Mon people in this area. It reflects a deep commitment of the Church of Christ in Thailand to stand in solidarity with marginalised people.
At the centre, migrants living in the area are able to learn not only Thai, but English, Myanmar and Mon languages. The centre assists with contact between migrant workers and authorities or hospitals. They also offer remedial massage, and prayer for healing. In everything they do, it is Thaung Myint and Yu Mar Lar’s passion to share the gospel.
The Sunday service they host started out small, but it soon started to grow. New believers came seeking out a community. Others joined because they were interested in knowing more about God. The centre is now also used for weekly Bible studies, fasting and praying.
Thaung Myint and Yu Mar Lar have also expanded their ministries to prison inmates. Many of them are Mon people, or other migrant workers, who are frequently persecuted. The Myanmar Christian Prison Ministry in Thailand (MCPMT) is part of the evangelism centre’s mission. They visit inmates once a month to provide company and share the gospel.
Thaung Myint and Yu Mar Lar want to see more activities taking place at the evangelism center this year. They hope to have an even bigger impact on the Samut Songkhram area. With your partnership they can spread their reach even further, and keep ministering to the marginalised people around them.