P.S. By the time you are reading this, Stephen will actually be in China for a Lisu Conference. It was requested that Stephen talk about the culture of Lisu and how Christianity doesn’t destroy the Lisu culture. Please pray for wisdom and safe travels for Stephen, and also pray for more lost souls to hear about the Good News during this trip.
First and foremost, we praise God for being wonderful in providing our mission with more ministries. We thank God for your partnership and love for us as we spread the love of Christ to the people in Southeast Asia and China. Recently, we were approached by a group of Christian leaders from Laos who requested for an orphanage and university dormitory to be built in Luang Prabang, the ancient and former capital of Laos. In Luang Prabang, there are many students, who originally come from the rural and remote villages and study in the university in the city and the problem is that they don’t have a place to live during their studies.
Anyways, we still are a bit timid because if you didn’t know, Laos is a Communist country and so there is no such thing as religious freedom. The country of Laos has been known to oppress and persecute Christians. There’s more to praise God! We found out that these group of leaders happen to be connected (through family ties) to the government officials in Laos and would officially invite our team. The group said that in the future, they would also like for our mission to go in and teach English and even the Gospel. In the past, we could only dream about spreading the Gospel in Laos, but recently we believe God is opening a door for us. Please be in prayers for this new frontier to Laos.
On top of this great news, Stephen has been turning his lecture of the First Corinthians into a commentary. The First Corinthians is actually a great book to teach the Lisu people because the context goes well with the Lisu culture. For example, the text about food sacrificed to idols hits close to home for many Lisu because that’s in their culture and many non-Christian Lisu still practice this today. Besides 1 Corinthians commentary, Stephen’s Hebrews commentary is in the proofreading stages. In this proofreading stage, there needs to be 2 groups of Lisu people from different locations of Thailand and Myanmar to come and proofread it in the Lisu language twice. The Lisu language, depending on the location, can vary a lot; so in order for all Lisu people to be able to read the commentaries, the Lisu text of Hebrews must be in the common Lisu language.
Each book costs about 2-3 dollars for publishing. Now we need 4000$ for printing cost of the commentary on Hebrews. If you are called by God to help specifically with the cost of the printing and would like to send a check, we just ask that you write somewhere that it’s designated to literature funds. Please pray for all the processes and costs of making the commentaries and pray that the Lisu people will be blessed by this ministry.
The commentary on the Book of Revelation in the Lisu language has been passed out to the leaders and those that want to study the text in depth. We had originally sold them out at the price of the printing cost because we seek no profit from people wanting to learn God’s Word; however, we found out that very limited number of people were able to buy these books, so we generally lower the price to about a dollar or even passed them out freely because their request touched our hearts deeply, seeing people strive to study God’s word. At this moment, dozens of leaders from various denominations in Myanmar have read the commentary and called Stephen to ask if they could study in Thailand for 2 weeks to go further into the text through discussions and questions. They are so on fire with passion to study the Word that they said they will pay for their own plane tickets (which is a lot for most people in Myanmar) but just request us to feed them and provide a place to stay for them while they come and study. If it is in God’s will, we will have them come this coming January. God is good!
Furthermore, the Lisu Christians in Myitkyina has invited us to teach at their Leadership Conference in November. At the moment, it is still being planned; the church leaders are looking at schedule to find the best week that the majority of people can come, they are also raising money for the cost of the meals during the week. If these two things are addressed and solved, then they will send us the official letter of invitation. The conference is the one we had been going to at least once a year in the past; they have requested Stephen to give a lecture on the book of Revelation and Nick to teach on the pastoral counseling to the group of 200-300 Christian leaders. Please pray for this conference, again if God’s willing, we will go and teach at this conference in November.
The Wongratanamajchas are doing well. John is really enjoying studying at Boise Bible College, and he has even been asked to lead a group of students to do a short term mission trip to Thailand or Myanmar next year. Isaac is growing very fast, he actually needs to get braces now but so far he’s not complaining. Next year, Isaac will actually transfer from Varee Chiang Mai School to Sarasas School because there has been a lot of problems in Varee’s educational system and it seems like the education standard because have transferred their good teachers to their international program. At the parent teacher conference, many parents are noticing that the students aren’t learning and have a lot of homework that many of the students didn’t remember learning in class. As a result, many students are transferring out of the school. Please pray for Isaac as he transitions to Sarasas, but he’s glad his best friend is going with him. Becky is doing well, she has been studying Chinese on her own and seems to be getting really good. Nick has been teaching the Youth at the Gathering Church and has been helping the Youth leaders plan a curriculum; he has also been counseling two people, whom he meets every week to help them deal with problems by using the Bible and also talk therapy. Nick was also invited to go up to a Thai school of about 4000 primary and secondary school students and was asked to preach at a staff meeting. Mary is still going to the Doctor regularly to have her checkups and seems to be getting better and better. Please continue to pray for her. Stephen has been in the office everyday working diligently on his commentary on the First Corinthians and studying through the whole Old Testament, even finished his first draft on the Old Testament Survey. During breaks, he still enjoys watching classic American cowboy movies.
Once in awhile, Nick is asked
to teach and preach at various Thai schools
Nick preaching at a staff meeting at a Thai school in Fang
Mary enjoying her farming chore
Stephen working at his office
Thank you so much for your prayers for our family and the ministries that God has blessed us with. We miss and love you all very much.
In Christ Alone,