August 2023 Newsletter
As I start this update, I want to start with a word of gratitude for those of you who pray for us and especially those of you who give financially to the mission here regularly. We work in a very unique context here in Thailand & Southeast Asia. I include lots of pictures and videos in these updates so that you can feel very connected, and the reason is because I really do appreciate YOU and the heart you have to come alongside us and others in the work here. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of work in a country that you don’t even live in!
“Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:16-18)
Here are some noteworthy topics & prayer requests from the last month–
One of the not-so-fun parts about living in Thailand is dealing with visa issues. I will spare you all of the gruesome details, but (tl;dr) we lost several hundred dollars this month because of trying to change visas and then having to pay unexpected fees, being late because of unclear expectations from the government, etc. Okay, now that the bad news is out of the way…
Visit to Santisuk & Peace Fellowship Church
I was able to take a trip down to Bangkok this past month to visit a network of Christian English language centers and a church that is the “mother church” for all of the church plants which are connected to this network. I preached at PFC, and met the staff for the school and church. This was a great trip, and I got to learn how this very effective ministry has been operating for the past 20 years. By God’s grace, they have seen hundreds of Thai people come to know Jesus over these 2 decades of ministry, and they are continuing to raise up leaders, plant churches, and open new centers in Bangkok. My admiration for them only increased the more I got to know them.
By the way, if you or someone you know is interested in coming to teach in Thailand, we now have connections to TWO Christian English schools– one in Bangkok and one here in Chiang Rai. In fact, I know that BOTH of these schools are actively looking for native English speakers to come and serve here. These are volunteer positions, and they are open to any age, as long as the person has a bachelor’s degree in any subject. No teaching license or TEFL certification is required. If you or someone you know would be interested in coming to live and serve in Thailand– whether that be for a month or for years– let me know. I also have a connection with a ministry in Bangkok that helps connect international students with universities if they would like to come get their bachelor's degree in a much more cost-effective university here in Thailand.
Translating for Ball
I translated for my friend and brother, Ball, again recently. You can watch the message below. It was a GREAT topical sermon on the title Jesus used the most for himself– the Son of Man.
There is an older missionary couple in Chiang Rai who have been in Thailand off and on for years. The husband studied Thai and passed the test to practice medicine in Thailand, and now helps train medical students at a local university here. The husband just told us this week that he has been diagnosed with leukemia. He said it’s treatable but he will probably have to take a pill to manage it for the rest of his life.
My friend Nate and I are just now starting our English international Sunday School class up again soon as the new semester opens at Mah Fah Luang university. Pray for a good semester.
I talked with a couple in their ‘20s this month and they expressed to me how they felt like it was time for them to take the “next step” in their lives, but they aren’t sure exactly what that step is or where God is leading. I completely get that feeling because I spent years in that spot as well. Pray for them both to 1.) grow through this process of exploration and 2.) to have clear direction
I have a friend who just finished 10 years of serving as a missionary here in Thailand. Now, he’s on his way to Spain to serve there. He’s from Wisconsin, but he’s studied Spanish for years and has had a heart for the Spanish-speaking world for a long time. This is a long-time dream-come-true for him, so pray for him in this new season.
My Chinese friend who I mentioned last month has relocated to Africa for a while. He seems safe and content where he is now, which makes me very happy. The fact that he was willing and ready to sacrifice his life if he needed to, speaks volumes of his character and the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.
I came back to Chiang Rai from Bangkok with covid and was out for almost a week. Thankfully I am feeling much better now.
We just celebrated a gender reveal with some friends of ours who are pregnant with their first baby. (Also, I just learned there are only 2 genders-- who knew!) Join us in praying for blessings over this young family.
Apparently, a clip of Mary Ella and I not only went viral on Tiktok here in Thailand, but we were also featured on a news channel. Here’s our latest “Daddy-daughter Podcast.” This one is a little more low-key, but stick around for Round 2.
Thanks for being part of the team!
By God's grace, we have witnessed many lives transformed, and some family legacies changed forever. But the story is not over yet, and we are anticipating and believing for even greater things moving forward. Consider becoming a financial supporter so you can play a significant role in sharing the gospel, planting churches and raising up young leaders in Asia.