To our brothers and sisters in Christ,
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus. We are so grateful that God has given us such an opportunity to work and to grow here. That being said, this newsletter will not be filled with big updates of successful outreach. Like I’ve stated in the previous newsletter, it’s summer break here for the students. For us, it’s been a time of preparation for the next semester, looking for curriculum and fixing up the farm, territory, and our bungalow. It’s also a time of heat, intense heat, as April is the hottest month in Thailand. We really got some firsthand knowledge of why the city we’re in, “Tak,” is translated into English as literally, “drying out on the sun!” But we can’t complain because God has been so wonderful to us! He has been showing us His will through His Word and giving us His power to do that which He reveals.
Every summer, Avoda gives their volunteers a chance to rest up. Seeing it as necessary, we had a nice time of rest the first week of the month in beautiful southern Thailand (to those who might wonder, we consider that as something not to burden the church with and therefore have taken it out of our own personal account). We stayed at a missionary resting house with many opportunites to fellowship with others who have a similar calling as us. While there, we were still commited to use our time to get ready to be of greater use to Him, by reading and praying.
This month has been full of revelation by God’s Spirit. By His grace, much study of His Word has proven (unsurpisingly) to give us some great advances in our understanding and sanctification. Also, the studying of a very scholarly and powerful book on Apostle Paul’s mission theology and labors has done much to train us for preaching the Gospel here (Paul Missionary Theologian by Robert Reymond). For years, God has been giving us more and more confidence in His message to the nations and less confidence in tact and personality. This confidence has been growing to new heights and bearing fruit. For example, how can I trust in the Gospel and yet be content while unable to communicate it? So God, by His grace, has given me so much motivation to learn the Thai language that I’ve been taking pains to organize my time in such a way that allows me to learn Thai almost everyday during even seemingly jam-packed days, without the motivation of a teacher to help. All glory to God! Thank you for praying concerning this, God’s given me much progress in it.
Concluding this newsletter, we would like to bring up a need in the Body of Christ, specifically in the Kaolak location of Avoda. There, a godly and passionate pastor, whom we’ve met once, has passed away a few days ago. He was the man who stepped up a few years ago in a crisis moment of a small church. Pastor Pong, took the lead and selflessly cared for the flock when the previous pastor left suddenly. Pong’s wife and son woke up a few days ago but he didn’t, dying completely unexpectedly in his sleep. The church, consisting mainly of elderly folk, might also not have a man (or men) to lead and oversee. Please pray for these needs, especially for the family of our brother. If you would like to send donations to them, we very much encourage you to and will be praying for that to happen. May your offering show this humble family and their community that God provides and that the church is an international Body that is marked by love for one another (John 13:35). We will work out with New Fields a good avenue to donate and then email you the information in a few days, so please consider giving according to your ability and abundance. Pray also for us, that God will open a door for us to be of greater use to Him among these people. May God be with you!
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