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

May 2022

Youth Conference

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!

Children’s Home

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!

Sound familiar?

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!

Samaritan’s Compassion

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!

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

January 4, 2022

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 Z 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 Z, 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 a creative access nation) 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!

NEW BUILDING

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 Z join us online (He’s from a creative access nation). One of the highlights of my week.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THESE GOOD MEN (TOM, TZER-CHANG, JAY, JUI, AND PASTOR Z)

CHILDREN’S HOME

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 (back home), 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 back home. 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!

SAMARITAN’S COMPASSION

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 A CREATIVE ACCESS NATION: “Thanks to Brother Esposito who inspired this program and assisted us. Thanks to my spiritual 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 BACK HOME: “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!

CHURCH FELLOWSHIP

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 home. 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 back home. 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