In 1984, Goh’s family went from opium to coffee farmers, from sickness to health, from spirit and idol worship to worshiping the one true God.
The king of Thailand at that time, King Rama 9, required the opium farmers in Thailand to stop growing opium. In the mountains of Thailand an initiative was started to convert the forests from opium to coffee plantations.
Goh’s family was greatly impacted by this. They had been growing opium for decades. It was a way of life for them and their community. The opium was their livelihood as well as an important element in their tribal medicines and spirit worship. Goh’s grandfather was the leader of the spirit worship ceremonies as well as the community witch doctor. Their entire family worshiped spirits and idols.
Around this time, Goh’s brother became very sick. He was severely bloated and unable to walk. Medical doctors could not identify what was wrong with him, and Goh’s grandfather — as well as the spirits they worshiped — was unable to provide relief.
However, a local pastor claimed that Jesus could heal all of the diseases in the world. As a last resort, the family invited him over to pray for their son. He came, shared the gospel and prayed. Their son was healed. They turned from worshiping spirits to follow the only great One, Jesus Christ.
Goh and his wife, Oil, met when they were young and reconnected when Oil was in college and Goh was in seminary. Eventually, the pastor that led Goh’s family to Christ when he was a child — Oil’s father — became Goh’s father-in-law!
After Goh and Oil married, they started a coffee shop in Northern Thailand, about an hour and a half drive from the mountains where they grew up. However, their heart was still in their hometown. When they met Stephen at their coffee shop, they shared their heart to go back to their hometown and to use coffee to reach their community with the message of Jesus Christ. They prayed, and God spurred. With Stephen’s help, they returned to their hometown to plant a church.
Today, Goh and Oil run the family’s coffee business. Their desire is to use coffee as a tool to work and do ministry in their community.
Goh spends a lot of time working with the other coffee farmers in the community and sharing the gospel with them. Goh teaches them about the different coffee beans and new techniques to enhance their coffee farming abilities. They also purchase coffee beans from farmers at a higher price than what others will pay. This has created ministry opportunities to share Christ in the community.
In addition to growing coffee, they’re growing a church that serves the community and shares Christ through His Word and by meeting tangible needs. At first there weren’t many families, but now they have over 50 people attending the church. In the last year they’ve had almost 20 people accept Christ.
To learn more about how God is using coffee in Thailand to glorify Himself, visit https://www.imb.org/2021/06/30/church-planting-coffee/.
Pray for the people of Thailand, that they will come to know the one true God and be sent out to share Him with others.
Praise God that He is preparing good soil in Thailand, not just for coffee, but for the seeds of life to be planted and to produce a crop — a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown (Matthew 13:8).