October 21, 2019

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It’s so hard to believe we are in the middle of October and less than 90 days before we enter a new year. God has been so good to my wife and me and the ministry we are a part of here in this communist country. It is only by God’s grace and goodness and your generosity that we are able to be where God wants us to be and do what God wants us to do. We both thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

The picture above is my wife and her Saturday Village Teen Girl’s Discipleship Group. My wife has been discipling them now for well over a year and it is beginning to pay huge spiritual dividends. Nearly every one of these young ladies is not only faithfully reading their Bibles daily and memorizing scripture on a weekly basis but are now assisting in different areas of ministry. Grateful for a wife who loves the Lord and the young people here!

PLEASE PRAY FOR MY WIFE AND THESE GIRLS!

Much of mine and my wife’s time and resources, as well as our ministry’s resources are invested in this very village mentioned above. For more than a year and a half now, Jui and I, have been going to this village once or twice a week and my wife has been going weekly. We have had the opportunity to build relationships, preach, teach, disciple, mentor leaders, teach English, and help to see a strong church established and pastored by a National pastor. This past week my wife and our School of Ministry girls put together a Ladies’ Fellowship for the Ladies and Teen Girls in the village. They had a great time and my wife had the privilege to speak for them. Again, we thank God for your prayers and support that have enabled this to happen!

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IMG_8354PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS VILLAGE MINISTRY TO CONTINUE TO THRIVE AND EXPAND TO OTHER VILLAGES!

In recent days, I gathered up a report of salvations and baptisms from the summer months from the seven different Hmong congregations that I have the chance to be a part of, either directly or indirectly (by training their pastors and church leaders). To God be the glory, we had 30 people saved and 24 baptized. Now, that might not sound too impressive to those of you in the U.S., but here in our context, that’s huge. That’s God!

IMG_3568PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL SEVEN OF THESE CHURCHES AND FOR GOD TO CONTINUE TO BLESS THEIR EFFORTS TO REACH THE HMONG PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY!

As I have mentioned in previous Updates, nearly every month I go to another one of our village ministries to teach and preach. Because of security issues, they make me spend the night in a little guesthouse on the other side of the river and pick me up in the morning. I always enjoy spending the weekend with them. Kong, his wife Lilee, and four of our School of Ministry girls are doing a great job in this village. Kong, Lillee, the girls and my wife and I are grateful for your prayers and for your giving!!

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IMG_8792.jpgPLEASE PRAY FOR THIS VILLAGE MINISTRY TO CONTINUE TO THRIVE AND EXPAND TO OTHER VILLAGES!

God has blessed us with a record enrollment in our English school. We have 67 students this term. My wife is doing a great job overseeing the school. Of course, she has some really good workers in Jui, Justin, and Lilee.

Now that our English classes are in session, my wife has different classes rotating  for a time of fellowship at our house. They are having the time of their lives and experiencing Mexican food for the first time. It’s a great time of bonding with the students and, Lord willing, opening doors to share the gospel with them in the future!

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IMG_8704PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR SCHOOL AND OUR STUDENTS!

It was a blessing to be able to fly to Cambodia for a few days and meet up with one of our supporting pastors, Pastor Joel Kobernat, and a few of his good men. We had a great time catching up and even doing a little bit of ministry. Crosspoint Baptist church is a church that is making a difference in their Jerusalem and has a heart to make a difference around the world. So very thankful for their church family covering the cost of my flight and the hotel!

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It’s so hard to believe that we are already more than half way through our School of Ministry’s Fall Term. This past week our students took their Midterm exams in all three classes (Genesis, Romans, Bible Doctrines) and they all did extremely well. We are so very grateful for the opportunity, the privilege, and the awesome responsibility that we have to train up these future laborers for the harvest here in this country.

IMG_8837PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AND OUR STUDENTS!

The picture below is the famous Mekong River. My wife and I live about 200 yards from the river. Every day, at least a couple times a day, I walk along this river to pray, to exercise, or simply for a time of walking with my wife.

From China to Vietnam, the Mekong River is the lifeblood of Southwest China and Southeast Asia. It flows through six different countries: China’s Yunnan Province (47 million people), Myanmar (54 million people), Thailand (68 million people), Laos (7 million people), Cambodia (15 million people), and Vietnam (95 million people). That’s just under 290 million people that can be found in these five countries and China’s Yunnan Province.

The need in these countries is great; China’s Yunnan Province 3-5% professing “Christian;” Myanmar 7% professing “Christian;” Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos less than 2% professing “Christian;” Vietnam 8% professing “Christian.” Of course, most of these professing “Christians” in Vietnam are Catholic!

IMG_8148PLEASE PRAY GOD WOULD SEND LABORERS TO THIS NEEDY PART OF THE WORLD!

Denise and I, along with our church family here, want to say, “Thank you and God bless you for praying, giving, and loving.”

Your Missionaries in Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

“We must not treat the Great Commission as the Great Suggestion.”

September 16, 2019

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The above picture is a picture of five of the precious children from one of our village ministries. While I was walking and praying, they sought me out. I think it had something to do with the candy in my pocket. My wife and I, along with the rest of our Team, are grateful for the opportunity to work with the children, teenagers, and college age young people in this country.

This country is a very “young” country, with the Median Age being 23 years old. Compare that number with three other countries we have served in: The United States (38.1 years old), Thailand (37.7 years old), and China (37.4 years old). In other words, there’s a lot of potential for the future and for Christ here!

PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL GIVE US WISDOM ON HOW TO BEST SERVE THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNIST COUNTRY!

We had a tremendous summer, but, as you well know, summer has come and gone. God has been so good to us and for this we are grateful! Two weeks ago, our new Fall Term for our School of Ministry opened its doors. We presently have 16 young men and women representing five different tribal groups enrolled in our school and training for the ministry. Praise the Lord, we even opened up a Ladies’ Dorm! We presently have six dorm girls and they are all a real blessing!

What a privilege it is to teach these hungry students. I am presently teaching three days a week (Genesis, Romans, Bible Doctrines), along with spending an hour each week in a Discipleship Group with the men, while my wife meets with the ladies. We are so very grateful for Pastor Joe’s original vision, for Koumaly Thongdy’s desire, for Brother Tomlinson and Barnabas1040’s faithful financial support, and for your prayers and financial support that enable us to operate the School of Ministry and train future laborers!

