Stories

You’re on your own now.” As the shock of their father’s words wore off, reality set in for Sok Chea and his seven older siblings. Their mother had died five years ago. Now, their newly remarried father had informed them that he would not support them anymore. Suddenly, they were alone. Orphaned.
The Lord amazed us with your tremendous response to the urgent, heartbreaking needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ, following the recent coup and Covid-19 outbreaks in Myanmar. Read to see how musicians, prayer partners, and Karen refugees answered God's call in unique ways.
"Rude, impolite, dirty, and ill-mannered.” These words once described the preschool-aged children of Kha Nan village. Then Kha Nan Nursery School opened its doors, and those descriptions began to change.
Recent developments in Afghanistan might not affect you – until you realize your neighbors could be facing one of their lives' biggest crises. Read this story by Pr. Scott Griswold to learn how Reach the World Next Door is helping families of immigrants from Afghanistan.
When Lynetta joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church last January, I don’t think she realized how big her new family was. As a child, she fled the Cambodian genocide, just barely avoiding soldiers and landmines. Coming to America, she discovered Jesus’ love while pushing through the difficulties of raising five children mostly on her own. She was struggling to keep her water spinach business going when Lucio and Anna, volunteers with Reach the World Next Door, met her in Rosharon, Texas.
About two months after I met Grandma Bao at the market, I got a special call from her. I could hear the excitement in her voice. “Come to my house quickly and bring anyone from the church that is available.” When ten of us arrived, we saw a lady burst from her home with a huge smile on her face. It was Grandma Bao, not walking with a cane, but running, with a straight back and head held high. “God completely healed me! He did it!” she shouted, laughed and cried all at the same time.
POP! Pop, pop, pop! The sound of gunfire rang through the peaceful demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, as police opened fire on the unarmed crowd. During the ensuing chaos, a Seventh-day Adventist church member was shot. A friend was trying to stop the bleeding when police arrested the wounded man and dragged him away. Sadly these incidents are increasingly common in this region. People who have been unjustly arrested are killed in many instances rather than being released. Knowing of his injuries and arrest, his family held a memorial service and grieved his passing. But back in the United States, a different battle was raging.
Harlin Carey tells the story of how God had big plans for his state duck stamp. Learn how God's amazing timing led to the construction of a road in Nakhai that will pave the way for the gospel!
I jolted out of bed at 2:00 a.m. My sister’s voice whispered on the phone, “Ben, they are on the roof! What should I do?” “Who is on the roof?” I asked as my heart beat wildly. “I don’t know, but they are yelling and shining a flashlight back and forth in the windows to see if anyone is moving inside. I’m so scared.”
“You’re sleeping in your car?” I couldn’t believe it. Phaly, his wife, Kak, and son, Chris, had no water or heat in their house, and it was super cold. Soon we learned that around four million Texans were facing the same, ill prepared for eight days of freezing weather.
“They gave me two choices,” recalls Chavanh. “Give up Christianity, or give up my position as village chief. So, I gave up my position.” But although he had lost his title, his reputation, and his freedom, he did not lose his faith.
While on a seven-state ASAP awareness tour, things took an abrupt turn when the Isensee's van broke down in 100-degree heat near Yates Center, Kansas. That’s when God sent Leon Weber home early from work. But this divine appointment wasn't the only miracle God had in store!
Life was too hard in Cambodia; between Sokhom and me, we lost a total of 25 close family members in the war. It was 1981. Two months after our wedding day, my new bride and I set out on a dangerous journey to create a new life together. Destination? Norng Samet Refugee Camp, Thailand.
On the steps of Pioneer Memorial Church, by the statue of John Andrews and his children staring off across the ocean to the mission field, she said, “We need someone in the Thailand refugee camps right now. Will you go?” Her passion, her prayers, and her invitation changed the course of our entire lives.
Amid these scenes of heartbreaking devastation, Judy and I witnessed God’s guidance in providential ways. We traveled on landmine-infested roads, around blown out bridges and through pockets of Khmer Rouge resistance forces in search of returning church members. We experienced many joyful, tear-dimmed reunions!
Sister Judy was in the audience that day, and after my presentation, she came to talk to me. “I want to help you, Pastor Isaiah! What can I do?” she offered. “Could you raise funds to buy Bibles?” I asked her. This was the beginning of a partnership with ASAP that continues to this day.
