SERVING THE LORD’S CALLING!

Many times, we have asked ourselves the same question as Peter did: “Behold, we have left everything and followed You: what then will there be for us?” Jesus’ answer has always moved, encouraged, and motivated us forward to giving up everything for His Kingdom’s sake. And Jesus said to them, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life…” (Matthew 19:27-29: NASB).

As you know, we have ministered to the places that many missionaries could not go and many evangelists would not want to go. We believe this is our calling. Even though we are a small mission but we are blessed by God to have such an honor in serving so many different groups of people, denominations, and countries. Our mission field covers Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and China. If God is willing, we are planning to reach the Nagaland in India by the end of 2018. Also, we are now beginning to work with the orphans in war-torn areas, next to the borders between Northern Myanmar and India.

In the past weeks, we got a call from China asking us to offer a special course at our center, Asia International Seminary. They want to learn the Bible, English, and biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew) in order to prepare them for their higher education at a Bible school in the capital, Peking, China. We believe this group of Bible graduates, currently serving in churches in the Yunnan province of China, will become key leaders in the coming generation. This is one way to equip Christian leaders in the restricted countries. At this moment, they are waiting for approval from the Chinese government to come to Thailand. Please lift up this issue in your prayers.  

On a different note, the special course offered to the first group of Christians among the Thailand-Lisu had just completed the Torah (Pentateuch). It’s amazing to see their faces light up when they finally understand a certain biblical story! On top of teaching, Stephen has just completed his exegetical commentaries on 2nd Corinthians and the Gospel of John. They are now on his desk waiting for the right moment for the publishing process. While waiting, he is going back to his exegetical works on Matthew and Luke (His MA thesis was on Matthew and his doctoral paper was on Luke). He took a class on Matthew in 1997 and Luke in 2002. Since then he has continued to work on these two Gospels. He even taught and preached these two Gospels on several occasions and contexts. Hopefully, he will complete them soon if he can access his research tools. By the way, he had access to research on EBSCOhost from Thailand, but now his access has been terminated; finding more research tools is a necessity, at this moment.

Studying the Torah

"Shema" in Deuteronomy

Furthermore, this coming weekend, Stephen will be heading to Myanmar. Stephen will go to teach the Bible at the Bible school where Moses, our former AIS student, is currently a teacher. On this trip, Stephen will finish up IDES project purchasing food for the dislocated people affected by the war and will also be visiting the orphans so that all their needs will be met. On top of this, if the fighting and political tension are calm, on this trip, Stephen will travel into Nagaland, India to evangelize and teach the word of God there. Stephen has already met some of the Christians from Nagaland but this would be the first time, if the Lord is willing, for our missions to set foot in India. During this trip, Stephen may head to China. As you may have heard already, recently there has been wide spread news about church buildings being demolished and ministers being imprisoned in China. Please pray for this trip!

Stephen is preaching at a Lisu church
in down town Chiang Mai


Mary and Stephen are on their way
to a village church on the mountains

Fellowship with villagers

Mary with her relatives and friends at village

Stephen with his siblings at another village
Family

Mary is doing well. She is in good health now. Praise the Lord! Becky is also doing well. She has been preparing to go teach English in Myanmar; we are waiting for the teaching center in Northern Myanmar to be completed. Isaac is preparing for his school systems’ standardized tests. If he does well on these tests, he can get into very good secondary schools. Nick and his team are preparing to go to Myanmar for teaching God’s Word and spend time with the youth who are affected by the ongoing war. He also plans to go and teach other things such as hygiene and health. John is continuing his junior year at Boise Bible College with 21 credits and has recently joined the student leadership team. His role as a leader is to help support other leaders through prayers. Continue to pray for him as he is taking up a lot of new responsibilities.

Our warm welcome is extended to Amanda Emslie, who is a former student at Ozark Bible College. She will be staying with us for some time as she experiences Thailand and its cultures.

Thank you for your faithfulness in prayerful and financial support throughout the years.

Prayer meeting for our Family and Missions!



GOD IS WITH US!

