Happy New Year! We thank God every year for his blessings. We look back at the year 2016 and feel extremely blessed for all the works that God have provided us and for all our friends and church families that have been with us through the ups and downs. We have many great visions of what we would like to accomplish in the year of 2017 such as helping the displaced Lisu people in Myanmar, starting to teach in China using the Bible, and further equipping leaders from different areas of Southeast Asia and China through teaching and providing more commentaries on the books of the Bible in the Lisu language. We know that anything is possible through the Lord and that He alone provides for everything. We also know that He has graciously given us friends and church families to help alongside our missions through prayers, supports, and encouragement.
For our friends and church families in the States and various places in the world, we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and also wish you all a Happy New Year! We pray that God will be ever present in your lives and in all that you do. We pray that God will continually bless you all.
|A group photo with Lisu leaders in China|
|International Lisu from various countries:USA, Netherland, |
Taiwan and Thailand dressing in a Thailand-Lisu attire
|Stephen speaking at the Lisu Cultural Conference|
in China on Christianity and Lisu culture
|Stephen speaking in Lisu with a Chinese translation|
|Stephen speaking to the 600 of 10th graders |
at Huaping, Yunnan, China
|Stephen and Nick speaking at Huaping School|
After arriving to Thailand from the China trip, Stephen and Nick along with Mary went up to a village called Lin Luang, Thailand for the Christmas festival, the day before Christmas, in order to meet with Lisu people from throughout Thailand. You see, the Lisu people in Thailand treasured the week long Christmas festival because it was a week during Christmas that everyone gathered together and worshipped. At this festival, Stephen was able to hand out the remaining commentary books on Revelation to the Lisu leaders and pastors in Thailand. People were really excited to get the Revelation commentary and right there, even before they started reading the commentary, they asked Stephen if he would have a week long class to go through it with them and for any questions they may have.
|Stephen teaching on Revelation|
As Christmas approached, the family had a Christmas party for the Shan (a people group from Myanmar) kids from our neighborhood. This year there were many churches in the mountains that invited us to attend their Christmas festival, but we felt that we should spend time with the Shan kids in our neighborhood because they had been waiting for this party all year; some of them even begged us to have a Christmas party months prior to Christmas. So this year we threw a Christmas party for these kids, and it was truly a blessing to be a part of this event. The party consisted of games, giving gifts, food, and most importantly, the Truth. This year, many of the Buddhist temples in the area had celebrations in order to draw kids and families into the temples, but these kids still came to our house. Mary asked them why they didn’t go to the Buddhist temple parties, and they replied that they felt more at home at our house. It was very heartwarming to watch these kids that have nothing eat happily, open presents with smiles, and just laugh with us. We know it is extremely hard for them to accept Christ because their families and community enforce the traditional Buddhist ways, but we are hoping and praying that the seed of Truth that we plant inside them and will one day grow and they will choose to be His faithful followers.
|Gifts giving on Christmas|
|The kids enjoying the food at our Christmas party|
|Games during the Christmas party|
We are looking forward to 2017. Praying that the year of 2017 brings another blessed year for our family and ministry. If God is willing, Stephen is planning to publish at least three more commentaries in Lisu: Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, and Romans. We have seen that the commentaries have become a much needed and important ministry among the Lisu Christians in order to equip them to be rooted in the Scripture, God’s Word. Then taking this commentary and reaching out to the church context and teaching them book after book.
If God is willing, the Wongs would love to make a trip back to the USA in order to visit our friends and church families. Particularly, this is Isaac’s wish for his Christmas and New Year. Almost every week, he says I really want to go to America or I want to eat turkey or I want to see the place I was born. We know this is up to the Lord, if He prepares a way or the right time.
Also, please pray that God will send more field workers since our ministry has extended into many areas in Southeast Asia and China. Many more ministries have opened up. Many callings have been echoed. All of these have happened not because we are special people, but because God’s grace and blessings that He has given to us this great Kingdom Works!