Soe Nay Hsee, called “Soe Soe” by his family and friends, remembers a happy childhood spent in Myanmar (formerly Burma), living with his faithful Karen Seventh-day Adventist family. He plans on returning to the refugee camps as ASAP's first student missionary. "The refugees have so very little and hardly enough to eat, yet they were so joyful. Teaching in an ASAP-sponsored school for these refugee children bound my heart to those who were just like me a few years ago. I can’t wait to serve my people and share with them what I have learned.”
Learn how Brenda Duerksen was able to fulfill her childhood dream of being a Missionary through helping Refugees in America with Reach the World Next Door.
Leah Ma Saw,* an ASAP teacher in Myanmar, is married to a new husband. Her former husband—let’s call him Joe—was very difficult. Joe didn’t encourage her in her teaching. Joe drank. Joe used drugs—a lot. Joe wasn’t a good father to their children. His rage spilled over even the smallest of things and he wouldn’t let go. Nights were filled with fights between them. Leah had been scared of him at first, but as the horror of their life together grew, her fright melted into deep disappointment and grief. She tried to be patient for the children’s sake, and she prayed. Oh, how she prayed!
ASAP church planter Mathias Srimoon* has a wife, four children, nearly two dozen goats, and two house churches of 20-30 members to look after. He is fortunate to have family members and church leaders who help each other in God’s work. But it isn’t always easy. Learn about some of the challenges Mathias is facing, and how God has been working miracles through him in the lives of his villagers.
In just a few short months, the COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed our world. Bible prophecy is fast fulfilling! At ASAP Ministries, this lends even greater urgency to our mission to reach the 10/40 Window with the good news of Jesus’ soon return. Read how the people ASAP serves have experienced unprecedented needs due to the pandemic, as well as how God is opening opportunities to share hope amidst this crisis.
Can you imagine how busy the angels are each day, ensuring that all the right connections happen at just the right time to fulfill God’s purposes? Wouldn’t you love to read the behind-the-scenes plans drafted in heaven? Here is a story about how heaven orchestrated events far in advance to bring new light to one precious soul and a new laborer for God’s work among the Lao people in North America.
Recently, ASAP Development Director Laura Hokanson interviewed one of our many wonderful partners in ministry, Alison, about the creative ways her family shares their faith and supports God’s work through ASAP. Read how Alison has experienced and shared God's blessings with her neighbors as well as ASAP's Feed and Read schools.
When the radio program in Surin, Thailand, started to become obsolete, ASAP medical missionary Sompong decided that the city people needed to hear God's message too. Read how the church orchestrated a impactful health outreach that touched the hearts of many in the community.
Raised Buddhist, Sher Htet Naing Min had no interest in what his Adventist teachers shared about God and the Bible. Learn how a dream and a series of divine appointments led him to accept Christ as his Savior.
"Do you think prayer really works?" Miriam's relatives taunted her as she prayed for her injured brother. Discover how God rewarded the faith of this ASAP church planter.
What began as a normal day for two ASAP missionaries in a closed country took a sudden turn for the worse when one was arrested for sharing sermon DVDs in the market. See how God turned her interrogation into an unexpected witnessing opportunity!
For ASAP Mission Advancement Officer Lisa Isensee, a Friday evening vespers with Karen refugees in St. Paul, Minnesota offered an unforgettable lesson in sacrificial giving.
Over 450 young Karen refugees gathered from all over the United States at Camp Wagner in Cassopolis, Michigan from July 17-20, 2019. This special group of young people experienced nurturing and inspiring speakers, and were revived by the stories from fellow Karen. Read on to learn how Doh Htoo experienced God's providence while canvassing in Iowa.
As dawn broke across the sky on March 19, 2019, a large group of missionaries, church leaders, and friends gathered in Myaungmya, Myanmar, for the dedication of the Ahlin Medical Missionary Training Center. The word Ahlin means "light" in Burmese, and this center is already showing promise as a great light to the people of Myanmar. Read more about the story behind this center.
“They’re here! They’re here!” the children cried. They had been waiting all summer for the Rise High day camp. In August, three college students and a newly married couple traveled to Houston, Texas, to help the Reach the World Next Door staff and local church members present a three-hour program for six days at an apartment complex full of refugees.
There are currently over 900,000 Eritrean refugees and asylum-seekers living in Ethiopia. These brave individuals have fled their homeland to escape forced military inscription, persecution, and torture. Read how ASAP Ministries partnered with a trauma team from the Andrews University School of Social Work to bring the message of God's healing power to a refugee camp in Shire, Ethiopia.
