We would like to take this “Thanksgiving” season to first thank God for His grace in liberating us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Light, from worshipping the evil ones and the spirits of our ancestors to serving Him, the true and Living God.  We also thank all of you who have been our faithful partners for carrying out the Great Commission in Southeast Asia and China and for being the faithful channels of His blessings for our family and ministries. 

Since Stephen will have to make almost a month long mission trip (Joe Snyder and Nick will join him on December 14-22) to the very north of Myanmar for biblical teaching to all Bible teachers in the area of Myitkyina, we would also like to take this occasion to brief you about the lives and ministry of the Wongratanamajcha throughout the year of 2014.  As you have known already, our ministry always emphasize on a wholistic ministry, focusing on a person as a whole being for life-transforming both in spiritual and physical dimensions.  Our ministry is not changing a person from one’s religion to another, but one’s whole life which is transformed after accepting Lord Jesus as one’s own Lord and God.  The spiritual dimension can be nailed down into 3E’s: evangelism, equipping and empowering.


Evangelism for us means carrying out the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption to the lost souls or unbelievers and to those who have never heard the gospel.  Without being ignorant to our neighboring unbelievers, many of these people happen to live in restricted areas or very remote villages.  Thanks to God for He has been faithful in adding a good number of people to His Kingdom during this past year, whether in Thailand, Myanmar and even in China both through ourselves or our teammates.  We have always reminded ourselves not to boast on those numbers!  It is indeed His ministry (not ours), we are only His tool.  Praise the Lord!   

However, we are anxious to bring more people to His Kingdom, particularly to those who have never had an opportunity to hear God’s Word.  We are praying this coming year of 2015, the evangelistic door in Laos would be opened for us.  As we mentioned in our previous letters that they are Lisu people in Laos who have never heard the gospel of Jesus.  And we did prepare a lot of time in the past few months, but it seems that the door has not been opened for us yet. 

This coming summer of 2015, we are planning, if God is willing, to carry out the Great commission of Jesus along the border areas on the mountain ranges between western China and Myanmar.  There are hundreds of thousands of Lisu people both in China (Yinjiang-Tengchong) and in Myanmar (Lasio-Myityina).  These Lisu people are still worshipping the evil spirits and their ancestors, and many of them, particularly in Myanmar side, are still growing opium as their main cash crop.  Also, over two hundred thousand non-believer Lisus in Lichiang areas has requested for us to teach them how to read the Lisu language so that they will be able to read the Bible.  Sadly this request has not been met yet.  Please lift us all and these evangelistic needs to be fulfilled according to God’s will.


For several years, a great number of Wa people at the border of Thailand and Myanmar have turned to the Lord.  After helping many years and providing several thousands of Bibles, we (as we did to the Wa Christian in China) now are advising them to become self-supporting churches, self-governing and self-evangelistic churches.  However, we will be available to provide them spiritual food through teaching them God’s Word.  We are now turning them from evangelistic to be an equipping stage.

As you have known, Myanmar has changed drastically in the past few years.  Myanmar has become a more and more open to foreigners and foreign businesses along with foreign missionaries.  Once Deng Xiaoping, a former chairman of China warned his Chinese people when he broke down the Chinese Bamboo Wall.  He astutely compared his opening country with an open house door.  He said something like this: “when you open your door you have to be careful for both good and bad animals would enter into your house.”  The wise knew to take the best out of them.

In the past few years, we have tried hard to teach God’s Word to several hundred thousand of Lisu Christians in Myanmar to be ready through various occasions; leadership conferences and youth camps for the changing so that they would be rooted with God’s Word before the storm of human teachings and modern technologies come, lure and ruin their spiritual lives.

Our focal emphasis on equipping is Asia International Seminary (AIS).  Since September 2009, we have started AIS to offer an opportunity to many of those who desired to study deeply in God’s Word while working full time in their ministries.   We have had the great privilege of hosting Christian key leaders from Thailand and Myanmar at our house while teaching them the Word of God at Asia International Seminary.  This is one of the many wonderful ministries that God has blessed us with.  This type of ministry has become a model for many other Bible schools.  Indeed, we are so proud of these students who are now solidly rooted their lives and ministry with God’s Word. 


Now we are planning to empower our students by mobilizing them to teach other Christians in their home country.  Throughout their studying times in Thailand, we always took these students out during the weekend to practice in teaching and preaching on what they had learned during the week.  Many churches in Thailand have been blessed through this weekend ministry of the students.  Now we anticipate that many churches in Myanmar will receive such same blessings.  Above all, in the coming years, if God is willing, we would like to offer these exegetical courses in Myanmar which are mainly taught by the students of AIS so that our future students in Myanmar would not have to come to Thailand.  In this way, church members in Myanmar will gain the fruits of our empowering process.      

