Praise the Lord! At last, rain has poured down to ease the drought. Although our crops are completely ruined by the drought; no harvest at this time, it is still better to see the rain diminish the 45 C (113 F) temperature during the past couple of weeks. This drought will devastate the food production throughout Southeast Asia. Some countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Philippians, and Qatar will be severely impacted by the spike in the price of vegetable and rice.
John siting on our rugged dried out rice field
affected by the drought
The past month was a great time for the family. After Stephen returned from almost a month long trip to Myanmar, the Wongratanamajcha were able to go on a family vacation for the first time to the beach of Thailand, Pattaya. John could not go with the family because he had to study for his AP tests. The family rented a van and traveled to the beach. The ride took about 12 hours but when the family saw the great ocean, it was definitely worth the long ride. The 3-day trip was to help us refresh and relax before the Myanmar leaders arrive for their last 2 months of studies. Isaac enjoyed it the most; it seemed like he spent more time in the water than on land. Praise the Lord since it was a much-needed trip!
Sunrise at Koh Samet
Isaac enjoying the waves
Stephen & Mary at the beach
Everyone feeling a bit scared and
seasick on a boat
After the little trip to the beach, it was back to the usual routine again for the next 2 weeks before the students arrived. Stephen began preparing for his Revelation class with the Myanmar leaders. Mary managed the duties of the house. Becky and Nick prepared to teach English to the leaders coming. Nick has been asked to teach the youth at an international church so he has been preparing lessons. John is wrapping up his final days as a high school student while Isaac was preparing for school to begin again (Thai schools and International schools don’t have the same school days).
When May arrived, the family celebrated John’s 18th birthday. It’s a little sad to think that this could be the last time for a while that we would celebrate John’s birthday since he’s heading to Boise Bible College in Idaho this summer.
Myanmar Leaders Arrive:
The Myanmar leaders arrived May 5th for their last time with us. After these 2 months, they will have a year to complete a final paper in order to get their certificates. As soon as they arrived, Stephen began to teach the book of Revelation to the leaders and they are really enjoying the class.
Becky and Nick are teaching English to them in the evenings. Also, Nick is currently teaching a class on pastoral counseling. Here are the 5 leaders that have been studying with us for the past 3 years:
The students: Moses, Solomon, Pricilla,
Amos & Sergius (left to right)
Moses is a pastor from Waimaw, Myanmar. He is married to his wife, Gu Mar Sar, and has a 3-year-old son named Sarmai. Moses currently pastors a church of 35 people in a small village of 150 people named Cana. His duties include preaching, youth Sunday school, and leading worship songs. After finishing his studies, his dream is to help bring the drunkards in his village to Christ and to teach at a bible school in Waimaw. Here are his words, “Firstly, I want to thank the school for showing me the love of God. Secondly, I thank the supporters because you all gave me the chance to come study. Thirdly, I thank you, teachers, for teaching the bible because we got a lot of the Truth of God. Finally, I am able to use everything I have learned in Myanmar to teach to others.”
Solomon is an evangelist from Waimaw, Myanmar. He is an evangelist and a pastor to the youth of 15 years and younger. There are 40 youths to whom he works with at the village of 236 people named Sankar. He teaches Sunday school, evangelizes in different surrounding villages. He says that the youths are on fire to learn the Word of God. His dream is to teach at a bible school, be a pastor, and help orphans. Here are his words, “Thank you for this opportunity to study here because I never expected to get this privilege.”
Amos is currently a pastor at a small church of 15 people in Yangon, Myanmar. He is married to his wife, Nar Si Sae, and has a 1-year-old boy named William. He is currently teaching and preaching in his community. His dream is to bring more people to Christ in Yangon. Here are his words, “This school is very good for me because I got knowledge in the Word of God and English. Thank you (school) for teaching me. I especially liked to learn the historical context of the bible classes. I’m so blessed to study here.”
Sergius is a pastor and evangelist in Pa Ya Thae Chung, Myanmar. He is married to his wife, Si Li Mi, and has a one-year-old boy named Si Lee Ya. He pastors at a church of about 30 people in the village of 120 people. His vision is to bring more people to Christ in his village. He would like to say, “Thank you for the things you (school) taught. Very good classes! I’ve learned what I’d never learned.”
Priscilla recently married her husband, Hosea. She has been teaching the word of God to the people at the border of Myanmar and China. She currently lives in Ko Khan, Myanmar (and China border). She evangelizes in many villages from the border to other places in Myanmar with Solomon and Moses. Her vision is to evangelize in Ko Khan (a battleground for many militaries and rebel battles). She would like to say, “Firstly, thank God for the opportunity and the way HE provided in coming to study here. Thank you to supporters and teachers. I learned a lot of knowledge and am taking it back to teach to the people in Myanmar and China. Pray for me.”
Recently, Stephen is busy contacting and working with the publishing company in Yangon, Myanmar. They are in the midst of printing out his commentary on the book of Revelation in the Lisu language. Many Lisu people are excited about the commentary and are anticipating the day that it will be printed. Stephen is now working on revising the commentary on the book of Hebrews into the Lisu language. Hopefully, this book will be able to publish during this coming fall.
- John is headed to Boise Bible College soon
- Stephen is thinking about taking a sabbatical year in the States. He is planning to turn his several teaching notes into books. However, it seems that he is hesitating to leave the field since the ministry is expanded. He has received requests for biblical conferences as well as cultural conferences from believers and non-believers. For instance, a group of local leaders of Yin Jiang, China led by the governor flew to Chiangmai abruptly and requested to meet Stephen; they invited Stephen to make a visit to their areas where he has never been.
Governor & local leaders from Yin Jiang,
China meeting with Stephen and his team
Equipping the Myanmar leaders
- The students as they learn with us for 2 months
- The teachers teaching the classes
Commentary and Biblical literature
- Pray that the publishing will go smoothly
- Pray for people will be blessed through this ministry
Derek Voorhees, along with his wife Nell and daughter Kaylee will be coming to Thailand in June to teach a class on Matthew.
From now on, it is Nick that will be taking over in the blog and updates department for Asians for Christ. God has now handed to us many more ministries that need to be done in Southeast Asia and China. So there are more demanding works for Stephen such as commentary works, evangelistic works, leadership training, church conference, the wholistic ministry like TB and Malaria help, helping the poor Christians in Myanmar to fight with their poverty and transforming their opium cultivation to other crops. With these countless calling, Stephen has given Nick the responsibility of the monthly updates.
Please pray for me (Nick) as I try my best to relay the great Kingdom works that are being done here. We thank you all for you prayers and support. Without you all, we know that the mission works here would be extremely difficult, but through the God’s love, we are all part of a team that is winning more souls to Christ. May God be ever present in your life as HE is amongst the mission field here in Southeast Asia and China.