The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Thailand in 1986 under the name The Concordia Gospel Ministry (CGM), which supports the efforts of local, independent Thai Lutheran Church.
An urban ministry strategy was initiated in Bangkok, as well as social service programs like a child-care center and work among child and young teen prostitutes. The urban ministry at the CGM Center includes teaching English for the purpose of building relationships with Thai students and professionals, through which the Gospel of Christ can be shared. The church opened a preaching station at the CGM Center.
The LCMS first provided mercy project support towards tuition and supplies for school children in 1988. In the following years, additional mercy projects included buying computer and solar equipment, providing food for refugees, rebuilding homes damaged in an explosion, infant/mother care, providing a day care center, rehabilitation for prostitutes, slum community ministry, disaster relief (tsunami, flood, cyclone), livelihood development and student scholarships.
In 2000, a second English center was established at another site. Currently, the Concordia Gospel Ministry in Thailand is focusing on leadership training in connection with the local Thai Lutheran Church. This leadership training includes Bible study groups, one-to-one appointments, camps, seminars, special evangelistic events and Bible classes.
Since January 2005, the LCMS and several Lutheran relief agencies have been involved in recovery and rebuilding efforts in southern Thailand, following the tsunami disaster of Dec. 26, 2004. Special attention is given to projects that aid children—providing for orphaned children and rebuilding schools.
Concordia Welfare and Educational Foundation Thailand (CWEF), the registered organization through which the LCMS currently works in Thailand, supports the ministry of Concordia Day Care Center. The Center cares for about 60 children who live in a local slum. Most recently, the LCMS provided funding for 20 families whose homes were burnt in an electrical fire to receive immediate relief through CWEF.
In 2006, the LCMS began to work with the Hmong of the Northern Mountains. Currently, the LCMS is involved in both human care and leadership training projects among the Hmong evangelists and pastoral candidates. Numerous congregations have begun with hundreds of Hmong Lutheran members. The LCMS also works among the Karen hill tribe people, who are refugees from Myanmar. A new ministry has also been started among the Lahu hill tribe people.