Advocates for Southeast Asians and the Persecuted (ASAP) Ministries shares God’s love to people in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar. It is a self-supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that grew out of the needs of refugees fleeing Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar into Thailand. Officially organized in 1996, according to Bruce Bauer, professor of world mission at Andrews University, “ASAP has impacted the countries of southeast Asia by supporting local workers in their church-planting and evangelistic activities.” This area of the world is predominantly Buddhist, an area described by missiologists as the “10/40 window,” in a region of the world where Christians are the minority.
ASAP Ministries reaches out to the “poorest of the poor” in regions of the world that are often exploited. In some villages they provide wells, which give safe drinking water and make it possible to grow gardens. In other cases, people are able to obtain help through one of their literacy programs. They start schools to get children off the streets, providing a healthy meal at the same time. All together they strive to meet people where they are at, and in doing so, they change lives.
ASAP Ministries is developing new disciple-making tools, including a special series of story-based Bible lessons so that even illiterate adults and children can make disciples among Buddhists and animists. They partner with over 400 national missionaries through church planting, medical ministries, and evangelism. Together they work to equip indigenous workers who already know the language and culture to help them proclaim the good news of Christ’s soon return in places that can be quite challenging.
“Some of these ASAP Ministries-sponsored workers,” notes associate director Scott Griswold, “are national missionaries who are working in highly restrictive countries. Five of the countries we work with are among the top 30 countries in the world that are considered highly restrictive according to World Watch. Our support enables them to focus on befriending and sharing the gospel with people who normally have no opportunity to know about God.”
ASAP Ministries helps refugees and immigrants to the United States and Canada who form ethnic churches. Altogether ASAP Ministries is opening doors to show and invite people to learn about Jesus Christ.
To learn more, visit http://www.asapministries.org.