ZOE Missionary – Joe Chongsiriwatana

ZOE Missionary – Joe Chongsiriwatana

Growing up in Thailand, I knew the presence of child slavery. Child prostitution was openly available in Thailand.  Back then, the practice was not considered a big deal.  I left Thailand for Wales, UK when I was 16 to finish my high school education and as a youth, I never gave much thought about how other children were being used as slaves—having to endure the most horrendously undignified things we could imagine.

Then in 2009, I was working as an engineer and living comfortably in Silicon Valley with my family of five.  The issue of human trafficking was once again brought to my attention when we heard a friend speak about the topic.

Though the information was not new to me, I was now looking at it from a Christian perspective. Our Lord’s heart breaks to see how small children are enslaved for mere profit.  He wants all Christians to do something about it.

At first, I did not think my role in this was beyond generous giving and perhaps a few short-term mission trips.  But the Lord slowly worked in my heart to surrender all the good blessings that he had given to me.  He said, “If I can bless you in California, I can bless you anywhere. All I want you to do is to let go and obey.”

So in July 2011, our family uprooted and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

At ZOE, the Lord has been using my life experience for the benefit of His Kingdom.  Some notable projects I have worked on are: connecting ZOE’s Thailand campus to the internet, creating email infrastructure for our teams, managing the construction of the new Boys Dormitory, and creating a database for the Child Rescue Team.

I have also become the de-facto interpreter for missionary men when we serve the youth boys and their ZOE fathers. Most recently, we ran a youth camp for the youth boys where we tried to teach them about becoming responsible men.  I also love to teach kids math and science.  I tutor them whenever the opportunity arises.

Finally, I have a personal project when I am off work.  For the past three years, I have been working on a translation of the Gospel of Luke into Thai historical literature form.  I am hoping to print 500 copies soon.

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