This update is part of the Province Profile series. You can also read the other Province Profiles.
Please pray with us for:
- Trusting relationships between long-term workers and the Yala community.
- God to supply adequate teachers and resources to meet the educational needs of the students in Yala.
- God to give Thai believers and long-term workers in Yala both boldness and opportunities to share the gospel.
- The Lord to open the hearts and minds of Thai Muslims in Yala to receive the good news of Isa.
M*slim: 373,060 (72%)
Christian: 577 (0.11%)
# Fellowships: 11
# Workers: 10
History Fact: The word “Yala” comes from a folk word “yalor”, meaning “fishing net” because there was a mountain shaped like a fishing net at the original site of the town.
GPP: US $1.32M (2013)
Walking through the market on a hot summer morning in Yala, Thailand, I met a woman named Mrs. June. As we began talking and getting to know one another, I found that not only did Mrs. June look different from me on the outside, but something about her was, on the inside, different too.
Shortly after meeting one another, Mrs. June invited me to join her for cooking classes at the community center. One day during our lesson, Mrs. June and I began discussing our beliefs. She said she follows a man named Isa (Jesus). She even told me stories about how he calmed a storm and healed the sick! Mrs. June said Isa has changed her life and has also changed the lives of many people all over the world! In fact, Isa was the reason Mrs. June opened the community center and the reason she loves the people of Yala.
On the walk home, I shared with my mother the stories of Isa that Mrs. June shared with me. As I told her these stories, my mom became very interested. She asked if I wanted to follow Isa like Mrs. June. I wasn’t sure how to respond and the conversation became quiet.
If Isa is the son of Allah (God) just as Mrs. June says, then I think I must follow him. But why has no one in my village ever told me the full story about Isa? My Imam (religious leader) says he was just a prophet, but now I am not sure what to believe. Why are more people in Yala not following Isa if he is truly the straight path to Allah?
Please pray for my mother and I that Allah will show us the straight path as we continue talking with Mrs. June and listening to her stories about Isa.
The long term workers in Yala long for their time with these families to be much more than reading books, playing games and cooking together. They pray for the salvation of each and every person who enters their community center. Out of a population of 518,000, only about 575 Yala people know and follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. While the task at hand is big, our God is bigger and we trust that he will multiply the number of believers in Yala in the days ahead. Will you trust God with us to do this?