If some of you are thinking that the picture above looks familiar, you’re right. Every year just about this time, I pull it out and add it to our Prayer Update. On March 13, 2013, my wife and I left the United States and headed for Asia. The picture is of us upon our arrival in Asia (Cambodia) on the very next day. After spending two weeks with our team in Cambodia, my wife and I headed to the country of Laos. Many of my preacher friends thought we were making a grave mistake. Many thought we were just plain old “crazy.” One pastor even said that my going to the mission field would be the greatest mistake that I ever made. By the way, I have made a boatload of them.
Well, after ten years of living and serving in four different countries (Laos, Cambodia, China, and Thailand), I just thought I would say, loud and clear, “As far as ministry is concerned, these past ten years have been the most fruitful and fulfilling in my 41 years of serving in full-time ministry, and yes, it has been a whole lot of fun too.”
My wife Denise would agree 110 percent. We have seen hundreds come to Christ and be baptized. We have helped in the planting and/or establishing of new churches, started a new college in Laos, and started Operation Samaritan’s Compassion – a ministry that has helped to meet the basic needs of multiplied hundreds (probably thousands) and has resulted in over 800 saved and about 200 baptized in the past three years. Yet, to be truly honest, most of our time and energy has gone to discipling believers and leadership development.
SO MANY GREAT MEMORIES!!!
Thank you for praying, giving, and loving us over these past ten years while we have had the privilege to be on the field making memories, and by God’s grace, making a small difference for Christ and the cause of Christ.
To God be the glory!
Memories of Laos!
Memories of Cambodia!
Memories of China!
Memories of Conferences!
Recent Memories of Thailand!
Many of you will remember that in our last Prayer Update, I asked for some special prayer for our upcoming Pastors’ and Church Leaders’ “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel” Conference. If you prayed, thank you. Your prayers were answered. God blessed in a very special way. Many pastors and church leaders, as well as many from our church family, were encouraged, strengthened, and better equipped to serve the Lord during the five-day conference. We even had three trust Christ – including one of the church leaders. To God be the glory!
A FEW SPECIAL PRAYER REQUESTS:
* Pray for Upcoming Vacation Bible Schools in Thailand * Pray for Upcoming Youth Conferences in Thailand and Laos * Pray for Our Bible Students and Mid-Term Exams
As always, Denise and I would like to thank you from the depths of our hearts for taking time to read our Prayer Update, for praying, giving, and loving us from afar. We love and appreciate you all!
The picture above is Brothers Tom and Jay sharing the gospel during our team’s recent outreach in Phu Chi Fa. Our team goes to the mountain top every year for this annual festival to pass out gospel tracts and share the gospel with those who are willing to listen. This year our team passed out more than 12,000 tracts, personally shared the gospel with dozens, and had 12 people trust Christ. While I was unable to join our team for this outreach, because of my sciatica kicking in after returning from Laos, I was praying. Last month we asked you to pray for this outreach and many of you did. Thank you for praying!
PLEASE PRAY THAT THOSE THAT TRUSTED CHRIST WILL GROW AND THOSE THAT HEARD THE GOSPEL WILL EVENTUALLY COME TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST!
VALENTINE’S DAY COUPLE’S BANQUET
Our team did something this year that we had never done before. We had a Couple’s Valentine’s Banquet. We were specifically targeting unbelievers. To be honest, we had no clue how many folks would show up and were pleasantly surprised to see more than 20 couples show up. Over half of these were unbelievers. It was a wonderful time of food, fun, fellowship, and I preached a message on “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told” and shared a clear presentation of the gospel. We have heard so many good reports in the village and folks are asking whether we will be doing something like this again. Last month we asked you to pray for this special evening and many of you did. Thank you for praying!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WOULD BRING AN INCREASE TO THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN DURING THE BANQUET!
