PAMI was featured on the radio for a half hour on Tuesday, Oct. 6th at 4:30 p.m. PAMI volunteer president Mike Thorud was interviewed by Paul Ridgeway on his “On the Way with Ridgeway” program on AM980.
Here’s a mp3 audio recording of the half hour radio interview, edited down to 17 minutes:
By the way, the interview covers some of the following background material:
BACKGROUND OF MIKE THORUD AND PAMI (Philippine-Asian Missions, Inc.)
Mike Thorud’s PAMI bio:
Mike Thorud is the volunteer president of PAMI (Philippine-Asian Missions, Inc.; http://www.pamimission.org ), which is an interdenominational evangelical Christian mission with indigenous ministry in the Philippines and finances/support/guidance from a board based in Bloomington, MN. Mike has been on the PAMI board over 30 years, and been president over 10 years, taking over the reins after his uncle Norval Thorud passed away in 2005. Norval and Ardelle Thorud were the founders and first missionaries of PAMI in 1982. Mike’s aunt Ardelle is 92 years old and still attends monthly PAMI board meetings. Another 92 year old aunt, Izzy Allen, also still attends board meetings and still wraps Christmas presents for all the Filipino workers and their kids. While field work is done by Filipino nationals, board members meet monthly in Bloomington to go over communications, discuss business matters, review finances, and pray. While most communication is now conducted via the internet, occasional balikbayan boxes are sent, and short-term visits made for mutual encouragement, accountability, and to review vision every few years. Mike has been to the Philippines on 6 short-term trips of 3 weeks to 2 months each over the last 25 years, the last time being in 2013 as a team of three.
Besides administrating PAMI, Mike is:
- Married to Susan for 22 years, 18 year old daughter Sarah, 16 year old son Ben
- Lives in Chanhassen and attends Prairie Hill E. Free Church (about 20 years)
- While wife Susan works full-time doing computer programming at United Health and supplies benefits and most of the income for the family, Mike has been an at-home dad and part-time science teacher. Substitute teaches physics, chemistry, and physical science classes at Eden Prairie High School. Also used to teach once-a-week science classes to Christian home-schoolers of CHAT and South Heights. By only working part-time, this has allowed Mike to spend 10-20 hours per week administrating PAMI as a volunteer.
Some things that make PAMI unique:
- Part of native missionary movement, where indigenous pastors work more effectively for a fraction of the cost of a typical U.S. missionary
- Big bang for the buck: A modest annual budget of $50,000 covers everything, including a Bible school, about a dozen churches, allowances for about two dozen workers, children’s feedings, and radio time
- Run like a “mom & pop shop,” with a family feel
- 99% of gifts go to the field (U.S. president & board are volunteers, & cover most administrative costs themselves)
- Partnerships with other Christian organizations (Compassion International, Faith Comes by Hearing, Vernacular Video Ministries, Billy Graham Evangelical Association, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, Operation Blessing, etc.)
PAMI has historical ties to both Emmaus Lutheran Church and Bethany Fellowship, both of Bloomington, MN. PAMI’s Bible school is called Emmaus Bible Institute, and is named after Emmaus Lutheran because of all their years of faithful support to PAMI. Mike’s uncle and aunt Norval and Ardelle Thorud were members of Emmaus when they felt called to be missionaries in their mid-50s. Norval had been an accountant up until then. Then they enrolled at Bethany Fellowship, taking a crash course in Bible and missions, and got placed to work at a Bethany Bible school in Mindoro Island of the Philippines 1976-1981. Then they felt called to a more unreached part of the Philippines–the Bicol region of the southeast tip of Luzon Island. Since Bethany did not want to spread themselves too thin, Norval contacted some Christian businessmen friends from his accounting days to see if they were willing to start a new Minnesota non-profit. After PAMI was incorporated in Dec. 1981, Norval and Ardelle moved to Bulan in June 1982 in the middle of raging typhoon. They began home Bible studies and got a church started, had their first baptisms 1983, and got a Bible school started in 1984. Eventually graduates of the Bible school took over the work of pastoring, pioneering, and teaching and U.S. missionaries were no longer needed. Ever since 1989, the field work has been handled by Filipino nationals, while Christians in the U.S. support them with prayers, finances, and oversight/advice/encouragement.
Ways that people can get involved:
- Sponsor Filipino workers or Bible school students
- Support the mission with gifts (time; cash; stock; items for balikbayan boxes like hygiene and school supplies, small toys, t-shirts/hats, Christian books and CDs, used digital cameras or laptops)
- Attend board meetings (we could especially use some younger blood with fresh ideas)
- Help with newsletter writing and mailing
- Computer help (website improvement, blog site posting, mailing list)
- Help promote PAMI to churches and individuals