In September, I had the opportunity to attend a missions meeting with several other team leaders and missionaries from around the world. This meeting was led by our missions director, Bro. Mark Bosje, and hosted by a missionary group that serves in Turkey (their names are kept from this letter to protect their families and ministry). I decided to take Missy, Lauren, and Mark along so that we could experience seeing another mission field together. God used this time to uplift, challenge, and encourage each of us. We enjoyed fellowship with old friends (many of the missionaries in attendance were fellow graduates of Hyles-Anderson College), and we enjoyed meeting new friends as well. Lauren and Mark both expressed how they were greatly affected by the oppressive influence of Islam over the people. God used this trip to burden our hearts further for Southern Thailand, and it has caused us to pray more fervently for those working in countries where there is less freedom to share the Gospel. We left Turkey with extra gratitude in our hearts for the freedoms we have in Thailand to fellowship openly, go soul winning without fear of imprisonment, and to proclaim Jesus with anyone we come in contact.
In 2019, I was in Ghana visiting the team there. At that meeting, God allowed Missionary Mark Holmes and me to reconnect. We both attended college around the same time but didn’t know each other well during those years. Bro. Holmes and his family started a Bible Club ministry years ago in Nigeria, which has reached thousands with the Gospel. At that 2019 meeting, the Lord impressed upon my heart to have Bro. Holmes come for two weeks of training and Bible Clubs. Since the pandemic closed many countries for several years, we had to postpone our plans. This past month, we were finally able to host the Holmes family; they came for three days of SMITE (Student Missions Institute for Training in Evangelism) training, followed up by a week of Village Bible Clubs. These villages were carefully selected and prayed over months in advance.
Each area had wonderful blessings throughout the week, and God used this time to strengthen many church members who had never taught or lead a song publicly. Ten of our teenagers helped to lead and teach in the clubs. Some taught the missionary story, some taught the Bible memory verse, some played their instruments in accompaniment to the songs, and others helped with the games. What a joy it was to see God bless the efforts of those involved and to see His hand of blessing on each faithful servant who gave the Gospel.
One Village Bible Club, led by Pastor Pong and his family, met in a local Buddhist temple. Many heard the Gospel for the first time, and they saw 22 souls saved there!
The club that Missy and I helped with was led by our Thai assistant pastor, Brother Sakrapee. We had our faithful church members, Fatima and her two granddaughters, and our team partner, Brother Chad, along with his three children—Harmony, Autumn, and Forest helping. The first day of our club, we arrived in the village an hour early to find over 60 people already gathered and excited about the day. On the first morning of our club, we had over 100 in attendance. We had worked hard to visit in the area before the week of clubs and had great reception from each person with whom we spoke. But, if I’m being completely honest, I did not expect 100 people. We found out later that day that on that first morning, the village leader drove through the area in his truck with a bullhorn, inviting everyone in the village to come to the club. The greatest blessing from this was that each one of those folks heard a clear and thorough explanation of the Gospel that morning. We had many come to Christ in our club as well.
During the week, 200-plus people who had never attended church at any point in their lives came and heard Bible stories from the life of Christ and a clear Gospel presentation each day. We saw 122 people wonderfully saved, and we have had many visitors in church as a result of the clubs. We are still rejoicing over these incredible blessings from God! It is our plan to host Village Bible clubs each October during the school break as another regular outreach ministry.
MUSIC MINISTRY & INSTRUMENTS
After our last video update in September, we had two supporting churches reach out about giving towards our need for musical instruments in the church. Along with these churches, we had a Sunday school class that also donated money for this cause. Together, these three ministries gave over $5,000!!
This allowed us to purchase several intermediate-quality Yamaha guitars, two Yamaha keyboards, and a violin. We will also be purchasing a couple of flutes and another violin. I am currently teaching guitar to six of our teenagers, a young lady is learning violin, and another young is lady learning piano. We will be offering flute lessons soon as well.
While teaching a guitar lesson at the church, one of our faithful ladies walked up, picked up a guitar, and started playing along with us. I was pleasantly surprised! She had never mentioned before that she could play. Khun Fatima comes every service with her two teenage granddaughters. These ladies serve in many areas of our ministries. With the donations sent, I was able to give Khun Fatima a guitar as well. I found out later that she owned a guitar, but years ago, she had given it to a church that needed one for their ministry. She had been praying for years that God would give her another one. Her granddaughter Ben had taken violin lessons previously, but her violin had been broken beyond repair. We were able to surprise her with a new violin last month. She was brought to tears when presented her with the new instrument.
My prayer and hope is that we will have a church orchestra in the near future. This will also allow our folks to have a part in playing at new church plants and home Bible studies. Thank you for giving to this need. We were overwhelmed by your love and generosity!
CHRISTMAS PUBLIC SCHOOL PROGRAMS
We would like to ask you to please be in prayer as we begin preparing for our Christmas public school programs in December. In November, we will be practicing the play and program that will be given, and we will be finalizing which schools to visit. This is a major Gospel outreach opportunity, and through the years, we have had much fruit that remains as a result of it.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support! We serve Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think. Your giving allows us to continue in the work He has called us to do.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we want to say “Thank You” for every email, letter, text, and message you’ve sent to encourage our hearts. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your sacrificial giving for the sake of the Gospel. We love each of our supporting churches, pastors, and individual supporters; and we pray for each of you regularly. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!