SUNDAY AFTERNOON PROGRAM/FRIDAY TEEN NIGHT
If you will remember, last month we specifically requested prayer for these two brand new ministries. Well, God is blessing, and we are grateful for our team and the many extra hours they are putting in to invest in the hearts and lives of the next generation. On Sunday, after the service, we will have lunch with the entire church family and then after lunch there is a time of fun and games, teaching English, teaching Hmong, and some discipleship. We are grateful that Tong and his wife Bao trusted Christ and are being discipled by Tom on Sunday afternoons. Friday evenings is a time for the teens to have good food and some fun, along with worship and a time in the word. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE TWO MINISTRIES!
SPECIAL ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUEST: PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS’ AND CHURCH LEADERS’ CONFERENCE COMING UP NEXT WEEK!
As always, Denise and I would like to thank you from our hearts for taking time to read our Prayer Update, for praying, giving, and loving us from afar. We love and appreciate you all!
The picture above is me with our Bible students and two of our graduates that are now pastoring. Our ten-day ministry trip back “home” to Laos was wonderful. Both Denise and I had a wonderful time preaching (actually, I did the preaching), teaching, and counseling, as well as a lot of tremendous food and fellowship with our dear friends and fellow laborers.
I had the opportunity to teach our Bible students for 24 hours on this trip, as well as preach a combined service, preach for three different churches, including an Anniversary Service of our long-time, dear friend and fellow-laborer, Pastor “K.”
One of the hi-lights of the trip was Denise and I treating five pastor friends (four of them men that I had the opportunity to teach as Bible students) and their wives to a very nice meal. In addition to this, Denise and I had lunch or dinner dates with a handful of others – including our Bible students.
While we were in the country on this trip, we were only there for one Sunday. Two of the churches had a total of six saved and fourteen baptized on that one Sunday. Unfortunately, I could only be in one place at a time.
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BRING FRUIT FROM OUR RECENT TRIP TO LAOS!
SPECIAL PRAYER REQUESTS:
*Please pray for our new Friday Teen Nights
*Please pray for our new Sunday Afternoon Program
*Please pray for our upcoming Annual Outreach at Puchi Fa
*Please pray for our upcoming Pastors’ and Church Leaders’ Conference
As always, Denise and I would like to thank you for taking the time to read our Prayer Update, for supporting us financially and with your prayers.
The pictures above are of a new ministry that we just started a month ago. We are now meeting on Wednesday evening for a time of fellowship, prayer, and teaching of God’s word with adults/teens and on Friday evenings for Children’s Ministry. It has been going extremely well. On one of the Friday’s, we celebrated with the children the annual “Thai National Children’s Day” with over 80 children in attendance. We are very grateful for the church family that is allowing us to use their building!
Please Continue to Pray for this New Ministry!
I am now meeting with 12 men in two Discipleship Groups. One of the Groups is in person here in Chiang Khong, Thailand (with one pastor joining us online) and the other Group is online. The Online Group is a group of men, from three different countries, that I have been discipling for a while and/or in the past.
Please Continue to Pray for these Men, their Families, and their Ministries!
BIBLE STUDENTS NEW TERM
It’s a blessing to be able to, once again, start a new term with our two sets of Bible students in the country of Laos. I am teaching on the Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes this term and very excited about it. Lord willing, by the time this update reaches you, my wife and I will be in Laos on a short ministry trip and will be teaching the students in person. Looking forward to it.
Please Continue to Pray for Our Bible Students and for our Upcoming Trip to Laos!
As we mentioned in our last update, during the month of December, Operation Samaritan’s Compassion was able to help different National Pastors and their church families to host different Christmas Program/Outreaches and God blessed all 22 of these different Programs/Outreaches in the five different countries [Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar]. Not only were there around 2,000 attending, with more than 100 professions of faith at these Programs/Outreaches, but hundreds of lost people were able to see the love of God in action. Below are just a few of the pictures from Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos!
Please Continue to Pray for these Different Pastors and Church Families to Wisely Follow-up!
OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION
Speaking of Operation Samaritan’s Compassion, now that it looks like the “COVID Crisis,” and all that went along with it, is pretty much over in Southeast Asia, Operation Samaritan’s Compassion’s emphasis in 2023 will be widows, the fatherless, helping poor illiterate children to get an education, and emergency medical assistance for the poor.
