The couple will work through longtime IM partners Integrated Ministries for the Ethnic Minorities Foundation (IMEM) and the Thailand Karen Baptist Convention. They will serve at the House of Love and House of Blessing, both established by IM missionary and Kim Brown more than two decades ago in Chiang Mai, where she continues to serve as director of IMEM. The Juaneses’ ministry focus will be on the discipleship and spiritual development of children and staff, administrative responsibilities and community development.
The House of Love is a home for tribal women and children, including women who have been sold into prostitution, AIDS orphans and children removed from their homes by Thailand’s social welfare department because of abuse. The House of Blessing provides a safe day care for children who live in slums to come during the day. It prepares children to enter Thai schools and also works to strengthen their families.
“I am excited that Mark and Alise have been endorsed to begin the process that will lead to service in Thailand,” says Leslie Turley, IM area director for Southeast Asia. “They began the journey several years ago as they felt the call of the Holy Spirit. God has been in evidence in their preparation for working with marginalized and at-risk children. Their skills, gifts and experiences will truly be assets.”
Alise Juanes is a 2006 graduate of San Jose State University with a master’s degree in kinesiology. She is an experienced teacher in a Christian school and an athletic trainer. “I believe that my medical and rehabilitation knowledge will be useful in assisting with the ministry,” she says. “I hope to use my teaching experience with the children and staff. I look forward to mentoring, discipling and modeling a healthy family unit.”
After completing his master’s degree in Theological Studies at Vanguard University in 2011, Mark Juanes served as pastor of administration at Crosswalk Community Church. Acts 1:8 leads Mark in his work: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Mark comments, “This verse speaks to me as both a promise and a command . . . it is for the disciples and for all believers . . . it’s for the church throughout history and for each of us on a personal level.”
Alise and Mark Juanes were introduced to IM’s Vocational Development program through the Rev. Dr. Tim Brown, executive minister of their ABCUSA region, Growing Healthy Churches. “On behalf of our regional family, we are thrilled with the endorsement of Alise and Mark as ministry partners with IM,” says Brown. “They are a wonderful couple with a deep desire to see the kingdom of God expand and the marginalized of the world cared for and loved. They will make a fabulous addition to IM’s work in Thailand.”
Alise and Mark Juanes will be moving to Thailand with their three children, Sydney (age eight), Gavin (age six) and Kolin (age three). They currently attend Crosswalk Community Church in their hometown of Sunnyvale.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.