A Samaritan Ministry:

Our Samaritan ministry is visible and tangible for many people to acknowledge God’s love for all human beings without discrimination not only through our preaching words but also through our deeds, meeting the physical needs of the people.  Throughout the year of 2014, with the one-time help from IDES and Lincoln Christian Church, we were able to drill water and build a water system for over sixty orphans and over hundreds of Bible students in the Northeastern part of Myanmar.  This water system became the main source for their daily usage; cooking, drinking and etc.   Many hundreds of local people, both Christians and non-Christians are able to “Thank” God through this water supply.  Moreover, with the one-time help of IDES, over 60 TB (tuberculosis) patients , at least twenty one of them are under age of ten and six of them are a little over a year old, have been saved from this deadly disease.  Over 100 malaria patients have been cured and over 300 mosquito nets have been distributed in order to prevent this fatal sickness.  The TB and Malaria program covers the central part of Myanmar to the very northern part, the hidden valley, of Myanmar.   Praise the Lord!

Cultural sensitivity:

In the past, the majority of non-believers felt that Christianity belonged to the West.  In the same token, most believers do not know how to handle with the Lisu culture.  They don’t feel at home between their faith and their daily cultural setting. They felt that Christianity is incongruent with their culture.   It’s even worst to see the animosity or division between believers and non-believers because of Christianity and culture. 

Since we have returned into the mission field, we have tried to bridge these differences through the wholistic mindset via a cultural sensitivity.  In the past March, with the participation of several missionaries, we held the Lisu cultural conference for the second time.  At one evening over 30,000 Lisu people from Thailand, China and Myanmar attended at this conference.  The wall of hostility between believers and non-believers has been mostly torn down.  Many of the non-believers in some villages in Thailand have started to learn the Lisu alphabet.  Several key non-believer leaders at the Lisu autonomic areas in China have requested us to teach their people how to read the Lisu language.  This is ultimately leading them to read the Lisu Bible.  Most of them have a very positive perspective on Christianity.  They have acknowledged that Christianity is well congruent with the Lisu culture, if one knows how to apply them correctly into their daily lives.

Family Life:

Every one of the Wongratanamajcha has been a real blessing to the family life and ministry.  Besides Isaac, the rest are enrolled in the ministry according to each individual’s gift.  Mary has organized our site being the living environment to congruent with a farm nature; growing rice, raising chickens, planting vegetable and seasonal fruits (banana, papaya, mango, lemon, and etc.) which all are used for self-consumption.  She has taken care of daily needs for the family, students, visitors and even neighboring displaced children.  She often took times off to visit a hospital downtown and brought food for those patients and relatives who came from the mountains.  Becky, Nick and John have taken turns in teaching English to our AIS’ students.  During school breaks or Saturdays, Becky has also taught English to the dislocated children.  Becky is now on her last semester at her university.  Nick has taught English for a living while continuing to raise his youth ministry support.  Often, he took his time off to make mission trips with his dad so that he would be able to be equipped.  Almost every weekend he followed his dad to visit churches at villages on the mountain and preach alongside his dad or sometimes with the students of AIS.  John has changed dramatically throughout the year.  He has grown and matured even though he is in 11th grade and he is still keep growing.  As always, Isaac has been the “laughter” bringing smiles to everyone.  He is studying English, Thai, and Chinese at his bilingual school plus he speaks Lisu at home.  His English is at the top of his class.  He has surprised his teachers on his Thai test.  Over all, throughout the year, our family has daily various reasons to “Thank” God and we are continuing to anticipate the greater blessings, and on occasions both family life and ministry wise to praise Him even more in the coming years.

May the Living God that we are serving now bless you all with His grace and mercy for your faithful partnering with us in carrying out the Great Commission in Southeast Asia and China.  We believe the power on your knees in prayers and the power of our feet in carrying out the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption will turn the world of darkness into His Kingdom.

In Christ Alone,

Stephen, Mary, Becky, Nick, John and Isaac  

Aligning with the Word of God!

It was a real blessing to study Second Corinthians for the past two weeks.  Also, it was indescribable to see how these leaders have grown in their biblical knowledge and even applying it in to their ministerial contexts.  It was pure joy to see them learn during the week and to take them to churches and hearing them preach during the weekends.  They did a wonderful job in preaching faithfully God’s Word.  They all feel alive and confident (which they had never felt before) when they are assured that they are preaching God’s Word.  Out of 20 leaders who have been studying with us throughout these years, 5 will complete their course work this upcoming November plus 2 are working on their paper works.  The rest will complete in the follow years.  So, please pray for us in whether we should continue to accept a new class of many countless Christian leaders that desire to be equipped and empowered at this seminary in the future or whether we should take a different ministry approach.  Without your prayers and support, we could have never accomplished such great things.  With your partnership, we believe God’s Kingdom is expanding and His Name is being glorified!    

 Study on the Second Corinthians

 A group picture with students from Myanmar

The Second Corinthians is very applicable to the place where we are living, at the moment.  We are always being blessed at the mission field.  Living in the mission field is a daily experience of the real spiritual battle between the dark and the light.  At the mission field where there is tangibility, visible idolatry with idol and spirit worship is present.  At the mission field where the wheat and weeds live side by side and where true and false gospels are spreading and where the true and false messengers are working.  Like Eve being corrupted away from sincere devotion, the false messengers seduce churches with the other gospel and the other Jesus besides the Truth of the Scripture.  Many Christians become guilty of spiritual adultery and no longer are pure virgins ready for the arrival of their husband, Jesus Christ.  They are clearly in danger of being guilty by messengers from Satan who appear as shining angels and seduce them with a fake gospel.   