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IMG_7743PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BLESS OUR SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AND OUR STUDENTS!

So very thankful to God for the Team He has brought together here! A little over two weeks ago, we had the privilege to conduct our Team Orientation. Normally, we conduct Orientation in the Fall and the Spring, and it’s usually three or four days long. This year, we had to keep it at two days. It was a blessing to have Brother Koumaly Thongdy with us for one of the two days. As always, it was a great time for bonding, learning, and encouraging one another. We are very excited about our Team and what God has in store for us over the next few months and years.

IMG_7747PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM TO BE USED BY GOD TO REACH THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY!

Not only did our School of Ministry open its doors this month, but our English School just opened its doors last week. We rejoice in the Lord that we are able to have a school and influence many young people for good and for God. We presently have seven classes and 62 students. I believe that might be a new record. If not a record, very close to one.

As you know, the Thongdy’s are back in the States indefinitely because of their daughter’s health issues (please continue to pray for them), and because of this, we are offering one less class than we did in the Spring.  And yet, we have the same amount of students that we had in the Spring. We are very grateful to have Justin Keo teaching two classes for us this term. He’s doing a great job!

My wife and I have known the Keo family before Justin was born. In fact, before his parents were married. We all served together at Cambodian Baptist/Pacific Baptist in Long Beach, CA for many years prior to coming to the field. Justin and his family are fellow Team Members with our Team in Cambodia. They have been serving there for about eight years.

SELCPLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BLESS OUR ENGLISH TERM AND THAT OUR STUDENTS WILL COME TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

If you keep up with our regular Prayer Updates, you know that for the past year we have been in a time of transition and have been making a lot of changes that would enable us to reach more people, train more people, and SEND MORE PEOPLE. We are thankful to God for another change that we made recently, which is turning out to be a huge blessing for so many and definitely helping us to reach, train, and SEND MORE PEOPLE.

All of our people – including my wife and me – are now serving in one of five different congregations (actually seven congregations if you count our School of Ministry students that are not a part of our church family) on Sundays. Nine of “our own” college students are serving in these different congregations on Sunday mornings. Needless to say, they are a tremendous blessing and making a huge difference for good and for God in these different congregations. They are serving in so many different ways. They preach and teaching for adults, teens, and children. They are discipling men, women, and young people. They are leading singing, organizing and leading choirs, and the list goes on.  We are praising God for what He is doing in and through the School of Ministry students and these congregations. I am positively convinced that this is exactly what  my brother, Pastor Joe, envisioned for this ministry and this country!

Our Team, our college students, and a few other folks gather together on Sunday evenings for a time of worship, a time of testifying of God’s goodness during the weekend, and a challenge from God’s Word. This past Sunday we had a sweet time of  worship and fellowship around the Lord’s Table. We also meet on Wednesday evening for a time of Bible study. We are presently going verse-by-verse through the Book of James!

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Filipino ServicePLEASE PRAY FOR ALL OF THESE CONGREGATIONS AND ESPECIALLY FOR THE HANDS-ON TRAINING OUR SCHOOL OF MINISTRY STUDENTS ARE RECEIVING!

So grateful for faithfulness of our fellow Team Members, Tom and Sue Sutrick. It was great to hear that this Hmong woman below, Mrs. Kong Meng, from Chiang Khong, Thailand trusted Christ yesterday. I have had the chance to share the Gospel with her twice over the past few years, as have Tom and Sue on numerous occasions. She’s always been very open to listen, but hesitant to believe. Thank God, yesterday, she took that step of faith.

IMG_7848PLEASE PRAY FOR MRS. KONG MENG’S SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND HER HUSBAND’S SALVATION!

As we mentioned in our last Prayer Update, we thank God for the blessing of having our daughter Joy and her son, Aaron, along with two of our other grandchildren, Abby and Josiah, visit with us here in Southeast Asia for three weeks. At the same time, it was sure hard to say goodbye to them as they headed back home.

IMG_7123PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO KEEP THEIR EYES FOCUSED UPON CHRIST AND THEIR HEARTS FIXED ON THE CAUSE OF CHRIST!

My wife, Denise, and I are so very grateful for all of our family, friends, and the many churches that support us with their prayers, encouraging words, and financial gifts. As we have said often, we couldn’t be here or do what we are doing with God and you.

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

 

August 19, 2019

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The picture above is our grandson, Josiah, “dreaming” of driving one of our Team’s Tuk-tuks, after we took a group of the Bible college and teen girls from Phnom Penh, Cambodia out for some pizza. All of the grandkids seemed to love riding in the Tuk-tuks, but only Josiah dreamed of driving one! 🙂

Chiang Khong, Thailand

Two or three times a year, I travel northwest to Chiang Khong, Thailand to spend a week with our team in the mountains of Northern Thailand. My purpose for these trips is to be an encouragement to Tom and Sue Sutrick and their church family, as well as, Jay and Heidi Chang. On nearly every one of these trips I also take 3 or 4 days to teach Hmong pastors and church leaders from across the Mekong River. These men and their wives are always hungry for the Word of God.

Regrettably, on this trip, our 3-day Conference had to be canceled for security reasons. My wife and I were definitely sad that the conference was canceled, but this gave us a chance to spend much more time preaching, teaching, and soul-winning with Tom and Sue and their church family!

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IMG_6128PLEASE PRAY FOR TOM AND SUE AS THEY SERVE THE HMONG PEOPLE OF NORTHERN THAILAND!

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After spending a week with our Team in Thailand, my wife and I flew into Cambodia and spent eight days with our Team in Cambodia. My wife and I lived and served with our Team in Cambodia for two years, therefore, along with our Team, we have many dear friends. Of course, anyone who is familiar with the work in Cambodia can tell you it is nothing short of miraculous. By God’s grace, Brother Dave Board, the rest of the Team, and the Nationals are doing a fantastic job!

We also met up with my daughter Joy (who served with us in Cambodia for 15 months and flew in to meet up with us), and a few of our grandchildren. 🙂 So, in addition to preaching and/or teaching five times,  going soul-winning, and spending some quality time with some of the folks we had the chance to disciple and work alongside while we were living and serving in the country, Denise and I  also had some grandma and grandpa time with the kids!

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IMG_6936PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TEAM AND THE NATIONALS SERVING IN CAMBODIA!

