Bob & Karin

Bob and Karin Thorne live and serve on the island of Penang, Malaysia.

After 23 years of pastoral ministry in Canada – the last 13 of them in Calgary – we followed God’s clear call to pastor an International Church in Malaysia. We love the challenge of an International Church and have met and served with people from across the globe who have chosen to make Penang International Church their home for however long they live in our city.

Four years into our time in Penang, Bob’s eyes were opened to a unique opportunity. Among the many migrant workers in our city were many Rohingya people from the country of Myanmar. They have been called the ‘most persecuted people group in the world’ by the UN and now the vast majority of them live in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh or have been trafficked to other Southeast Asian countries.

Seeing this situation led to the beginning of a ministry to many Rohingya on our island that has now been going for nearly 8 years. We work in tandem with teammates and other friends in the area of education for refugee children, maternal health for the women and ESL classes for many young men. These initiatives allow for the building of relationships that open the door for sharing of Christ.

Our time is divided between the International Church and leading the Rohingya focused team and have gladly called Penang ‘home’ for 12 years. It’s a privilege to be part of the C&MA and to be connected to churches who faithfully pray for and support us.