We wish you a wonderful and Happy New Year of 2014. May the year of 2014 be a year full of blessings from our living God and Lord Jesus Christ! The old year has passed away, and let us now look forward to reckoning His faithfulness and giving thank to God for His unfading and immeasurable love, focusing the joy that is set before us, seeking the unshakable city, the New Jerusalem, whose builder and maker is God, and the home Jesus has gone to prepare for us.
Thanksgiving for a new crop
Thanksgiving is an occasion that our family would lift up each year during this month since we plant rice not only for self-consumption, but also for our mission works. Each year, God has faithfully provided enough rice. We also want to demonstrate the right way of gratitude to our unbelieving neighbors, who are still giving thanks for all their new crops to evil spirits or idols. Some even give their thankfulness to animals. Among the indigenous people like Lisu and Ahka, they thank dogs for their new rice crops. Every year at the harvest season, the Lisu people would cook their new rice crops which had been offered to the evil spirits and before their first consumption they had to feed their dogs to express their thankfulness to the dogs. This is due to the tale saying that dog was the first animal that could bring rice from the court of god’s house to human. Even today, many unbelieving Lisu people are still practicing this ceremony. Among the Ahka people, they offer their rice to dog every morning prior to their breakfast.
Stephen and Simee Ki are harvesting
Nick is hitting the rice stalks on a hard
rock chair in order to separate
the rice grains from the stalks
Nick is giving a speech at a family thanksgiving
service for the new rice crops
One thing that we learned from Christian friends while we lived in the USA was giving. Prior to our going to the USA, Mary and Stephen had never received or gave any gifts, neither Christmas nor birthday gifts. However, many of our friends had demonstrated God’s love through giving us gifts in several occasions. We have always been touched with those remarkable deeds, not because we loved those gifts, but the joy of giving spirit. Now, we are in the mission field, we have seen many people, children in particular, have never received any gifts. So, every year our family has a Christmas party for the displaced kids in our neighborhood. The gifts aren’t amazing and the food isn’t special, but the love, happiness, and particularly the story of Jesus’ birth that is told to the kids that make it priceless!
This year indeed was the first year over the past several years that our family gathered together as a family. We had cancelled all Christmas convention (Stephen called off his speech at any Christian convention) so that we as family would be able to harvest the joy of family life together and meditating God’s covenantal love that He has demonstrated through His Son, Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord! Our children were all at home. Becky, John and Isaac were on school break. It was the first year since 2008 for Nick to spend a Christmas and New Year with the family.
Evangelistic trip for 2014
Since the raining season is over, land traveling is much easier and most people are freed from the farm works, from now on our ministry will be focused on open field evangelistic works. Rather than indoor ministry for equipping and empowering Christian leaders through teaching, we will emphasis our ministry on carrying out the Great Commission to the lost souls, bringing the gospel of Jesus’ redemption to many un-reached people who live in various restricted areas and to various ethnic groups of people starting from the border of Thailand-Burma to the border of Burma-India. Our goal is to sweep every village with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, hopefully within 5 years we will reach the border of India. The year of 2014 will be the second year of this evangelistic endeavor. Since we were blessed by winning many souls in the past year, we pray God will bless more by adding more souls during this upcoming year. Like last year, we are scheduling to start this evangelistic trip this upcoming March-April, 2014. We are much appreciated you lifting up this evangelistic trip before our living God and Lord, whether in your daily, weekly, or monthly prayers.
Much appreciated for all your partnership with our ministry throughout the year of 2013. We are looking forward to further partnering in advancing His Kingdom through carrying out the Great Commission to the lost souls in Southeast Asia and China till the day of His return.
In Christ's Love,
Stephen and Mary