Philippine-Asian Mission, Inc is an evangelical, interdenominational Christian mission. It is a faith mission, looking solely to the Lord to provide for mission needs and leadership. Indigenous Filipinos are committed to bringing the Gospel to unreached and little reached people groups. Prayer and financial support come from around the world.
While serving in the western Philippine Islands under another mission (Bethany Fellowship Missions) Norval Thorud felt a strong call to open a new work in an unevangelized area. He felt it was to begin in the town of Bulan in Sorsogon Province. Bulan particularly had a reputation of being a wicked and dangerous place. After completing their field term with Bethany, Norval and Ardelle Thorud returned to the Twin Cities of Minnesota to form a mission board and incorporate PAMI as a non-profit in Dec. 1981. In the summer of 1982 they returned to the Philippines and started PAMI in Bulan, which is one of the towns where PAMI still works today.
Norval and Ardelle were at first viewed with suspicion; people often wondered whether they were spying for the government or for the Communists. The Tabio and Delia Homo family were the first to give their hearts to the Lord and be baptized. Tabio became a pastor but has passed on. But his brother Joel Homo still pastors the church in Fabrica, which is one of the daughter churches of the Bulan Church.
Initially western missionaries taught in the Bible School and established outreach posts. Today the field work of PAMI is managed entirely by Filipinos. The leadership and all the pastors and workers are Filipinos. They know the Gospel, the language, and the culture. Most of them are graduates of EBI, and many later teach at EBI, continuing the cycle of discipleship.
The volunteer Board of Directors in the Twin Cities of Minnesota raise prayer and financial support. Because of extremely low administrative overhead, all financial support goes to the mission field.
Since the early days of PAMI, the Lord started pointing to the establishment of a Bible School to train national workers. Emmaus Bible Institute (EBI) opened in June 1984 as a four year Bible School, with three years of study and one year of internship. It is dedicated to developing Christian workers totally committed to the Lord and to the spread of His Gospel.
The first class of four graduated in March of 1988. All four chose to serve with PAMI even without assurance of compensation. Over the years, over 200 have graduated from EBI. Many work with other missions; some remain as pastors and church planters with PAMI.
Besides the Bible school continuing to train new pastors/workers, many churches have been planted. Home Bible Studies, children’s milk feeding outreaches, Vacation Bible Schools, radio programs, and film showings were the initial outreach methods, which are still used. In addition, PAMI has recently been partnering with other Christian organizations like Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, Billy Graham Evangelical Association, Matthew 18:14 Ministries, Vernacular Video Ministries, Faith Comes By Hearing, and Operation Blessing, along with maintaining and expanding the core ministry.