Please Continue to Pray for Operation Samaritan’s Compassion to be a Blessing in 2023!
As always, my wife and I are grateful for your prayers, financial support, and friendship. As I often say, “We couldn’t be here, stay here, or do what we believe God has led us to do without your prayers and financial support.”
Denise and I would like to wish all our family, friends, and fellow laborers “back home” a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The picture above is from the Christmas play that our folks performed this past weekend in two different villages. They did a wonderful job and will have the opportunity to do it at least two more times in the weeks to come. In the Christmas play, the gospel is clearly shared.
After a brief three-month trip to the States, my wife and I have been back in Thailand for more than three weeks now. We are so grateful to be “back in the saddle again.” Our new church building is now finished. We are so grateful for Liberty Baptist of Newport Beach in helping us immensely with this project. It took eleven months, but I can assure you, it was well worth the wait. It’s a beautiful and spacious building. This past weekend our team here in Chiang Khong hosted Christmas Celebrations and services in two different villages. They were such a blessing. We had over 350 in attendance at the two different locations. Every one of them had a chance to learn the true meaning of Christmas and hear a clear presentation of the gospel.
Our team here in Northern Thailand, still has the privilege to host five more Christmas Celebrations and/or Outreaches. They will be held at a Children’s Home, two more villages, and two public schools here in Thailand. In addition to this, by way of our ministry, Operation Samaritan’s Compassion, we are assisting fellow-laborers to host a total of 20 different Christmas Celebrations for poor and needy children in five different countries (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar). Thousands of children, teens, and adults will be blessed and have the opportunity to hear the gospel because of the sacrificial giving of friends in the States. In just one of these villages in Laos, this past weekend, more than 100 attended and six trusted Christ.
We covet your prayers for these Christmas Outreaches.
Here in Chiang Khong, on this past Sunday morning, I started a new series of messages on “Seven Letters to Seven Churches” from Revelation 2-3. This past Sunday, we considered the church in Ephesus and the problem of “leaving our first love.” We had a great response to the first message. This coming Sunday, we will look at the church in Smyrna and the importance of not fearing and staying faithful amid persecution. We are praying that God will use this series to grow our church family into the church he desires us to be. Will you pray with us?
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR MINISTRY AND MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES HERE IN NORTHERN THAILAND AND AROUND SOUTHEAST ASIA! Our Team in Laos is doing very well. As we mentioned in our last update, they have planted two new churches. Both churches are doing well, but one of them is growing (both spiritually and numerically) by leaps and bounds. Both sets of our Bible students just finished their Fall term and will be on a break for about a month. We are excited for them as they will have the opportunity to serve and be a blessing in many different churches around the country over the next month!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR MINISTRY IN LAOS AND ESPECIALLY FOR OUR BIBLE STUDENTS!
As always, Denise and I thank you for your prayers, your financial support, and your friendship. We couldn’t be here or do what we believe God has called us to do with your prayers and sacrificial giving. Thank you!
The picture above are the six people that we baptized last week in Chiang Khong, Thailand. Since our last Prayer Update, we have seen nine people trust Christ and eight people baptized. Please pray for their spiritual growth.
Chiang Khong, Thailand
We are so thankful and grateful for what God is doing in and through our lives and ministries in Chiang Khong, Thailand. As I mentioned in our last update, things are really starting to pick up in our ministry. Along with the recent conversions and baptisms, our Sunday and Wednesday services are doing very well. It has been exciting to see our crowd on Wednesday, especially the children and teens that Jui is teaching.
Our building is slowly but surely, reaching the point where we can say, “It is finished.” Of course, did not I say that in the last update? Things tend to move just a bit slower over here.
Please pray with us about our new School of Ministry! We are in the process right now of starting a new School of Ministry (Bible School) here in Chiang Khong. It looks like we could have 6-8 students – young men and women that want to be grounded in God’s word and prepared for God’s work.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE NEW CONVERTS, THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY, AND THE ENTIRE MINISTRY HERE IN CHIANG KHONG!
