The Spiritual Need in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is one of the most challenging, dynamic, and rewarding locations to work in missions. This large and incredibly diverse region in the heart of the 10/40 Window includes the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. These countries and the sub-regions within them represent thousands of unique people groups, many of which are unreached.
More than 340 people groups on the Southeast Asian peninsula (including Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos) are also considered unreached. The opportunities to develop meaningful, life-changing relationships with unreached people groups in Southeast Asia are endless, and ABWE missionaries endeavor to creatively share the gospel until all have heard.
Buddhism, Catholicism and Islam are the primary religions among those who call this region home. Almost half of the world’s Buddhists live in Southeast Asia, the broader South Asia region is home to the densest population of the world’s Muslims, including many who follow a folk form of Islam, and both of Asia’s Catholic countries are located in Southeast Asia.
To reach the Muslim and Buddhist peoples of the world for Christ, kingdom-minded believers must join and support the gospel movement happening all over Southeast Asia. Yet, according to some estimates, there is on average only one Christian missionary for every 405,500 Muslim people in the world and one for every 260,000 Buddhists. The need for more workers is critical.
Despite challenges like inhibited access to Christian resources or the risk of persecution for choosing faith in Christ, many Southeast Asians are curious about the gospel. Through partnering with local churches and national believers, doors are opening to engage in evangelism, discipleship and church planting in this diverse and unsaturated region. If you are ready to build relationships and share truth and hope in meaningful and engaging ways, we pray you will consider joining us in Southeast Asia.
Church Planting Missions In Southeast Asia
Our teams in Southeast Asia serve in various capacities to support ABWE’s vision of multiplying leaders, churches and missions movements. Within this limited-access region, creative approaches such a business as mission (BAM), tentmaking, and teaching English as a Second Language (TESL or ESL) offer means to entry and opportunity for building relationships and making disciples. An entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to invest in different cultures, people and places create inroads for evangelism.
As Southeast Asia continues to grow its international trade presence, the population is eager to learn English in order to be part of the global economy. Teaching, leadership development, and discipleship skills, whether in English or in the local language, are also in high demand at seminaries and among church staff teams. We are seeking men, women, and families who will creatively intersect with unreached and often vulnerable people in an urban ministry context to help with church planting missions in Southeast Asia. Relationship building often begins in community centers such as gyms and cafés and opens doors for ongoing conversation and to in-home Bible studies. In addition, ABWE Southeast Asia has opportunities in a large Christian university (10,000+ students), as well as in a number of other secondary and primary schools.
Other opportunities for ministry include a wide range of educational platforms, sports outreach, community and humanitarian development, information technology, and software development. coding, and ecotourism. Almost any creative idea, career, or skill set can be incorporated into a church-planting strategy in Southeast Asia as we seek to equip local believers with tools to impact their communities.
While there is risk in going to hard places, the reward is great. Millions of unreached people are curious about God and eager to learn from skillsets you possess—and these skills could be key to sharing the gospel with Muslims and Buddhists in Southeast Asia.
Is God leading you to take the next step towards life as a missionary in South Asia?