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"Preach The Gospel, Plant The Church, In South East Asia"
Isan People Group

Isan Boy

Photo ©  2007 Pawylee, *

Countries:  Thailand and Laos

History:  Most of the Isan in Thailand are from Laos.  They were forcefully relocated there over hundreds of years by the now called Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos.  Isan means northeastern.  Even though they have been incorporated into Thailand and are residents, they still have their own language and culture.

Their Lives:  Most of the Northeastern Thai are farmers.  Their major crops are paddy rice, cassava and sugar cane.  They also raise cattle. The availability of fresh fruits, vegetables and fish varies with the seasons. They are family and community oriented, which makes them generally non-competitive and easy-going.

They live in small villages which are part of sub-districts, under district control. The majority of the population lives in villages near their surrounding farmland. Governors are appointed by the central government. Each province has a number of representatives in the parliamentary government correspondent with its registered population. Isan has the highest population statistics for all of rural Thailand and therefore the majority of the rural voting population of the country is located in Isan.

Because northeastern Thailand frequently suffers from drought, the people who live there are often thought of as poverty stricken. Yet, the Northeastern Thai have become an urban, industrial labor force, and many of them have found jobs as factory workers in the larger cities and overseas.

Population:  Thailand – 18,423,000    Laos – 7,610

Location: Thailand – They are dispersed throughout the 17 provinces in northeastern Thailand.  Laos – They are in the Vientiane Municipality and the surrounding area and also in southeastern Laos.Language: Northeastern Thai

Religion:  Buddhism

Christian %:
    Thailand – 0.40 % adherent and 0.20 % evangelical
Laos – 0.00 % adherent and 0.00 % evangelical

Scriptures:  There is no Bible in their own language yet, but a translation of the New Testament  is almost completed.  The Jesus film is available in their language. 

Missionaries:  They are engaged, but more missionaries are needed.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that the New Testament will be completed soon and that copies of it can be given to the Isan.

  • Pray that more missionaries will be able to live and work among the Isan.

  • Pray that the Isan believers will be able to share their faith with signs following.

  • Pray for a great out-pouring of the Holy Spirit in Thailand and Laos.

  • Pray that the Lord will reveal himself to the Isan.

* Image License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license 3.0 Unported 

Who?  What? Where?

"In a nutshell" as they say, SEAMIST works in South East Asia!  We plant churches in South East Asia.  We try to focus all our efforts and resources on reaching the least reached peoples in South East Asia.

What does "least reached" mean?  It simply means the people groups that have few or no workers reaching out to them, few or no churches or believers in Jesus Christ.  These would be the most needy of all people in the world!

Our workers are trained to use contextual methods to share the good news.  We just want everyone to know about Jesus!  Our goal is always to leave behind a New Testament church. 

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