We are so thankful and grateful for all that God is doing in the country of Laos. God has brought the necessary funds for us to build an extension to one of our village churches in Laos. This church, just over five years old and pastored by one of our graduates, has grown to the point where they are now running between 120-150 every Sunday. Over the past three months they have had at least twelve people trust Christ and six people baptized. In addition to the new auditorium extension, we will soon begin to build a new dorm for the men in our School of Ministry.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE NEW CONVERTS, FOR THE BUILDING PROJECTS, AND FOR OUR SCHOOL OF MINISTRY STUDENTS AS THEY SEEK TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH, THEIR LOVE FOR CHRIST, AND THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE OF CHRIST!
We are so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to watch the children in two of the villages that we have churches continue to grow in Christ! Our team (including our Bible students) have a real heart for the young people. They are committed to sharing the Gospel with them, teaching them the word of God, along with teaching them other various skills (i.e., English, which will enable them to get a better job in the future). Each of our Bible students is personally discipling one or two children/teens every week. We are also thankful for the opportunity to build a small playground for them near new the church and School of Ministry buildings!
PLEASE PRAY FOR BOTH THE LABORERS AND THE CHILDREN TO CONTINUE TO GROW AND BE FAITHFUL TO CHRIST AND THE CAUSE OF CHRIST!
We are so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Pastor “Z.” We have mentioned Pastor “Z” in earlier updates. He is presently pastoring eight churches and doing a tremendous job. In fact, Lord willing, some of his students will be attending our School of Ministry in Chiang Khong. He recently planted a new church, and they are seeing people saved, baptized, and growing in their faith.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR “Z” AND HIS MINISTRY, ESPECIALLY THE NEW CHURCH AND NEW CONVERTS!
Of course, we are thankful and grateful how God is continues to use “Operation Samaritan’s Compassion” to spread the love of Christ to hurting people. In the past two months, we have been able to help many with medicine, two with surgeries, another one with hospital costs, and many with food. Yet, our biggest project the past month has been to help get poor children and teens enrolled in school. Because of the faithful giving of God’s people – a special shoutout to Pastor Le Jeune and the White Oak Baptist Church and Pastor Noel Cwenar and the Gospel Light Baptist Church for their significant gifts for this project – we have been able to see close to eighty young people enroll in school. Even my eldest daughter, Jessica and the Children’s Ministry at her church got involved and raised enough money for five young people.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION!
As always, my wife and I want to thank you for praying, giving, and taking the time to read over our Prayer update. We love and appreciate you all!
In March of 2020, my wife and I came back to the States for what we thought would be a short 4- or 5-month furlough and then COVID hit Laos and the States. We were unable to return “home” to Laos because she locked down and remained locked down for more than two years. After an exceedingly long time of waiting, we eventually relocated to Chiang Khong, Thailand to assist our team here. We have now been living and serving in Thailand for more than eleven months.
All of that to say this, two weeks ago, Denise and I, along with Jui (Laos is home for him), returned “home” for a two-week ministry trip. During this time, I had the privilege and opportunity to preach in five different churches, for a combined service with at least six churches represented, and for a Pastor’s and Church Leader’s Fellowship (see picture above). In addition, I also had the opportunity to spend another fifteen hours teaching our two sets of Bible students. Of course, we had many wonderful opportunities to just hang out for times of good food and fellowship. It was an emotional two weeks—a very emotional two weeks. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT AND SERVE BACK “HOME.”
PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM AND OTHER FELLOW-LABORERS IN LAOS!
BIBLE CONFERENCE IN UDON, THAILAND
After two weeks in Laos, my wife, Jui, a pastor friend of ours, and I crossed the border and were a part of a Bible Conference in Udon. I had the privilege of opening the conference with a message on “Unity Among the Brethren” (unfortunately, a much-needed truth over here). There were at least 18 different churches represented and well over 200 people at the Conference. We had a wonderful time catching up with many longtime friends, including our dear friend and fellow-laborer, Dwight Tomlinson. We are grateful for Brother Tomlinson and Barnabas1040’s influence here in Southeast Asia, and throughout the 1040 Window. He has had an enormous impact in this part of the world!
