Thailand is a country of beautiful landscapes and beautiful people. It is known as “the land of smiles” and “the land of the free,” but many have yet to hear the gospel. About 85% of the Thai people are Buddhist and less than 1% are Christian. The Thai church is growing, but still relatively young as it develops its own national leaders and seminaries.
Beginning January 2018, we are offering Church Leadership Training modules in both northern and southern Thailand. Many national pastors, church leaders, and seminaries who recognize this much-needed ministry have already shown interest. Our primary goal is to encourage and support the Thai national church until she can train and certify biblical counselors on her own.
We also hope to raise global awareness for Thai missions among churches and supporters in America. Our “Ten for Thai” events celebrate Thai cuisine and culture as we highlight missionary efforts in Thailand such as OIC. As you pray for our ministry, please remember to pray for the Thai nationals being trained.
We need and appreciate your ongoing prayers for OIC in Thailand.
If you would like to support our ministry in Thailand please send your gift to:
OIC P.O. Box 17566, Louisville, KY 40217
Please specify “Sugimura” in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible. OIC is a non-profit 501(c)(3).
I have been a Christian since the tender age of four when my mother introduced me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I grew up in the church, then was called to ministry out of a career in civil engineering. As a pastor, I was theoretically committed to biblical counseling, but did not begin practicing these principles until we planted New Life Church in 2011. New Life was a revitalization work which began on the campus of a recently-closed sister church. Some of those members were still grieving the loss of the former congregation and traditions of the past. Others from the community came with their own needs for care and counsel.
As their pastor, I often found myself overwhelmed and inadequate to help, so I began my journey to grow as a biblical counselor. I started talking to other pastors, reading countless books, and attending every class or conference available. I eventually earned a doctorate for the purpose of training the local church in biblical counseling. These studies have slowly transformed my approach to pastoral ministry and preaching, marriage and parenting.
God has blessed me to serve on missions and train ministry leaders throughout the world. Then in OIC, I found a like-minded organization equipping biblical counselors in places which have limited access to the gospel and ministry training. Our vision is for national leaders to eventually train the local church in biblical counseling. We are making disciples who make disciples (2 Tim 2:2).
My wife, Amanda, and I, married in 2004 and are raising four wonderful children in sunny southern California. I have the privilege of pastoring New Life Church in Woodland Hills with our mission statement: We are Jesus to others to bring others to Jesus. Through Christ-like words and actions, we bring others into relationship with Jesus through evangelism and discipleship. Biblical counseling supports this goal by lovingly speaking the truth of God’s Word with those who are either enslaved to sin or wounded by suffering (Eph 4:15). Biblical counseling makes disciples through bold declarations of the gospel, compassionate teaching of biblical truth, and practical application of God’s Word (Matt 28:18-20). For this reason, our church seeks to equip believers to counsel biblically for the good of the community and the glory of God.