Like the Corinthians, at the moment, many of the churches in the villages are being led astray by those who claim to have spiritual insights, direct revelation from God. These groups of people travel like our traveling evangelists, village after village spreading their fake gospel starting from Thailand to Myanmar (Burma) and even to China.  Another group of false messengers are starting to enter into Thailand spreading the message that God is omnipotent with wrongly implying that God allows His children to do everything, even illegal drug businesses.  God is rich so he desires all his children to be rich like him.  Their implication is that Christians can do everything that can bring them wealth and prosperity, even involving in those illegal businesses which they say “is under God’s permission and provision.”  This unsound doctrine seems to appeal to many poor Christians, particularly, among the hill tribes.  Definitely, as Paul says that these people put their confidence on the flesh, external and visible things. Rather than living by faith, they are living by sight; therefore, their norms, standards and values are rooted in this world.

Praise the Lord! In the midst of this fake message, there are some who are yielding for the truth.  They are calling us to make a visit with them for teaching and admonishing them with the true Word of God. God is also faithful in moving among his people by adding more people into His Kingdom through baptism.   

 Yasa baptized Lahu Christians who are struggling 
with the false teachers

Other churches have taken our challenge to examine themselves (as Paul did to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 13) whether they are aligning with God’s Word or the thoughts of men by reelecting their new elders to replace the former elders who promote and support those false teaching.  We are encouraged as Paul exhorts his Second Corinthians readers that live in this body as at home, while away from home, being as an exile, living in a foreign land one needs to walk by faith rather than by sight.  Because the true Christian’s homeland is the heavenly land, where being present with the Lord.  Like Paul, regardless of where we are, whether still in this life, or having made our home with the Lord, we should live to please Christ because the approval of the Lord Jesus Christ is the final.

 A weekend church visiting

A church at village where they are fighting with 
the teaching of perfectionism

Maung Kai is preaching in Hmong and 
Ah Lay Bo is translating into Lisu 
at the Saturday evening service

Nick is preaching at Sunday early morning service

Sarmuekhi is preaching at noon service

Family Life

Recently, John had made his first field trip to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, with his school, Grace International School.  It was a great experience for him to see the artwork and sculpting of each handmade work.  Seeing many touristic places has been a joy for him as he walked along ancient Thai grounds.  His favorite places were the Rama’s teak mansion, A Dialogue in the Dark (Experiencing the life as a blind person), and the Chao Praya Cruise with wonderful sights and an enjoyable environment.  He is constantly thanking God for such an opportunity to experience new things in his life and for being with him through tough times.  He said “When I was weak, he was strong within me!”

John and his schoolmates in Bangkok

Nick and Stephen are working on their Myanmar visas and their air-tickets to the north of Myanmar.  They will teach at the Bible Teacher Conference.  This conference will focus solely on those who are in teaching ministry, whether at Bible college teachers, Sunday school teachers, teaching Pastors or preachers or elders, women teachers and youth teachers.  The conference will be held at Myitkyina during the second week of December.  Possibly, Stephen will also go up to the very north of Myanmar, Putao area, if God is willing, at the border of Myanmar, China and India.

Isaac had difficult time during this month due to the flu season.  He was hospitalized for almost a week.  Mary was busy and exhausted in taking care of him as well as seeing through the needs of our AIS’ students, while Stephen was teaching at day and spending time with Isaac at night.  Stephen and Nick drove the students out to villages during the weekends.  Every evening as usual, Becky taught English to these students. 

We always thank God for allowing our family to serve Him.  We are grateful for your partnering for equipping and empowering these Christian leaders and evangelizing the Gospel of Jesus’ redemption to the lost souls through your prayerful and financial supports.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

Prayer Needs
1.      Family’s health.  The climate in Thailand is changing rather swiftly.  It is not like what it used to be in the past.  In the day it is hot and humid but at night, it turns freezing cold.  There are more flu patients this year than the previous years.  Normally, we hardly get the flu, but this year it passed around and around and around among our students and family.
2.      Mission trips.  If God is willing, two mission trips; Laos and Myanmar, are set for these upcoming months (November and December).
3.      AIS’ students.  This group of students will complete their class works in the middle of November.  Please pray for their ministry and family to be faithful to God’s Word!
4.      Faculty’s health.  Isaiah and Stephen’s ministries are widely spreading all over several countries-- Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and China-- with various types of ministries; teaching, evangelism, church consultant and planting, Bible translating (Isaiah in particular) and etc.  They need your prayers for good health.  P.S. In the standard of Thai people, Isaiah and Stephen are considered to be senior citizens in the next coming years.
5.      Please lift up John’s school, Grace International School, in your prayers.  They have done a wonderful job in giving Christian education to John.  We are proud of their ministry.  You can visit their website at


We always give thanks to God for the ministry that He has entrusted us with, through His grace and allowing us to be a tiny light shining in the dark world in Southeast Asia and China so that the Lost souls will know He is indeed the only true and living God.  We also give praise to Him for moving among us so that we will be able to give Him credit for everything.