In the movie Exodus, which is a Hollywood’s portrayal of a bible story, though a lot of the movie wasn’t biblical the ending was wonderful. There was a scene of Moses giving a speech to the Israelites as they faced the Red Sea while the Egyptian Army closed in behind them. As the water receded, the people were still afraid to cross the Red Sea, and Moses said: “do not be afraid, God is with us!” This scene was awesome because this is absolutely true! God is with us! We have faced spiritual attacks these past several months as Satan tried to bombard our family with illnesses, discouragement, and even challenges. We must continue onward with the missions because God is with us and we should not fear whatever comes on our way.

It has been three consecutive weeks that we have gone through the Bible starting from Genesis hopefully to Revelation every Thursday-Saturday from 9am-3pm with our inner relatives in ChiangMai. In fact, these relatives were among the first group of Thailand-Lisu who accepted Jesus Christ. They are the first generation of Christians who converted from evil spirit worship into Christianity. However, due to their jobs; some of them in the Thai government, they hardly had a chance to learn God’s Word. Of course, they heard the Word of God at church services, some of them even had served as elders in churches among some denominations, but they always felt that they have never been rooted in His Word. After their retirement from their jobs, they have an urge to learn the Bible with Stephen. So, Stephen has offered a class on the introduction to the Bible. We are now on the book of Numbers. In all the books so far, we have seen that even when man fails, God is always faithful. Please pray for us as we journey through the entire Bible.

Going through the Bible with Stephen
Beside of preaching in different churches, Stephen just completed teaching the book of Hebrews via a messaging application with his audiences. Many people throughout Northern Myanmar and Western China are enrolling in this program. He set those followers into 5 different groups. Each group has a key person who directly studies with Stephen through a phone application, each day. After these key leaders had completed a class with Stephen, they, in turn, taught or preached to their followers. Each of these key leaders has around 300-550 followers. By doing this, each follower can study the Word of God at their own time, location, and pace. We are praying, if God is willing, to improve this messaging application from audio into mp4 (video) so that the people will be able to visualize the teaching materials in an even more personal setting.

Stephen is preaching at church in downtown Chiangmai
 

Sadly, in Myanmar, things are getting worse for the ordinary people. There are still battles here and there, sometimes in the form of terrorists, wearing citizen clothes, not military uniform and shooting at the crowds. Such a type of fighting impacts the ordinary people who need to go out in their daily routine and come back in the evening with the hope of reaching home with food for their families. Now, many ordinary people are afraid to go out to find food to feed their families. Unfortunately, some people had never made it back to their homes and families. In the midst of such circumstances, our ministry for the orphanage in Danai, west of Myitkyina has received a tremendous blessing from many of you. We are planning to build a wooden home which will be able to house around 20-30 children by the end of this rainy season. At the moment, the temporary building we have is made from bamboo. The rainwater would sometimes get through the bamboo walls. Many times while the children are trying to sleep in the middle of the night, these poor children become soaked. Therefore, the new building would have to be made of good quality wood so that the orphanage would be the same theme as the houses in the area; we want the children’s home to be built in the context of Northern Myanmar homes so that it wouldn’t be flashy and cause the neighborhood to stumble. Our gratitude goes out especially to those who promise to support this need financially. You are the answer to our prayers. May our Living God bless you! Right now, we are trying to raise funds so that we could support another 10 children who are lacking monthly support which goes to education, food, toiletries, clothes, etc. Monthly, we are needing $50 per child to provide for their needs. We hope that the children would be able to see the love of God through us and hope that we can lead them to follow Christ all their life.


Family

Mary is a very important person in our family; as the mom of the house, she holds the family together and oversees the many projects at home. Unfortunately, this past month, it was very hard to see her face some health issues. Mary was in the hospital for several days for a kidney infection and then she had to recover for some time at home. After a couple weeks, she was finally back to good health. Praise the Lord!

