Ghost House to Children’s Hostel

Barnabas Chiang Dao Ministry

March 27, 2005

Barnabas, Lisu missionary to Akhas, Lahus, Thais, and Burmese, knew how difficult it was to receive an education in the mountain tribal villages. That’s one major reason the tribal people have remained poor and often die at young ages of tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. Very few Lisus, Akhas and Lahus had become educated leaders in Thai or Burmese society.

Barnabas had a dream: he would raise up strong tribal Christians who would truly be salt and light in their mostly Buddhist world. Many tribal children attended poorly run, and poorly taught primary schools in the mountains. And then they could no longer go to school because there were no high schools often in the villages. Barnabas realized that if these children could be given a place to stay in a town like Chiang Dao, they could attend the public schools in the town. He would educate them with Christian values in the Children’s hostel, and prepare them spiritually to face a pagan world.

But where would he start? With no missionary agency sponsoring him, with meager support from the small poor congregations that he was instrumental in starting, how could he do it?

Then, in God’s timing, he stopped by the “ghost house”. The former owners had died in the home, and it was generally believed that the home was haunted by their ghosts. There would often be “ghostly” sounds that would happen at night. The new owner was anxious to get rid of the house or at least rent it out as fast as he could, at a low low price.

Ghosts, huh? Barnabas thought to himself. I will live there one night and see what the ghosts will do. That night as he lived alone in the house, he dreamed of the ghosts being chained and bound, and he knew God had answered his prayer. God would chain and bind the ghosts.

And so was born the children’s ministry at Chiang Dao, in Northern Thailand. 50 children were squeezed into the former “ghost house” and no ghosts came to bother them again.