Adventist Logo Adventist Logo Adventist Logo

Global Mission

Sharing Jesus in Southeast Asia

Justin is a Global Mission pioneer serving and living in a town in Southeast Asia.

When he and his family moved there some five years ago, there were no Adventists in the community. But 30 people in the town had been baptized as a result

of evangelistic meetings held in the region many years before. All of them had stopped attending church and gone back to their former lifestyles.

Justin and his wife, Thiri, decided to follow Christ’s method of ministry in their mostly non-Christian community. His method is described by Ellen White in her book Ministry of Healing. “Christ’s method alone will bring true success in turning people’s hearts to God."1 She summarizes that method in five steps: mingling with people, showing sympathy, ministering to needs, winning confidence, and only then, inviting them to follow Jesus.

First, Justin and Thiri implemented Christ’s method in reaching out to the former members in the community. Before long, 10 of them were meeting regularly at the pioneer’s home every Sabbath for worship!

Next, Justin and Thiri focused on reaching out to the adults in their community who had never heard the gospel. Unfortunately, it didn’t take them long to realize that most of the people weren’t interested in socializing with anyone whose religion was so different from their own.

After praying for guidance, Justin and Thiri decided to mingle with the children and university students instead.

To do so, they turned the large room on the second floor of their home into a classroom. Thiri teaches2 the local language, English, and math, and Justin teaches piano and guitar. Sometimes, Justin goes to the students’ homes to teach, which allows him to get to know the parents. “It’s difficult to break the ice with the adults,” Justin said, “but our relationships with the young people help us to become friends with their parents.”

  • Justin gives his students a ride to and from their music lessons

  • Thira Kyi Soe has been taking guitar lessons for a year

  • Justin teaching a piano lesson

  • Justin and Thiri with their two daughters

Justin faces a challenge in sharing the gospel with some families because their stay in the town is temporary. They live there only when their villages have been destroyed by a storm. Once their villages are habitable again, they leave. In these cases, Justin and Thiri have only a small window of time to share the love of Jesus, and they must work quickly.

“After we get to know a family a little, we ask them about their needs,” Justin said. “Most of them need food and clothing, and we help them get these essentials.”

Once Justin and Thiri have won the people’s confidence by caring for their physical needs, they provide for their spiritual needs as well. “We share the gospel message with them and invite them to join us for worship at our home, especially on Sabbath,” Justin said.

Justin and Thiri visit the people in their homes to talk and pray with them. They also meet weekly in one family’s home to study the Bible with them.

“It takes about two years of sharing the love of Jesus with the non-Christians who live here full time before they open their hearts to Him,” Justin said. It’s a slow process, but they have helped bring three such people to Christ, including the niece of one of their Christian friends. Over time, they told the woman about the love of Jesus, and eventually, they studied the Bible together. She has been baptized and become a member of the church plant that meets in Justin and Thiri’s home.

“This woman told me that she used to go to the temple all the time,” Justin said, “but she couldn’t find happiness or peace of mind. ‘Then I met you,’ she said, ‘and you cared about me and my needs, and now I have peace in my heart. I am so happy to know Jesus and to be free from the dominance of sin!’”

Justin’s dream is to have close relationships with all the people in his community and, through those friendships, help everyone know the love of God. “These are good people,” he said with a touch of emotion. “When we show them love, patience, and sympathy, they’re happy and they react to us with love.”

Justin thanks you for supporting his ministry and the work of Global Mission pioneers around the world. Please pray for his and Thiri’s ministry and that the Holy Spirit will help the people in their town accept Jesus as their Savior.

1 Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1905), 43.
2 Justin and Thiri’s in-person interactions with the community members depend on how bad COVID is at the time. When they can’t meet in person, they keep in touch through social media and phone calls.

10/40 Window Fast Facts

  1. Stretches from North Africa through the Middle East and into Asia
  2. Is where two-thirds of the world’s population lives
  3. Is home to most of the world’s major religions
  4. Has the globe’s largest cities and poorest people
  5. Has more than 5,800 unreached people groups among roughly 3 billion people