On a recent, cool, summer evening, I sat down with Pi Lampai to reflect on our recent mission trip adventures to Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. Through laughter, tears, and a mixture of Thai, Laotian, and English (sometimes even in one sentence), stories and experiences unfolded. May this shortened interview with Pi (Thai for “sister”) Lampai inspire a deeper passion in your heart for serving others as it did in mine.
Oon Jai Foundation has worked in a closed Southeast Asian country for several years to alleviate poverty and empower local people through health, education, and farming. This past March, an exciting opportunity opened up for Oon Jai, ASAP Ministries, and ADRA Thailand to partner in providing much needed vision care and distributing free glasses.
Recently, a small committed team from America and Canada partnered with the ASAP-sponsored Samraong Adventist School to represent Jesus to a Buddhist community. They chose to hold public evangelistic meetings, something many think does not work among Buddhists. The teachers at the school were thrilled by the response.
“When we went there the church was run down. No water. The toilet and roof were unusable. Windows broken. Graffiti on the church walls. Uncared for. Looking from the outside, people thought the church was abandoned.” These words from Sone Faraimo, ASAP’s field supervisor in Thailand, describe his experience with an assignment to rescue a church in the south of the country.
Imagine fleeing your home because of persecution, only to be hunted down in the country you thought would be safe. This is the reality for many refugees living in Bangkok, who struggle for daily survival with the little that they have. Read how ASAP's new Bangkok Refugee Assistance Project (BRAP) is helping families in these situations.
Multilingual 35-year-old ASAP missionary Abigail Oanh* has been church planting in a closed country for five years now and also works with five groups, teaching people to read and write. She has had to bear up under repeated attacks by Satan, who wants to stop her work.
Students at Ruth Murdoch Elementary School (RMES) in Berrien Springs, Michigan, invited ASAP staff to visit them and share stories about God's work in Asia. Inspired by what they heard, the students of RMES rallied to give of what they had to further the mission!
DVDs are the most requested resource in one country where ASAP works in Southeast Asia. Read about how children at the Wisconsin campmeeting were moved to contribute their quarters and dollars to make an eternal difference in the lives of Southeast Asians.
In 2002, Christians in Eritrea began experiencing persecution in their country, and the church went underground. One Eritrean, Bemnet Meried, felt called by God to work to reach his people. Now his ministry is yielding a blessed harvest.
The history of war in one closed country in Southeast Asia has caused Christianity to be seen as a hostile element and a dangerous influence from the West. Church buildings are forbidden and Christians are harassed. Thomas Xay’s* village was not spared this persecution.
Judy Aitken, Founder of ASAP Ministries, fell asleep in Jesus on December 10, 2018. The following article is adapted from the life sketch shared during her memorial service at Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on December 21, 2018.
“We need a pastor. Will you help us?” Pastor Chanchai Kiatyanyong heard the question over and over as he visited Hmong Adventist groups around the U.S. following the 2015 General Conference Session. Little did he know how God would answer the prayer of the Hmong in North America--through him!
God has a beautiful plan for all the nations living in Houston. It seems very apparent that His plan this year is to build a solid base of church members who will reach out. Next year, on-campus students at Reach the World Next Door will have the privilege of working alongside a maturing ministry to the least-reached!
Saw See* convulsed in another spasm of coughing. Blood spewed from his mouth as he tried to regain control. Only 30 years old, he felt like an old man already. Poverty, tuberculosis, and an addiction to alcohol assaulted his physical reserves and drowned any dreams he might have had at one time. Then Nin Si,* an ASAP medical missionary, arrived at his door.
Not long ago I was one of the rebellious ones. My teen friends and I often got into fights, especially when we played soccer and something went wrong. School was the last place I wanted to be and finally, the principal suspended me for fighting.
On August 20, 2018, over two hundred workers and trainers gathered at the SALT Center near Siem Reap, Cambodia for practical spiritual training and nourishment. Read about how the workers were blessed--as well as the team members who traveled to fellowship and train with them.
More than 97,000 men, women, and children live in No Man’s Land, a place no one would ever choose to inhabit! Learn about the floods of water and evil that threaten to wipe them out.
William and Rachel made a decision that took them to places they never imagined as mission fields! Why not join them on their journey?

Pages