Praise the Lord for an incredibly eventful two months! We saw 1,072 precious souls trust Christ as their Saviour. We had a productive Missions Conference and were able to take on 4 new missionaries. We now support 36 missionaries at an average of $28 per month.
I was blessed by the thoughtfulness of our people during Pastor’s Appreciation Month. I didn’t want for fruit, UHT milk, Gatorade, Coke Zero, tortilla chips, salsa dip, or any other snacks. Our ladies surprised Ester for her birthday and took her out to eat at a nice restaurant. Several churches from the States also sent her birthday cards. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.
Not only is there an open door in the Philippines, there is a tremendous open door for the Philippines. Being situated on the southeastern edge of the 10-40 Window, it is near the most unreached and needy part of the world, where the demand for soul winners and missionaries far exceeds the supply. I often tell our people that we are in the land of opportunity for spreading the Gospel. After Ester and I made a missions trip to Vietnam and Thailand, I can relate to the Queen of Sheba’s reaction when she visited King Solomon and said, “. . . behold, the half was not told me . . . .” The opportunities are even greater than I had imagined. Thailand is a free country, and there are many productive works going there, including works along the border area with Myanmar (Burma). God’s is working in a great way in Indochina/Southeast Asia. I have had a burden for Vietnam for many years and have prayed that God would make a way to share the Gospel there. I have now seen firsthand that God has indeed made a way.
I’ll list a few of the observations I made concerning the opportunities, especially for Filipino missionaries. Vietnam is open to Filipinos. It cost Ester and I almost $100 each for our tourist visas. It is free for Filipinos. Plane tickets from the Philippines are inexpensive. The cost of living is also inexpensive, including abundant, healthy food and excellent medical and dental care. The two greatest opportunities I saw are teaching English and starting private schools. Many Filipinos speak good English, and the Vietnamese government wants its people to learn English. Filipino missionaries can go there and start a language school and almost immediately get paying students. Vietnam will also allow a Filipino to start a private school with immediate approval for up to 90 students, and they can use the ACE Christian curriculum. Countless souls have been saved through these ministries. Missionaries can supplement their support with the income received from English-training and ACE schools.
We plan to focus more effort on Vietnam and, as the Lord provides, send and support more missionaries there and do what we can to facilitate the works already in place. Lord willing, we will go back this spring with some of our staff to teach music and work with missionaries in remote tribal areas. Our staff have already applied for their passports and are saving money for the trip. Words can’t express how thrilled I am to see this open door in Vietnam. Please pray that God would keep it open and even increase the opportunity. If you would like to help with our Vietnam Project (VP) besides your regular support, we would use it for our staff missions trip and other efforts in Vietnam. I believe the return on your investment will be great. If you’d like, you can give online through fbmi.org; just specify the purpose of the gift in the “Comments” section.
An update on our building project: we have sufficient funds to break ground and are still working on our building permit.
How exciting it is to be in God’s business in this land of opportunity! Thank you all for your sacrifice to help spread the Gospel to this needy part of the world.
Yours for souls,
Courtney & Ester Godsoe