Combined Missions’ Conference in a Creative Access Nation

As you know, we serve in a communist country. Nearly everything we do is under the radar. Needless to say, it presents quite a few challenges. We just did something that, to my knowledge, has never been done in our country. We held a Missions’ Conference! It was actually a Combined Missions’ Conference with at least nine different churches participating. It was hosted by our dear friend and fellow-laborer, Aaron Inventor and his church family!

In addition to speakers from our country, we had speakers from four different countries. It was a real blessing to have our dear friend of many years, Dwight Tomlinson with us for the week. Brother Tomlinson is the Founder and Director of Barnabas 1040, a ministry that raises support for National Pastors in the 1040 Window. Barnabas 1040 now supports over fifty National Pastors in 14 different countries, including seven from our country!

All I can say is it was a great week!

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IMG_6136PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN IN THIS MISSIONS’ CONFERENCE AND THAT THE NATIONAL BELIEVERS WILL GET A HEART FOR THE WORLD!

End of the Summer Term School Party

Our Summer Term for our English School was fantastic! We had such a good time, and it ended with a bang with our End of the Summer Term Party. Nearly every student was in attendance, there was plenty of food, fun (including a dunk tank), and fellowship, or bonding with the students.

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20190718_113024206_iOSPLEASE PRAY FOR OUR ENGLISH SCHOOL TO BE A PLACE WHERE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY, FOR THE SALVATION OF OUR STUDENTS, AND FOR THE UPCOMING FALL TERM!

As always, my wife and I would like to thank you for your prayers and financial support. All that God leads and allows us to do is the result of His grace and your goodness!

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

 

July 8, 2019

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My wife and I want to thank all of our family, friends, sending church, and the many churches that are partnering with us in our work here in Southeast Asia. As always, God has been good. The past month has been busy, blessed, and bountiful for sure.

The picture above is Kong and seven young people that he had the privilege of baptizing a few weeks ago. Kong is one of our Student of Ministry students, who is also pastoring a church that he planted a couple years ago in his home village.

Along with being a full-time student in our School of Ministry, Kong and his wife are doing a great job in their church plant. Over the past three months, they have seen eleven people trust Christ and fourteen people baptized. These kinds of numbers are totally unheard of in this country. He and his wife Lilee, along with our “adopted” daughter Mai, are doing a great job discipling their young people.

As I mentioned in a previous update, Kong has also recently started a new ministry in another village about thirty minutes away from his present church plant. As of now, they have a Saturday evening service once a month and three times a month Kong picks them up early in the morning for worship at the church plant in his village!

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IMG_4983PLEASE PRAY FOR KONG, LILEE, AND MAI AS THEY MINISTER TO THE HMONG PEOPLE IN THESE TWO VILLAGES!

The past month has been a wonderful time for our ministry, as well as a bit trying to say the least. In the past thirty days, the Thongdy’s have had to return to the States for a season. Their daughter Sommer has had some health issues for nearly a year, and they were unable to get an answer on this side of the Pacific. We thank God for Koumaly and his family and their faithfulness in this country the past seven or eight years!

IMG_7550PLEASE PRAY FOR THE THONGDY’S, ESPECIALLY FOR SOMMER!

One of our sweet young ladies, Pachoua, lost her mother recently to a motorbike accident. We are grateful for our church family here in the Capital city and our two church plants, especially many of our Hmong men who traveled about ten hours and sacrificed financially to support and assist the family during the funeral. Pachoua has now moved in with my wife and me, Pachu and Mai. So, she officially replaces Bounmee who recently got married as one of our “adopted daughters” living here with us.

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IMG_4840PLEASE PRAY FOR PACHOUA (far left), HER FATHER, AND YOUNGER SIBLINGS!

For missionaries, visa issues are often a “thorn in the flesh,” but especially in a “Creative Access” nation, which is communist. 🙂 My wife and I are having some visa issues and have for the past few months, but Lord willing, it will be resolved over the next week or so!

PLEASE PRAY WITH US ABOUT OUR VISA ISSUE!

As we mentioned in our last update, it has been a blessing to have Josh and Jason Board with us for a short time this summer. Jason just returned to Cambodia a few days ago. Josh will be with us until the end of our English Summer Term. Mary Hem, one of my former students from Pacific Baptist School and Pacific Baptist Bible College, a young lady my wife and I love dearly, is with us for three weeks. It’s a joy to have her volunteering to teach for us.

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IMG_4842PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE THREE YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE GREATLY USED OF GOD IN THE FUTURE!

In the past month, we started our Summer Term for both our English School and our School of Ministry. We thank God for a good start in both of them. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be able to teach the young people here the English language, thus bettering their life in the future, and using the school to build relationships with the young people, often having them over our house for food and fun. It is also a tremendous privilege and pleasure to be able to teach hungry hearts the word of God. This term we are offering Ephesians, the Book of Acts 2, New Testament Survey 3, and both Men’s and Women’s Discipleship!

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IMG_4849PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR ENGLISH SCHOOL AND SCHOOL OF MINISTRY

Speaking of our School of Ministry, it is good to have Souphan and Sen back with us. Souphan was saved and baptized in our ministry about four years ago. Sen is like a daughter to us, she lived with my wife and me for 17 months in the past. The two of them were married about three years ago, have been serving in Thailand, recently had a baby, and have returned home. Souphan was attending Bible classes in Thailand and is now attending Bible classes here.

IMG_4986PRAY FOR SOUPHAN, SEN, AND THEIR NEWBORN BABY!  

Pastor Lee Seng, along with pastoring a congregation of about 40 people in a village about thirty minutes from the Capital city, in which we have partnered together, is still working very closely with six other churches that he has started in the past. I was blessed to be able to teach the pastors and church leaders from all six of these churches all day about a month or so ago. He and his church family, with assistance from Barnaba1040, are presently in the process of building a small building that will be used for church services and Bible training of pastors and church leaders. Over the past three months, Pastor Lee Seng and his ministry have had one family trust Christ and get baptized!

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Over the past 14 months, on Saturday mornings, my wife and I, along with two of our School of Ministry students have been going to the village where Pastor Lee Seng’s church plant is located. We teach the children and teens both English and the Bible.

