Happy New Year 2019!!! 2018 went by extremely fast. It seemed like just yesterday when we were planning to go to America to visit our church friends and family. We can’t believe another year has passed by. His Kingdom works is continuing to grow; we are blessed. This past year was wonderful because Stephen, Mary, and Isaac were able to visit church friends and family in America. We were so happy to see Isaac’s dream come true --- to play with snow, and he loved it! We are so blessed to have the chance to see many of our closest and dearest friends.
At the beginning of 2018, we started our orphanage in Myanmar. This ministry is much needed because many children lost their parents because of the non-stop fighting in Northern Myanmar. Throughout the year, it was truly a struggle because we are a small ministry, but God has been faithful providing all the needs for these left-behind children. If the Lord is willing, in the future, we may be open for more children. Please continue to lift up these orphans in your daily prayers.
Furthermore, this year was full of trips to Myanmar; both Stephen and Nick made several trips into Myanmar in order to teach. During the year, Stephen emphasized on teaching to church leaders and college students, while Nick focused on teaching the youth. Stephen taught the Bible in various settings: classrooms, and video and audio. He also provided commentaries to his students and churches. His teaching materials have been spreading over churches in Kachin state of Myanmar and in Yunnan province of China. During their many trips, one thing that was very important to them was the time that they spent with the refugees. Praise the Lord that many camps have turned into self-sustaining village!
China in November-December
This past November and December, Stephen was invited to go to China twice by the Chinese government in order to share his expertise on the ancient Lisu language: poems, proverbs, songs and traditional nuances. One of Stephen’s close friends found several Lisu manuscripts invented by a Lisu farmer during the 1900s. These manuscripts describe the origin of mankind, flood, wars, farming and rituals of Lisu daily life. With his friend, Stephen has been invited to encode these manuscripts. This is indeed becoming a great channel for continuing on carrying out the Great Commission in the restricted country. As you may have realized that Stephen’s commentaries, teaching videos, sermons has spread all over among the Lisu people in China. We hope that by helping the government, they will provide us with even more opportunities to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost souls and empowering churches with God’s Word. During one of Stephen’s trips, Nick and a Lisu evangelist in Thailand were also able to attend the conference. It was the first time that Nick had seen snow in almost 6 years, and to be able to see snow on the mountains of Tibet was a true blessing. We continue to build strong bonds with the Lisu in China. The Chinese Lisu who were once against Christianity are the same people now who have their arms wide open and welcoming us into China. We look back and see how God has blessed us so much with these relationships in China. We thank God so much for these things. Above all, the expenses of Stephen and his team were fully taken care of by the Chinese government. Praise the Lord! God works in many unexpected ways.
|Stephen and Nick with the Chinese scholars|
|Stephen and Nick with the Chinese leaders|
On another note, we were saddened that this year we couldn’t do a Christmas party or the New Year’s party for the neighborhood children. Most of these children have graduated, moved away, or started working. Nonetheless, we had a Thanksgiving service at our house. This service was wonderful because we got to spend time worshipping and fellowshipping with Lisu from many different villages and also Christian Thai leaders. Another event we had was a New Year’s dinner with our relatives. This was long overdue; many of our relatives have hectic schedules and it was a blessing to be able to meet with many of the relatives and enjoy a time of laughter and creating memories.
Also, during the first week of the New Year, an old friend came to the house for a visit. We didn’t expect a visit from this person, who shall remain nameless. 10 years ago, this person struggled with various things; he did not have much hope of the future. The family invested time and love into this person, and now this person 10 years later, stands at our door with his wife and 2 kids, looking like a completely different person. He came to thank Stephen and Mary for loving him and putting Christ’s love into action in helping him with his necessities. Now, he is an owner of a growing business. We are continually surprised that small actions of Christ love could change a person’s life this much. This is an example of the many reasons we continue to praise God!
|After China, Stephen goes straight to |
the Christmas Convention at Chiang Dao, Thailand
|Stephen is preaching a Christmas message |
in Lisu and translated into Lahu by Yasa
|Thanksgiving service at our place|
|Preaching by a special colonel |
of the Thai military and
translated into Lisu by Stephen
|Ending with a prayer for the Wong family!|
|The Wong's New Year's Dinner|
|A life transformation will occur through Christ's Love!|
News from John Wong
One of the biggest events that will be taking place this summer is a group of Boise Bible College students planning to do a mission’s trip to Thailand. John is leading a group of 5 people, including himself, to head to Thailand to focus on reaching the youth through camps, worship, and preaching. There is a possibility that he may take the group to Myanmar as well, to help with the demands of the youth; teaching them how to speak English. Currently, he is teaching the students on how to raise support and starting to teach them cultural appropriateness for Southeast Asia. If you would, please take a couple minutes in sending John your email address and home address so that he can send you some support letters. One of the biggest things he asks is not just financial support, but spiritual support and encouragement through prayer. You can message him at email@example.com or via Facebook. We are very excited to see him this summer and to see the knowledge he will use from his time at Boise Bible College applied to the work here in Thailand.
Introducing our native evangelist
Solomo is a Lisu living in Myanmar who came and studied at Asia International Seminary (AIS). After graduated from AIS, we decided to add Solomo to our team for carrying out the Great Commission to the lost in the very remote areas in Myanmar. Now, he is in Loi Moh, where it used to be the hub of the heroin business; many people in this area have grown opium for a century. Just across the river from this area, the Wa army are severely persecuting Christians at this moment. So far, in Loi Moh, we are excited to report that 20 people have burned down their idols and spirit shelves, believing in Jesus Christ and being baptized. Please be praying for the new converts and also for Solomo.
|Solomo on the mission field|