Isaac was elected from his school to compete at a regional English skills event. Being that the school told us with such short notice, Isaac was only able to prepare for about a week while many that compete have been preparing since last year. The result came out that Isaac got second place! We are very proud of Isaac for his outstanding achievement. Becky has been teaching Isaac in Math and English every evening, so she did a great job preparing Isaac. Beside of being equipped with his dad, Nick has been meeting with several of his contacts in order to try to help bring jobs and skills to the Lisu in Myanmar. So, he has been trying to grow crops like stevia and other plants to study how to grow and care for the plants so that maybe the Lisu in Myanmar could benefit from growing such plants to make some income for themselves.

John has just completed his internship at McMinnville, Oregon and flew back to Boise to continue his junior year at Boise Bible College. He says that the experience and all the relationships were priceless! He was able to serve in the children, youth, small group, and many other areas of ministry at Adventure Christian Church. Currently, he is working on transitioning back into school and maybe taking some leadership responsibilities at school! Please continue to pray and encourage him as he is loaded with 20 credits of school plus the workload and responsibilities that come into play throughout the year!

Please lift up Stephen’s relatives in your prayers. Even though, most of his sibling and relatives were the first group of Christians among the Lisu people in Thailand accepting Jesus Christ, some of them have faded away from their faith. One of Stephen’s sisters had been distant from God for a very long time. One day, recently, she was blinded and could only see clouds and bright lights even when she covered her eyes with her hands. She was extremely terrified so she came to Stephen because she needed God in her life. This is a very promising event and we thank God for bringing her back. We pray that many of our relatives would draw near to God through Jesus Christ, the Redeemer.

We are so blessed to have so many of you as a part of this mission’s family. Many times, we have faced dangerous situations that arise like a storm out of nowhere. Many times, we have faced people that try to paint us negative through gossip because of jealousy. Many times, we have faced illnesses and trials because Satan wants to bring our mission down. We thank God that we have so many of you that are constantly thinking about us and praying for us. Even in the midst of challenges, we have a loving and all-powerful God that is always with us, therefore we are not afraid!



Feed the Need!

The rainy season has come early this year! Some people have lost their harvest because of too much rain, but some farmers and their crops are benefiting greatly. Many areas are flooded and completely ruined while other places are flourishing. Some people dislike the rain because it causes traffic, while some like it because it cools down the temperature.  Due to the unexpected and early rain, 12 young football players and a coach were trapped in a cave in the neighboring province of Chiang Mai, that is, Chiang Rai, Thailand. You may have heard this story on the news. Currently, a united group of international rescue workers have found the trapped kids and coach to be alive and are rescuing them. Like the trapped children in the caves, there are millions of people in this world, particularly in Southeast Asia and China that are currently still trapped in the cave of sin. Only Jesus can rescue them from the cave of death.

Ministry:

Stephen’s quick mission trip to Kachin State, Myanmar was full of God’s blessings. With our Light of Hope program, he visited a new orphanage near the border between Myanmar and India. This new orphanage is located at the heart of the battlefield in Kachin state. Most of these kids have lost their parents or separated from their parents because of the continuing war. For example, a 12 years old girl lost her mother during the war and lost contact with her father. Living without hope, after overhearing about the orphanage she traveled for 2 days and nights through the deep jungle in order to seek refuge. Thank you to many of you for stepping up and praying and helping with this ministry.

We received some funds specifically for this ministry and we were able to build a temporary shelter for the children, and also provide their basic needs such as food, clothes, sandals, mosquito nets, blankets, pillow, soaps, etc. Also, since the school year has started, we bought them their school uniforms, books, pens, pencils, etc. Soon the winter will arrive so the children will also need winter clothes and warm blankets for the coming chilly winter.

At this moment, we have built a temporary dormitory. The orphanage was built with bamboo. It is common for bamboo houses to last about twelve months at most. Unfortunately, this bamboo was cut and built during the rainy season. Because the bamboo is damp, it won’t last as long. This bamboo building is able to hold only 16 orphans plus a cook and a caretaker. Another 15 could not live at this orphanage so we asked a nearby nursery school to help house 15 kids, ages 6 and under. We are praying to raise money to have an actual permanent orphanage.

Building a bamboo house for the orphans

Putting up the roof




The kids waiting for the building to be completed

Time for food!