Jui, one of our School of Ministry men, and I have been going to the village on Thursday evenings to have a “Children’s and Teen Bible Study Night.” We will have anywhere from 25-30 (as many as 40) children, teens, and adults in the service. Along with our desire to teach the word of God to these young people, our primary purpose for doing this is to help to train the Hmong men how to work with their young people. This is a great need here!

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39ff0153-feb1-4a7c-a00e-be03d51d8064PLEASE PRAY FOR PASTOR LEE SENG, THE FOLKS IN THIS VILLAGE, AND THE HMONG CHURCH LEADERSHIP!

As we have mentioned in previous updates, once a month we have a special service with a pastor friend of ours from Thailand. Pastor Pradit teaches in a small Bible college that actually has had a few of our young people attending. It’s always a special service when he comes. This last weeks service was no exception. One of the many blessings was the six former prisoners (four men, two women) that were in attendance that trusted Christ, while in prison, through Pastor Pradit’s Prison Ministry. They are all out of prison now and faithfully serving Christ!

IMG_4985PLEASE PRAY FOR GOD TO USE THESE FOLKS FOR HIS GLORY! 

T.J. and Kham Slayman, our fellow team members, also left for a furlough recently. We thank God for their impact and influence over the many years here in this country. They just have a special gift for working with people, especially the Hmong people. We had a special “going away” service their last Sunday here. It was a wonderful time of food, fun, and fellowship. Lots of tears being shed too!

IMG_4987PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SLAYMAN’S AND LAMPHAN WHILE THEY ARE IN THE STATES!

My wife and I are so grateful and would like to thank you for your consistent and continual prayers and financial support. The Lord knows that anything that is being accomplished here is the result of God’s grace and your goodness!

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

 

 

 

June 10, 2019

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HMONG MEN’S MEETING

One of the many  needs in this part of the world – in fact, one of the greatest needs–is teaching on the family, and especially the “next generation.” Over the next few months, I will be teaching three different groups (two Hmong, one Thai) in special meetings on the family. This past week was the first of the three meetings. I had the privilege to preach and teach for 10 men, primarily pastors and church leaders, on “God, the Family, the Church, and a Multi-Generational Vision.” We had a wonderful time and I believe a very beneficial time for all who were there. There were 5 pastors and church leaders from six different churches in attendance. Some of these good men came from as far as 13 hours away by motorbike or bus for a one-day meeting. Very humbling to say the least! THE PICTURE ABOVE WAS BLURRED FOR SECURITY REASONS!

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY GOD HAS OPENED UP FOR US TO INFLUENCE MANY CHURCH LEADERS IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD, WE ASK THAT YOU PRAY AS WE CONTINUE TO DO SO, AND SPECIFICALLY PRAY FOR THIS GROUP OF MEN!

OUR GETAWAY

Because of schedule conflicts, my wife and I were unable to get away for our 37th anniversary in December. Once the Spring Term for our English school and School of Ministry was finished, we took the opportunity to get away and head to Chiang Mai, Thailand. We had a fun time! I thank God for a wonderful wife and helpmeet who has literally followed me all over the world as we have served Christ and the cause of Christ together.

IMG_3666PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MY WIFE AND ME AS WE SERVE TOGETHER IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD!

PREACHING FOR TWO CHURCHES

While in Chiang Mai, I was asked by two different churches if I would preach for their Sunday services. One of the churches (a fairly new church plant) was planted by our friends from the States, Jonathon, and Alisa Ballou, and the other one was planted and has been pastored for many years now by a Thai national, Pastor Srithone. I thank God for these two good churches in a country that is 85 percent Buddhist and less than one percent Evangelical Christian. What a special blessing it was to find out that an adult man trusted Christ after I preached for the Ballou’s!

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IMG_3665DENISE AND I THANK GOD FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WAS OPENED TO US TO PREACH AT BOTH OF THESE CHURCHES AND WE ASK THAT YOU PRAY THAT THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN WILL BRING FORTH FRUIT!

MIDWEEK SERVICES

After returning from Chiang Mai, I preached for both of our Midweek services. One in the Capitol city and the other in one of our village ministries. In both locations, I started a mini-series on “Having a Vision/Burden Birthed from Above” from the Book of Nehemiah. I was especially excited by the crowd in the village. Great response to the message in both locations.

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IMG_3667MY WIFE AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE WITH THE MANY FOLKS, YOUNG AND OLD, IN OUR THREE DIFFERENT CONGREGATIONS AND WE ASK THAT YOU CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT GOD WILL BLESS THESE WORKS!

PASTOR SRITHONE

A longtime friend of our team here in Laos, also named Srithone, dropped in on our midweek service on his way to plant a new work in the southern part of our country. For the past 19 years, he has been serving in the north among the Khmu people. The new work will be among the Bru tribe!

IMG_3670GOD HAS BEEN SO GOOD TO US THESE PAST SIX YEARS OR SO IN ALLOWING US TO MEET GOOD MEN LIKE PASTOR SRITHONE AND WE COVET YOUR PRAYERS FOR HIM AND HIS FAMILY AS THEY EMBARK ON THIS NEW WORK IN A DIFFICULT PART OF THE COUNTRY!

PREACHING FOR FILIPINO CONGREGATION

Six years ago, when my wife and I first arrived in Asia, we lived and served here with our team in this country for seventeen months. During this time, I had the privilege to preach every Sunday for those seventeen months at the Filipino congregation in the Capitol city. On a few occasions, over the past few years, I have had the privilege to return and preach for them, this past Sunday was one of those occasions. Our dear friend, Pastor Aaron is in the States and asked me to preach. As always, it was a blessing. These are wonderful folks and they love preaching!

IMG_3734BOTH DENISE AND I ARE GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR THE FRIENDSHIPS FORGED OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS WITH THIS CHURCH FAMILY AND THEIR PASTOR AND WE ASK THAT YOU WOULD PRAY FOR THEM, ESPECIALLY SISTER ICY, PASTOR AARON’S WIFE, WHO HAS BEEN VERY ILL FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS!

JOSH AND JASON

As many of you know, Dave Board (our Team Leader in Cambodia) and I served together for many years at Pacific Baptist church in Long Beach, CA under the leadership of my brother, Pastor Joe. I have known Brother Board long before his children were born. So, to have his two sons come and serve with us for a short time this summer is a great blessing. They arrived this past week. Josh (24 years old) will be with us for about seven weeks and Jason (18 years old) will be with us for three weeks. We are anticipating that they will be a tremendous blessing to our folks and our ministry and praying that our ministry will be a blessing to them.We even had a chance to sneak in a surprise birthday party for Joshua.

