Every children’s ministry should have missionaries that they support to give students a practical way to show a heart for missions. Click here for ideas for fundraisers to support missionaries. This week, we have a guest blogger, Keisha Lennon. Her and her family are going to Thailand as full time missionaries. I know this godly couple. If you’re looking for missionaries for your ministry to sponsor, they are well worth supporting.
One Family, One God Dream
The Lennon’s Call to Thailand
Our lives are but a story, line upon line being written by those who influence and change us, but even more so by those who we influence and change. Simply put, this defines the desire of our lives—to bring hope to those who had none before coming into contact with us, through the love of Jesus Christ. Come and be a part of our story, and allow us the privilege of becoming a part of your story!
Meet the Lennon’s
We—Ryan and Keisha—have been married for seven years and have been blessed with two children—Hannah (age 5) and Noah (age 2 ½). Participating in the fulfillment of the Great Commission has been a passion of ours, even before we were married. In fact, our family mission statement is “To know God: His Heart and His Character. To be on the front lines of communicating the Good News to the lost by building a ministry that effectively reaches out and evangelizes. To disciple, equip, and motivate believers of all ages to willingly abandon their own lives for the salvation of every tongue, tribe, and nation.” Within the past few years, God has refined this desire and focused our hearts on Northern Thailand, more specifically the city of Chiang Rai, which is located in The Golden Triangle.
Our entire marriage has been a season of preparation! Between the two of us, we’ve participated in or led 14 mission trips, all of which deposited something different within our hearts for what we are about to embark on next. In terms of education, Keisha has a bachelor’s degree in English, and Ryan will soon have a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology, both of which will be useful tools in Thailand practically and spiritually.
In light of all this, our family plans to move to Chiang Rai, Thailand during the early fall of 2010. Our home church, Canton Temple of Praise Church of God will be sending us out to serve with Emerge Missions (www.emergemissions.org). Emerge is an “innovative missions outreach to young people in emerging nations,” primarily Asia. While Emerge’s influence is far reaching, in Chiang Rai, we (the Emerge team) will be focusing on university campus ministry, community and tribal outreach, orphanage ministry, and the establishment of a discipleship school. In focusing on young people, we hope to influence not just one generation, but the face of an entire nation!
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, in the 10/40 Window, where 95% of the world’s unreached peoples live. While Thailand is not hostile to proclamation of the Good News, it is surrounded by persecuted nations: Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Most Thais (95%) practice Buddhism, with Islam (4%) and Christianity (0.7%) also represented. About 66 million people live in Thailand, including many hill tribes, who originate from Myanmar, Laos, and China. Due to growing socio-economic issues and the AIDS epidemic, the number of orphans in Thailand continues to increase. In fact, within an hour’s drive from where we will live, approximately 60 orphanages exist do to handle influx of unwanted children or children whose parents have died as a result of lifestyle choices.
As a whole, Thailand has a sexually-oriented culture. Prostitution and homosexuality continues to affect this developing nation, as they have for years. Undoubtedly, the most heartbreaking aspect of Thailand is the ever-growing child sex-trafficking industry. Men from all over the world come to Northern Thailand to engage sexually with little girls as young as eight or ten years old. As a result, these young sex slaves often die before adulthood due to disease or other misfortunes due to the lifestyle handed to them. Most times, these children die without ever hearing the name of Jesus.
Thailand & Faith
Thailand is predominately Buddhist (94%) and is located in a region of the world known as the 10/40 window. The 10/40 window is defined as 10 degrees north latitude to 40 degrees north latitude, stretching across northern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia. Ninety-five percent of the world’s unreached people call the 10/40 window home. To be unreached simply means that one does not have access to the Good News. In other words, the lost in Thailand is different than the lost in the U.S. because while many Americans need Christ or may even need to hear about Him, physically and geographically they have access to many churches and Christians, essentially giving them opportunity to make a decision for Christ. Because Thailand is less than 1% Christian, most Thai live and die without ever having that chance.
While 95% of the world’s unreached peoples live in this region, less than 5% of all monies ever given to world missions make it to the 10/40 window. In other words, the church as a whole continues to sow (and sow and sow) into regions where the Good News is available locally, but we are leaving the unreached untouched. For so many reasons, this does not make sense, but unfortunately it continues to be the case.
In an effort to change the reality in Thailand through the love and blood of Jesus Christ, our family plans to relocate to Chiang Rai, Thailand in August or September of 2010, but we cannot tackle such a huge task alone.
Our heart is to see children’s and youth ministries link arms with us to change the face of their generation worldwide. We invite your ministry to go on this mission to Thailand with our family, either as a prayer partner or a support partner. Because our ministry is fully support-based, we need churches, ministries, and families to give financially. To meet our family’s living expenses, we need $3000 per month, which covers housing, utilities, phone, internet, food, transportation, educational costs, health insurance, and finances to return to the States every two years.
Financially, our family’s need can be met in a number of different ways. The following examples provide a few options for your consideration:
- 120 ministries/families giving $25 monthly
- 60 ministries/families giving $50 monthly
- 30 ministries/families giving $100 monthly
If you feel led to invest in to the youth of Northern Thailand, please consider sponsoring our family monthly or giving a special offering. Please keep in mind that all gifts are tax deductible when given through Emerge Missions. To partner with us financially, you have two options.
1. To begin partnering with us by check:
- Just make the check payable to Emerge Missions.
- Write “Ryan and Keisha” in the memo line.
- Mail to the following address,
2. To begin partnering with us online:
- Go to our website at http://web.me.com/ryankeisha.
- Click the “Getting Involved” link.
- Click the “Donate Now, Just Give” icon, and follow the prompts.
We would love to hear from you and remain in contact with your ministry. If you have any comments and/or questions about our family’s ministry, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Too, check out our website and blog at http://web.me.com/ryankeisha.