Boys' bedroom

Girls' bedroom

Stephen and his team visiting the orphans

Orphans under 6, at the nursery school

School supplies for the orphans

During the trip, Stephen also visited villages on the recent battlefield. Most villages were like ghost towns: hardly saw people around and many houses have been deserted. Once, those villages were crowned with tens of thousands of people, but now they are nearly empty. Because of the early rain and a new policy by the government restricting the setup of refugee camps, many displaced people were spread all over with groups as much as 200 people, here and there. Our team had to follow these dislocated groups of people in order to deliver their daily needs, for instance, rice and also give them hope through the Word of God. Several of the local leaders came to Stephen to discuss how to help those dislocated people move back to where they used to live. The major problem for these dislocated people is the lack of the basic human needs. However, after Stephen left for a different area, Danai faced severe flood and Hpakant faced landslides that killed a dozen people in the area. Stephen was able to leave on time before those natural disasters happened and before the roads were closed. Thank God for protecting Stephen as he traveled around Myanmar. One of the greatest blessings during the trip is that he had an opportunity to share God’s Word to different groups of people, churches and Bible training centers. Wherever he went God had always opened the door for him to deliver God’s Word.

Distributing rice for people affected by war

The villagers taking their rice home as it rained

The women carrying her bag of rice home

The flood in Danai

Family:

We have guests from all over Asia, both overseas and Thailand. Almost every day we held a meeting with those guests.  One instance, a senator from Myanmar came and visited our family. He was on his way home from a conference in UN in New York and in Bangkok. Thank you God for connections like these so that we are able to spread the Gospel freely where ever we go.

With Christian Leaders from China

With a Senator from Myanmar

As for Isaac, he was requested from his school to participate in the American exchange student event. He was chosen to be a translator from Thai/English and English/Thai. He was also assigned to be a guide for the American students on the culture of Thailand and his school in particular.  During those days, he was interviewed and went through several tests. The result of his tests reported that his English was at a college level. We are very proud of him.

Isaac discussing with American students


Becky and Nick have been working on curriculums to teach the youth in Myanmar when they go there to teach English. They will incorporate biblical stories into their lessons. Nick also went to visit a military boarding school to spend time with primary school aged kids in Chiang Dao with his Thai Christian friends. Many of these kids come from families with poverty, jail problems, and drug problems. He is moved to tears as the kids were joyful to get the simplest things such as a new soft pillow. Mary and Nick also visited a church/orphanage at the border of Thailand and Myanmar and were able to encourage and spend time with the caretakers, kids, and the Christian leader there.

Now, Mary is about to grow her new rice crop. Her land is ready. She’s just waiting for a bit more rain in the area. As for Stephen, he is teaching the Synoptic Gospel via Wechat messaging application. This week his teaching focuses on Matthew 24 and Luke 17. On top of that, there is a group of Naga students from India wanting to come and study God’s Word at Asia International Seminary. However, Stephen is considering to offer them classes at Myitkyina, Myanmar rather than in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Stephen is trying to shift the AIS’ classroom program into a distance learning program that is closer to their home. However, the Seminary is facing a shortage of a qualified professor. Due to the lack of professors, the Seminary is not able to run as it should, please keep the Seminary in your prayers. We deeply appreciate your prayers for AIS!

John is nearing the end of his internship at McMinnville, Oregon. He has enjoyed his experiences working with kids at summer camps and with the youth group. He says that it has been a true blessing to be a part of such a great ministry and loves the people there! Please continue to pray for him and his work that he is doing. If you would like to learn more about what John is doing, you can read his ministry adventures at www.johnnywongy.blogspot.com


BACK TO THE MISSION FIELD!

We apologize for not having updated this blog for some time because we have been traveling around the USA for the past three months visiting friends and churches. God has always been wonderful to us! We met almost every one of our old friends and also made new friends. Praise the Lord! Yes in Christ, we are one in God’s family. We always treasure our relationships deep in our hearts: we cherish each meal that we have, each story that we share, each joy and laughter that bursts out when we meet and each tear when we depart. All have been stored in our minds. Every place we had been and every person we had met, everyone made our day worth to give thanks and glory to God. We couldn’t count His blessing each time that we meet each one of you. It’s beyond our imagination and understanding. We hope that not only we received, but you also received God’s blessings through our visit. We pray that we were God’s channel to every one of you during our visit.

