My Mission Co-Worker

Ajarn Chonchineepan at Work

Ajarn Chonchineepan at Work

The Presbyterian Church (USA) talks a lot about mission co-workers but, when they do so, they are usually talking about their own missionaries who are serving overseas. The term ‘mission co-worker’ was adopted when the PC(USA) decided to abandon the old paternalistic style of mission endeavor in favor of a partnership approach – working with partner churches in other countries to share the good news of the gospel with those who have not heard. Yes, I am a mission co-worker, but I also have a mission co-worker who is my partner in ministry. Ajarn Chonchineepan Ajarayunkul is my mission co-worker. (‘Ajarn’ is an honorary title given to those who have a university education.) She is a Thai citizen who has a bachelor’s degree and has graduated from seminary.  She is married to a pastor who works at Payap University, the first Christian University to be established in Thailand. When I began work as Coordinator of Christian Volunteers in Thailand, I asked for a Thai staff person to work with me. I wanted a college-educated Thai person who was as fluent in English as I am in Thai (understanding about 80% of what goes on around me). I wanted someone who could help me understand the nuances of Thai customs and traditions, as well as someone who could help me communicate with all of the school administrators and other persons we might encounter as we worked to grow this program in Thailand. Ajarn Chonchineepan, or Tang as she is called by those who know her well, has been invaluable to this program. She has prevented me from making drastic errors, mostly by doing something very non-Thai like getting in my face and stopping me in my tracks when my German-American heritage threatens to derail communication and relationships in this decidedly non-German-non-American culture. She has spent hours describing Thai history, Thai traditions, Thai customs, Thai people and personalities.  On top of it all, she has a great sense of humor and shares her laughter with me and all of our volunteers. I don’t know where I would be at this point if she had not agreed to come and join me in this ministry.  I just thank God every day that she was available and willing to take on this challenge!

About ladypreacheratwork

For more information about me and my ministry in Thailand, please select the 'About' tab in the header above.
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