Seeing a new future for Ayutthaya

By Chad Loftis and Brian Yung | Thailand in Pacific Asia

 

For more than 400 years the city of Ayutthaya stood as the large, cosmopolitan capital of the mighty kingdom of Ayutthaya or Siam. European visitors to the city at its height were awed by its size and sophistication which some said outshone London and other European capitals. It was not only the political capital of this important kingdom but also the religious centre. King Ramathibodi I introduced Theravada Buddhism to Siam during the time the city was founded and it was soon full of many impressive temples and shrines - the ruins of which are, in some cases, still standing today.

But in the late 1700s Ayutthaya was sacked by a Burmese army and the Thai capital moved to Bangkok. Since then, although it remains a historically and spiritually significant place, the living city of Ayutthaya’s star has faded - it has become just another town on the far outskirts of sprawling Bangkok. In some ways, forgotten.

Perhaps this is why there are so few churches and barely any Christians in Ayutthaya and its surrounding province. With an estimated few hundred Christians in a province of almost a million people the chances for a resident of this once great town to hear the good news about Jesus are slim indeed. Along with Thai Christians SIM International is working hard to ensure that Ayutthaya is no longer forgotten. We are building a multi-ethnic, multi-skilled team to live in and help serve the community of Ayutthaya through English teaching, sport ministry and community development.

We see a new dawn for the old city of Ayutthaya and its people. If you or your church is interested in supporting the work of bringing good news and new hope to this city contact thailand.personnel@sim.org.

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

SIM Asset Publisher Portlet

Asset Publisher

Related stories

A car ride and the gospel

Murray and his co-worker prayed that Maria would be open to hearing about the gospel on their drive. As they drove, the group passed a wall with a bible verse painted boldly on it's front, which sparked conversation about the bible and faith. This led the way for Murray to share about how central Christ is to faith and salvation.

Recovered health and renewed faith

Louise and a team from ELWA Hospital traveled to a remote village for a pop-up clinic. While there they treated many patients. One of these was a boy whose father had prior doubts about Christianity. Thanks to medication the team brought, the boy's health was restored, and in turn, his father's faith was renewed.

Rejoicing in hope

Life can often be difficult for women and children living in Central Asia. A new crisis centre aims to equip these women with practical and occupational training, as well as medical and psychological care. Through God's faithfulness the centre is now being constructed.

Multiplying impact through business as mission

Hikari was meditating on Matthew 21 when he heard God call him to serve. For Hikari and his family this meant moving to a different country with SIM's Faithful Witness initiative. In a place where the church is scattered and a religion besides Christianity is dominant, Hikari and his family needed a means to form relationships with those around them - they found this through business as mission.