She’s sweating buckets, but ‘it’s worth it.’

Ben Greene

Pastor & writer

  • Missions

Andrea Kidder in front of waterfall in Thailand

Andrea Kidder, who joined Converge’s Thailand Initiative team this year, saw plenty of hot, humid weather growing up in Florida.

Not that her Florida roots stopped her from sweating buckets in northeastern Thailand.

"The days are hot and sticky," she said in February, five weeks after she arrived as a Converge global worker.

But heat and humidity haven't weakened Kidder's labor toward a gospel movement among the least-reached people. She's focused on four cities and numerous villages in northeastern Thailand.

"It's worth it. Jesus is worth it," she said. "The Thai people are so worthy of knowing him and having him transform their lives."

That's why Converge's initiative exists among the Buddhist Thai people.

Training in educational methodology equips Kidder for global work

Her path in international ministry began as a global worker in another Southeast Asian country. She served there for four years. Then, she earned a master's degree, studying how education occurs in various countries and cultures.

Now, she's applying her degree to strengthen disciples and churches for Christ's mission of multiplication. She's building relationships with church leaders throughout northeastern Thailand so they can train and teach others to follow Christ as Thai people.

"This was a part of the world that God had put on my heart," she said. "The work the Isan team is doing to develop transformational Thai leaders who can help to steward strong and healthy churches in this part of Thailand really felt like a natural fit."

What does the Thailand Initiative hope to accomplish?

The Isan Project within the Thailand initiative has two primary goals. First, invest in 20 life-changing leaders who embrace God's distinct calling, gifting and opportunities for a gospel movement with eternal impact.

Secondly, the team seeks to influence 80 transformative leaders to be empowered by the Spirit of God, do all things for the glory of God and maximize their influence to grow God’s kingdom.

"We can dream and pray and see what doors God opens," she added. 


Andrea, Joyce and Thai Friends 

Several dozen leaders can have a massive impact in a populated region

The region of northeastern Thailand where Kidder serves has 19 million people, but the number of evangelical Christians is likely less than 1000. Ninety-eight percent of Thailand’s 70 million people identify as Buddhist.

People from China, Vietnam, Laos and Western countries have relocated to Isan in the past 60 years. They don't mind sweating buckets as they live and work in the four main cities, which have universities, vocational schools and shopping malls with movie theaters. 

Outside the population centers, many people are farmers who grow rice, sugar cane and cassava roots. In the cities or the villages, Kidder's not surprised by the hot, humid stickiness; this is the second Southeast Asian country where she's served. 

What's new for her is the satisfaction of having opportunities to equip Thai leaders to live as Thai and Christian disciples who multiply believers. 

"The calling on my heart is to do whatever role God would have for me in helping to raise up Thai leaders to be strong and healthy followers of Jesus and have strong and healthy churches where they can be in fellowship together and serving God together," she said.

Converge is asking God for a gospel movement among every least-reached people group — in our generation. Learn how we are playing a role in accomplishing the Great Commission and how you can be involved.

Ben Greene, Pastor & writer

Ben Greene is a freelance writer and pastor currently living in Massachusetts. Along with his ministry experience, he has served as a full-time writer for the Associated Press and in the newspaper industry.

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