God is in Control!

The family is doing well. Mary’s rice farm for personal consumption and for feeding Christian workers in the area is almost ready for harvest. In the next few weeks, the new crops will be out. Praise God! Becky spent this month going over some English lesson planning and she taught a class to several kids at Huay Ko village in Chiang Dao. Mary and Becky went up to the village together to visit the Lisu people there and to encourage them. On the way back, Mary didn’t realize that the car’s tire had been badly punctured by a nail; praise God that Mary and Becky made it home safely. Isaac has been enjoying his break from school but he also misses his friends. This month, Nick has been going to several meetings in order to take a group on a trip to Myanmar at the beginning of November. He has also been doing counseling through using the bible to a non-Christian friend who has been struggling; praise God, this person is interested in Christ.

Becky teaching English at Huay Ko
Stephen has returned safely from the mission field in Myanmar. Before he went to the mission field, he had planned with his former student Solomon to evangelize at the Wa territory in Shan State, border area of Eastern Myanmar and China. Solomon is doing mission works next to the Wa territory, where the Salween River serves as the border line. This is the place where Mary’s father used to evangelize and oversee many churches; Mary used to live here until she was 9 years old. While Stephen was in Myitkyina, meeting with a group of his former students: Sarmuekhi, Moses, Amos and Solomon, he received news that the Wa authorities had torn down 3 churches and arrested over 90 Christian leaders. They plan to destroy over 52 churches in the area. Lately, the Wa authorities went to a Bible training center and arrested about 200 teachers and students. They demanded all teachers and students to sign a document stating that they won’t participate in Christianity any longer. Anyone who signs the document will be released. This group of Wa is a communist group. Almost every day, Stephen received calls from Christian leaders and evangelists requesting and warning him not to make a mission trip to this persecuted area.

Wa army destroying the church

Churches being destroyed by Wa
Since Stephen couldn’t go to the east, he planned to go west towards Nagaland in India. He needed to go to the west for several reasons. The main reason was to carry out the Great Commission to the lost souls of Naga people in India. He also could go to the orphanage to build a wooden home to replace the bamboo home for the orphanage at the war zone in Danai, next to the border between India and Myanmar. But it turns out that the tension between the government and the insurgent has increased. They are in the process of peace talking. If the peace talking fails, a war could break out at any moment. During this peace talking process, no one can travel in/out of the area, except the local people. Usually, tens of thousands of people would travel in/out of this area daily. Please lift up this situation in prayers.
With these closed doors for the time being, Stephen spent most of his time in Myitkyina teaching and preaching at various churches and Bible training centers. He was very grateful for God’s protection and provision. As the psalmist sings “Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken… Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:8-11 NASB), God always sends visible angels or messengers to help and be with him in times of need and in times when he’s a stranger in another country. All in all, he really enjoyed the fellowship with local Christians through teaching and preaching.

Stephen teaching at the evangelist gathering
 in Shan state Myanmar

Many evangelists and their families came to
the Christian gathering

Preaching at a church in Myitkyina, Myanmar

Stephen preaching at the women service
in Wain Maw, Myanmar
Giving Hope to the Hopeless

In the midst of these unceasing wars between the government and the insurgent, we have offered a shelter for the orphans. We thank many of you who give extra to help out with the needs of this new orphanage. Many of you are providing for their daily needs: food and rice, clothes and even winter clothes to go through this coming chilly winter. Some of you have even given extra money for building a new sturdy wooden house for the orphans. IDES provided a water well and electricity for this orphanage. Together we are making a difference in the lives of these orphans. They have seen the tangible love of God which we all have poured into their lives. A ten year old girl named Lemina, who lost her mother at the age of one and her father at two, has found home at the orphanage. Before coming to the orphanage, she moved from house to house, family to family, village to village because of the unceasing wars. Finally, she came to the orphanage which we had just started in the past few months. Actually, this is the first orphanage in the area! She is now in 4th grade and enjoys studying greatly. She has a dream to become a medical doctor so that she will be able to help many others who are in need
Another child, a ten year old boy named Yemikai, also in 4th grade, has found refuge in our orphanage. At a young age, he lost his father and shortly after, his mother abandoned him. With no one else, he has to rely on this orphanage for shelter, food, education, and love. Now, he is a very happy boy who has a dream to become a general in the military. We asked him why he wanted to be a general, and he told us that if he were a general in the military he would be able to bring peace into his country so that many children will not have to go through war which brings hunger, sufferings and a broken families, of which he has faced.

Transforming Life

Drugs have been one of the biggest problems in Southeast Asia. The Golden Triangle used to be one of the most famous hub for opium and heroin. Today, meth has become the number one problem among the young generation. Drug abuse invades into churches and many young Christians have been involved in this particular abuse. Because of drug problems, we are trying to set up many youth programs, sports, camps and even encouraging churches to have youth ministry (so far, it is still a foreign concept to the churches among the Lisu people in Myanmar, China and even in Thailand to fully accept youth ministries; almost all the churches lack a youth minister and youth ministry). We have partnered with our former students in setting up a rehab center in Myanmar in order to win and heal drug addicts with the Word and the power of God. Many have been transformed and totally given their lives to God and several now are serving the Living God and Lord as full time preachers and evangelists.

Attending the Futsal sports event against drug abuse
as an honored guest (Isaac loved watching
the futsal soccer game from up close)

Taking a picture with one of the teams

We are extremely blessed beyond words and comprehension that God has given us these ministries. Sometimes we can face problems and many times we have been discouraged, but God has always provided for us and guided us. When we feel down, God sends encouragement through our friends. When we lack something, God provides through friends and families like you. We are overjoyed to work for a God that loves even the outcasts and turn them from nothing into leaders to spread his love and the Gospel throughout Southeast Asia and China. Please pray for us and our missions as we continue to grow every day.