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SEEDS THAT WERE PLANTED AT CONFERENCE TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT!
It is always a blessing to be able to spend a day with Brother Chris Taylor and the Rong Ber Children’s Home. Of course, we always go with the intention of being a blessing to the young people, and, on every occasion, we head back home “blessed beyond measure” with our cups overflowing. It was a day of food, fun, fellowship, worship, and preaching from the word. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THIS MINISTRY AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO OCCASSIONALY BE A BLESSING!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR BROTHER CHRIS, HIS STAFF, AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE!
JUI’S ENGLISH ACTIVITY
As I mentioned in a previous Prayer Update, Jui is doing a tremendous job with his five English classes (20 students). He recently had an activity for the students, which Denise and I attended. While all the students were not able to make it, many did. It was a wonderful time. Not only is Jui doing an excellent job teaching English, but after his English class on Wednesday, Jui is doing a tremendous job discipling two of his students (Xiong and Mau). WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THE GROWTH IN JUI’S LIFE!
PLEASE PRAY FOR JUI, HIS ENGLISH CLASSES, AND THE TWO YOUNG MEN THAT HE IS DISCIPLING!
MEETING IN THE NEW BUILDING
While our new building is not finished yet, we have started meeting in it. We are grateful for this, seeing that it was getting a bit crowded in Tom and Sue’s house. It has been such a blessing to meet in person and in the new building. In addition to meeting on Sunday’s, the church family has also just started to meet, once again, in-person on Wednesdays. WE ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF THE BUILDING!
PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR BUILDING WILL BE COMPLETED SOON!
A DISCIPLESHIP CULTURE
One of the things that we have tried to emphasize, is the importance of discipleship. I have not only committed myself to discipling others (presently discipling 12 men), but also have tried to establish a discipleship culture everywhere the Lord sends us. It has been exciting to hear that Lily recently began to disciple five young ladies. She is teaching them how to read and study their Bibles, how to pray, and how to cook.
Speaking of discipleship, our Discipleship Group in Chiang Khong (5 of us in person, one joining online) is going very well and it was great to have Brother Tom (not pictured below) rejoin us after his furlough. WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THOSE THAT HAVE INFLUENCED US OVER THE YEARS IN THIS MATTER OF PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP!
PLEASE PRAY FOR LILY AND THE GIRLS AND FOR OUR DISCIPLESHIP GROUP IN THAILAND!
OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION
One of the tremendous blessings (and there were many) of our trip to Laos was to see many of the folks that have been helped both physically and spiritually through the ministry of Samaritan’s Compassion. There were dozens but let me just mention two incredibly special ones. Many of you will remember that we were able to help a little girl named Phiangxay with a lifesaving surgery a few months ago. Well, I am glad to report to you that she is alive and well today. And three of the four people that trusted Christ because of our helping her are faithful members of the church. Again, many of you will remember a poor widow, caring for her eight grandchildren, that we have helped a few times—including with the surgery of one of the grandchildren—we also had a chance to meet them personally. Over the past two months so many have been helped because of the faithful prayers and giving of many. I would like to especially thank Dwight Tomlinson, Rick Dalton, Pastor Ryan Thompson and Liberty Baptist of Newport Beach, CA, and Pastor Kirk Beard and Crossroads Baptist in Hemet, CA. It was also a blessing to receive this report from Vietnam weeks ago:
In the first seven months of 2022, they were able to pass out approximately 611 food packages and 1903 people were fed. Of those that were cared for physically, 91 received Christ as Savior and 24 baptized.
That is what we call shining brightly for Jesus!!!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THIS MINISTRY!
As always, my wife and I are extremely grateful for all of you. Thank you for praying and giving towards our ministry in Southeast Asia. For HIS Glory in the Nations,
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 “COVIDCHURCH 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!
