Why Thailand? And what is the 10/40 window?
The area between 10 degrees and 40 degrees North of the equator has been named the 10/40 Window. It stretches from West Africa to Japan. Nearly two-thirds of the world's population lives in this area that constitutes only one-third of the earth's land area! Most of the world's 360 million Buddhists, 811 million Hindus and 1.2 billion Muslims live in countries that lie within the 10/40 Window. It is estimated that between 1.2 and 1.4 billion people have never had the chance to hear about their Savior Jesus Christ even once-- nearly all residing in the 10/40 Window!
Thailand lies withing the 10/40 Window. It is a country that is 95% Buddhist, with four of the remaining percent being Muslim. Thus, with a Christian population of less than one percent, there is an urgent need for the Gospel. Please pray ceaselessly for the people of Thailand, and in particular, the hearts that we are reaching through LCMS World Missions. May He continue to use His humble servants as bearers of the Good News in Thailand and around the world.
Buddism in Thailand
Buddism began in India over 2000 years ago. It follows the teaching of a man called the "enlightened one" or Buddha. The Buddha taught that there are Four Noble Truths: 1) Life is suffering. 2) Suffering comes from desires. 3) Suffering can end. 4) There is a way people can stop suffering. If people can live correctly or live a perfect life, they can end their suffering and reach nirvana (Buddhist heaven). Since this is impopssible for one person to do in one lifetime, they believe in reincarnation. People can be reborn as a different person or even an animal. And they believe this cycle of reincarnation continues until they are able to lead a perfect life, without desires and without suffering.