As Thailand is an open society, our house is open for visitors and guests at all times.  In fact, we do have many visitors; whether neighborhood children, villagers, even guests from other countries visiting us almost daily.  Through an opening ministry, it turns out to be a blessed ministry for people would always come to our house asking for prayers and even having baptisms.  God has continued to add more people into His Kingdom both through our open-house ministry and through teammates at villages. 

 Baptism was held at house for avoiding 
a flash water during Monsoon 

 Baptism was held in a bathtub because of the harsh rain

 Baptism at village

Baptism at village

During this month, we have several groups surprise us with their visit.  A Christian leader, Tali, flew all the way from China in order to have one on one week Bible intensive study.  He called us from the airport in Kumming, informing us that he would be at the Chiangmai International Airport within the next two hours.  His main reason was to go through his message before teaching at the Wa Christian leader conference in his area, Linchang.  Normally, what we call “conference” is referring to a short period of intensive Bible study.  And most of those Wa Christians are the fruits of our ministry in the past several years.  Since Stephen could not make his mission trip to China this past summer, Tali came all the way to Thailand for God’s Word so that he would not misrepresent God’s truth to his people.       

Also, a group of Japanese students led by Dr. Masao Ayabe from Tokyo Metropolitan University and several people from World Race came to visit us.  Once a year, the Tokyo Metropolitan University will come to our place and listen to Stephen’s lecture on the Lisu history, culture and belief.  After giving a brief comparative theology, Buddhism, Animism and Christianity among Lisu people, Stephen always shared his conversion and why he converted from being an Animist to Buddhist and to Christ at last.   Praise the Lord!  We saw God move at this event for there were some Japanese students that felt empty in their lives and requested for prayers.

 Stephen is giving a lecture to Japanese students 
and the World Race on Christianity and culture

 Hosting both with Barbecue

James wrote in his letter: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (NIV).  Living in the developing countries or the newly industrialized country, like Thailand, there are many needs, even in our backyard, to look after for the sake of God’s Kingdom.  Particularly, the dislocated Shan kids who migrated from Myanmar and are living in our neighboring houses.  All these Shan people sell their daily labors for living.  The parents would leave very early in the morning, about 5 AM, and come home in the late evenings about 9 or 10 PM.  Their children are left home alone.  On school days, these children would attend school from 8:30-4:00 without breakfast and eat the foods which the school has provided at lunch time.  They would have dinner late at night after their parents come home.  During the weekend, many of these children will have two choices whether to turn to the Buddhist temple particularly on the Buddhist days in order to eat the leftover, or come to our house.  Some of you have been to our place and may remember that we live next to a Buddhist temple and a Brahmin shrine at the left corner before our house.  Often, they love to come to our house (Their parents never allow them to go to any other person’s house, except ours) so that they will be able to learn English and to fill up on an empty stomach.  Usually, Mary will let them read or cite the Bible and pray before feeding them a meal for that day.

 Phai, a dislocated Shan kid

Shan kids are enjoying their lunch

Family Life:

We are all doing well.  Isaac is on his school break for two weeks and he will have another break on Christmas.  Nick is working in teaching English so that he would earn some money for his mission trip to teach at a Bible teacher conference at North Myanmar this upcoming December.  John is at his junior year at Grace International School.  We do really appreciate GIS for their care and preparation for John's higher education.  The GIS is very sensitive about the Third cultural Kids (TCK), like John so the school is trying hard to help parents as missionaries to be aware of and get reading before sending our TCK back to colleges in the USA.  The school even coop with several colleges in the USA to represent their colleges in the campus.  The first college that already presented this month was Calvin College.  There are lots of ministerial positions needed at Grace International School.  You can visit them at the website link on the left side or just visit directly to their website (

Stephen has completed his preparation on the Second Corinthians and the Gospel of John.  He is now ready for the student’s arrival.  The students of AIS are now applying for their Thai visas in Yangon.  Hopefully, they will arrive this week.  This group will complete all their study courses in the third week of November.  There is a strong request from Christian leaders for China to offer such courses for them.  Please pray for us so that we will make our best decision according to the will of our Living God and Lord.  As you may already have known, AIS is not an institutional infrastructure.  It is in fact a Bible training program for Christian leaders.

We always appreciate your faithful partnership with us in expanding His Kingdom in Southeast Asia and China.  We also remember you in our prayers for allowing yourselves to be a living channel of His blessings and faithfulness.

In Christ Love,
Stephen and Mary


Prayer needs:
1.      Students’ visas and their studying God’s Word with us for these next two months.
2.      Our evangelistic trip to Laos this upcoming November.  The Lisu in Laos are unreached people.  No one has ever evangelized to them yet.  We have just heard about them recently.  We need your prayers for Laos is considered to be one of the top countries which persecute Christians.
3.      The conference for all Bible teachers in Myitkyina this upcoming December.
4.      John’s preparation for his further education.



