Building Online Relationships with Unreached People Groups

Building Online Relationships with Unreached People Groups

A Story from a DMM practitioner partnering with the 24:14 network

Since this is affecting people all over the world, and not just our neighbors on our block, our church has thought this is also an amazing opportunity to build friendships across cultures, and especially with people in UPGs (Unreached People Groups). After all, our commission is to make disciples of “all nations,” not just our own.

We’re trying to engage internationals overseas, especially those in Thailand, which is the country our church has been focused on sending workers to over the last 7 years or so. We were trying to figure out how to engage Thais online, who can speak some English, and who might be fearful about corona & looking for people to talk to. Then we discovered it! Language exchange apps! I jumped on HelloTalk, Tandem, and Speaky and immediately found tons of Thais that both wanted to learn English & also wanted to talk about how coronavirus was affecting them.

The first night our church hopped on these apps, I met a guy named L. He works at a company in Thailand and he told me he’s resigning at the end of this month. I asked him why. He said it’s because he’s becoming a full-time monk at the Buddhist temple in his area. WOW! I asked him why he was interested in learning English. He said that foreigners often come to the temple to learn about Buddhism & he wants to be able to translate for the “elder monk” into English to help the foreigners who come. To make a long story short, he said he’d love to learn more about Christianity (since he’s currently studying Buddhism in depth) & we’re going to start spending an hour on the phone together on a regular basis to help him with his English & to introduce him to Jesus. How crazy is that!

Others in our church were telling similar stories as they jumped on. Given the fact that Thais are also confined to their homes, they’re online a lot more looking for people to talk to. What an opportunity this presents the church as well! And, unlike the neighbors on our block, many of these people have never even heard about Jesus.

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