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.
Prior to COVID, for the past five or six years, churches in both **** (Creative Access Nation) and Thailand would gather every April for a wonderful time of good preaching and teaching of the Bible, along with lots of food, fun, and fellowship. I have had the opportunity, pleasure, and privilege to speak almost every year. It has always been a pleasure and a privilege.
Unfortunately, after COVID hit, we had to split Youth Conference into two conferences, one in each country. It has turned out to be a blessing (one of the many blessings of COVID). Now, far more people can attend and be challenged by good preaching. And, of course, many more people are able to get involved in all the various aspects of hosting and putting on a Conference.
This year’s conference in **** was tremendous! Twelve different churches and 150 young people had the privilege to gather for some great Bible preaching and teaching, and lots of food, fun, and fellowship. Pastor K, his wife Lily, and our college students in the village did a fantastic job planning, organizing, and hosting the event. Absolutely a fantastic time for all involved.
I was originally scheduled to speak in this year’s Conference, unfortunately, the borders were still closed, and we were not able to make it. It looks like the borders are opening soon, Denise and I are hoping to visit in June or July.
PLEASE PRAY THAT THE SEEDS OF GOD’S WORD THAT WERE SOWN DURING THE THREE DAYS OF THE CONFERENCE WILL BRING FORTH MUCH FRUIT!
Visit with Pastor Joe
As most of you know, my brother, Pastor Joe Esposito, has been ill now for over 8 years. Not long after Pacific Baptist Church’s 25th Anniversary, on the first day of our Missions’ Conference (just a couple of hours after I had preached to open the conference), my brother was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery. He was in a coma for the next year and a half, but God miraculously brought him out of the coma.
While he is still not totally recovered, we are thankful for all that the Lord has done in his life and glad that he is home with family, after spending nearly seven years in the home for assisted living. I had the opportunity to visit with him when we first arrived back in the States. We are grateful for his leadership, vision, and his consuming desire to make an impact, not only “around the corner,” but “around the world” during his 25 years as pastor of Pacific Baptist.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR JOE, HIS WIFE MARY, AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY!
Just before we left Thailand for our brief trip to the States, Denise, Jui, and I were scheduled to spend the day with our favorite Children’s Home. In fact, we were going to take the young people out shopping and for a meal at KFC. And then, COVID!
Oh yes! COVID ravaged the Children’s Home. In fact, all but five of the young people and staff tested positive and there was no chance of us being able to take them out to shop and feast. After everyone tested negative, it was too late, Denise and I had left the country. Thankfully, Jui went ahead and blessed the young people. Oh, I am sure he ate his share of Colonel Sander’s chicken too.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR CHRIS TAYLOR, HIS STAFF, AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE RONG BER HILLTOP BAPTIST CHILDREN’S HOME!
New Children’s Ministry Rooms
One of the many blessings of serving in such a needy part of the world and yet, have so many dear, faithful friends in prosperous America, is that my wife and I often have the pleasure and the privilege to help the two to join hands in various kingdom projects. Such is the case, in the building of two new Children’s Ministry rooms for two new church plants in the country of ****. Prior to this, the children were meeting outside under the sun and in extreme heat. Let us not talk about when it rained. Now, the children can meet inside with no distractions as they are taught the word of God.
A third project we were able to get some folks to rally behind was a building project, which would not only be home for a growing church family and our Bible students in the city, but also for Pastor K, his wife, and their two children. A special shout out to Pastor Ryan Thompson, the Liberty Baptist Church, and Newport Christian School of Newport Beach, CA for being very generous and helpful in all three of these projects!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE THESE THREE NEW BUILDINGS TO REACH MANY YOUNG AND OLD FOR CHRIST!
Discipleship and Teaching
As of right now, my four primary ministries – those consuming most of my time and energy – are (1) Discipling 10 men and one married couple; (2) Teaching our 24 Bible College students in two separate locations; (3) Operation Samaritan’s Compassion; (4) Preaching and teaching for our church family in Chiang Khong. Of course, the preaching and teaching in CK is on hold as of right now while Denise and I are on this short trip to the States. We definitely covet your prayers for these four areas of ministry!