 Family picture

Our family has been greatly blessed; it has been a great month as parents get to spend time with children, particularly, taking Isaac to school, picking him up, helping him with his homework, and praying with him at night. Isaac is a real “laughter” for our family.  He has a very dynamic life, this month. One day he came to his dad’s office asking to be baptized.  We all then questioned him: Why does he want to be baptized?  And what is the meaning of baptism.  We were amazed with his answers.  He answered that he wanted to be God’s child and to be born again, living a life following the Lord.  However, we decided that we should give him some time to see if he really meant it.  A week later, he went to his mom and asked what prevented him from being baptized.  After recovering for the past few two days he kept asking to be baptized.  Praise the Lord!  He was baptized!  We deeply appreciate lifting Isaac up, both his physical and spiritual health, in your prayers. 

 Isaac's recovery at the hospital

 Isaac's baptism

It has been a real blessing, in fact priceless, to see our children grow up spiritually.  We are now taking Nick and John to visit churches during the weekends in order to equip them for the works of God’s Kingdom and to train them in preaching God’s Word, in particular.  Nick really needs to relearn the Asian culture because he lived most of his life in the USA.  Since he is struggling in his financial support, he is now teaching English where he can earn some money so that he is able to continue his ministry.  If God is permitting, Nick is planning to go for a mission trip to Laos with Stephen this upcoming November and help teach at the Christian leader conference (youth section) in Myitkyina in December. He will also conduct a youth camp in Myanmar on March-April, 2015 and his three youth minister friends from the USA may possibly join to help him since there will be over 400 junior and senior high schools and university students attending the camp.

John has been blessed in various ways since he grew up in both cultures: Asian and Western.  He has been educated well, both academically and spiritually.  His school, Grace International School (a Christian school for MK—missionary kids) has trained him well.  His biblical knowledge is on the fine line.  Often, he does a great job in preaching God’s Word both at home and in congregational settings.  He is now a junior in high school.  Your prayers for John and his school, GIS, are much appreciated.  You can visit GIS at       

John at his school, GIS

Becky is still helping our mission by taking charge with a full schedule of teaching English to our neighboring displaced kids.  Her university has asked her to write a curriculum on how to teach English for non-English background children so that they will be able to use it as their text book.  She is now not only busy in teaching, but also writing the curriculum for her university.

I (Stephen) have spent most of my time in studying 2 Corinthians in depth (then to the Gospel of John before the next group of student’s arrival).   I have studied these two books for many years, but I have never had a chance to teach these books, so it will be a nerve-breaking new experience classes.  However, I believe that only the true Word of God will transform God’s people.  I myself can testify to this experience.  As a former Buddhist monk and an evil spirit worshipper, I would live and conduct no differently than any other pagan if I didn’t know the Word of God.  My transforming life began when I studied God’s Word and knowing how to apply it to my daily life.  It was almost 15 years after my conversion before I had my first Bible to read (at the early stages of my conversion, there wasn’t any church available for us to attend).  Unlike Christians in the West, a common Christian, particularly the first generation Christians (those who have converted from other belief) among the minority people, have absolutely no knowledge of the Bible. They believe in God because they have experienced God’s power.  They have seen God’s supreme power over the evil spirits and even experienced casting out demon possessions.  But because of their lack of biblical knowledge, they are still living exactly like pagans even after their conversions. 

 Stephen in the office

Last weekend, Nick and I made our visit to one of the Lahu church in Chiang Dao.  I remember my very early stages of ministry. I helped at this church whose members fled from China due to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.  They migrated to Burma and finally to Thailand.  There were about 25 households among them.  Though they have believed in God for two or three generations; many of them practiced magic, voodoo, calling their spirits for various reasons, and above all the church divided into 4-5 different groups among themselves, in fact each group had their own house church.  After facing such problems for many years, many missionaries gave up on this church; two of their young leaders came and asked me to help build them to become a healthy church.  Because we believe that without God’s Word, there is no true church growth; we started to offer this church a week long bible study, two or three times a year.  After several years, many of them threw out their voodoo.  Church began to unite and now they have over 20 people who are enrolling in His Kingdom’s works.  They have even sent out many native evangelists, to other villages in Thailand, Burma and to China.  This church has become a living testimony, to many other churches in the area, that the authentic church growth must be based solely on God’s Word.

Stephen is preaching at a Lahu church

Many churches in the villages of Thailand have no minister.  Many Christians are struggling with worldly problems, for instance, drugs, alcoholism, and prostitution.  Some churches face theological problems, promoting new doctrine, for instance, the doctrine of perfectionist—Christians are sinless.  Many Christian leaders have come to us, asking our mission to offer them a week or two week long bible study.  Much mission works are needed to be done.

We always thank God for your partnership for the mission works for equipping , empowering God’s people and carrying out the Great Commission to the lost people in Southeast Asia and China.

In Christ’s Love,
Stephen and Mary   


Prayer needs:
1.      The coming AIS’ students on October, 2014.
2.      Our new evangelistic works in Laos and the upcoming mission trip to Laos in November, 2014.
3.      The leadership conference at Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, at the Northern part of Myanmar on this upcoming December, 2014.
4.      The evangelistic trip at the border between Myanmar and China on March 2015 and Youth Bible study camp at Myitkyina on April 2015.
5.      Our evangelistic works in China and leadership conferences in China.  At this moment, one of our teammate is in China teaching at one of the leadership conferences in Gengma, Linchan, Yunan province.
6.      Our families’ health and our children’s education.

