Greetings to all our family, friends, and faithful supporters. Denise and I pray that you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We did! We also celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary the day after Christmas. We are grateful for the grace and goodness of God these past 40 years, and I am grateful for a wonderful wife that has followed me around the world.
The two pictures above are of our dear friend and one of the men I have been discipling (leadership development) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These pictures are of Pastor Zong and two of his recent baptismal services. In the past month or so, he had a total of fifteen baptized. He is doing an excellent job. He has started seven churches and for many years now, he continues to oversee all seven of them. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of his ministry and for Dwight Tomlinson and Barnabas 1040 partnering with us in supporting his ministry. Lord willing, soon, we will do some more training of his other leaders. PLEASE PRAY WITH US ABOUT THIS!
PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR ZONG, HIS FAMILY, HIS CHURCH FAMILY AND THE OTHER SIX CHURCHES THAT HE IS OVERSEEING!
NEW CONVERTS AND PERSECUTION
A few months ago, Kong and his wife trusted Christ. Tom has been discipling them weekly online (they live in Laos) for the past few months immediately after our online service which they join weekly. Kong’s brother-in-law, Neng Zay and his wife trusted Christ about a month ago. Neng Zay and wife, Zia, need much prayer. They have already started receiving serious persecution. In fact, their property has been confiscated. We rejoice to hear that he is standing despite the trials and troubles that have come his way as a baby Christian.
PLEASE PRAY FOR KONG, MAI, NENG ZAY, AND ZIA TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN CHRIST AND TO ENDURE THE PERSECUTION THEY HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING!
We are praising the Lord that the new building project in the village is now in full swing. Well, at least the first phase of the building project is in full swing. Tom, Sue, and our folks in the village are working hard to get it up and running. This is hard and tedious work, and it will take a while for the building to be complete, but it will provide a place to meet as soon as the church family is allowed to gather in person.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE BUILDING PROJECT AND FOR THE VILLAGE CHIEF TO ALLOW OUR FOLKS TO MEET IN PERSON!
CHIANG KHONG DISCIPLESHIP
Our Discipleship Group (meeting with five men now) here in Chiang Khong has now been meeting for about five hours a week over the past four months and the growth in the men is very apparent. We are back to in person meeting after being forced to go online for a short while. It is a blessing to have Jui with us now and to have Pastor Zong join us online (He’s from Laos). One of the highlights of my week.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE GOOD MEN (TOM, TZER-CHANG, JAY, JUI, AND PASTOR ZONG)
Our team here in Chiang Khong, Thailand held a Christmas Play, a time of food, fun, and fellowship, a time of passing out Christmas gifts for the children, teens, and staff, and a special service for the Children’s Home. My wife and I stayed over an extra day, and I preached another two times for them and the church family, along with treating the young people to a Pizza Party. Folks in Southeast Asia, especially the young people, love pizza, but seldom have a chance to have any. We had such a wonderful time. So did they. Brother Chris baptized four teen girls after Sunday morning’s service!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE HILLTOP RONG BER BAPTIST CHURCH AND CHILDREN’S HOME!
A NEW TEAM MEMBER
Jui, who is one of our graduates from our School of Ministry in Laos, has recently joined our team here in Thailand. Along with teaching Jui as one of our students, I have had the opportunity to disciple Jui over the past three and a half years, and he was my assistant for two years while my wife and I were living and serving in Laos. If you will remember, in a recent update, I mentioned that Jui was heading to Ukraine to serve with our missionary friend, Derek Thomas; well, God closed that door and opened the door for Jui to join us here in Thailand. We are grateful that we are already seeing God bless Jui and his contribution to the team here.
PLEASE PRAY FOR JUI’S TRANSITION HERE IN NORTHERN THAILAND!
During the months of November and December, along with our faithful laborers here in Southeast Asia, we were able to feed, clothe, provide winter coats, and pass out Christmas Care Packages to multiplied hundreds of children, teens, and adults in three different countries. As a result of this, multiplied dozens have trusted Christ and many new believers were baptized.
I received these two reports just a few days ago. Please keep in mind, these are just two of the many different men and a handful of different ministries that OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION (with your help) has been assisting:
A WORD FROM VIETNAM: “Thanks to Brother Esposito who inspired this program and assisted us. Thanks to my Vietnamese son, David, who helped administer funds; And thanks to all of you who gave generously. May our Lord reward you accordingly. Over the past six months, the salvations (below) from our partner churches are for ‘food evangelism’ only. (The churches have other ministries that reach souls for Christ.)
1025 packages of food delivered, approximately 3,000 people fed, and 142-salvations.”
By the way, during the month of December they had fifty trust Christ and twenty-five of these were baptized!
A WORD FROM LAOS: “During the months of November and December our two churches have seen thirty-one people trust Christ and 40 baptized, including twelve last week. The majority of these are people that we have helped to meet their physical needs during COVID.”
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION AND ALL OF OUR FELLOW LABORERS THAT ARE MEETING BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF THE HURTING AND THE HELPLESS!
Our church family here in Chiang Khong has not been able to meet for in-person services for a long time and had not met together for a time of fellowship since last April, but a handful of us were able to meet (in a different village) for a wonderful time of food, fun, and sweet fellowship. It was a blessing to be able to see some folks that I have not seen (in person) for almost three years now (the last time I was here to preach and teach). We had such a wonderful time, and it was so needed!
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR VILLAGE TO “OPEN UP” SO WE CAN GATHER IN PERSON AS A CHURCH FAMILY!
BIBLE COLLEGE CLASSES
Of course, as I have mentioned many times in the past, one of my favorite times of the week is Wednesday and Friday mornings. This is when I am teaching our Bible students back in Laos. Denise and I love and miss these students. Prior to COVID, we all met in one location, but the students are now in two separate locations being led by Pastor Kampai and Pastor Kong. It was a blessing to be able to buy some more tools for our students so they can learn a trade, as well as build a new church building. Denise and I were able to help both groups of students to have a nice Christmas Party just prior to the term ending. As of the middle of December, both sets of students are on a small Christmas break. Both groups will be returning to classes over the next two weeks.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR BIBLE STUDENTS AND THE NEW TERM COMING UP!
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY CLASS
As I mentioned in our previous prayer update, a little over two months ago I started teaching some of our married couples here in Chiang Khong, as well as a few couples from Laos. Again, we are forced to have these classes on-line, but they have been a tremendous blessing. I believe it is becoming my favorite time of the week. Do not tell our college students or the men that I am discipling that I said so. As I mentioned before, this is such a needed emphasis in this part of the world, and we are already beginning to see “fruit.”
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR MARRIED COUPLES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND MARRIAGES IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD!
As always, Denise and I want to thank you for your friendship, your faithful prayers, and consistent financial support for these nine years that we have been on the field. We could not be here but by God’s grace and your generosity!
Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,
Johnny and Denise Esposito