Over the past few years, a couple of Ken’s sons helped start orphanages in 3 villages in the Tak province in northern Thailand (you can learn more about their organization, The Charis Project, at thecharisproject.org). Through relationships developed by Wayland and Aaron, Ken added Thailand to his speaking agenda.
Last year Ken visited, bringing some copies of The Gospel Uncensored, and was introduced to a publisher who asked to be able to republish it in Thai. Ken agreed, giving them the rights to publish it as they will. It was translated, and released toward the end of 2011.
The Gospel Unleashed
We had been hearing some reports from folks in Thailand that the book was being received quite well, and had even heard some amazing conversion stories of people who had been trapped in the recent floods with nothing to read but the book. However, Ken recently made another trip to Thailand, and came back with some even more amazing stories, including that the book is one of the best-selling Christian books in Thailand, exceeding all expectations.
The publisher explained to Ken that in Thailand, people are not readers. Very few books sell well, especially Christian books. Typically they will print a small run, and perhaps only sell 1/2 of that printing. In the few months that The Gospel Uncensored has been available, it has already sold out the first printing, and is now going into it’s 2nd printing!
The publisher was a member of one of the largest churches in Thailand, which also happens to be a very abusive, legalistic church. As a result of Ken’s teaching and the book, she left the church. She began sharing the book with others, and now about 2,000 people have left that church. As Ken put it, “we are now both loved and hated in Thailand.” (It is perhaps fortunate that my name doesn’t translate well into Thai—the closest they could come was “Alvin Goose.”)
Ken ran into people wherever he went who were familiar with the book. And, Aaron Blue told me that he was approached by someone who said they needed a study guide; he downloaded it from the site, and now that too is being republished in Thai. And, Ken has now been asked if he has any books on spiritual abuse that they could republish!
The book’s success in Thailand is a mystery, what I call a “God thing.” Obviously, there is a need there, and The Gospel Uncensored is filling that need. I never anticipated that the project would have such an impact; it just goes to show what happens when you do what you think you’re supposed to do.