The above picture is from our special meetings in Chiang Khong, Thailand. Most of the men and women pictured above, are pastors and church leaders from a “Creative Access Nation.” They travelled by motor bike, bus, and boat to get to the meeting. Some travelled from as far as 24 hours away. I am humbled that they came!
My brother, Pastor Joe, before being hospitalized, had long envisioned seeing our teams in the “Creative Access Nation” and Thailand working together to train Nationals to reach various countries in Southeast Asia, and eventually reach into the country of China. In a sense, these meetings are a “dream come true!”
Please pray that God will raise up many laborers for the harvest fields in this part of the world and use our teams in the “Creative Access Nation,” Thailand, and Cambodia to assist in this process!
It’s always good to get back in a routine after the holidays! Our theme for the New Year is “Pursuing Christ and Christlikeness.” Our heart’s desire as a Team, and as a church family, is that all of us and every aspect of our ministry would grow in our relationship with Christ and become more like Jesus during 2019.
Please pray with us concerning this!
As many of you know, and as we have mentioned often in recent updates, we are in the midst of a transition. We are in the middle of making many changes that we believe the Lord would have us to make and that we believe will help us to grow spiritually and numerically. Of course, one of the biggest changes we have made is to divide our congregation into three separate congregations. Despite doing this, it has been a blessing to see the “smallest” congregation, in the Capital city, still have good attendance and visitors. On Sundays and Wednesdays, I am preaching messages on, you guessed it, “Pursuing Christ and Christlikeness.”
Please continue to pray for our services!
After a nearly four-week break, it was really good to get our School of Ministry (Bible College) classes up and running once again. As I mentioned in our last Update, I am teaching New Testament Survey 2, The Book of Acts, and The Christlike Life. Brother Koumaly is teaching Bible Doctrines, Pastor Lee Seng is teaching Church Leadership, and my wife is teaching Christian Womanhood again this semester. While we may not have many students, as of yet, the ones we do have, have a real heart for Christ, the cause of Christ, and the people of this country!
Please pray for our new term in the School of Ministry and for our students to continue to grow in their pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness!
One of our favorite times of the week is Saturday Village Ministry. Every Saturday a few of us go to a nearby village and teach the Bible and English to Hmong children and teenagers. We recently lost one of our workers, Bounmee. She married one of our team members in Cambodia, and, of course, moved to Cambodia. She was doing a great job discipling some of our teen girls, so my wife has replaced her and is doing a great job. I am so grateful for a wife, who for 37 years now, has been a wonderful helpmeet to her husband and a faithful, compassionate laborer in the harvest wherever God has led us!
Please pray for both of our village ministries, our workers, and for the many young people and adults that we are reaching for Christ and encouraging to pursue Christ and Christlikeness this year!
Another one of my favorite times of the week is going with Jui, who I am discipling and is assisting me in the work here, to the same village (mentioned above) and having a “Midweek Bible Study” for the young people in the village. It’s always a great time of singing, games, Bible trivia, etc. We sure do love these young people and are praying that they will “Pursue Christ and Christlikeness,” not only this year, but for the rest of their lives!
Please pray that God will raise up young men and women of God that will pursue Christ and Christlikeness for decades among these young people!
Nearly every month, we have Pastor Pradit visit with us and preach for our folks. He is the fruit of an American missionary named Philip Pope. Pastor Pradit has been pastoring the same church in Thailand, which he started, for 25 years now. More often than not, when he comes, he brings some of his college students, and it’s always a great night of worship, teaching and preaching, fellowship, and, of course, lots of food. Pastor Pradit preached a great message on “The Love of God.” We are grateful for the National men who are serving Christ and their people faithfully here in Southeast Asia!
Please pray for the many different churches in Thailand and our country that are doing what they can, with God’s help, to reach the lost and train the saved for God’s glory in these two countries!
As I mentioned above, I spent a wonderful week in Chiang Khong, Thailand with our Team. We are so grateful for Tom and Sue Sutrick and their church family hosting this four-day meeting. I am also very grateful for fellow-team member, Jay Chang interpreting for me.
An hour after arriving in Chiang Khong, I had the privilege to speak for their regular Friday Night Team Meeting. Trust me, we had a lot of fun and they were very open to the Bible lesson. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach and preach twice for the church family.
I also had the opportunity and privilege to teach and preach Monday – Thursday for our Thailand Team and 28 National pastors and church leaders from across the Mekong River in a “Creative Access Nation.” We have been holding these meetings for about two years now. As I mentioned above, this was our fourth meeting and one of the dreams my brother, Pastor Joe, had before his being hospitalized!
During the morning sessions, I taught on “Responsibilities of Church Leaders” and “The Importance of God’s Word.” During the afternoon sessions, Brother Tom Sutrick taught the brethren on “How to Use the Wordless Book” and “How to Study the Bible for Yourself.” Brother Jay Chang, who graciously interpreted for me all week-long, taught one session on “Baptism.” During the evening sessions, I had the privilege of preaching on “Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Living a Christlike Life.”
Please pray that God will water the seeds of His Word that were sown during this week in Chiang Khong and bring an eternal increase, not only in these countries, but around Southeast Asia!
As always, my wife and I want to thank you for your loving prayers, and your generous and sacrificial giving, which enables us to continue to do what God has led us to do here on the other side of the Pacific, while you continue to do what God has called you to do in the States!
Johnny and Denise
“The task of reaching every people group is no small thing, but the problem isn’t in the amount of people groups who are unreached; it is in the amount of people going to them.”