The field behind our home is beginning to look fuller and greener as rice begins to grow. Mary along with several of the neighbors came together a few weeks ago in order to plant the rice in the field, and now we are waiting for the harvest in a few months. It’s incredible and amazing to see the simplicity yet at the same time the complexity of how rice grows. We watch as the rice stalks grow taller and the grains of rice began to form at the ends of these stalks. Every once in a while, we would give the rice some fertilizer to nourish the crops in hopes of greater harvest. However, we know that a crop grows because of God and His wonderful design. Many rice farmers, in our neighborhood put as much time and effort or even more into growing rice, yet some fields turn out with very little harvest. We are extremely blessed by God because our little field grows beautiful and plentiful crops. Excitement approaches as we wait to harvest the rice.
|The rice in our backyard growing wonderfully|
Now, Stephen is focused on training up more Christian workers to go into the field! Every week, Stephen teaches God’s Word to new groups of second generation Christian Lisu in Thailand. They grew up in Christian families, in churches, but have very shallow Biblical knowledge. Many do not even understand the concept of Grace. Many times, they are struggling with the false teachings from cults, for instance, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, etc. So, they come to our home twice a week to learn the Word of God. Stephen has taught a lot about how we Christians focus on the death of Jesus on the Cross (and his resurrection) because everything hinges on this event: the ultimate love of God for humanity, the hope of Christians, etc. He is reshaping their worldview, mindsets, values, norms and conducts in congruence with the Gospel of Jesus on the Cross. Please pray for these young Christians for their spiritual growth.
|Stephen teaching to the second generation |
Christian Lisu of Thailand
The commentary on First Corinthians is finally completed. The next step is to go through the publishing process, including translating and proofreading, before printing the commentary for the Christians in Southeast Asia and China. Stephen has been in his office every day to finish gathering his information from his studies in the States and from his lecture notes in various occasions and now finally, First Corinthians is wrapped up and ready to go through the last steps before printing. Stephen asks one of his friends to help him in translating into Lisu (but he will finalize all the translating works) so he will be able to work on his new project. He will either work on Romans first or one of the four Gospels. Perhaps, it will be a great ideal to give him some of your feedback on this. Of course, he will be much appreciated if you could introduce or provide him some excellent works on these books.
Our family lives among non-believer neighbors. About 20 meters away from our house, there is a Buddhist temple on the left hand side. If you walk another 100 meters away, there is a Brahmin shrine on the right hand side. In fact, the Brahmin priest and those Buddhist monks are our best neighbors. As you may have known that majority of Thai people believes that all religions are good: teaching people to be good. To them, there is no difference. Stephen often confronts with such an ideology. He always told them that there IS a major difference—Jesus has risen from the dead. The world needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus on the Cross. The people in Southeast Asia and China must be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Without Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection, our message is in vain.
This month, Stephen and Nick were asked to attend a monthly meeting with the Christian Soldiers and Police Society of Thailand. These Christian soldiers and police are high ranking officials among the elites of Thailand; they have authority and influence in Thailand. This group has asked Stephen to preach and to teach them on many occasions and are very fond of Stephen. Praise God! They will be coming to our house to meet, next month. Please pray for this group as they have the means to change the Thai society because of their positions and please pray for them as they have to clash with Buddhist culture in their daily governmental rituals and traditions.
|A Thai Christian Army General giving a speech at the meeting|
|Stephen giving a speech at |
the Christian Police & Soldiers
|Group picture with the high ranking Christian |
Thai Soldiers, Polices,
& Government Officials
|Stephen greeting with the Lisu people at the roadside market|
|Praying with Lisu brothers and sisters in Christ|
|Flood in norther Myanmar|
August is the month of birthdays for two members of our family. Stephen was born on August 15 and Becky on August 23. Started from last year, Stephen has begun to celebrate his birthday again to thank God for his life at his age. We have been informed that John is doing well with his new classes, professors, classmates, and roommates at Boise Bible College. He is working at the college’s cafeteria to help pay for his tuition fees and expenses. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in providing all his college needs in the past year. Hopefully, God will provide all his physical and spiritual needs this year. Thank you for investing in him and equipping him for the coming generation to carrying out the Great Commission to the lost people in Southeast Asia and China. While many of your children have just started their school, Isaac is on his mid-term. His first semester will end on October. Please keep Mary in your prayers! She has good and bad days from weaknesses due to her age. Most days are positive for her. Praise the Lord!
|Stephen's Birthday party|
|Mary with Isaac at his school's open house day|
|Isaac singing at his school's open house day|
|Isaac writes "I love you Mom" in Chinese|