Equipping Christian Leaders!

We always give thanks to our Living Lord and God for calling us to serve Him for the growth of His Kingdom through evangelism and equipping Christian leaders in Southeast Asia and China.  Actually, our family has been blessed abundantly.  We had opportunities to prepare ourselves for these ministries both in academics and church contexts in the United States.  Academically, we had trained under several great professors on biblical exegesis and practicality; while we lived in the States, we had seen and lived among those individuals and congregations who practiced God’s love and wisdom in their daily lives.  Many of those faithful people have become the models of our ministries and lives.  What we had learned and experienced, we now are exercising in our daily lives and ministries.  Praise the Lord!

Stephen is teaching Greek

Ministry Update:

The past month, we spent most of our time equipping Christian leaders from Myanmar with a biblical emphasis.  Every one of the Wongs is exhausted after two months spending time with these leaders.  Stephen spent 6 hours a day from Monday-Friday consecutively for the past 4 weeks, while Mary took care of all the needs.  Becky, Nick and John were taking turns in teaching English every evening.  At the moment, we will be off this teaching ministry for some time until the next group's arrival at the mid of September or early October, 2014. 

Besides evangelism, equipping Christian leaders is our focal ministries whether at the church or seminary (AIS).  We believe that equipping the church leaders emphasizing on biblical studies is essential for church growth.  Our vision is to see the church leaders rooted with the Word of God so that they will be able not only to lead God’s people through His Word, but also to live like Christ.  It is in fact a full joy to see a group of Christian leaders tirelessly, for two consecutive months, study God’s Word during the week and practicing what they learned at churches during the weekends by teaching and preaching.  We have confidence this is the way, in fact the only way, to make church growth biblically.  As the Bible says everything, except God’s Word, will fade away like grass.  We are humbly serving our Living God and Lord by giving His Word to His servants so that they will be able to lead His people according to His Word.  It is a joy to see, for instance, Moses preached God’s Word at churches during the weekends and taught and sang songs that he composed according to what he had learned in the classes.  Moses graduated from Myitkyina University and is now a preacher at his village-church at Jamanee.  He is also a Bible teacher at one of the Bible colleges at Myitkyina; the capital city of Kachin State in Myanmar.  He took his teaching time off for two months and would go back and teach what he had learned here at his college.  It is also a joy to see Prissila, the only female students of this group from the central Myanmar, Mogok, Mandalay division, who carried out the Great Commission to the lost people all the way to China.  She spent most of her time in the past year in China to evangelize to nonbelievers and teach children and women believers in China.

During our class on 1 Corinthians, we had found that the context of Corinthian churches was much like the context of the Asian churches.  Both the Corinthian and Asian churches are a highly competitive society, with people vying in business, in politics, and in social status.  Both thirst for honor and hungry for public recognition.  Both are accustomed to cultural value and honor which they embedded from their society.  They brought their standards of what is honorable and valuable with them into the church, and have not yet abandoned them in light of their encounter with the crucified Jesus Christ.   Both are struggling with similar issues; for instance, idolatry, meat that is sacrificed idols, adultery, division, misusing the spiritual gifts, resurrection, etc.  

We also have found that the worldly wisdom and the wisdom of God are incompatible.  The former one belongs to this age, the evil ones, the flesh, the natural world and it cannot recognize the Lord and that which belongs to God.  On the other hands, the wisdom of God is spiritual, mature, and possessing the Spirit.  Therefore, the Corinthian and the Asian believers are vulnerable to preachers who themselves still live by worldly wisdom and promote themselves based on worldly standards or norms.  So, please lift these students and their ministries up in your prayers so that they would be faithful and stand firm in God’s Word. 

 Left to right--Mary, Prissila, Amos, Sergius, 
Solomon and Moses at Hui Ko Church

 Moses is preaching

 Moses and Solomon are singing a song that Moses
had just composed
 The team leading Sunday service at Nam Roo Church

Underneath are brief expressions from our children:


Looking back at the past months and realizing how God is gracious and has been merciful in my life.  He has given me new chances and opportunities since my times of painful sickness.  Due to the fact that I am now seizure-free and healing as I go.  I thank God every day, and being comforted at His presence in my life.  So this past summer, I had the opportunities to help my parents in ministries by teaching English to the Christian leaders from Myanmar and to the neighborhood children from kindergarten to 6th grades. I know that it might not mean a lot, but I think it is a few ways of giving back to God what He has done in my life.

Both groups are very friendly people and eager to study English whether in grammar, listening skills, reading skills, and also speaking skills. I had the pleasure of providing new knowledge to them.  Of course, while teaching, I provided some fun and games to them to keep them from sleeping, which thankfully, they didn’t.  I Thank the Lord for giving me those great experiences in teaching English.  I realize that wherever they live, how old they are, there’s nothing wrong with learning. Please continue to pray for our ministries that many people can see the glory of God, and how He is greatly working in our ministries reaching the needs in people’s lives

 Becky is teaching English to neighborhood kids


The month of July was filled with many blessings. The leaders from Myanmar were awesome! I felt like I grew spiritually along with these leaders that came to study here at the seminary. The leaders from Myanmar, especially the guys, and I bonded a lot in the past couple of months. We shared stories, we shared in fun times, and we shared in working to plant rice. We practiced worship songs together, we helped lead several church services in the churches in the mountainous villages, we started evening soccer games at a local elementary to help promote a good environment for neighborhood kids to come and play.

