We consider outreach and church planting to be our highest callings. Part of our whole-person approach to build strong communities in the Golden Triangle is to mobilize outreach partners and train indigenous Christian leaders who bring biblical teachings to the towns and remote villages of Thailand, Burma, and beyond. Our evangelists speak multiple languages and grew up in the cultures in which they work. They enter isolated and restricted regions where Westerners cannot gain access. Our outreach partners bring the light of the Gospel to spiritually dark regions, offering the people hope and salvation in Christ.
The Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia gained its name from its illustrious opium production and trade. Geographically, the triangle region includes Thailand’s northern hill country, the northern portions of Laos and Vietnam, the eastern half of Burma, and into the Yunnan Province of China. Currently, ethnographers also refer to the area as the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
FLC actively worked with numerous villages to replace their opium production with another cash crop, such as coffee. Now the Golden Triangle cultivates mostly tourism, but the need still exists to assist the tribal peoples with quality agricultural development.
Ethnic minorities of the Golden Triangle consist of six primary people groups: the Akha, Hmong, Karen, Lahu, Lisu, and Mien with many sub-tribes. In northern Burma, reside the Rawang who are 90% Christian and reach their own people in bordering countries. All the tribes are or were once animists, speak unique languages from the Tibeto-Burman linguistic family, live by oral histories, and are minimally integrated into the dominant cultures of the region.
Their animistic rituals focus on appeasement of spirits, the belief that the spirit realm is as real as the physical realm, and some tribes hold deep ties to ancestors. Village spirit doctors perform sacrificial rituals in order to ward off evil spirits and protect people from harm.
The transformative power of the Gospel helps the people see beyond the endless cycle of appeasement, fear, and superstition, and brings practical knowledge, joy, and release from burdensome rituals.
Our whole-person approach means an integrative endeavor to reach people with spiritual truths and physical development. With Jesus as the example, FLC seeks to teach people biblical truths, nurture community leaders who unify people to learn and grow in their faith, and bring life-saving assistance in the form of education, health care, and resource development. Strong communities can then reach out and build up other under developed areas.
To date, over 200 self-governing, and self-supportive Christian churches exist because of FLC’s outreach endeavors. Our outreach partners first help meet the physical needs of the village and befriend the people. They share Bible verses as opportunities arise, and teach the children through songs and games. Later, church buildings are constructed, sometimes with assistance from Western supporters.
FLC hosts annual Bible conferences to help outreach partners grow in their leadership skills and remain rooted in sound biblical theology. Our prayer is to start a Bible School, housed at the Kalnin Leadership Center, which trains and equips hundreds of outreach partners to connect with the many unreached villages of the region.