Paul and Lori Vernon have been living and working in the Chiang Rai province of Northern Thailand since February of 2005. We are serving as Foursquare Missionaries to the Akha people of Southeast Asia and we are honored to partner with Akha Outreach Foundation, one of Chiang Rai's leading foundations associated with hill tribe welfare. In the past 50 years many of the Akha in Thailand have chosen to "walk the Jesus Road". While the community of believers is strong in numbers, it still has many needs. We have found that our place in ministry is alongside the Akha people, offering support, encouragement and exhortation in our common journey on this earth - striving together to love God and love the people around us.
In everything we do, we hope to:
- Minister Holistically: We believe that people are important to God; and that He values the health of the body, mind, spirit & emotions. We want our actions to reflect that belief and desire to minister in a balanced manner to needs in each of these areas.
- Embrace Akha culture: We believe that God is the God of all peoples and all cultures, and that He values the whole of His creation. We strive to share God's love and the freedom of Christ within the context of the Akha language and culture and in a way that honors God and the Akha people.
Our activities are varied and changing; and are often simply based on what is needed of us at any given moment. One of our main projects and ministry opportunities is our Mobile Akha Clinic, where we provide free basic medical care and support. We are also guest teachers at Akha Bible Institute in Chiang Rai. We host teams of western visitors several times a year and are honored to have these opportunities to share our love for the Akha people with these friends from back home.
However, much of our time is spent in less “quantifiable” ministry, like living in an Akha village, participating in the daily activities of the community, and building discipleship relationships. In our few years in Thailand, we have come to accept the truth that Ministry is not a scheduled Sunday practice, but is a relational, community exercise that reacts to the immediate and pressing needs of the people around us.