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CHRISTIAN MECCA IS ASIA?

You may have heard about Colorado Springs and Orlando---Christian "Mecca Cities" for ministry organizations, but have you heard about Chiang Mai?.It's a missions hub located in northern Thailand and it’s become a launching pad for hundreds ... ... Read Transcript


Reporter: MORE THAN ONE

MILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN AN

AROUND CHANGMI.

STREETS HERE TEAM WITH

COMMERCE, AND TEMPLES

ABOUND, A REMINDER THAT 90%

OF THE PEOPLE ARE

BUDDHISTS.

AMIDST ALL OF THIS, A POWER

CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY IS AT

WORK, STRATEGICALLY BUILDING

THE KINGDOM.

* HOW GREAT THOU ART

Reporter: AS MANY AS

2,000 CHRISTIAN WORKS LIVE

OR WORK OUT OF CHANGMI.

AND HUNDREDS OF CHRISTIAN

ORGANIZATIONS HAVE

ESTABLISHED OFFICES HERE.

THAT PUTS THE CITY ON THE

LEVEL OF COLORADO SPRINGS

AND ORLANDO, FLORIDA, TWO

WELL-KNOWN HUBBS FOR

CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.

BUT WHAT SETS IT APART IS

ITS PROXIMITY FOR THE 10-40

WINDOW, THIS CITIES NORTH OF

THE EQUATOR THAT

MISSIONARIES SAY HAVE THE

LEAST ACCESS TO THE GOSPEL.

Reporter: MEDIA

MISSIONARY TOM SILKWOOD HAS

WORKED HERE SINCE THE

1980s.

HE HAS COLLABORATED WITH

CBN, WHICH OPERATES A

PRODUCTION CENTER IN THE

CITY, AND COUNTLESS OTHER

ORGANIZATIONS.

WE HAVE CAMPUS CRUSADE

AND COMPASSION

INTERNATIONAL, WE HAVE WHY

WHIM, AND WICCLIFF.

Reporter: SO HOW DID

THIS ORDINARY ASIAN CITY

GROW TO THIS?

THE ANSWER BEGINS ALMOST 200

YEARS AGO.

THE HISTORY GOING WAY

BACK, TO ABOUT 1828, WHEN

THE FIRST MISSIONARIES CAME

HERE, AND THEY SET UP

SCHOOLS, THEY SET UP

HOSPITALS.

Reporter: YOU DON'T

HAVE TO LOOK FAR IN CHANGMI

TO FIND EVIDENCE OF ITS

MISSION'S ROOTS.

RIGHT BEHIND ME IS THE FIRST

CHURCH FOUNDED BY

MISSIONARIES IN 1868, AND

THERE IS MCCORMICK HOSPITAL,

FOUNDED BY PRESBYTERIAN

MISSIONARIES IN 1888.

AND PRINCE ROYAL COLLEGE, A

PRIVATE K- THROUGH 12

SCHOOL.

BUT DESPITE THESE SERVICES,

LONG-TIMERS, LIKE ESTER

WAKEMAN, SAYS FOR MANY

YEARS, IT REMAINED

RELATIVELY SPARS.

WHEN I CAME TO CHANGMI 33

YEARS AGO, IF YOU WERE A

WESTERNER, LITTLE KIDS WOULD

STILL KIND OF POINT YOU OUT,

THERE IS THE WESTERNER.

Reporter: THEN IN 1987,

THE BRITISH GAVE HONG KONG

BACK TO CHINA.

I THINK A LOT OF

MISSIONARY ORGANIZATIONS

WERE GOING, WHAT'S NEXT?

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO

NOW?

Reporter: THEY SOON

REALIZED THAT THAILAND WOULD

BE THE ANSWER.

THAILAND WAS A FREE

COUNTRY, AND THE GOVERNMENT

OF THAILAND ACTUALLY

SUPPORTED FREE RELIGION.

Reporter: PART OF THE

SUPPORT CAME FROM THE THAI'S

APPRECIATION FOR MISSION

WORK, MEDICAL CARE AND THE

SCHOOLS AND OTHER SOCIAL

SERVICES.

AND THEY HAVE LEARNED THAT

CHANGMI OFFERS A WAY OF LIFE

THAT FACILITATES MINISTRY.

THE COST OF LIVING MAKES

IT EASIER FOR MISSIONARIES

TO BE HERE, AND IT IS ALSO A

VERY SAFE PLACE.

IT IS A REALLY NICE PLACE

TO LIVE.

IT IS LOCATED REALLY

WONDERFULLY IN SOUTHEAST

ASIA, AND WITH ACCESS TO

CHINA, INDIA, ALL OF THESE

NATIONS IN ASIA, VERY EASY

ACCESS.

SO A LOT OF MISSIONARY

ORGANIZATIONS THAT DON'T

EXACTLY WORK IN THAILAND,

BUT WORK IN THE REGION, HAVE

THEIR OFFICES

HERE.

Reporter: OTHER PLUS, A

HOST OF SERVICES IN CHANGMI,

AIMED AT

KEEPING CHRISTIAN

WORKERS ON THE FIELD.

THE WELL AND CORNERSTONE

PROVIDE COUNSELLING, AND THE

JUNIPER TREE PROVIDES

LODGING FOR THOSE IN NEED OF

REST.

SOME MISSIONS RECOMMEND

PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY

EVERY FOUR OR SIX MONTHS TO

GET OUT FROM UNDER THE

PRESSURES THEY'RE UNDER.

Reporter: PERHAPS THE

BIGGER QUESTION RIGHT NOW,

HOWEVER, IS THIS: HOW LONG

WILL CHRISTIANS BE WELCOMED

HERE?

THE CONCERN, THE 85-YEAR-OLD

KING OF THAILAND.

HE HAS RULED THE COUNTRY

SINCE 1946 AND NO ONE KNOWS

WHO WILL SUCCEED HIM.

IT WILL BE A HUGE EVENT

WHEN WE LOSE THE KING.

AND NOBODY IS REALLY SURE

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER

THAT.

Reporter: FOR NOW,

MISSIONARIES HERE SAY

THEY'RE ENJOYING THE

BENEFITS OF WORKING SIDE BY

SIDE, AND THANKFUL FOR A

CITY THAT MAKES IT

RELATIVELY EASY TO ADVANCE

THE GOSPEL.

REPORTING IN CHANGMI,

HEATHER CELLS, CBN NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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