The picture above is at the airport in Guangzhou, China. Needless to say, they are taking this COVID-19 situation serious. Nearly every one of the airport employees were wearing a hazmat suit.
It’s so hard to believe that it was less than three weeks ago that we sent out our Seven-Year Anniversary Prayer Update. A lot has happened in the past three weeks and it’s been a long three weeks that’s for sure!
As we mentioned in our previous update, Denise and I were planning on taking our first furlough in about three years beginning the middle of May. Well, that changed after we received notifications from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Embassy in our given country stating that, in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, if we planned on leaving the country any time in the near future we needed to leave soon. After pondering and praying about it for a few days, we booked a flight, said goodbye, and headed back “home.” We have been in the States now for a little over a week. Lord willing, we will be returning back to our place of ministry in 4-5 months!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STAY IN THE STATES TO BE AS FRUITFUL AS POSSIBLE UNDER THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES!
As it is in the United States, the country where my wife and I are presently serving is on an almost complete lockdown. Most of this has taken place either just prior to our leaving the country or right after we left. All the schools and the universities are closed. No meetings with over ten people. Nearly every International flight has been cancelled. Very little travel allowed, even within the country. Yet, we are glad to report, whether in Asia or America, God is still on His throne, His word is still going out, and His work is still being done, even if it’s being done in a different form or fashion. Pastor Kong and his wife have taken the “bull by the horns” since our departure and they are doing a tremendous job under trying circumstances. They are giving themselves, at this time, to discipling our dorm students (who are stuck in the city), translating Christian materials into the Hmong language, and even attempting to “live-stream” services despite limited resources (see picture below).
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM BACK “HOME,” AND ESPECIALLY KONG, LILEE, AND JUI AS THEY LEAD THE TEAM DURING THESE TRYING TIMES!
A few weeks prior to leaving for the States, Jui, and I flew to Cambodia. I was scheduled to preach for a “Leadership Conference,” as well as for our Team and the church in Phnom Penh. I suppose you can guess what happened. Yes sir! Everything was cancelled in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, the trip wasn’t a total waste, Jui and I were able to spend time with some of our Team Members and some of the dear folks that God allowed my wife and I to influence during the two years that we lived and served in Cambodia. I was also able to take Jui to visit the “The Killing Fields.” Always a sobering reminder of the depravity of man without God!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM AND THE PEOPLE OF CAMBODIA DURING THIS TIME!
We definitely love and miss all of the folks that God has entrusted into our care. We thank God for their hunger and desire for the word and work of God. The pictures below are of our School of Ministry students taking their Midterm (three weeks ago) and afterwards praying for their country and the world during this time of “crisis.”
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO CONTINUE TO HUNGER AND DESIRE THE THINGS OF GOD!
A FEW ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUESTS:
(1) PRAY FOR WISDOM FOR OUR GOVERNMENT IN THE U.S. AND THE GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD DURING THIS TIME OF CRISIS!
(2) PRAY FOR MISSIONARIES AND NATIONALS IN ASIA AS THEY CONTINUE TO SERVE IN THE MIDST OF THIS CRISIS!
(3) PRAY FOR OUR TEAM IN THE “CREATIVE ACCESS” NATION TO HAVE THE WISDOM AND THE POWER TO SERVE DURING THESE DAYS!
(4) PRAY ESPECIALLY FOR KONG, LILEE, AND JUI AS THEY LEAD OUR TEAM FOR THE MOMENT!
(5) PRAY THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO RETURN BACK “HOME” IN 4-5 MONTHS AND BE ABLE TO REPORT SOME WHILE WE ARE HERE IN THE STATES!
As always, Denise and I simply want to say, “Thanks for your prayers, your friendship, and, of course, your financial support over these many years, ESPECIALLY IN TIMES LIKE THESE.” May God continue to bless you and yours!
Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,
Johnny and Denise Esposito