The past seven weeks have been busy and blessed. In addition, to assisting with a few new building projects for the children (mentioned above) and meeting quite a few different physical needs, there were three “projects” that were a special blessing to be a part of.
First, we were able to help a four-year-old girl named Viengxay have a much-needed surgery. Praise the Lord, four people trusted Christ as a direct result of our helping this precious child.
Secondly, we assisted a very needy family put a floor in their house and get them some much needed supplies including a mattress for the children (they had been sleeping on the dirt floor). They were happy campers to say the least!
Thirdly, we were able to assist a former Muslim woman whose husband divorced her after she trusted Christ, get a fresh start in life.
We are incredibly grateful for the recent generous financial gifts for Operation Samaritan’s Compassion given by Liberty Baptist Church in Newport Beach, CA. (Pastor Ryan Thompson) and Crossroads Baptist Church in Hemet, CA. (Pastor Kirk Beard) that helped to make this assistance possible.
Over the past close to 16 months now, we have been able to partner with eleven different churches in two communist countries, pastored by National pastors to help the poor, the needy, the hurting, and the helpless. Here are reports I have received in recent days:
One combined report (8 churches) from one of two communist countries for the past 16 months concerning fruit from Operation Samaritan’s Compassion: We were able to help4,000 people. Most of this help was providing necessary food for the hungry. At least 189 of these trusted Christ! *In the above country, we have also been able to help them some, in the start of two new Bible Institutes.
One of our churches in the other communist country sent this report, for the past 16 months concerning fruit from Operation Samaritan’s Compassion: We were able to help more than one hundred families (at least 500 people) during this time. Most of this help was providing food for the hungry and/or medical assistance. At least 65 of them trusted Christ and most of these were baptized.
Another combined report from two other churches in this same country concerning fruit from Operation Samaritan’s Compassion: We were able to help over one hundred families (Again, about five hundred people) and more than 200 received Christ as their savior and many of these were baptized.
If my calculations are correct,that would be at least 6,000 different people helped physically and about 454 of them trusting Christ through the ministries of these eleven churches in the past 16 months in these two communist countries. Add to that a few new church plants as a direct result of this ministry!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OPERATIONS SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION AND THE FRUIT THAT COMES FROM THIS MINISTRY!
As always, Denise and I thank you for your faithful prayers and consistent financial support. We could not be where we are, nor could we do what we do if it were not for God’s grace and your generosity!
Nine years’ ago (March 14, 2013), my wife and I landed in Southeast Asia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) and started a new journey in life. After nearly thirty years of full-time ministry in the United States, we had entered this new phase of life and ministry as missionaries in Asia.
We had left our five children, 12 grandchildren (that number has increased to 29 now), our home church (Pacific Baptist Church) of 18 years, a wonderful position as an Assistant Pastor, Vice-President of Pacific Baptist Bible College, School Administrator of Pacific Baptist School, and the Pastor of our Filipino Ministry and stepped a whole new world.
We have spent the past nine years in living and serving in two communist countries (over 5 ½ years in these two countries), along with the countries of Cambodia and Thailand, along with doing some ministry in Indonesia and Myanmar.
My wife and I are very grateful for your continual prayers and consistent financial support over the past ten years (one year deputation). God has blessed in so many ways, but we could not be here, nor stay here if it weren’t for the grace of God and the generosity of God’s people!
PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR DENISE AND ME AS WE CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE LORD’S LEADING WHILE SERVING HERE IN ASIA!
Every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, thousands of Hmong and Thai people arrive in a small village called Phu Chi Fa. For the past eight years or so, our team here in Northern Thailand has used this as an opportunity to pass out thousands of tracts and share the gospel with those willing to listen. This year we passed out over 7,000 tracts, had the chance to personally share a clear presentation of the gospel with 35 men, women, and young people, and had 14 people bow their heads and trust Christ. I was even given the opportunity to preach the gospel for 15 minutes from the platform. It was great to see so many folks listen attentively to the message.
