Bangkok is a city of 15+ million people, with less than one percent being Christian. The first step in reaching out is to build relationships that foster trust, to show the precious Thai that we, and our God, is on their side. In order to do this most efficiently we have been led into a climbing wall, restaurant, and fruit smoothy shop. These will feed into our lectures on healthy living and principles of life that lead to eternity. Our aim is to create a working ministry model that can be reproduced by the local people so that the work can go forward in different parts of the city and country. Most Thais believe ministry means working for a church, we want to show that everything we do can be a work for God.
The “Bangkok Center of Influence” is focused on ministering to the Thai people through the avenue of health. We are establishing a healthy restaurant and fitness center/climbing wall near Ramkhamhaeng University. Ramkhamhaeng University is ranked #12 in the list of largest universities in the world by enrollment, with an annual enrollment of 525,000 students.
HEALTH STATISTICS POINT OUT THE NEED
- In 2012, 1 in 13 adult Thais had type 2 diabetes and the numbers are increasing.
- Diabetes related deaths are 25% higher in Thailand than in the U.S.
- Thai people’s average weight has doubled. When compared to other Asian countries, Thailand ranks second only after China in the number of women with obesity.
- People in Bangkok are at higher risk of developing obesity than those in the provinces.”
- The World Health Organization explains that, “It has been reported that up to 80% of deaths due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and 40% of deaths due to cancers could be prevented by eliminating known lifestyle risk factors.”
CENTER OF INFLUENCE: While the healthy restaurant will serve meals that will help people control their cholesterol, fat intake and blood sugar levels helping to eliminate risk factors of the common killers, the fitness centre will help to increase activity and improve metabolism to support these healthy food choices. We will offer training on proper exercise technique using calisthenics as well as bouldering, a form of rock climbing. We will take groups to various locations throughout the country for rock climbing and camping bi-monthly. Many of the people in Bangkok have never left their district, let alone the city. We want them to experience the beauty of God’s creation and get a glimpse of Him in it.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION: The location we have is 100 meters from the eastern entrance of the university, the entrance most used by students as it is located nearest to the dorm housing. The building used to be a dorm for women and thus is surrounded by student housing. There are street vendors to get food from but no affordable sit down restaurants in the area. The only other businesses besides internet gaming shops are hair stylists and laundromats. It is an ideal location for mingling with the people as well as operating a financially self-sustaining ministry.
BUILDING: The building is roughly 15,500 sq. ft. spread over 4 floors. Being 25 years old and laid out as a dormitory, much of the space needs renovation as well as updating (western style toilets, new plumbing and electrical, etc.) We will renovate using more durable materials, aluminum windows and partitions instead of wood, concrete walls instead of brick; as well as making it more aesthetically pleasing; tile and laminate flooring rather than rubber, more up-to-date bathroom furnishings as well as sealing the building and adding air conditioning.
FRUIT SMOOTHIE BAR AND RELAXATION CENTER:
- Since the center is located just 100 meters from the world’s 12th largest university, this will be a place designed for young people to relax with free WiFi, board games and healthy fruit smoothies.
- There is also a ping pong table for some healthy light exercise.
- This room is decorated with an amazing undersea mural, arranged by actual miracles.
VEGAN PIZZA AND SALAD RESTAURANT:
- One floor will be dedicated to a vegan restaurant that will not only serve great food but will offer free classes and health lectures for the patrons to learn about better health principles, both physical and spiritual.
- Vegan pizza! We have purchased ovens and are receiving training from a vegan pizza chef from Rome!
- Salads are becoming the new trendy food in Bangkok and we will provide several offerings.
- One floor will be dedicated to a large meeting room where different health professionals will give free lectures and training sessions on how to stop, reverse and prevent these various health issues.
- Hosting 12 step type programs as well as depression recovery programs that have “produced an unprecedented 98 percent response rate in attendees.”
- English tutoring will also be offered as that is highly sought after by native speakers.
CLIMBING WALL AND WEIGHT ROOMS:
- A first-class climbing (bouldering) wall has been built on the top floor.
- Helps develop a sense of community through the mutual love of climbing.
- Helps develop trust and new skills.
- June 10, 2018 was the grand opening event with over 200 people in attendance.
While we will be offering some services for free as a support to the community, the restaurant, fitness centre and English tutoring will charge a reasonable local fee which will allow the centre to support its operating costs within the first 2 years according to our budget forecast.
Based on God’s leading, and our research, we are confident in the success of this establishment. We plan to open to the public as soon as the café/restaurant renovation is complete and will continue working on the upstairs meeting room and fitness center after that. We plan to be fully operational by April 2017. We hope that you will also see the potential that we envision for this ministry and the value it could bring to this community.
We appreciate your consideration for partnering with us in this great task of ministering to the health of a nation, both physically and spiritually. If you would like further information or would like a tax deductible receipt feel free to contact me personally before donating.
Thank you and God bless,
Project Director, Bangkok Centers of Influence.
165 Phatthanakan Soi 46, Suan Luang
Bangkok, Thailand 10250