June 2022

The picture above is one of a handful of what we like to refer to as “COVID CHURCH PLANTS.” These are churches in Southeast Asia that were planted amid the COVID Crisis, which affected Southeast Asia in so many ways more than it did the United States. In every one of these “COVID CHURCH PLANTS,” the story is the same:

While the COVID Crisis was at its worst, God’s people were at their best.

Amidst the lockdowns, the loss of employment, the sicknesses, the hospitalizations, the deaths, and the list goes on, we were able to see hundreds of people saved (over five hundred), baptized (around 125), discipled, and assimilated into existing churches, or plant new churches in their villages. How did this happen?

Of course, it all begins with the grace of God, but it continues with the generosity of God’s people. So many of you helped us, as we partnered with these churches to help the poor, the needy, and the helpless in what often were hopeless times.

The church family pictured above, will be celebrating their one-year anniversary at the end of the month. During the first eleven months of its existence, somewhere between 45-50 folks in this village have trusted Christ and twenty-three of them have been baptized. Not bad, for a new ministry in a “Creative Access Nation,” in the midst of a Global Pandemic, with four different “lockdowns,” including the last lockdown, which continued for 27 weeks.

We thank God for all the Christians and churches in the United States that have sacrificed much to help the poor, the needy, and the helpless, both physically and spiritually!

PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS CHURCH PLANT AND FOR THE OTHER “COVID CHURCH PLANTS” TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH AND THEIR LOVE FOR CHRIST!

MINISTRY IN CHIANG KHONG

The past two years have been interesting to say the least in Chiang Khong, Thailand. Our village chief kept us shut down for a good portion of the Pandemic. After we “opened up” for three months, we were shut down again. Praise the Lord, we are now back to meeting in person and getting back to some semblance of “normality.”

I am starting two new series of messages for Sundays and Wednesdays. I will be teaching a series of lessons from the Book of Ephesians on “Choosing to Change,” as well as preaching a series of messages on “Living by Faith.” In addition to this, in a few weeks, we will get back to our Married Couples Class on Thursday evenings. I am looking forward to this special time with our couples. It has been a significant help to all. Over the past few weeks, here in Chiang Khong, we are rejoicing that we have seen four people saved. Our new building is “getting there,” slowly but surely. Jui has been doing an excellent job with his five different English classes. He is using these classes as a springboard to share the Gospel. Altogether, he has twenty students in these five classes. Now, that my wife and I are back in Thailand, she will begin teaching her English class once again. Now that we are back in Thailand, it is a blessing to, once again, be meeting with our Discipleship Group in person on Thursday mornings too!

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR CHURCH FAMILY AND THE VARIOUS MINISTRIES HERE IN CHIANG KHONG!

BIBLE STUDENTS

As you know, since March 2020, our Bible students in the Creative Access Nation have been meeting in two separate locations. One group is meeting in the capital city (these students are primarily Lao and Khmu believers), and the other group (all Hmong believers), are meeting about 30 minutes outside of the city. Our students in the village have just returned from a three-week summer break. I am teaching them on The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit with a special emphasis on Walking in the Spirit and Being Filled with the Spirit. I have just finished teaching the Books of Ephesians and Colossians with our students in the city.

Speaking of Bible students, one of our graduates, Pastor “K,” is doing a tremendous job. His church is averaging between 70-80 in attendance every Sunday with a couple of Sundays reaching more than one hundred. That is huge in this “Creative Access Nation.” I am guessing, it is the second biggest independent Baptist church in the entire country. A few weeks ago, they baptized five more of their recent converts. In addition to pastoring the church, Pastor “K” is also running our Bible school in the village too.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR PASTOR “K” AND OUR BIBLE STUDENTS!

PASTOR “Z”
One of the things that I am most excited about since our “forced” relocation is the chance to work more closely with my dear friend Pastor “Z.” I have known him now for about six or seven years. On three separate occasions, I had the opportunity to have him attend one of our three to four-day Pastor’s and Church Leaders Seminars. I have always been impressed by his love for the Lord, his love for people, and his desire to be used by God. He has been saved about 15 years. Another dear national pastor friend of mine led him to Christ in a refugee camp. He has been pastoring now for almost 12 years. Yes, you heard that right, twelve years. He has started and is presently overseeing eight different churches with a membership of just over five hundred people. Now, that I am closer to him, I am meeting with him along with four others in a Discipleship Group and we can do more to help him and his ministry!

PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR “Z” AND HIS MINISTRY!

As always, Denise and I would like to thank you for your faithfulness and your friendship over the years. We could not be in Asia, nor could we do what we know the Lord has led us to do if it were not for family and friends back home “holding the ropes” for us.

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

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