40+ years of YWAM Chiang Mai
YWAM has been bringing outreach teams to Chiang Mai since 1968, and it was in 1975 that a couple first moved to Chiang Mai to do ministry as YWAM long term. Their work was among university students, backpackers, and travelers. At that time the YWAM presence in Chiang Mai was only a few couples and singles, but by 1984 staff were spread across four houses and 35 people were meeting for dinner every night. During that time 14 church were planted in villages and there was ongoing discipleship. The beginnings of Refugee Ministries were being administered from Chiang Mai during this time, the first international preschool in Chiang Mai was opened by YWAM, and Thailand’s first DTS was held in Chiang Mai in 1984.
Chiang Mai was the main base in Thailand until late 1984 when the Chiang Mai staff moved to Bangkok to help pioneer Thai ministries there. For the next ten years, 1984-1994, there was no formal base but the presence of individual ywamers called to the city, and many visiting teams both international and Thai. Ministry in the 90’s included English outreach, refugee outreach, Bible translation, and continued support of the local churches.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s Home of Joy opened, Partners and The Centre began, and the second DTS in Chiang Mai was held. YWAM Chiang Mai was around 8 families, but more and more ywamers come to Chiang Mai to plant churches and operate outside of the base.
By the 2010’s multiple ministries and as many as one hundred ywamers serve in various capacities around the city. In 2016, weekly city-wide prayer and intercession times are held for all staff. In 2017 city staff begin a DTS in the heart of the city, with a focus on developing Thai ywamers. In 2018 several ministries move to occupy buildings adjacent to one another in an act of community and unity. This area is referred to as The Hub.
Meet the 1%
This is Johnson. He is one of our Thai staff at YWAM Chiang Mai. Watch his testimony to learn how God is moving among the 1% of Thai’s who are Christians, and how God is using them to effect the 99%.