One of the joys of being a missionary is the constant encouragement that we receive from our supporting churches and family members. The encouragement comes in various ways: a padded envelope filled with notes and candy for our family, an email with kind words and prayers expressed on our behalf, a love gift of money, a specific family or ministry need filled, a phone call or text, and even a visit to see our ministry in person. These are to name just a few of the many ways in which our faithful friends and churches give of their time and money to keep us uplifted.
In June, our good friends, Jeremy and Priscilla Long, along with their daughters Emma and Martha, came to visit us from the Philippines. We are thankful for friends who have worked to stay in touch through the years and miles. We enjoyed the several days of fellowship with them. They are a constant encouragement to our ministry and family. On this trip, they brought several bags of clothing, shoes, and toys that their daughters wanted to give away to our junior-aged church girls. Our girls were so excited that they changed into their new outfits right away.
We had the privilege of hosting Dr. and Mrs. Ray Young near the end of June. Our team and staff had a wonderful time showing them a little bit of Thailand, and we were all challenged and encouraged by Dr. Young’s preaching and teaching. It was especially neat for the team members to have the Youngs here, as they both had a part in our college education at Hyles-Anderson as our professors.
Missy and I have the opportunity to go visiting and soul winning together regularly. One Thursday night, we went to visit one of our faithful church members, but they were not home. So, we decided to knock on the other doors in that village. We talked with a little grandma and her teenage grandson. Both were open to the Gospel and listened well. The grandmother said that she had received a tract before but had never talked with anyone about Jesus. They did not get saved, but both were very receptive and asked us to come back to visit them again.
Another evening, I was out soul winning with Star when we met Charlie, a Karen man who was open and ready to hear the Gospel. We led him to Christ, and he came the following Sunday to church and got baptized. He brought his wife Kwan and their little baby the next week. That day Kwan received Jesus and was baptized as well. They have been faithful each Sunday for over a month. What a joy it is to see new converts growing in Him.
In the last several months, our church has gained new converts and members. Our church family is growing in spiritual understanding, and their burden for their lost relatives and friends has caused them to gain courage to go and share salvation with boldness. Every church service, at least one church member will talk with Missy or me about their burden to see their family come to Christ. Please pray for spiritual strength and wisdom in these dear folks, and please pray as our team teaches and trains them to be confident witnesses for Him.
We had the surprise blessing of going to the States in July for Missy’s nephew’s wedding. Missy’s parents graciously offered to help us fly back for the wedding and also be in our home church, Midwestern Baptist Church, Omaha, Nebraska, for their VBS week. This was an unexpected, yet very refreshing, trip for our family. I had the opportunity to preach for a service at Midwestern, and we were beyond spoiled by the generous giving and love of their dear church family. We were also able to cross paths with our newest team members, Jon and Brittany Beil, one last time before they come to join us on the field in December. We are all looking forward to their arrival!
We returned to Thailand to hear our church staff testify of souls saved and baptized during our two-week absence. It’s the Lord’s work, and how exciting it is to see Him receive the glory.
Thank you for your encouragement by way of support and prayers these past 11 years. You continue to “provoke us unto love and good works.”