Anyone who has spent much time in missionary circles has probably met someone who has served for a period of time in Thailand. The overwhelmingly Buddhist country in Southeast Asia has attracted significant missionary attention over the years. Yet, there continues to be a need to reach Thai people with the gospel of Christ. While Thailand is a nation that will likely continue to welcome overseas missionaries, there are opportunities for disciple-makers living in North America to connect with Thai people as well.
An official Thai enclave in the East Hollywood section of Los Angeles happens to be the only designated Thai Town in the world. Thai Town in L.A. hosts more than 60 Thai-owned businesses. More than 30,000 Thai live & work in the city of Los Angeles, and Southern California is home to an estimated 100,000 Thai people. The Southern California region is the largest Thai community outside of Thailand. While there are population clusters of Thai people in Washington D.C., Metro NYC, and other urban areas, the Los Angeles area is the most concentrated Thai diaspora in North America.
To engage this largely Buddhist nation whether in Thailand or among the nations next door in L.A., there is a need for thoughtful mission catalysts to find ways to contextually share the gospel and form disciples & churches that are likely to reproduce in both diaspora communities and create bridges to Southeast Asia. If you have a heart for Southeast Asia and especially Thailand, Los Angeles is not only incredibly diverse as a dynamic urban mission field, it is home to the most significant concentration of Thai diaspora outside of Thailand.