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IMG_4063WE THANK GOD FOR JOSH AND JASON BOARD, AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE BOARD FAMILY, AND WE ASK THAT YOU PRAY FOR THEIR TIME HERE WITH US!

Both Denise and I would like to thank you for your prayers and financial support. The Lord knows that anything that has been accomplished in the past or will be accomplished in the near or distant future, is the result of God’s grace and your goodness!

Your Missionaries in Southeast Asia,

Johnny and Denise Esposito

 

May 14, 2019

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CELEBRATION SERVICE

We presently have three different congregations up and running on a weekly basis. Two of these are works in villages, while the other is the “mother,” which meets, as it always has, in the capitol city.  Every three months we do our best to get together for a “Celebration Service.” This is always a great time of worship, testifying of God’s goodness, lots of good singing from the three different congregations, teaching and preaching from the word of God, and, of course, plenty of good local food. We celebrated together this past Sunday and honored our mothers for Mother’s Day too. We had a wonderful service!

WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR. GOD SURELY HAS BEEN GOOD TO US AND THE PEOPLE WE HAVE BEEN PRIVILEGED TO BE A PART OF!

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IMG_2958PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL THREE CONGREGATIONS AND THE MEN THAT ARE LEADING THEM!

END OF SCHOOL OF MINISTRY SPRING TERM

We just completed our third term in our School of Ministry. Well, actually, the term isn’t officially over until this week when the students take their Final Exams. Our students have done extremely well with their class work in the New Testament Survey 2, Acts 1, Bible Doctrines 1, and the Men and Lady’s Discipleship classes. All of our students are very active in our ministry and, to be honest with you, without them, we simply couldn’t  do a fraction of what is being done here. Our summer term begins in three weeks!

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE PRIVILEGE TO TEACH THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE A SINCERE DESIRE TO KNOW AND SERVE GOD!

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IMG_5626PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS (Kong, Jui, Lamphan, Pachu, Mai, and Lilee) TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH AND THEIR FERVOR FOR THE LORD!

END OF S.E.L.C. SPRING TERM

As many of you know, we operate an English school here, and have for years. The Thongdy’s, Koumaly and Darath, started the school about seven year’s ago. The English school affords us the opportunity to be here in the country, to meet many young people, build relationships, and even see some of them saved and baptized.

Along with teaching two classes, my wife has been administrating the school for about a year now and she has done a wonderful job. We had a record enrollment this term with 63 students. It really has been a great term. Final Exams and the End of the Term Party were held this past week. The vast majority of the students did very well on their Finals, and the Term Party was a blast!

WE THANK GOD FOR OUR STUDENTS, FOR OUR FAITHFUL TEACHERS AND STAFF, AND FOR THE THONGDY’S WILLINGNESS TO LEAVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO COME TO THIS COUNTRY!

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IMG_2896PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR STUDENTS AND OUR SCHOOL!

HOSPITALITY MINISTRY

As Christians, we are to love God with every fiber of our being and love others as we love ourselves. This matter of loving others is an absolutely necessary component of the Christian life, and if we are going to love people, we are going to have to extend our hands of compassion towards others and be a hospitable people. This is especially necessary in a country where it is illegal for us to gather and to proselytize. Whether its bringing some food over to a lonely grandma, bringing a birthday gift, an illustrated Bible to neighbors, or having neighbors over to eat, giving food and financial aid to the poor and the hurting, we do what we can with the Lord’s help to let folks outside of the body of Christ know that we care!

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IMG_9093PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR HOSPITALITY MINISTRY!

As most of you know, my brother, Pastor Joe, has been hospitalized for almost six years. He spent nearly 18 months in a coma. And for the last few years, since coming out of the coma, has been making remarkable, if not miraculous, progress. This can be attributed to a loving and merciful God, a loving and patient family, and the prayers of hundreds, if not thousands around the world. About a week ago, Pastor Joe went home and was reunited with his family. Needless to say, it was a time of rejoicing!

ON BEHALF OF MY BROTHER AND ALL OF THE FAMILY, WE THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR HIM AND THE FAMILY FOR THE PAST 5 1/2 YEARS! 

IMG_3010PLEASE PRAY FOR MY BROTHER AND HIS FAMILY DURING THIS TIME OF TRANSITION!

My wife, Denise, and I would like to thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support. Anything that has already been accomplished, and will be accomplished in the near or distant future, on this side of the Pacific, is the direct result of God’s grace and your goodness!

Johnny and Denise

“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” – John Stott

 

April 18, 2019

IMG_1816For the past four years, our team here has been hosting a Youth Conference in Thailand. It’s only a two or three-hour drive from where we live and serve. For security reasons, we have yet to hold one here in this country but are praying about doing so next year. As always, this year’s conference was a real blessing. Our theme for the conference was “Is There Not A Cause?”  

We arrived in Udon Thani, Thailand on Friday afternoon. On Saturday evening, I had the privilege to preach for a special service for the Udon church family, as well as some of our folks who arrived a few days early for the conference. I preached a message from Galatians chapter one, “God’s Two-Fold Purpose for Paul’s Life and Our’s.”

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I had the opportunity to, once again, preach on Sunday morning for the Udon church family and our folks. I preached a message and challenged the folks, with five lessons from Jeremiah’s letter to those in Babylonian captivity [Jeremiah 29:1-14]. We had a great crowd; a great time of worship; a great response to the message; and a great time of food and fellowship after the service.

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The Youth Conference was fantastic! I believe we had 13 or 14 churches represented from three different countries. The preaching, the teaching, the congregational worship, the dozens of specials, the skit (oh, yes, the skit), the food, the fun, and the fellowship made for a truly God-blessed three days. Fellow Team Members, Koumaly, Darath, Kong, Lilee, Jui, and Lamphan did a tremendous job planning this conference. Grateful for Koumaly’s vision for this a few year’s ago. It was a tremendous privilege to have Bounna and Thy Has, along with two of the Bible college students, from Cambodia with us during Youth Conference. They were all an awesome blessing!

I had the privilege to preach the closing message. I preached from Exodus 3, on “Moses and the Burning Bush.” Dozens of folks came to the platform for prayer that had surrendered to serve God full-time either in the past or during that service. It was a heart-warming moment for sure!

