Hope Village Thailand
About Northeast Thailand
Location: Northeast Thailand
Language: Thai and Isaan
Industry: Farming & Agriculture
Northeastern Thailand, near the Laos border, is sometimes known as Isaan. The Isaan people create the largest region of Thailand with 22 million people.
Out of the 22 million Isaan people living in this region, only 0.27% are Christian.
The steadfast belief in Thailand is that "to be Thai is to be Buddhist". This means that the large majority of Thai citizens have never heard the name or story of Jesus Christ and the hope he brings.
The majority of Thailand's rural poor live in northeast Thailand. Because employment opportunities in rural Thailand are scarce, many parents seek work in larger cities, leaving their children in the care of their grandparents in the village. As grandparents age and care for their farms, many village children are loosely supervised and are, as a result, more at risk to become involved in gangs, experiment with drugs, or engage in other risky behaviors.
Another serious issue Thailand faces as a nation is the problem of human trafficking. Thailand is infamously known for its cities filled with brothels, red light districts, and sex tourism. There are an estimated 200,000 sex workers in Thailand servicing an industry with an annual revenue of 6.4 billion dollars. The majority of Thailand's sex workers are northeastern Thai women.
Our mission is to reach the children and families of rural villages by building lasting relationships, discipling new believers, and equipping and empowering indigenous leaders to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the surrounding villages, regions, and beyond.
In January of 2021 our Hope Village Thailand team, consisting of Manit and Hannah Attakul, were sent to plant a new Hope Village in the northeast region of Thailand. After facing numerous hurdles, the Attakuls arrived in the Nong Khai province in February and began connecting to the people of their new community.
Since the beginning of the year, our team has begun a weekend Kid's Club with the children and teens of their rural village. On Saturdays the children and youth meet in the morning and afternoons for interactive English classes. Building proficiency in the English language is highly valued in Thailand as it opens up more opportunities in education and the workplace. Teaching English also allows us to bless our community with practical skills, open doors for us to connect with more students, and build relationships with the children and their families. On Sunday mornings and afternoons our team shares the Gospel with the children and teens and teach Christian values such as generosity, responsibility, kindness, patience, self-control, and dedication using Bible stories and Scriptural truths.
During their first year of serving their new community, our team has seen God working among the children and families in the community. Our small group of students has become a safe place and the children now think of the Attakuls as their own family. We are thankful for the opportunity to begin sharing the Gospel, and look forward to serving the community in greater capacities in the coming years.
Our vision for Hope Village Thailand is that it will become a thriving community where children and families hear the Gospel, are discipled and cared for as they grow in their faith, and have the opportunities to learn practical skills that will help future generations break the cycles of poverty and addiction so prevalent in northeast Thailand.