During the time that the students were here, I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with them on their English. English is a very important language for the Myanmar leaders to learn because the majority of the classes taught at the seminary are in English. Although teaching English is awesome, I didn’t do that too much because Becky and John are actually taking over in that department. Before the Myanmar leaders returned to their homes, I was honored to administer a Spiritual Gift test to the five of them. They all were really thrilled to get their results and to discuss the results with me. I encouraged them to use their gifts when they returned to Myanmar, and they said they will.

After they left last week, the house became a bit quiet. We miss them, but we all know that we have other ministries to attend to. Even though they went back to Myanmar, John and I will still go play soccer when we can with the kids in the neighborhood because the kids seem to really enjoy playing soccer with us. We can hear the kids yelling, “They’re here! They’re here!” when they see us down the road. Although we miss the Myanmar leaders and the two busy months, we are glad to have a week to relax and have some family time before God gives us another awesome task!

 Nick is giving words of encouragement to 
Hui Ko Church


Throughout this month, it has been a great pleasure in helping teach English to the students from Myanmar. As my family, the students and I had traveled to different churches in order to enhance our teaching skills, it has been wonderful having these people be a part of our family as I cherished all of the times we went through together. A couple of days had passed since they finally departed homeward- bound and suddenly it started getting very quiet. Recently, I myself have been going through tough times as I had to take on more responsibilities of becoming an adult. Although these “jobs” were weighing me down, I took the time in order to ask God for strength and guidance through these times. I feel like God is using this time in order for me to have a closer relationship with Him and to put away my pride and independence in order to give God the glory.

 John joined in a special song

Family Update:

The last couple of days have been a lot of fun because the majority of the family, besides Isaac, is on break.  Since it is raining season, there are not many places to visit. There are flash floods that have already occurred in some areas.  We have had a lot more time to spend together as a family by watching movies and playing games.  Stephen has time to watch his favorite movies; he has gone through several 60s-70s cowboy movies.  Mary is enjoying her gardening and sometimes just hanging out at the mall with the children.  Isaac is at school, learning three different languages: English, Thai and Chinese.  And of course, he is speaking Lisu at home.

Isaac and Stephen

We always appreciate your faithfulness in prayers for our family and ministry in Southeast Asia and China.  May our Living God and Lord bless you abundantly. 

In Christ Alone,
Stephen and Mary


Prayers are needed for Thailand!  Please continually lift Thailand up in your prayers.  In Thailand, various activities are banned, for instance, lifting up three fingers like in the movie “The Hunger Games,” reading a book or eating a sandwich in public, becoming signs of anti-coup. Several countries have begun to call off Thailand economically and politically.  European Union foreign ministers condemned the coup, halted all official visits to Thailand, suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation accord with Bangkok and demanded the coup to free all political detainees and respect human rights and freedom.  The US has barred Thailand from participating in military naval exercises.  With all of these, we still don’t know where and how this political turmoil will end.

Pray for Ministry

While living under such crisis, we are being blessed by turning the crisis into His Kingdom’s advantage through our equipping and empowering the AIS’ students with God’s Word.  It was indeed a real blessing to have Dr. Derek Voorhees, a New Testament professor of Boise Bible College, teaching 2 Corinthians.  He also serves as a forwarding agent of Asians For Christ. Underneath is his expression about his first-hand experience here at Asia International Seminary:

After spending two weeks with the Wongratanamajcha family, and a handful of students from Myanmar at Asia International Seminary (Chiang Mai), I've finally got a few moments to sit and reflect while awaiting my connecting flight in Seoul, Korea for home to the US.
What an amazing time with this wonderful Wong family! Their hospitality made me feel comfortable from the moment I arrived. I think I gained 10lbs from the delicious meals Mary cooked multiple times a day! Fresh Thai fruit daily, fresh vegetables, fresh meats, and Lisu spices made each meal time a delightful (even heavenly) experience for my tastebuds. Also, with the humid warm summer temperatures this time of year, the Wong family made sure I had one of their rooms with AC to sleep in at night...which indeed helped me rest well. Simply put, they truly went beyond measure to honor me as their guest. Additionally, being with this godly family was just a lot of fun and was an encouragement to my soul! We must have laughed almost every waking hour. So, I sit here at an airport with the rumble of departing international flights in the background as a full man...physically, emotionally, and spiritually full!! I am truly blessed and refreshed!

The primary goal for my coming to Chiang Mai was to teach 2 Corinthians at Asia International Seminary (AIS is located on the Wong's property). As an extension of Asians For Christ's goal of equipping leaders of the church, one of the goals I had been praying about prior to my arrival and teaching was this: that the students and myself would be formed more into the likeness of Christ as "new creation" people (2 Cor. 5:17), such that we would no longer be identified as a people living for ourselves but that we would live more honorable for a Him, who died and now lives within us!