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Unfortunately, many of our church family and extended church family were unable to cross the border for this year’s Youth Conference. So very grateful for fellow Team members, TJ and his wife Kham, along with others, for hosting a mini-Youth Conference on this side of the border. From what I understand, they had a wonderful time. They even had something we didn’t have – a dunk tank! 🙂

IMG_1820PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL BRING GREAT INCREASE FROM THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN DURING BOTH OF THESE YOUTH CONFERENCES!

Every once in a while, I have the privilege to go to one of our village ministries about an hour-and-a-half away from where we live and serve. For security purposes, I can’t go  there often, it could cause serious problems for the folks in the village. It’s always a joy and a blessing to be with Kong, Lilee, and their folks. On my most recent trip, I had the privilege to preach twice and we partook of the Lord’s Supper. This was a first time experience for their church family!

IMG_1344Kong started this work about three years ago, after surrendering to serve God “full-time” when hearing me preach in Nong Khai, Thailand at a Bible Camp. Every week they hold services and different Bible studies for the young people of the village. They also have recently started a new work in another village about 30 minutes away. Nearly every month, he and his wife Lilee, along with one of our “adopted daughters” has the privilege of seeing someone trust Christ!

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bf91b4b3-b160-49af-a305-b9e466816f62PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR KONG, LILEE, AND MAI AS THEY SERVE THE PEOPLE IN THIS VILLAGE!

A couple weeks ago, on a Friday, our ministry conducted two separate Teen Activities in two different locations. What a blessing! Between the two locations we had nearly 70 teenagers in attendance. Praise the Lord! Jui and a few others organized the Teen Activity in the Capital city, while Kong, Lilee, and Mai organized the one in their village. Of course, there was plenty of good fun, good clean fun, and teaching from God’s word!  IMG_1347PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR TEENAGERS!

Three weeks ago, Darath Thongdy, my wife, and a few other ladies hosted a Ladies’ Fellowship. We had quite a few teen girls and adult ladies. They too had plenty of food, fun, and fellowship,  and my wife had the privilege to speak for the ladies!

IMG_1346PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR LADIES AND OTHER CHRISTIAN LADIES HERE IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD TO BE A LIGHT IN THEIR HOMES, VILLAGES, AND WHEREVER GOD MAY HAVE THEM!

Again, my wife and I, would like to thank each and every one of you for your faithful and consistent prayers and financial support as we continue to labor here in Asia!

 

Johnny and Denise

March 18, 2019

IMG_0358The picture above is of our one of our “adopted daughters” (Pachu) and two girls from the northern part of our country. These two girls are for sale.

Yes, you read it right, they are for sale!

To make a long story short, their mother, who recently remarried, was told by her new husband to get rid of the girls. And, if she didn’t he would kill all three of them. So, she is going from village to village trying to sell them off to the first buyer, apparently to people she knows.

Unfortunately, this is one of the many sad realities of this part of the world. I thought I would take a moment and share a few thoughts on this tragic happening that is so prevalent in this part of the world.

In Southeast Asia and elsewhere, “the scourge of human trafficking,” sometimes called “modern slavery,” affects some 40 million men, women, and children around the world – and the vast majority of them are found in this part of the world.

According to the United Nations, during a three-year time period, more than 60 percent of identified victims of human trafficking were trafficked for sexual exploitation. Again, according to the United Nations, forced marriages of young women and young girls are rampant in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia. By the way, my wife and I live about 200 yards from the Mekong River.

All that, to say this: please keep the poor women and children in this part of the world in your prayers. Not only for their souls but for their physical safety!

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE POOR, NEEDY, AND HELPLESS CHILDREN IN SOUTHEAST ASIA!

It’s always a special blessing to have friends from the States visit with us, but it was an extra special blessing to have our longtime friends and faithful supporters, Pat and Maria Culley, from California, spend a week with us. They were able to sit in on all six of our English classes (the students loved the Culley’s), our School of Ministry classes, attend our Sunday and Midweek services, our Tuesday Team Meeting, and, of course, a lot of great food and fellowship.

The Culley’s are the epitome of how a Christian couple ought to retire and live the last quarter of their lives. They are faithfully serving and giving at their home church, and I believe they personally support 20 missionaries. After leaving us, they headed to Cambodia to be with our team there and then off to Dubai to spend a week with a Filipino missionary. They have been to so many countries visiting and encouraging missionaries.

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IMG_0344PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CULLEY’S AND THAT GOD WOULD RAISE UP MANY MORE OLDER COUPLES LIKE THEM IN OUR CHURCHES!   

Our Thursday and Saturday ministry in a village about 30 minutes from the capital city is growing leaps and bounds. Both Thursday and Saturday are geared primarily towards teens and children, and on Saturday we teach both English and the Bible, but we are even seeing some adults attend our Thursday evening Bible study.

On Thursday evenings, I have been teaching on the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. I am grateful for our workers. Jui, Lamphan, Pachu, Tabby, and Denise (my wife) who have such a heart for the young people and go the second mile in ministering to them. It has also been a blessing to get quite a few of the teenagers involved with serving!

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IMG_0362PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL RAISE UP MANY OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE FAITHFUL SERVANTS IN THE HARVEST FIELDS OF THIS COUNTRY AND BEYOND! 

It was a blessing to have our brother T.J. Slayman preach for us on two consecutive Sundays.  As we have mentioned in previous updates, our theme for 2019 is “Pursuing Christ and Christlikeness.” T.J. taught on the importance of winning the battle for the mind if we are going to pursue Christ and a Christlike life.

IMG_0347PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR SUNDAY SERVICES AND FOR OUR FOLKS TO CATCH THE VISION OF LOVING JESUS AND LIVING A HOLY LIFE!

About three weeks ago Kong went to a wedding in his village and had the opportunity to see a long lost friend named Sia. Before he left the wedding reception, he had the opportunity to lead Sia to Christ.

e2be8b6b-503c-425c-8c39-7400e9ff99bfPLEASE PRAY FOR SIA’S SPIRITUAL GROWTH!

My wife had another activity at our house with one of her English classes. They all enjoyed the food and had a lot of fun playing UNO. It was a great night of bonding for the ladies.

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IMG_0208PLEASE PRAY FOR MEI, NUT, BANOY, AND BEE TO COME TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST! 

