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Seeking to Return to Thailand

,
being faithful to God’s call
I consider myself blessed by God because
of the opportunity afforded me to return to
school, and to receive a degree in Bible from
Harding University.
Receiving this degree from Harding has
given me the confidence to enter into any
number of ministry opportunities. But it has
also solidified in my mind that there is no
better place for our family to be than working
among the people for whom we have so much
love and connection. The length of our
relationship with the Thai people and the
churches throughout Thailand is now moving
beyond 10 years -- a span almost as long as
our marriage. And the connections we
already have to the people, culture, language,
and lifestyle of Thailand give us an advantage
many other missionaries do not have when
starting a new work. To ignore these gifts, I
wholeheartedly believe, would be in opposition
to God’s desire to see his Kingdom spread
throughout Thailand and SE Asia.
The decision to return home in 2010 from
the work in Bangkok, Thailand was difficult,
and was not without the stress of wondering
whether it was a good decision. God has
proven faithful to his promises, knowing “that
for those who love God all things work
together for good, for those who are called
according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Our desire is simply to be faithful to God’s call.
MISSIONTHAILAND
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Meet the Bryans:
Neale, Dalissa,
Ellie, Liam &
Oliver
1
Spying Out the Land
2011 AMF & survey trip

It is noteworthy to briefly talk
about a short, 21-day trip I took to
Thailand in August of 2011. There
were a couple of important events
happening in quick succession there
that I knew I would regret missing.
The first was the 50th annual
meeting of the Asian Mission Forum.
It was the highest attended AMF in its
history, and I was able to meet with,
talk to, and learn from many
missionaries I hold in high esteem.



The second event, coincidentally,
was a 50th homecoming celebration
of the Somprasong 4 church of
Christ, with whom we have a such a
long and happy history.
I also used this time to do a short
survey of a potential city I have been
researching as a possible place for us
to end up working. I spent three days
touring Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat
for short) and the surrounding
province before returning home.
Preparing to Go
what have we been up to?

It is impossible to give an
exhaustive list of all of the positive
experiences contributing to our
development over the three years;
the list would be entirely too long,
and I am certain I would leave out
important elements. These serve as
only a sample of the curricular and
extra-curricular activities that have
helped us along the way.
Center for Advanced
Ministry Training (CAMT)
In August of 2010, I was
selected to receive a full-tuition
scholarship to attend Harding
University’s CAMT program, an
accelerated undergraduate degree
program in Bible and Ministry.
CAMT provides training in the
various aspects of ministry as well as
set s foundat i ons i n t heol ogy,
hermeneutics, and homiletics. Now
having graduated December 2012, I
now feel much more confident in my
role as a minister and missionary.
Missionary in Residence
The spring semester 2013
brought with it a new set of
challenges and experiences. I was
asked by the Center for World
Missions to serve for one semester as
the Missionary in Residence at
Harding. I was able to work closely
with Harding Bible faculty, as well
as teach an Old Testament textual
class at the collegiate level.
Missions Conferences
In 2010 we attended the World
Mission Workshop hosted by
Harding University, in which I
played a part in planning for this
event. We attended the Global
Missions Conference in 2011,
getting exposure to a wider variety
of missional praxes. The newly
named Global Missions Experience
came back to Harding in 2012,
where again I was deeply involved
in its planning and execution.
Preaching and Teaching
When I started in the CAMT
program I made it a goal to get as
much experience as I coul d
preaching and teaching in the local
congregati ons. I regul arl y
preached for the Sandhill church
of Christ in Newport, Arkansas the
entire time I was at Harding.
Beginning in December 2011, I
started teachi ng cl asses and
preaching every Sunday morning
for the Des Arc church of Christ in
Des Arc, Arkansas. In addition to
this I have been a guest speaker in
a number of congregations around
Searcy and Little Rock, Arkansas.
We returned to the US with
the desire to rectify some
deficiencies in our ministry,
namely:
1. formal training in Bible and
ministry,
2. invested mentors,
3. the support of teammates.

God has blessed us with an
answer to the first two of
these goals, with a realistic
plan for achieving the third.
The province of Nakhon
Ratchasima, gateway to Isan, and
home to 2.5M Thai people, of
whom over 95% are Buddhist.
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2
I am not presumptuous enough to think that I
personally know the solution to the slow and
protracted spread of the Gospel of Christ throughout
Thailand, but I am convinced that the primary access
people have to Christ is through his church.
With over 69 million in population spread over 76
provinces, the Kingdom of Thailand is the 20th most
populous country in the world. According to research
done by the Joshua Project, the ethnic Thai people
(20.1M) of central Thailand, as well as the ethnic Isan
(18.5M) of the Northeast combine to make Thai
people the 9th largest unreached people group in the
world. (www.joshuaproject.net/unreached.php)
Over 95% of Thai people are Buddhist and know
nothing about God, let alone his desire for a relationship
with them through his Son. Less than a quarter of the
provinces in Thailand have established churches.
There is simply little-to-no access to the Gospel for
most of the people living in Thailand today.
Our primary goal is to establish new, thriving, and
reproducing churches in areas of Thailand that remain
unreached by the Good News. We aim to do that by
partnering with the existing congregations, creating teams
of motivated individuals who will take on the task of
reaching out to their own people.
Expanding the Borders of the Kingdom
by establishing new congregations


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3
This section is to provide a brief overview
of the goals we’ve set for ourselves as we
prepare for this next stage of work in Thailand.

Who? Dalissa and I desired to return to SE
Asia with teammates--a couple of families with
children the same age as our own with whom
we could share the work. Though there are a
number of potential teammates, the time has
come to launch without a solidly committed
team. Trusting God to provide what we need,
we move forward, shifting our focus to sharing
the urgency of God’s mission to native Thai
Christians, and partnering with them.

What? It is a personal dream of mine to
see, in my lifetime, a thriving church active in
each of the 76 provinces of Thailand. And I
know of a number of individuals that share this
dream with me. We seek to establish new
congregations, and to partner with churches to
equip their members for the same work.

Where? For a long time we were looking at
launching in the provincial capital of Nakhon
Rachasima (Korat) in the northeast region
known as Isan. Isan is still a interesting and
promising region to foster Kingdom growth.
Before committing to a single city or region, we
want to first consult the input of our partners in
Thailand. Knowing that those people with
whom we partner might have valuable input as
well in terms of location, we are open to
working in many areas of Thailand. In reality,
we want to be encouraging growth throughout
the country, and eventually, Lord willing,
spilling over into neighboring countries.

When? We aim to depart for Thailand
May/June 2014. Our commitment to the work
in Thailand is 10 years with the real possibility
to move beyond that time period.

How? God provides more blessings than
we can ever ask or expect, but God also chooses
to bless others through his own people. The
financial support of this work depends on the
contributions of faithful servants of the Lord
here in the U.S. We are working with the
Cloverdale church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas
who will be our overseeing congregation and
major financial supporter. We also have the task
of raising additional funds to cover our work
fund and start-up expenses.

We appreciate your interest in us and this work and
we look forward to talking to you more in depth about
how we can partner together to take the richness of the
Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Thailand.
Finding Our Place in Thailand
who, what, where, when, and how
Thank you...
for taking the time
to read through
this summary of
the mission work
we’ve been
preparing for over
the last three
years. There is
much more to be
said, discussed,
planned, and
prayed over.

Our prayer is that
you will join us in
this work in a
profound and
intimate way.
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