FLC was founded in 1979 by Daniel and Beverley Kalnin, who were following their vision to uplift the diverse and scattered tribal peoples throughout the Golden Triangle.
The late Daniel Kalnin came from the predominantly Christian Rawang tribe of northern Burma. From the time he was a young boy, Daniel carried a burden to help his impoverished homeland and oppressed people. Beverley, a Canadian from Toronto, felt a calling into mission work as a teenager. Together, they founded Frontier Labourers for Christ (FLC) to minister spiritually and physically to the ethnic minorities of the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia.
The organization commenced with $100 donated by Beverley’s home church, Westway Christian Church, Toronto. Daniel and Beverley managed to house 12 students and support many ministers in their work during the early days. They lived with complete reliance on God’s power and provision. The early stage of the ministry began with outreach to the predominantly animist Lisu, Lahu, and Akha people of northern Thailand.
The early years were difficult, but in 1983, Daniel became acquainted with Carl Rennert. Through Carl, contacts were made with Cherry Hills Community Church (CHCC) in Denver, Colorado, and Wayside Church in San Antonio, Texas. Both of these churches continue to contribute significantly to the ministry and
by sending short-term ministry teams. For twenty-six years, Charlene Stiles of North Carolina faithfully provided accounting and administrative assistance in the US.
After an observation trip in 1989, sponsored by CHCC, Paul Ferraro began assisting FLC. Paul initially secured coffee plants grown to replace opium in a few villages. Later, he utilized his engineering skills and contacts to help install clean water systems in many villages. Paul currently serves as the USA Board Chairman. He worked in tandem with Daniel to acquire two pieces of property and develop them.
After Daniel’s death in 2008, Paul continued to raise funds and garner support for FLC by completing the construction of four buildings for the training facility, and continuing the Barefoot Doctors Program.
The Barefoot Doctors Program started in 1981 with some success, but when Dr. Paul and Jan Jones, R.N. stepped up, the program began to flourish. They created a successful system to train lay people from rural Burma to skillfully treat many ailments and diseases in regions without any medical care. (Jones with BFDs) The Jones’ successors, Rick Astone, P.T. and Dr. Bjorn Nilson continue to improve and refine this impactful medical program. Much of the Barefoot Doctors’ coordination and administration is made possible by the diligent, tireless work of Timothy and Abraham, both stationed in Burma.
Lawpa Mayir already resided at and managed FLC’s agricultural property north of Chiang Mai. In 2010, seeing the need to educate the children from his and neighboring villages, Lawpa and his family set up housing, a dining area, and meeting space on the property. Now 30 children have the opportunity to gain an education and receive nurturing as the next generation of FLC associates through our Orchid Blooms program.
In 2012, we officially opened The Grove at KLC for training, conferences and retreats, which is now managed by Ryan and Rebecca Stowell. The Stowells and their two sons became the first full-time workers sent from the USA. Long-time staff members Sarep Pung and Paeng Panakitpaiwan provide excellent support in the areas of translation, coordinating teams, and reaching various groups of people.
Currently, Beverley Kalnin is pursuing her master’s degree in Canada. Jung Dangshing, an employee since 1985, is the organization’s Director in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Aided by his wife Nangsar, Jung works diligently to communicate with the USA Board, host teams, visit villages, and assist in the vision of the organization for the next generation.