It was a special blessing to have a few of the young men from a Bible College in Thailand visit with us in our School of Ministry. Three of the four are actually from our country but started attending Bible school in Thailand before we opened up a school here. They are all great guys with a heart for the Lord and for their people. It was a joy having them with us!

IMG_0378PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH AND BE USED BY GOD TO REACH THEIR PEOPLE!

Denise and I want to thank you for your continued prayers and financial support over the past six years. As I say often, we couldn’t be here and do what the Lord has led us to do without your prayers and financial support!

Johnny and Denise Esposito

ONE ADDITIONAL PRAYER REQUEST, CAN YOU PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR YOUTH CONFERENCE TO BE CONDUCTED IN APRIL?

“While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the Gospel remain in the dark.”

 

 

February 18, 2019

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The pictures above are from six year’s ago when we left Los Angeles and arrived on the mission field. It was nearly six years ago (March 13, 2013), that my wife and I left the United States and arrived in Southeast Asia. We will never forget the day we said goodbye to our family and left Los Angeles. When we left the States, we had nine grandchildren. We have 21 today!

It has been a blessing to be able to serve the people of Asia. It’s been a joy to see people saved, baptized, discipled, churches planted, and present and future church leaders trained for ministry among their own people. God has been so good and gracious to us over these past six years. We thank God for His favor, and we thank God’s people for their prayers and faithful financial support these past six years!

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR GOD’S FAVOR AND FRUITFULNESS AS MY WIFE AND I SERVE THE PEOPLE OF ASIA!

For Christians, in this part of the world, there is a little emphasis upon the family – at least the biblical concept of the family. For the past five years, the Lord has allowed our Team to have a Family Camp that has been a tremendous blessing to our married couples, our families, and our young people who, in most cases, are the only Christians in their home. This year, as in the years past, we were blessed to have our dear friend, missionary Dave Board, and his wife with us. Brother Board and I worked on staff together at Pacific Baptist of Long Beach for many years, and he has now headed up our Team in Cambodia for about eight years, as well as overseeing our three teams in Southeast Asia.

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This year, we did something a little bit different than in year’s past. We had Four General Sessions with Dave Board preaching for us. We were also blessed to have four Split Sessions with Dave Board teaching the Men, his wife teaching the married women, and my wife and I  were privileged to teach the singles and the teenagers!

IMG_9480We had well over 100 attending this year’s Family Camp, including people from eight different People Groups. We even had seven couples take a bus (Third World conditions)  30 hours to attend the Camp. The preaching, worship, fellowship, and food was tremendous. And, we even had 18 of our Hmong brothers and sisters baptized after the Sunday morning service!IMG_9479

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IMG_9477PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILIES IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD AND THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN DURING OUR FAMILY CAMP, AS WELL AS FOR THE NEW BAPTIZED BELIEVERS TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH!

It’s always a special blessing to spend a weekend in one of our village ministries with Kong and Lilee. They are doing a wonderful job. In the past two years, they have seen some fifty people trust Christ as their Savior and many have or are being discipled to follow Christ as committed followers of the Lord Jesus. I had a wonderful Sunday with them. I taught a lesson during the Sunday school hour, “Being Thankful” from Luke 17, and preached for the main worship service on “Living a Holy Life in an Unholy Village.” As always, the response to the messages was great!

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IMG_8942PLEASE PRAY FOR KONG, LILEE, AND THIS VILLAGE MINISTRY!

One of the real blessings of the weekend was to watch our “adopted daughter,” Mai teach the children. She did a wonderful job! Mai has been living with my wife and me for about six months now and is one of our students in the School of Ministry. She is a sweet girl with a real heart for the Lord and for her people. Mai is one of those fifty people, I mentioned above, who has trusted Christ in the past two years!

IMG_8767PLEASE PRAY FOR MAI TO CONTINUE TO GROW IN HER FAITH IN CHRIST, HER LOVE FOR CHRIST, AND HER LOVE FOR HER PEOPLE!

Our English school has three primary purposes: First of all, it gives us a reason to be in the country (no missionaries allowed here). Secondly, it gives us an opportunity to build relationships with the locals that we never could have had without the school. Thirdly, and most importantly, it opens the door for us to share the Gospel in a country where proselytizing is against the law.

With that in mind, school activities are important. As a school, we try to have two activities each term, but we also ask the teachers to have some type of activity monthly, if not more often. My wife recently had one of her two classes over for Mexican food and a few games of UNO. Oh boy, the girls (the male students weren’t able to make it) had a wonderful time. Actually, it was a “crazy time,” and it definitely accomplished the goal of getting to know each other a little better!

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My wife is also very good at remembering her student’s birthdays and doing what she can to make special days like Valentine’s Day special for her students!

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IMG_7013PLEASE PRAY FOR MY WIFE AND OUR OTHER TEACHERS AS THEY ATTEMPT TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR STUDENTS THAT WILL RESULT IN THEIR TRUSTING CHRIST!

It is such a blessing to watch our young people grow in Christ, their commitment to Christ, and their service for Christ. Jui is just one of many examples. Jui, one of our former English students, got saved about five years ago. Almost immediately he was baptized, started to grow, and about a year ago he left a really good job to join our Team full-time. Along with being my personal assistant, Jui oversees one of our Village Ministries. He works with our teenagers. He does our Ministry Finances. And this term, Jui started teaching in our English school. We are so proud of Jui and look forward to seeing what God has in store for him!

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IMG_0325PLEASE PRAY FOR JUI’S CONTINUAL GROWTH AND SERVICE FOR CHRIST!

It was a special blessing to have two of the young ladies (Cubie & Christine), who were a part of our church family in China, visit with us for a few days. While their time with us was short, we kept them fairly busy. They had the opportunity to visit our School of Ministry classes, our English classes, our Midweek Bible Study/Prayer Meeting, and one of our Village Ministries, along with having some down/fun time!

IMG_8945PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHINA THAT ARE SERVING UNDER EXTREMELY STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES!

One of my priorities and favorite responsibilities here in Southeast Asia is the discipling of the Nationals, especially future National leaders. I love spending time with our men. I loved spending time with the men in Cambodia, in China, and, once again, here in the “Creative Access Nation” that we’re, once again, serving in. Of course, discipleship has many different “faces.” There’s One-on-One discipleship, there’s discipleship in Small Groups and, in our case here, our School of Ministry is just another way to disciple our folks.

