LAOS: A Church for the So

Source: OMF International, December 2017

Ten years ago, very few, if any, So people called on Jesus as Lord [and] very few of them had ever heard the name of Jesus or the gospel message.

Through a combination of miracles, intentional discipleship, and testing through persecution, the first So church was established in 2013. Initially, many of the new believers knew Jesus more as healer than savior.

The Christians who first began working among the So continued to disciple the new church’s leaders wherever they could—in the jungle, in boats, guesthouses, or in town.

They answered every question the new believers had, such as how to say prayers before sleep or in the morning, how to not take part in temple ceremonies but still be a part of their community, how to do a Christian wedding, how to bless a new house, and how to officiate funerals. Everything was modeled and practiced before the new church. Then, the older Christians helped the So Christians do it. Finally, discipleship and encouragement was given over the phone and the So believers began doing it on their own.

Today there are about seven So churches serving more than 260 So believers. The churches are elder-led and share the responsibility for shepherding, discipling, teaching and starting new groups. Some of the churches have seen started spreading the gospel to other people groups in the region.

» Full story further illustrates the “Model, Assist, Watch, Leave” (MAWL) method for cross-cultural church planting. Learn more about people groups of the Mekong region.

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