AIS is a master's degree level institution. It requires students to learn in community using the English language, with special focus on submitting to the process of exegetical Scripture study. But the ultimate goal is to comprehend Christ's ministry so as to be conformed by Him to join Him in His ministry. For these students from Myanmar this meant studying and processing Scripture in English, which in and of itself was a challenge for them, but a rich experience for me to witness. We spent 7 days examining what the apostle Paul was inspired to write to the Corinthians in its historical and literary contexts...all with the goal of being equipped, edified, and empowered to absorb lessons so as to transfer those learned lessons to their ministry contexts in the Lisu villages of Myanmar. The Lord richly blessed our time with his presence and joy by the Holy Spirit. These impressive students were processing the depths of rich theology in order to be used in the most productive way upon their return later this summer. What they were processing was not simple, but in the complexity of it all they amazed me with a knowledge and heart to do ministry no matter the cost.

Practically speaking, we bonded together...mostly around meal time and soccer after class! We grappled with the ministry of restoring people to God and restoring people to people. Reconciliation is not just a vertical reality with God by his grace and honor of our faith in Jesus, reconciliation is also a horizontal reality with people, particularly those we may not agree with or get along with. As New Creation people, when we exhibit forgiveness rather than harbor in grudges, we display Christ alive in us! This lesson was particularly challenging for the young Burmese students who do not always sense respect from influencers in their churches who are older and supposedly wiser. However, for the call to obey Christ and uphold His new creation work, we committed ourselves to suffer for Him no matter the cost. That was touching to see the commitment in these students’ eyes!

Another relevant implication we drew out of Paul's letter to Corinth was that New Creation people partner together to meet physical needs of other believers so that can in turn help meet the needs of those who do not believe yet in Jesus. Whether across regions or continents, or whether a different language, when the church shares sacrificially like Christ did so liberally on the cross, needs on earth can be met as we await the Day when all creation will be renewed and no more tears or pain will exist. These Myanmar students are pastors who do not earn any money from their church; it is possible that they make some extra money from working in the field growing crops, but they are poor in the world’s evaluation. They arrived with hardly two pairs of clothes. Still, they were compelled through our study by Christ's love to give and share with others rather than receive, to sacrifice with a joyful heart believing The Lord will honor their selflessness and provide for their needs so they can in turn continue their industrious ministry of sharing to meet other's needs. Together we learned that this lifestyle serves as a model of generous living, a hallmark sign if being New Creation people living until the one all needs are forever met and completed according to God's design!

Teaching these delightful learners, with genuine hearts to obediently serve Christ and his Church, started at 9:00am each day with a break for lunch at 12:00, and then we studied from 2:00 to around 5:00 daily. These were full days, but they were up to learning. I so appreciate Stephen inviting such a small number of students who were each earnest in sacrifice time away from their wives and families to become more prepared. The Lord is working through AIS to strengthen the churches in Myanmar, Thailand, China, and beyond. Mary's partnership with Stephen to cook meals for these students, provide clothes to them, and be a mom away from home, is beautiful to watch. And, to witness Stephen and Mary's children play a part in the ministry, helping the students with their English, is special!

Overall, I will greatly miss being with the Wong family and these young energetic students. I am praying about a return trip within the year, or next summer, to continue to teach them. Your prayers on this matter would be greatly appreciated. It was so good to see first-hand how the Lord is working through the financial gifts from the AFC partners. This trip confirmed what we already know...that the Lord's stewards in the Wong family is wisely using our gifts to train young leaders so that the church can be equipped and encouraged to evangelize with the gospel of hope! Continue to encourage them and pray for them as they invest into the next generation of leaders. To the glory of God!

 2 Corinthians class with Dr. Derek Voorhees

 2 Corinthian class

 Famil, AIS' students, Dr. Voorhees 
wearing Boise Bible College shirts

 New Testament Church with 
Prof. Isaiah Yintum (Laoyeepa)

Pray for the Family

Every one of the family is actively participating in the ministry of AIS through teaching and church visiting in the village.  Except Isaac, all our children are on summer break.  Isaac’s school began since the middle of May which is very common in the schools of Thailand.  This means that we are having more kids, particularly the displaced kids of Shan people coming for the English class.  In fact, they have been notified by their school teachers to attend the English at our site.  Beside of helping teaching English to both AIS’s students and Shan kids, Nick and John with the AIS’ students have drawn our neighboring kids into the sport ministry due to the world cup fever.  Every evening, we have over 30 people around the soccer field for the event.   

 Stephen is taking Isaac to play soccer 
with the Shan kids

Mary and Nick at village 

Isaac at his school sport's day

John is picking up Isaac from school

One of the little cute Shan kids

Becky is teaching English to the Shan kids

Mary and the Shan kids

Prayer requests:

1.      Thailand political crisis.
2.      Family’s health and Children’s education.
3.      AIS’ students and their ministries in their home and neighboring countries.

Your partnership and prayers mean a lot to us.  We are always thankful for all your faithful partnership with us in equipping and empowering Christian leaders with the Word of God and in carrying out the Great Commission to the lost people in Southeast Asia and China.  May our living God richly bless you all and may all your partnering gifts become an investment that reaps spiritual dividends in Jesus Christ!

In Christ’s Grace,
Stephen and Mary