IMG_8953PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR YOUNG MEN (JUI, KONG, & LAMPHAN) WHO I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE FOR CHRIST AND THE CAUSE OF CHRIST ON ALMOST A DAILY BASIS! 

My wife and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loving prayers, your faithful, generous, and sacrificial giving, which for the past six years has enabled us to do what God has led us to this part of the world to do, while you continue to do what God has called you to do in the States!

Johnny and Denise

“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China… I don’t know who it was… It must have been a man… a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing… and God looked down… and saw Gladys Aylward… And God said – “Well, she’s willing.”
                                                        – Gladys Aylward

 

January 24, 2019

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The above picture is from our special meetings in Chiang Khong, Thailand. Most of the  men and women pictured above, are pastors and church leaders from a “Creative Access Nation.” They travelled by motor bike, bus, and boat to get to the meeting. Some travelled from as far as 24 hours away. I am humbled that they came!

My brother, Pastor Joe, before being hospitalized, had long envisioned seeing our teams in the “Creative Access Nation” and Thailand working together to train Nationals to reach various countries in Southeast Asia, and eventually reach into the country of China. In a sense, these meetings are a “dream come true!”

Please pray that God will raise up many laborers for the harvest fields in this part of the world and use our teams in the “Creative Access Nation,” Thailand, and Cambodia to assist in this process!

It’s always good to get back in a routine after the holidays! Our theme for the New Year is “Pursuing Christ and Christlikeness.” Our heart’s desire as a Team, and as a church family, is that all of us and every aspect of our ministry would grow in our relationship with Christ and become more like Jesus  during 2019.

Please pray with us concerning this!

As many of you know, and as we have mentioned often in recent updates, we are in the midst of a transition. We are in the middle of making many changes that we believe the Lord would have us to make and that we believe will help us to grow spiritually and numerically. Of course, one of the biggest changes we have made is to divide our congregation into three separate congregations. Despite doing this, it has been a blessing to see the “smallest” congregation, in the Capital city, still have good attendance and visitors. On Sundays and Wednesdays, I am preaching messages on, you guessed it, “Pursuing Christ and Christlikeness.”

img_7888Please continue to pray for our services!

After a nearly four-week break, it was really good to get our School of Ministry (Bible College) classes up and running once again. As I mentioned in our last Update, I am teaching New Testament Survey 2, The Book of Acts, and The Christlike Life. Brother Koumaly is teaching Bible Doctrines, Pastor Lee Seng is teaching Church Leadership, and my wife is teaching Christian Womanhood again this semester. While we may not have many students, as of yet, the ones we do have, have a real heart for Christ, the cause of Christ, and the people of this country!

img_7909Please pray for our new term in the School of Ministry and for our students to continue to grow in their pursuit of Christ and Christlikeness! 

One of our favorite times of the week is Saturday Village Ministry. Every Saturday a few of us go to a nearby village and teach the Bible and English to Hmong children and teenagers. We recently lost one of our workers, Bounmee. She married one of our team members in Cambodia, and, of course, moved to Cambodia. She was doing a great job discipling some of our teen girls, so my wife has replaced her and is doing a great job. I am so grateful for a wife, who for 37 years now, has been a wonderful helpmeet to her husband and a faithful, compassionate laborer in the harvest wherever God has led us!

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fullsizerender-1Please pray for both of our village ministries, our workers, and for the many young people and adults that we are reaching for Christ and encouraging to pursue Christ and Christlikeness this year!

Another one of my favorite times of the week is going with Jui, who I am discipling and is assisting me in the work here, to the same village (mentioned above) and having a “Midweek Bible Study” for the young people in the village. It’s always a great time of singing, games, Bible trivia, etc. We sure do love these young people and are praying that they will “Pursue Christ and Christlikeness,”  not only this year, but for the rest of their lives!

img_8088Please pray that God will raise up young men and women of God that will pursue Christ and Christlikeness for decades among these young people!

Nearly every month, we have Pastor Pradit visit with us and preach for our folks. He is the fruit of an American missionary named Philip Pope. Pastor Pradit has been pastoring  the same church in Thailand, which he started, for 25 years now. More often than not, when he comes, he brings some of his college students, and it’s always a great night of worship, teaching and preaching, fellowship, and, of course, lots of food. Pastor Pradit preached a great message on “The Love of God.” We are grateful for the National men who are serving Christ and their people faithfully here in Southeast Asia!

img_7970Please pray for the many different churches in Thailand and our country that are doing what they can, with God’s help, to reach the lost and train the saved for God’s glory in these two countries!

As I mentioned above, I spent a wonderful week in Chiang Khong, Thailand with our Team. We are so grateful for Tom and Sue Sutrick and their church family hosting this four-day meeting. I am also very grateful for fellow-team member, Jay Chang interpreting for me.

An hour after arriving in Chiang Khong, I had the privilege to speak for their regular Friday Night Team Meeting. Trust me, we had a lot of fun and they were very open to the Bible lesson. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach and preach twice for the church family.

I also had the opportunity and privilege to teach and preach Monday – Thursday for our Thailand Team and 28 National pastors and church leaders from across the Mekong River in a “Creative Access Nation.” We have been holding these meetings for about two years now. As I mentioned above, this was our fourth meeting and one of the dreams my brother, Pastor Joe, had before his being hospitalized!

During the morning sessions, I taught on “Responsibilities of Church Leaders” and “The Importance of God’s Word.” During the afternoon sessions, Brother Tom Sutrick taught the brethren on “How to Use the Wordless Book” and “How to Study the Bible for Yourself.” Brother Jay Chang, who graciously interpreted for me all week-long, taught one session on “Baptism.” During the evening sessions, I had the privilege of preaching on “Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Living a Christlike Life.”

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img_8348Please pray that God will water the seeds of His Word that were sown during this week in Chiang Khong and bring an eternal increase, not only in these countries, but around Southeast Asia!

As always, my wife and I want to thank you for your loving prayers, and your generous  and sacrificial giving, which enables us to continue to do what God has led us to do here on the other side of the Pacific, while you continue to do what God has called you to do in the States!

Johnny and Denise

“The task of reaching every people group is no small thing, but the problem isn’t in the amount of people groups who are unreached; it is in the amount of people going to them.”