Interview with an Urban Missionary in Bangkok

by Laura on January 28, 2012

So I met a family last week that suddenly made me want to sell all my stuff and go live in the red-light district of Bangkok, buying rice for the homeless crazy woman in the mornings and giving warm socks to the male prostitute on the street corner, trying to make a buck. Their story of grassroots relational missions over the past five years in the center of a rough neighborhood in Bangkok is one that is bound to challenge you, like it did me.

I think the thing that was most refreshing about Iven and Kashmira was their evident humility. They weren’t waving “We’re such great missionary” flags in our faces. Weren’t all “Oh, wow, you have a big house and a big yard. We are obviously suffering for Jesus more than you since we live in a shoebox.” Weren’t all “Your Asian sucks. Try living in the ghetto among the people more, and you’d do better. Crappy-Missionary.”  Not a hint of all of that. Not a hint.

Instead it was positive and gracious and humble and grateful and honest. And I thought you’d like to meet them, too. And hear a few of their stories.

And, man, when you hear the details about where they live . . . . well, I’m not gonna tell. You’ll have to watch it for yourself.

Iven and Kashmira Hauptman work with YWAM SE Asia. You should visit their inspiring blog, Rak Teh {love:authentic}, and leave them a comment of encouragement. You may want to specifically see their page explaining their philosophy of relational ministry. Of course, like any supported missionary, financial gifts are never turned away. They have giving links on their blog, as well.


 What should the purpose of Missions be, really? A church, “converts”, greater social justice? What struck you most about Kashmira’s story and words?

And, if the Hauptmans’ missions philosophy is to love radically the people in their neighborhood, are the rest of us doing that?

And, completely superficially, if you had to live with your family in a 120 square foot studio, what would be the one luxury item you would squeeze in?

  • Diana Trautwein

    Wow. What a great heart for people and the gospel. Thanks for this, Laura.

    • Laura

      Absolutely. It was fun doing . . . you should have seen all the interruptions by the kids I had to edit out!! Pretty funny . . .

  • Katy

    awesome! thanks so much for sharing this! i so so love hearing from missionaries and just reminds me of the big missionary heart god has given me and like she said even if you can’t see the fruit you just have to trust that god has you there for a purpose and he’s confirmed it and to just keep on loving those god has put in your life.

    • Laura

      Katy, totally this is what inspired me . . . their heart for their neighbors and simply loving even though they have seen “no visible fruit.” WOW. Pretty heroic, I’d say.

  • @ngie

    {the video finally loaded… yeah!}
    Thanks for a great interview. Wow, what an awesome life of true love. I am inspired. I hope this comes out right… I am also glad that she had a moment of respite and fun with you, too.

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