What an amazing furlough the Lord has given me so far. My traveling companions this time are Sarah Acutt and Tilly MacGregor. They are two young ladies from New Zealand who attend the church I worked in when I lived and ministered in Rotorua many years ago. They arrived in Thailand two weeks before I left for furlough. What a blessing it was to introduce them to our dear people, and the kids just fell in love with them. They were a big help as I was preparing everything in Thailand for my departure and everything Stateside for my arrival. Besides riding an elephant, holding a python, and eating delicious Thai food, the girls got to see all our different ministries. They even got to sing a special with me in church. One of the best experiences, though, was giving out the Gospel. One afternoon while out visiting, we got to meet Supa outside of her school as she was waiting for her bus to come. It was a precious thing to see her sweetly trust Christ as her Saviour.
We arrived in America the last week of February, and in the past 7 weeks, we have already given updates in 11 of my supporting churches and presented the ministry in 9 new churches. In total, we will be visiting all 20 of my supporting churches and presenting the work in 17 new churches. Please pray for us, as we will be traveling approximately 15,000 miles in 28 states over the course of 3 months. Besides speaking to adults in Sunday school and the main services, we’ve had the opportunity to teach teens and children in quite a few Junior Church services, Awana Clubs, and Christian school chapels/Bible classes. I pray that the Lord might call many of these young people to Thailand.
It was a great honor to host a Ladies’ Conference at my home church, Gospel Baptist Church, in Poland, Ohio, on March 17. What started out as a small endeavor to be an encouragement to my sending-church ladies turned into something quite amazing. We had over 20 churches represented, with over 200 ladies in attendance. The Lord also gave me the opportunity to speak at another Ladies’ Conference this past week in Indiana, as well as a WMS meeting. The Lord has graciously provided us with comfortable places to rest and has allowed the girls and me to take in some amazing sights as we have been traveling from church to church. He has blessed us abundantly with love offerings that have exceeded our needs, and just Sunday night one of the new churches I presented my work in voted to take me on for support! Please pray that the other new churches might decide as well to become ministry partners with me for the cause of Christ in Thailand.
One of the best things about furlough is being able to see family. My parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage this summer, and the Lord provided a beautiful house on a lake for all of my immediate family to come together for several nights. It has been five years since we were last all together, and we had a blessed time of catching up, playing games, eating Mom’s cooking, and reminiscing. I praise the Lord for my godly heritage and for parents who have always supported my missions endeavors. I am looking forward to spending a few weeks with my parents at the end of my trip before I return to the field. I covet your prayers for us over the next several weeks as we travel and for the ministries in Thailand while I am away. I miss everyone dearly but rejoice to hear the good reports of souls saved and continued church growth.