Chansouk – a simple ministry of Christian witness in Thailand

Chansouk Piengkham is a Canadian from the Fraser River Valley in British Columbia. But that’s not where his
life started and it’s not where he lives and ministers today. Chan is originally from Laos and immigrated to the
USA years ago with his extended family, who live in the Seattle area. Over time, Chan came to follow Jesus
and became a part of Rainier Avenue FMC in Seattle. Anticipating serving as a missionary back in his
homeland of Laos, Chan came to Canada to study at Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, BC. While there
he became a part of the FMC in Abbotsford and then New Heights FMC in Mission, BC. Eventually Chan
became a Canadian citizen. Then he promptly left to live and minister in Laos.

Laos, is a small land-locked country between Thailand and Vietnam, just north of Cambodia with a mostly rural
population of 6.7 million people. At the present time, there is rapid church growth happening in this country,
completely led by indigenous Laotian Christians. This is happening despite severe restrictions and persecution
from the Communist government and Buddhist social pressure. Open Doors ministry locates Laos at #29 on
their World Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

The number of evangelical Christians however is only 2.6% of the population, meaning that the vast majority of
people are still unreached – having little or no access to the good news story of Jesus.
For a number of years Chan was living in Laos, doing evangelism and discipleship, working with existing
church fellowships. It was not appropriate during those years to share Chan’s ministry publicly in print or web
media. Several years ago however, Chan was officially denied re-entry to Laos and has been living and
ministering to Lao people in northern Thailand since that time.

New Heights FMC, in Mission, BC, pastored by Greg Elford, has been the Canadian sending church for Chan
for a number of years, working in partnership with Rainier Ave FMC, Seattle, WA. New Heights’ own ministry in
northern Thailand, for over a decade, meant that they kept in close contact with Chan and regularly interacted
with him there, as well as during his visits to Canada.

Chan’s life and ministry has always been lived at the level of the people he is working among, both in Laos
where he tried to live as incognito as possible, and now in Thailand where, again, he lives simply among the
people to whom he ministers.

Recent developments in FM ministry in Thailand have brought Chan into more direct involvement with the
international team of Free Methodist workers based in Chiang Mai. In August 2016, myself, along with Greg
and Erin Elford, spent time visiting with Chansouk and other members of the FM ministry team in Chiang Mai.
This was a great opportunity to understand Chan’s respected position on the team as well as get a picture of
the ministry plan he will be participating in over the next few years.

As a result, Chan has been approved as an Associate Missionary of The Free Methodist Church in Canada. As
such, other Free Methodist churches across Canada are invited to consider supporting his ministry, working
among Lao people who live on the Thai side of the common border with Laos. Please visit the FMC website for
further information.