New life in Northern Thailand

The power of Jesus has set them free from fear, bringing peace and light to their formerly dark, fearful lives.

Walk with us as we meander through the village of Baan Den, perched on a steep ridge in the mountainous region of Nan province, in northern Thailand.

Watch the chickens scratching in the dry red earth; see children peering from the darkened windows of their wooden and bamboo houses; and hear the scrawny dogs growling as you move closer to where they lie in the late afternoon sun.

Then hear the threatening words of a man confronting an elderly couple who are returning to the village from work in their dry rice field. Feel your hair stand on end as he brushes past you, muttering unintelligibly. You soon learn from Thai Lutheran pastor Ajan Amnuay that this spirit doctor with dark and foreboding eyes has gestured to you, adding that ‘he knows who you are and where you come from’.

For years this spirit doctor and others have reigned over the marginalised and impoverished Lua people with threats and fear, demanding sacrifices and rituals to appease the spirits.

On Sunday morning join the growing congregation of people, young and old, as they come together to praise their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

On another day, on another mountain ridge in the village of Na Pong, you sit cross-legged on a concrete floor. You listen to the quiet voices of a circle of men and women, speaking in their local tongue. They’ve come together with their Lutheran Lua female evangelist Pim to share stories with you. They speak of the amazing power of the word. The power of Jesus has set them free from fear, bringing peace and light to their formerly dark, fearful lives.

Look into the eyes of former spirit doctors Nyman and Tui and see the peace and absence of fear that lights their faces. They are now your newly baptised Lutheran brothers. Hear their invitation to pray for them and their families, so that all of their children and grandchildren will come to know Jesus. Hear their thanks for your support for former LCA missionary Pastor Simon Mackenzie and his wife Oiy (who are now serving in LCA NSW District), as well as for evangelists who continue to bring the good news of Jesus to the Lua people.

This story was also published in the August 2016 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to

Read more stories about our partner churches in Thailand at