What does it look like to have a heart for your own people?
For Grace parents Tuum and her husband, it means planting a church in order to reach the Thai people. They both strongly felt that God had put church planting on their hearts. They started the very first Thai church in Minnesota, and after God called them back to Thailand, opened the doors to a small church in Chiang Mai despite not having any resources at the time. Right now, the church is in its third year with around 50 regular members including adults and kids. Tuum sees ample opportunity to invest and harvest spiritually through church ministry along with promoting activities for evangelism, discipleship and leadership training.
She has been encouraged by seeing Thai people come to Christ through her church ministry. “To be honest, it’s very hard to open up the hearts of Thai people,” she says. “It is usually the hill-tribe people who readily accept the good news, while Thai people’s hearts are hardened towards the Gospel. My vision is simple. It is to reach fellow countrymen. They are so close yet so far.”
She is also talking about the non-Christian Thai parents at Grace. Being a Grace parent, Tuum holds Bible study with fellow Thai parents and facilitates conversations with those who show an interest in learning more about God. Around 10% of the student population at Grace are not from families of Kingdom workers or are non-believers. Through fellowship with others in the Grace community like Tuum, Bible classes, chapels, and Bible studies, these students and their families are given the chance to learn more about Christ.
Tuum’s ministry is one of the many ministries that Grace parents are involved in. Because Grace International School exists to serve the children of Kingdom workers such as Tuum, she is thankful that her son can grow in both his academic and spiritual life within a safe environment so that she and her husband can focus on planting seeds in the Thai community.