|A village madman experienced a dramatic conversion and became active in sharing his faith with others.
Laos: A church for the So
Ten years ago, very few, if any, So people called on Jesus as Lord. That was largely because very few of them had ever heard the name of Jesus or the gospel message. The So, located in Laos, are hard to reach, not just spiritually, but geographically as well.
Times have changed. A key catalyst in the formation of a So church was the story of Tongsin, a village madman who experienced a dramatic conversion and became active in sharing his faith with others. Through a combination of miracles, intentional discipleship and testing through persecution, the first So church was established in 2013. Tongsin was (and continues to be) one of its leaders.
At first, the community of So believers did not know a lot of the Bible, but they knew enough to obey. They also knew the power of prayer and they saw God work in miraculous ways. Many people came to them for prayer for their various ailments. God answered and the So saw many healings.
The Christians who first began working among the So continued to disciple the new church’s leaders wherever they could – in the jungle, in boats, guesthouses or in town. They were discipled in the basics of following Christ. These new believers understood that they needed to meet weekly for worship, prayer, and studying the Word and they were faithful to do so. In these early stages, the Christians working with the So practiced the “Model, Assist, Watch, Leave” method (MAWL). Eventually, the leaders of the church were established by the laying on of hands and a formal commissioning by the national church.
Today among the 180,000 So in Southeast Asia, there are seven churches serving more than 260 believers.