We exist for the Church. This is the simplest way to state the mission of General Baptist Ministries. But the Church is not just made up of General Baptist buildings. It stretches around the globe wherever there are believers and wherever they will be found in the future. We want to demonstrate God’s love in these places by sending English teachers to bring both educational and spiritual help. The chance to participate in growing the church in unreached places motivates us, and we are excited to introduce another country where we will be partnering to see the gospel planted: Laos.

Laos is a small country in Southeast Asia. It shares borders with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Exchange between these countries has created a varied blend of cultures, with each region sharing traits with its nearest neighbor. The northern villages nearest to China tend to include Confucian ideas in their religion, and some famous dishes in Thai cuisine are originally Lao. The landscape is covered in thickly forested mountains with the mighty Mekong River carving a ribbon of blue with dazzling waterfalls through the trees. The scenery is stunning, but it can complicate travel. This is part of what has kept the majority of the Lao population in rural villages while many other parts of Southeast Asia have seen more urbanization in recent years.

These villages have preserved the remarkable diversity of 126 distinct people groups. The many different cultures are categorized as upland, midland, and lowland, but there is great variety within each category. Lao people are proud of their diverse heritage, and this is reflected in the continued use of many local languages and the weaving of their famous patterned silks. Lao silk is hand-woven, and each family line has a distinctive pattern handed down from one generation to the next.

Ninety-six of the 126 people groups are unreached—more than five million people. Less than 4% of Lao are Christians, and less than 3% are Evangelical. The majority of the population is Buddhist. However this is usually blended with ancient local beliefs and traditions to please and appease the many spirits that populate their worldview. Gaining merit is important in this system, and preparing food offerings for Buddhist monks is a daily practice for many Lao people to achieve this. 

This endless striving for merit is not God’s plan for His children. There is freedom for the Lao people in Christ, but many have never heard of Him. 

If we exist for the Church, we exist for the Lao church. We have been commissioned by God to reach out with His unending love for those who have yet to become a part of our family. His heart for them is clear, and we have the opportunity to share it. Will you join us? General Baptist Ministries is partnering with an organization to send English teachers into this beautiful county to bring hope in the Jesus’ name. 

Reach out to Mark Powell (VP of Global Missions) to find out more.