A former burial ground near the Myanmar border in Thailand has been transformed by a local church as they serve children in poverty.

Thailand, four kilometres from the Myanmar border.

It’s a still place. Hacked-off maize frames the indigo mountains that loom in the distance. At dusk, when the mist descends and shadows stalk, you see why the villagers were afraid to come here.

Dried grasses crunch underfoot as Pastor Somsak approaches. He often makes the solo journey across the vast field, Bible in hand, petitioning God to transform his community.

“In the past, the villagers were scared of this place. It became a cemetery for burying and burning dead bodies. No one else wanted to stay close to this area,” he says.

But like Abraham, his hero of the faith, Pastor Somsak is following God’s call to pioneer the church in a new frontier—a former burial ground.

“Nowadays this place is no longer being used as a place of death, but it is a place of rebirth and life,” he says.

Today, 260 children and their families in his community are being released from poverty through the Child Sponsorship Program.

“Since Compassion started working here, I have been so happy. I’ve seen the love of God for the kids. They’ve changed, both the believers and the non-believers. Children are the kingdom of God,” he says.

“God will expand His kingdom here.”

Compassion partners with pioneering pastors like Pastor Somsak all over the world. We’re humbled to walk alongside them. Partner in their life-changing work by sponsoring a child today.

Video by Daniel Bracken; Photo by Ben Adams; Words by Zoe Noakes