TWR Motion reaches the Buddhist community in Thailand with animated series called Journey to Hope

By Carolina Luciano Burgos |
Journey to Hope
The Journey to Hope series seeks to reach Thailand's Buddhist communities with the gospel message. | TWR

TWR Motion and Antioch Ministries International (AMI) are working together to reach the Buddhist community in Thailand through an animated series called “Journey to Hope”. Using vibrant illustrations, the 20-episode series communicates the main teachings of the Bible in a way that is easy for Thai Buddhists to understand.

During COVID, the AMI church planting team began working on ways to implement digital evangelism in Thailand. In a TWR Motion video, AMI church planter Clinton Garsee explained that Thai people are on Facebook three times more than any other country in the world. So he and his colleagues began running ads with spiritual questions relevant to Thai people on Facebook. Local believers from Thailand then connected with people who clicked on ads.

But the AMI team wanted to do more. They searched for relevant gospel content in digital forms to pair with their ads but mostly found “Western-based gospel presentation or stories” which did not appeal to the Thai people. “[These stories] were translated into Thai and maybe didn’t answer exactly the questions that a Thai person would be asking,” said AMI church planter Josh Terndrup.

This led to their partnership with TWR Motion. Together, they developed a story set that answers questions that the Thai people might struggle with. When the content is complete, it will be delivered to people who pursue their social media ads.

“What better platform to get the good news out across Thailand than through this animation series,” said Garsee. “The idea of being able to have actual quality content [like the animated series] that would be engaging and griping to a Thai person was really something that we wanted to build on.”

TWR Motion director Candace Mackie believes no one should be kept away from the teachings of Jesus. “We believe people of all cultures deserve to hear about Jesus in a way they understand and so, we make animated content that’s used on social media to engage with people who are spiritually seeking.”

The TWR Motion team previously adapted their animated series for the Muslim worldview. Andrew Haas, the TWR Motion adaptation coordinator for the series, explained that monotheism is already embedded in the Muslim context, but its absence in the Buddhist worldview presents a different challenge in presenting the Gospel.

“You may not have to tell [Thai people] they’re wrong, but merely offer them the different reality and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives,” said Hass. “And so just simplifying the message into a story that is faithful to God’s Word, that doesn’t change the message but just focuses on those details that are going to be most important that they need to confront in their own hearts.  That’s what we want to do as we create a script for animations.”

As the animations develop, the TWR Motion team asks for prayers as they bring these stories to completion.

“We are so excited about what God is going to do through this animation series, knowing that God is going to use this so that the Thai people will put their faith in Him,” said Garsee.

TWR Motion is a ministry of Trans World Radio.