We also thank God for opening doors for our family to serve some of you, particularly a Thai Christian church in Sacramento, where we spent most of our March, teaching and discussing the Scripture. Sometimes, we turned on a messenging app on a phone so that some of the Thai people from other towns, cities, or even states would be able to hear and study with us. We keep continuing to pray to our living God that His Word that we sow among them will grow abundantly among themselves and be extended to many people around them.

In addition, it was a time of blessing for our son, John, to be able to fly out to Sacramento and spend his spring break with us. He brought honor to his parents and joy to his younger brother, Isaac. His academic and ministerial enthusiasm goes beyond his age. His mission mind has not shattered and his preaching gift has improved tremendously. As parents, we felt bad that we flew over 8,000 miles but we couldn’t make a visit to see his college and dorm (his second home). It is a shame that we couldn’t make it but, if the Lord is willing, one day we will be able to visit his school. 

As you may have known, March-May was summer for us. It’s a summer break for Isaac and in fact one of the best summers for him. He told us that his dream came true when he was playing with snow at Lake Tahoe, hiking at Yosemite in California and swimming in the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii. However, having new friends and eating new kinds of food were the highlights of his summer.

During the USA visit, Nick, Becky and their Grandma held down the fort in Thailand. They took care of all the chores. Praise the Lord, they also managed to get the rice fields harvested with the help of the neighbors before the rainy season arrived. While Stephen, Mary and Isaac were in the States, several leaders from China even came to Thailand, and Nick and Becky hosted them at our house. It had been 3 months but praise God, there were no problems at our house. We still were able to do ministry even with the families separated. God is everywhere and He has blessed the family members that went to the States and those that remained at home.

Now we are back on the mission field. The family is doing well. Everyone is glad to see each other again. After hosting a group of Christian leaders from China, it’s time for Stephen to make another quick mission trip to Kachin State, Myanmar to provide the basic needs for an orphanage and to help distribute food for refugees in Danai (near the border between Myanmar and India). The orphanage is located at the heart of the battlefields in Kachin state. We have 20 orphans, most of them are lost/separated from their parents because of the continuing war. The school year has started and most of these kids do not even have their school uniforms. They are starving for food. Please pray safety for Stephen and so that God’s light and love will shine on the people in this dark times.

visiting church at village with Christian leaders from China
Finally, our gratitude goes to those who opened their houses for us to stay: the Larick in Sacramento, the Pace in Honolulu, the Thornsbrough in West Lebanon, the Siltman in Atlanta, the Bright in Wooster, the Neuberts in Johnson City, the Robison in Morgantown and the Thunyakij in Los Angeles. Thanks also the Hammonds for driving 12 hours (back and forth) to see and support us, the Thornsbrough for driving 10 hours (back and forth) for us from Illinois to Ohio, the Neuberts for driving us from Tennessee to Kentucky, the Robison from Morgantown to Nashville and the Larick who served as our family driver the whole time we stayed in Sacramento and driving for us to visit Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and a Thai church in Los Angeles. Thanks to all the church family and friends who warmly hosted us and allowing us to share our ministry in Southeast Asia and China. May our living God bless you!

Also, John has been wanting to highlight some of his adventures this summer at his internship at Adventure Christian Church. He says, “It was a phenomenal experience. I have been able to experience new opportunities and gain new friendships in McMinnville, Oregon!” John is currently serving as the intern under the lead minister, Erik Neilson. He is also working in all aspects of the church including the youth, the children, and small group. If you would like to read more on his adventures please visit the link provided: https://johnnywongy.blogspot.com/


HERE WE COME USA!

