As we watch another year come to a close, our family has much for which to praise God. Through multiple shutdowns and restrictions regarding our services and outreaches, God proved, over and over again, that the Holy Spirit is always working. Despite our limitations, He will bring blessings and fruit through faithfulness.
God has used the discipleship program in many of the new church members’ lives as they grow in understanding of the Christian life. One lady, who faithfully comes with her husband every week, shared her gratefulness for what God is showing her through the sermons and weekly lessons/discussions. She said that even though she had been saved many years ago (long before we met her and from a staunch Buddhist home), she was never taught about having a relationship with Christ and how to share the Gospel with others. She was a believer for over 20 years before coming to our church. Her eyes filled with tears as she told Missy that she felt so blessed to learn now, after all these years, about what a life in Christ really can be. Doesn’t that just get you excited?! Please pray for our church members as they grow in grace and truth.
We have seen wonderful results through our new outreach and canvassing project for Hua Hin and the bordering cities north and south of us. My wife and I are on Brother and Mrs. Sakrapee’s team. One day, Brother Sakrapee and I were visiting the streets we had canvassed two days prior. We came to a house that had a church sign on its gate. We called out to see if anyone was home, and a lady came to talk with us. Since the COVID shutdowns in 2020, this lady had opened up her home to others who couldn’t meet at the church due to restrictions. We began to ask her about the church and what they believed. She showed us her Bible; and, to our surprise, it was the same Bible translation we use. She had found a way to purchase one online and had taken opportunities to read it. As the conversation continued, we shared the Gospel with her. She had been a part of a group of proclaimed believers who also read the Bible but had never been given the Gospel! God sweetly saved her seeking soul that night. Please pray for her as she makes steps of faith regarding where she will attend church.
That same evening, we met a man who was very excited to meet us. He explained that for years, he had been searching for the truth. He had taken correspondence classes about the Bible and was searching for the answer to life. In all of his studies and inquiries, he had never learned the truth of the Gospel. God gave us the opportunity to lead this man to Him. We would appreciate your prayers for these new believers.
The team shared a blessed Thanksgiving together, remembering God’s blessings and our country’s godly heritage. We are grateful to share this ministry calling and life with some of the dearest friends, fellow Americans, and Christians we know.
December is always a busy month with outreach and Christmas activities. This year had one major exception; the public schools were not open to regular functioning capacity and were not allowing unvaccinated groups in. We pray that next year the Lord will allow us to continue our Christmas public-school outreach. However, we had a wonderful Thai Father’s Day Sunday, as the men were challenged, once again, to give Christ their lives and to continue to follow Him as they lead their families. Each father in attendance received a gift. It was a special day.
Missy hosts a team missionary kids’ Christmas party every year at our home. It is probably one of her most favorite events. She saves up throughout the year and loves getting this time to spoil them. Each year they frost and decorate cookies, eat goodies, open gifts, and watch a Christmas cartoon. We pray that each of these precious kids will know Christ’s love, see their parents’ devotion and love for Him, and will one day serve Him with their lives also.
As our fellow team family, the Beils, are on a brief furlough, they asked us to host the teen Christmas party at our house. Brother Beil is the youth pastor at the church in Hua Hin. This was such a fun night for us, and it brought back memories of when I was the youth pastor in our first church plant with the team (over 13 years ago). There were 22 teenagers in attendance. We had a blast playing games and spending time with them. Most of our teenagers deal with bigger life struggles than we could imagine, and many of them come from homes where they are the only believer. Please pray with us, as they grow in understanding, that they will choose to live a life for Christ.
Our church’s Christmas Sunday was not a promoted one this year, as we have just been meeting back together for a little over a month since the last lockdown. We asked our church families to invite their unreached family or close friends. God blessed with a wonderful group, as we had the auditorium and the outside tent full. The day was filled with special Christmas music, a sermon about Jesus’ birth and the reason for Christmas, a delicious meal, and gifts for all who came. Each person could choose from a plush blanket or a trio towel set. There were 22 new folks in attendance, and several of those received Jesus.
We will be visiting those 22 people in the coming weeks. One of our supporting churches, South Point Community Church, took a special Christmas offering for those in need. This offering will give us the opportunity to provide a large food and necessities bag for 20 families. We will be reaching out to the families and friends of the 22 visitors from Christmas Sunday with this project. As we do this, we will be giving them the Gospel and making contacts for future visits. Thank you, South Point, for your loving and giving hearts!
We would especially like to thank our friends, family, and supporting churches that have given this year towards our land and building project. Because of these sacrificial donations, we will have enough to complete Phase 1 of our project in the first half of 2022! We will have a detailed update of our land project in the coming months. Thank you for your prayers and giving.
Lastly, we will be finalizing our furlough plans for the fall of 2022. This will be our first furlough to raise personal support for our family. We will mostly be in new churches, but we will take time to stop in and see some of our supporting churches in our travels. This will be a longer furlough for us, as we will be including college visits for Mark and Lauren (Lauren will be in her junior year this fall, and Mark will be a sophomore). This will most likely be our last furlough until we take Lauren to college in 2024. We have specific needs regarding our furlough, and we would greatly appreciate your prayers for those needs to be met.
We can say that 2021 was not the type of year that we expected, as it came with great challenges and obstacles, but what a victorious reminder it was that we serve the Lord God Who has made the heaven and the earth—there is nothing too hard for HIM!
Happy New Year!