Kelly McClurg was a social work/graphic design student at Southern Adventist University, in Tennessee, when she “decided” to go to Thailand as a student missionary with Adventist Volunteer Services.
“I actually didn’t decide,” says Kelly, “God kind of decided that for me.”
Kelly had friends who were going to Thailand and they kept asking her to go with them.
“I would see them every so often, and they would ask me ‘Kelly, do you want to come to Thailand with us next year?’ and ‘I think you should come,’” says Kelly.
Major Languages: Thai and English
Major Religions: Buddhist and Muslim
Population: 66.1 million*
Adventist membership: 12,551*
Adventist to population ratio: 1:5,270 *
*General Conference Office of Archives and Statistics, 146th Annual Statistical Report
But Thailand was a long way from school and home and Kelly wasn’t sure that’s where God wanted her to be.
“I guess I couldn’t really say ‘no’ because I hadn’t really prayed about it, and I didn’t know for sure that God didn’t want me to go,” says Kelly. “So as I started praying about it and God kept revealing to me in subtle ways and then not so subtle ways that this is where he wanted me to be. So, I said, ‘Okay’ I’ll go.’”
Kelly ended up in Bangkok at an Adventist outreach center in Thonburi. That’s where she met Yuwi. Yuwi’s parents ran a shoe store and were well known in the community. Yuwi used that influence to try and stop her friends from going to the outreach center.
Sometimes she would even come on Sabbaths to see who came to class. After they left she would talk to them and say, “You know the center isn’t really a good place. Maybe you shouldn’t be going there.”
But the Holy Spirit and people like Kelly had an effect on Yuwi’s heart. For some reason she would keep coming. And she kept hearing the Bible, and learning more about God. She also felt the love radiating from the church members. As a result of what Yuwi learned Kelly and others started to see a huge change in her, in her life, and her heart.
Kelly returned to her home and school a few months ago. Yuwi has yet to be bapized, but her story is still being written. Please pray for Yuwi and people like her in Bangkok and around the world.
Global Mission pioneers are local people who dedicate at least one year to starting new churches in areas or among people groups where there is little or no Adventist presence.
Mission 360° features inspiring stories about mission work.
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