February went by very fast! Again, it was another busy month. Though our long trip to the USA is drawing near, Stephen had to make another quick mission trip to Myitkyina to gather several books that had been printed out there. Not only was the cost of publishing his books cheaper, but more audiences are there. The cross over the border into China was a lot smoother as well. Actually, he even distributed his commentary on the book of Hebrews to churches in China. Praise the Lord! His commentary on Hebrews is written to shape Christian leaders; elders, deacons, evangelists, bible teachers and students with the truth of the Scripture. Many people are now very excited and some have requested for him to offer an intensive course to study this book after reading his commentary. Many official workers are discussing the possibility to invite Stephen to teach his other book about poetic songs to both believers and unbelievers in China. Hopefully his book on poetic songs will be a great tool for evangelism to Lisu unbelievers in China. May His will be done! By the way, his commentary on First Corinthians is in the process of publishing. During his 5 days in Myitkyina, Stephen also offered an intensive course on New Testament exegesis to preachers and students at the rehab center and preached at several bible colleges or training centers. Though it was a quick mission trip, it was a very blessed and effective time. 

Commentary on Hebrews

Lisu Traditional Poems

Stephen teaching NT Exegesis

Preachers and students at Rehab Center
in Myitkyina, Myanmar

Preaching at Jamaitee Bible Training Center,
Wain Maw, Myanmar



Please continue to pray for peace in Myanmar! The fighting in the mountainous areas of Danai, Kachin state of Myanmar decreased the intensity. After several weeks of intense fighting with air strikes, tanks, bombs, etc. several thousand civilians who had been caught in the middle of the war has slowly been released from the fighting zones. However, the relief for the civilians was blocked. The government does not permit any help or the building of refugee camps in the area. The local people still cannot go out to get their means from their own farms because of the sporadic ambush that has appeared all over the place. The fighting is expecting to be broken up again in the matter of days or weeks.

One of the huge impacts from this on-going fighting is the death of innocent people. Many people have lost their loved ones; their husbands and wives, families and relatives, parents and children. Many people have turned to be homeless and even hopeless. Many children have lost their loving families, parents and siblings. Please continue to remember these children as Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-36 “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me… (NRSV).

People who caught between the war zone


FAMILY

Mary has been tending to the rice field behind the house since the new season for rice had just began. Becky has been diligently preparing English lessons in order to go teach in Myanmar when the opportunity arises. Nick has been tutoring English in the city to make some money for the next Myanmar trip. Isaac recently had a play where he played as Jafar (from Aladdin). Isaac also completed his final exams. John has been able to chat with us about life at Boise Bible College. He seems to enjoy every moment of it: the teachers, the fellow classmates, and the lessons that are being taught. He has also been updating us with his potential internship opportunities in Oregon. Please continue to pray for him and his internship that he may grow in experience and in the Lord.

At the moment, Stephen, Mary, and Isaac are very busy packing for the upcoming trip. Isaac is very excited to see the place where he was born. Much thanks goes to all of you for your prayers on our safe journey. We are anxious to seeing you all face to face soon. May our living God bless you!


Making Differences For the Lord!

Thank you so much for your prayers, love and support us for carrying out the Great Commission to the lost souls and making disciples in Southeast East Asia and China.
  
In the past month, Stephen made a quick missions trip to Northern Myanmar to teach the book of Revelation to a group of Christian leaders from various denominations and the Doctrine of Grace to students at Jamaitee Bible Center. He even went up to Putao to find the place to establish the rehab center the drug addicts. Several thousands of youth in Putao area are addicted to particularly heroin. Some streets are filled with people by youth at night. Needles are lying around everywhere. The sad part is that these youth are considered to be Christians. They have grown up inside the churches. Their families were known to be Christians for several generations.

Stephen with students at Jamitee

Stephen is teaching a Doctrine of Grace


He also participated at the cultural festival in Putao and met and had gained close relationships with many political and cultural leaders in Myanmar. He helped the leaders from China and Myanmar to meet each other so that they would further their relationship with one another. He really became an intermediary. 

Stephen in Putao

Group photo with Lisu leaders from China and Myanmar

Meeting with Lisu leaders from China and Myanmar

During this mission trip, Stephen did a ground breaking for building a home for the orphans particularly among the displaced people due to the ongoing fighting in Kachin State of Myanmar. It was another real blessed trip. Praise the Lord!

