Akha Outreach Services, a village church ministry, was recognized as an official church organization under the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand in 2006. This ministry encompasses every village activity from pastoral training to community development projects. Many Akha Bible Institute students find ministry placement under this branch.
This area of ministry actually began in March 2003 to provide a practicum to the students who had completed their first year of training at Akha Bible Institute. Through this branch, students began to spend weekends in Akha villages, witnessing to non-Christians, helping Christians and just building relationships. Eventually, we began to invite village pastors to come to the compound once a month for Bible training and fellowship. The response was overwhelmingly positive as the pastors exchanged advice and grew strong roots in the Word. To this day, we are doing the monthly pastor’s training and more pastors are added to the program every year.
March of 2005, Akha Outreach Services expanded to include an internship program. Students who had completed their third year at Akha Bible Institute were required to intern with any approved ministry for ten months before their graduation. In 2006 the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand recognized Akha Outreach Services as a church organization, with twelve official congregations to begin with.
When an Akha village contacts us to become Christian, it is a group decision. Several heads of households will get together and decide they have the option of coming under this ministry branch. Read about a village coming to Christ: Hoi Taht – 200 Strong in One Week!
A Healthy Church
The goal for all of our congregations is for them to become self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating. To this end, we have a board of representatives from the different churches to make administrative and financial decisions for the group. We also encourage local congregations to support their own pastors and do not pay a salary to the ministers in our group. However, we do provide monthly training, transportation costs and, in certain cases, educational scholarships for the pastors’ children to attend school. Finally, our training is geared toward outreach and missions and self-propagation. We’ve already had one of our churches plant a new one on the other side of the mountain, and we look forward to many more stories as this one: The Churches on Elephant Mountain.
How You Can Help
Support Leadership Training
$50 per month covers one Akha leader’s Bible training. This amount helps toward operating expenses of the Akha Outreach campus, including teacher’s salaries and utilities. The leaders themselves pay a nominal fee for the training, which helps to cover the cost of food. As a supporter of ABI, you will receive personal testimonies from a leader twice a year as well as emailed prayer updates. We also encourage supporters to come visit Thailand and see what God is doing at Akha Bible Institute!
Click Here To: Support Akha Leadership Training
Build a Church
Although our church ministry aims to be self-supporting, we often help villagers who decide to become Christian purchase the concrete for their church foundations. After that, the congregation can gather to build either a bamboo or concrete structure, depending on the economic status of that particular village.
Click Here To: Build a Church