We are thankful for those of you that prayed for this special outreach and that God blessed the three days of ministry on top of the mountain!
PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BRING FORTH MUCH FRUIT FROM ALL THE SEED THAT WAS SOWN DURING THE VALENTINE’S FESTIVAL!
Valentine’s Day has become a popular holiday here in Southeast Asia over the past few years. This year, for many of the folks that I have been teaching what the Bible has to say about “Marriage and the Family,” it also became a wonderful opportunity for them to teach many
others about “Marriage and the Family.” We have heard so many good reports from our friends and fellow laborers that went out of their way and conducted special Valentine’s Day Fellowships and/or had special Sunday services the day before Valentine’s Day to encourage God’s people to have marriages and families that honor Christ.
PLEASE PRAY THAT THE TRUTHS OF GOD’S LOVE AND OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER, INCLUDING OUR FAMILIES, WOULD PERMEATE THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF THE BELIEVERS HERE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA!
OUR ADOPTED DAUGHTER While living and serving in one of the two communist countries that my wife and I lived in we had the privilege to have four Hmong teen/college age girls live with us. Their names were Bounmee, Pachu, Pachua, and Mai. We love all four of them dearly. Bounmee married Adrian Torres, one of our fellow team members and now lives and serves in the country of Cambodia. Pachua and Mai are still enrolled in the School of Ministry I had the privilege to start and oversee.
Pachu graduated from our School of Ministry and has now been serving as a missionary in the northern part of the country for over a year. She is serving alongside a dear pastor friend of ours. She has been such a blessing over the past year or so. She is teaching women, children, and teens the Bible. Along with this, she is teaching some of them how to use the computer, how to play the guitar, and some of them how to read their language. Illiteracy is a severe problem in this part of the world!
PLEASE PRAY FOR PACHU AND HER CHURCH FAMILY TO CONTINUE TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN THEIR PART OF THE COUNTRY!
PASTOR “B’s” Ministry
While living and serving in the Creative Access Nation for almost 4 ½ years, one of the men that we had the opportunity to influence is named “B.” He was one of my wife’s English students and I had the opportunity to teach him the Bible on many occasions. He is now pastoring and has been for the past five years.
Just prior to the COVID crisis his church was averaging about 30 or so, which by the way is tremendous in this part of the world, but during the pandemic his church doubled in attendance (despite four different lock downs, the last being 27 weeks), he saw dozens saved and baptized, and started two new village ministries. The vast majority of this was the result of him and our Bible
students reaching out to the poor, the needy, and the helpless and meeting their physical needs and spiritual needs. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to partner with them and to sit back and watch God bless!
PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR “B,” his family, and the ministry!
We are excited about three of our young ladies, from two of our village churches, which will be learning English in the city at a school run by a missionary. Learning English will help them to get better jobs in the future. One of the girls, Maixiong, is the daughter of Cherchou who I have been discipling for the past 26 months. Maixiong was in my wife’s Discipleship Group for close to two years before we got locked out of the country. We love Cherchou and his family. We are helping the girls, and we are praying that God will keep them safe in the city and help them to continue to grow to be the young ladies God desires for them to be. Will you pray with us?
As we mentioned in our last Prayer update, things have opened up quite a bit here in Southeast Asia over the past two months. That being said, the need to give a helping hand to the poor, the needy, and the helpless, especially those that have been affected by two years of lockdowns and restrictions is still very real. And, for this reason, we are extremely grateful that we can still partner with our friends and fellow laborers in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL FOR A HANDFUL OF CHURCHES THAT HAVE RECENTLY TAKEN UP SPECIAL OFFERINGS FOR OPERATION SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION!
As always, Denise and I want to thank you for your continual prayers and consistent financial support over the years, but above all, we thank you for your love and friendship!
Your Missionaries in Asia, Johnny and Denise Esposito