Group photo with preachers, elders, deacons and evangelists

Ground breaking photo

During mid-January, Nick was able to go into Northern Myanmar in order to visit and encourage the Lisu people living in one of the many refugee camps. Normally, Nick travels to Myanmar to teach Bible or focus on youth ministry, but this time, it was to visit and encourage the displaced people.

Nick has been to Myanmar on many occasions but this was the first time he has ever experienced such an intense emotion. He started the week visiting the youth in the area. He visited Sayleyet, one of the leaders in Myitkyina. At his house, he teaches some of the youth in the area just about every evening. There were about 4 orphans in the group of youth that he teaches; he was able to join their worship services almost every night.

Nick with children at Sayleyet's home
Nick’s main focus was on the children at Nicodi refugee camp (village). On one of the days, several leaders from the area and Nick threw a little feast for the 150+ children living at Nicodi village. They woke up very early and went to the market to buy ingredients to make rice and pork soup. Nick is very blessed by brothers and sisters in Christ that donated money in order for them to cover the cost for hosting this party for the children. 

When they arrived at the village, this is Nick’s remarking:

My heart sank because I saw signs of poverty and hardship everywhere. The villagers were wearing torn and rugged clothes, the village had no electricity or running water, and you could just feel a sense of hopelessness in the air. But from the dusty roads to the tattered houses, I could see that they still held their Faith in Christ. The people valued their church building because that was a place where the 300+ people gathered to worship.

We reached the village at about 1pm and started to cook the pork soup and rice. At about 3:30pm, an old pickup truck carried about 30 kids came and dropped off the first bunch of kids at the village before leaving for the next 5 groups at the school in a nearby village. The kids smelled the food and all came and gathered around; many had extremely old clothes on and had a look of sorrow in their eyes. We began with some games and teaching worship songs to the kids; they began to smile. After that, I gave a little word of encouragement for the kids (along with the adults who joined). Afterwards, we all sat down on the grassy field just behind the church and enjoyed the meal together. The party was intended for the children, but many of their parents came to watch the kids eat so we couldn’t turn them away. Tears rolled down my eyes as I saw glimpses of laughter and joy in this place.

This was only one of the many Lisu refugee villages; I was unable to go to other villages because of the continued war. As the week progressed, I visited several more youth in the area; I felt compassion for the people here so much that I forgot about my birthday during this trip. This trip was absolutely eye opening because when I went to Myanmar last year, there wasn’t any war or displaced people. Even more heart breaking was that two days after I came back to Thailand, I heard from Sayleyet, that his pregnant wife was just kidnapped. I felt deep pain and sorrow because I was just in Myanmar and met and congratulated them on their first child. Please pray for the Lisu in Myanmar as they face many hardships.



Nick with children at a refugee camp

Nick is shopping at the morning market
Feeding children at a refugee camp 

Nick is preaching to children
Dad and his little child at a refugee camp 
God has given us yet another opportunity on the mission field to show His love, and we need your help and continued prayers and partnership. If you feel God calling for you to help out or would like to know more about how to help, please let us know.

Family

Several occasions, Isaac has demonstrated his compassion and general kindness to others. A week ago, the school chose him to be Aladdin for the play. He voluntarily chose to be Jafar in order to comfort one of his classmates who cried heavily in the school for wanting to be Aladdin. Great job, Isaac! Becky is doing a great job on tutoring Isaac. She has to force herself in studying Japanese and revisiting her Chinese in order to catch up with Isaac. She is uplifting her parent’s loads (while Stephen is frequently out for mission trips and Mary is exhausted from managing the house and farming). They both are enjoying evening time together. The whole family celebrated Mary’s birthday on January 29. Everyone was happy to see mum’s happiness and laugh as we had dinner together. 


Mary's Birthday!
On the same day, Stephen and Mary’s visas was finally been approved. They are now searching for their flight to the States. They are hoping to depart on March, after Isaac begins his summer break so Isaac could join the trip. He is very excited about this trip because he gets to go see the place of which he was born. Your prayers for the whole family is much appreciated!