In March of 2020, my wife and I came back to the States for what we thought would be a short 4- or 5-month furlough and then COVID hit Laos and the States. We were unable to return “home” to Laos because she locked down and remained locked down for more than two years. After an exceedingly long time of waiting, we eventually relocated to Chiang Khong, Thailand to assist our team here. We have now been living and serving in Thailand for more than eleven months.
All of that to say this, two weeks ago, Denise and I, along with Jui (Laos is home for him), returned “home” for a two-week ministry trip. During this time, I had the privilege and opportunity to preach in five different churches, for a combined service with at least six churches represented, and for a Pastor’s and Church Leader’s Fellowship (see picture above). In addition, I also had the opportunity to spend another fifteen hours teaching our two sets of Bible students. Of course, we had many wonderful opportunities to just hang out for times of good food and fellowship. It was an emotional two weeks—a very emotional two weeks. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT AND SERVE BACK “HOME.”
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM AND OTHER FELLOW-LABORERS IN LAOS!
BIBLE CONFERENCE IN UDON, THAILAND
After two weeks in Laos, my wife, Jui, a pastor friend of ours, and I crossed the border and were a part of a Bible Conference in Udon. I had the privilege of opening the conference with a message on “Unity Among the Brethren” (unfortunately, a much-needed truth over here). There were at least 18 different churches represented and well over 200 people at the Conference. We had a wonderful time catching up with many longtime friends, including our dear friend and fellow-laborer, Dwight Tomlinson. We are grateful for Brother Tomlinson and Barnabas1040’s influence here in Southeast Asia, and throughout the 1040 Window. He has had an enormous impact in this part of the world!
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SEEDS THAT WERE PLANTED AT CONFERENCE TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT!
It is always a blessing to be able to spend a day with Brother Chris Taylor and the Rong Ber Children’s Home. Of course, we always go with the intention of being a blessing to the young people, and, on every occasion, we head back home “blessed beyond measure” with our cups overflowing. It was a day of food, fun, fellowship, worship, and preaching from the word. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THIS MINISTRY AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO OCCASSIONALY BE A BLESSING!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR BROTHER CHRIS, HIS STAFF, AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE!
JUI’S ENGLISH ACTIVITY
As I mentioned in a previous Prayer Update, Jui is doing a tremendous job with his five English classes (20 students). He recently had an activity for the students, which Denise and I attended. While all the students were not able to make it, many did. It was a wonderful time. Not only is Jui doing an excellent job teaching English, but after his English class on Wednesday, Jui is doing a tremendous job discipling two of his students (Xiong and Mau). WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THE GROWTH IN JUI’S LIFE!
PLEASE PRAY FOR JUI, HIS ENGLISH CLASSES, AND THE TWO YOUNG MEN THAT HE IS DISCIPLING!
MEETING IN THE NEW BUILDING
While our new building is not finished yet, we have started meeting in it. We are grateful for this, seeing that it was getting a bit crowded in Tom and Sue’s house. It has been such a blessing to meet in person and in the new building. In addition to meeting on Sunday’s, the church family has also just started to meet, once again, in-person on Wednesdays. WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING!
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR BUILDING WILL BE COMPLETED SOON!
A DISCIPLESHIP CULTURE
One of the things that we have tried to emphasize, is the importance of discipleship. I have not only committed myself to discipling others (presently discipling 12 men), but also have tried to establish a discipleship culture everywhere the Lord sends us. It has been exciting to hear that Lily recently began to disciple five young ladies. She is teaching them how to read and study their Bibles, how to pray, and how to cook.
Speaking of discipleship, our Discipleship Group in Chiang Khong (5 of us in person, one joining online) is going very well and it was great to have Brother Tom (not pictured below) rejoin us after his furlough. WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THOSE THAT HAVE INFLUENCED US OVER THE YEARS IN THIS MATTER OF PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP!
PLEASE PRAY FOR LILY AND THE GIRLS AND FOR OUR DISCIPLESHIP GROUP IN THAILAND!
OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION
One of the tremendous blessings (and there were many) of our trip to Laos was to see many of the folks that have been helped both physically and spiritually through the ministry of Samaritan’s Compassion. There were dozens but let me just mention two incredibly special ones. Many of you will remember that we were able to help a little girl named Phiangxay with a lifesaving surgery a few months ago. Well, I am glad to report to you that she is alive and well today. And three of the four people that trusted Christ because of our helping her are faithful members of the church. Again, many of you will remember a poor widow, caring for her eight grandchildren, that we have helped a few times—including with the surgery of one of the grandchildren—we also had a chance to meet them personally. Over the past two months so many have been helped because of the faithful prayers and giving of many. I would like to especially thank Dwight Tomlinson, Rick Dalton, Pastor Ryan Thompson and Liberty Baptist of Newport Beach, CA, and Pastor Kirk Beard and Crossroads Baptist in Hemet, CA. It was also a blessing to receive this report from Vietnam weeks ago:
In the first seven months of 2022, they were able to pass out approximately 611 food packages and 1903 people were fed. Of those that were cared for physically, 91 received Christ as Savior and 24 baptized.
That is what we call shining brightly for Jesus!!!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THIS MINISTRY!
As always, my wife and I are extremely grateful for all of you. Thank you for praying and giving towards our ministry in Southeast Asia. For HIS Glory in the Nations,
Johnny and Denise Esposito