The picture above is something I posted recently on Instagram, Twitter, and FaceBook with the following words: In three different meetings recently in this “Creative Access” nation, I asked different people these two questions, “How many families or households can be found in your home village?” and “How many households or families in your village have at least one Christian?” Eighteen different villages, with 4,240 households were represented, and 74 of the households had at least one “professing Christian.” That comes up to 0.017 percent!
To keep the above number in proper perspective, it is good to keep in mind that the United States of America has 77% of the population that professes to be “Christian.”
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY TO THE LORD OF THE HARVEST ABOUT THE HARVEST FIELDS IN THIS COUNTRY AS WELL AS OTHERS IN THE 1040 WINDOW!
My 13 days in the “Creative Access” nation, as always, were blessed beyond measure. My wife and I have loved this country and these people from the day we set foot there nearly four years ago. After spending 17 months living and serving there, our hearts became knit with them in a very special way. As we mentioned in our previous update, our first four days in the country were spent with a dear friend of ours, a national who has been pastoring for the past 5 or 6 years in the country. In fact, his was the first IB church in the country that was pastored by a national. We preached for him, taught him and his men in the Bible Institute, along with three other pastors, and had two evenings of special sessions with a handful of the ladies in his church who are factory workers. WE HAD A TREMENDOUS TIME!
The next nine days in the country were spent with the church and the Bible Institute students that are a part of the ministry of the team sent out of my home and sending church (Pacific Baptist Church in Long Beach). The Bible Institute operates a bit differently than the typical Bible Institute, it isn’t ongoing. What they do is have guest preachers (national pastors/missionaries) come in on a fairly regular basis and these men will teach 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 day intensives. I believe this was the fourth, possibly fifth, time that I have come in to teach for five days. I had the chance to teach three hours during the day and another two hours each evening. I taught these Bible Institute students (a couple of the guys from the other Bible institute came also) for a total 23 hours. Along with the teaching, I also did both of their Sunday services on September 4 and the 11th. I also had a chance to teach a Bible study on Sunday afternoon in a village about two hours away. I was also supposed to preach twice for another church in the country, but because of security concerns the meetings had to be cancelled. Such is life in a country such as this! AGAIN, WE HAD A VERY FRUITFUL AND FULFILLING TIME!
On my last Sunday in the “Creative Access” nation, after speaking twice for our church, a few of us went out to a village about an hour-and-a-half away. I had the chance to teach a group of Hmong young people on the importance of loving, learning and living, or obeying the word of God. Before teaching, I was blessed to hear them sing one song after another to the Lord and about the Lord. It was beautiful – a sight to behold!
There were two things in particular that made this such a blessed visit. First of all, it was a blessing because every one of the young people in attendance, except for one 17 year old girl, had been saved (if they were saved) over the last few months since this new ministry began. Secondly, this ministry is led and served entirely by young nationals. That’s what it is all about!
Just prior to arriving where the service would be, a couple of us went out to visit a well known and highly respected Hmong evangelist. He wasn’t there, but we spent a little time with his wife. It is humbling to see how this man lives. Definitely a far cry from what we are used to that’s for sure!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD CONTINUES TO BLESS THIS NEW MINISTRY AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE LEADING IT!
As we mentioned in our previous update, in just a few days, my wife and I will be flying back to the States. We definitely covet your prayers as we will be extremely busy from the time we arrive in Los Angeles. I have an all-day meeting three days after we fly into the country and then a Missions’ Conference for both Pacific Baptist Church of Long Beach and Pacific Baptist Church of Monterey Park the following Wednesday-Sunday, along with teaching a three day Missions Intensive for Pacific Baptist Bible College. Then things really get busy! Of course, we will have some time with our five children and seventeen grandchildren and my brother Pastor Joe. Looking forward to that!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TRIP TO THE STATES TO BE A FRUITFUL TRIP!
I do have one additional special prayer request. It’s on a more personal note. My brother, Pastor Joe and I, along with our siblings have an aunt named Annie. She has been like a second mother to us for so many years. She was especially good to us and very helpful while my brother and I were in Bible college. On Wednesday, September 14, she goes in for surgery. She has cancer of the tongue. They will be removing half of her tongue along with cleaning her lymph nodes. If you could take a moment or two and lift up her name to our loving heavenly Father, it would be much appreciated!
My wife and I, along with the girls, once again, would like to thank you for your faithful prayers, financial support, and occasional words of encouragement!
Johnny and Denise Esposito
PS Our new book Keep the Dream Alive: The Story of One Man’s Dream and a Plea to Keep it Alive should be arriving in Southern California, from our publishers in Florida, this week. Please do pray that God will use it!