I hope your New Year has started off well. As for us, we have been very busy since the start of the year. My father gave me the privilege to preach in his church on New Year’s Day. I gave a message from Isaiah 43:18-19 on forgetting things from the past and, with wisdom from above, stepping into new things. This is the passage my wife and I also used as we considered this past year and what new things God wanted us to do or change in the New Year. This past year, we grew spiritually and learned a lot as we began breaking ground to start Charity Baptist Church in a strong Buddhist and spirit-worshipping town of Mae Ku. More and more of the people in Mae Ku are beginning to know us or become used to seeing us around their community. Our ministry goal for this year is to find a couple or family that we can mentor and train and then have them become involved in our church. As of now, families will allow their teens and children to come, but the older family members have not been interested in or willing to use their off time from work to visit our church. When you think of us this year, please pray specifically that God will prepare a couple whose hearts are tender to know of the Gospel and God.
Last year we partnered with another missionary couple, Peter and Sherrie Banfe, to start New Hope Children’s Foundation. This month we submitted the final paperwork needed to set up the foundation. Now the waiting period has begun. We have been told that the process could take six to nine months. We are very excited as we enter the final stages. The foundation is important, for it will give us protection and more freedoms. Please pray that the foundation will be approved quickly.
Part of our ministry here is helping visiting pastors or missionaries. This month we were blessed to host Pastor Edward Fort from Chicago. It was a blessing to be able to take him to Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp to teach at a junior college and encourage them in the Lord. We also had a wonderful time going with him to meet his contacts and share the Gospel with them. We are thankful for his help and encouragement.
My wife would like to thank everyone for praying for us as we traveled to Laos to get a new visa for her. Everything went smoothly, and God let us meet a couple who gave us some visa advice. We believe we have now found a way to extend my wife’s visa without having to leave the country every 90 days or leave to make a new one when it expires. We are praising God, for this will save us a lot of time and money.
Teerapat and Tiffany Phaisarnpiwat