One word describes how our family feels right now! Excited!!! This is not because our family will be in the US in just a little over a week. Although, truthfully that is a large part. No, we’re even more excited about how God has been using Farthest Corners the last few months and how our Lord’s goodness overwhelms us!
Just check out a few highlights!
June: Rakchat was able to visit Happy Home, help with the plowing and planting of rice at our farm and get our fish project underway. We’re excited to see Happy Home on its way to becoming more self sufficient.
July: We spent three weeks wrestling with the US embassy in Bangkok on getting Sinte’s Visa. While we were waiting in Bangkok getting more paperwork sent from the US and Burma, our family took 4 days off at a Thai island. This was our first beach trip together as a family and only my second beach trip in my seven years in Thailand. While waiting for the Visa was less than ideal it was a blast for us to have some family time together. We are so thankful to the Farthest Corners Board for making that vacation time possible for us.
Late July/August: We held two different trainings for churches at the nearby refugee camp. The first training was for two days on Spiritual Disciplines. During this time, an older Burman woman came up to us with tears in her eyes and asked to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. After taking some time to explain what she was asking and making sure she was ready we led her through a believer’s prayer. When finished the bible says God and the angels in heaven rejoiced. We did too!!! Now that doesn’t mean we can check the box and say job well done. She’s only taken one step in a long journey in faith. But we rejoice she’s on the right path!
The second training was for three days focusing on the discipline of prayer. The response of the church there to the call and need for prayer was convicting in my own life as well.
August: I (Austin) visited two different villages.
First, I went to Ley Tah Koh village with Allan Eubank and a few Thai christians to encourage the growing church there. Allan’s been doing mission outreach towards this village for almost 50 years and it is only in the last three that he has seen the fruit of this work. It is a blessing just to be able to go witness alongside him and ask advice on so many issues we face here in the field. Our brothers and sisters in Ley Tah Koh village are really taking leadership for their worship time and are sharing God’s goodness in their lives with amazing testimonies.
Next, I (Austin), Rusty (an evangelist from North Carolina) and a team of Karen evangelists went to another village called Hskay. It takes two days of walking from our vilage to get to Hskay Village, so we went with hope and faith God would use us there. God is good all the time!
During this trip five people from Hskay village prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Another villager along the way on our trip also prayed to receive Jesus in his life. Alongside the evangelism work that God did through us, we were also able to help organize the church into having leadership. We also taught and shared with them on how they could do worship and prayer together. During, the last worship service we had together they were able to collect their first offering. We have partnered with this church and are sending Hsi Htoo an evangelist friend of ours to help assist this church to grow. It is an exciting time for us to be serving in the planting and growing of this church.
As for Sinte, she’s a very Godly wife trying to put up with a husband who’s gone a lot of the time. Praise God for her!!! She continues to host the constant stream of visitors from the refugee camp and other villagers whom love to stop by and stay at our home. Also, children from the Burma side of our village come to our home to learn and play at our house. Unfortunately the last few months we can’t seem to get these children or their families to come regularly this year, which is frustrating.
Sinte has also been visiting with a Burman woman in our village whom appears to be under great mental and spiritual attack. Her story is a tragic one and she is totally in a darkness she cannot face alone. Sinte continues to visit and share Jesus’ love for her and her family. Please pray for this family that we may somehow find a way for them to see the freedom that Jesus wants to bring them.
We are in a whirlwind of work trying to organize our different mission projects before our trip back to the US which is in less then two weeks. So much to do and so little time. While we are sad to be leaving the field at such a crucial time, we also know it will always be a crucial time. So we look forward with great joy to return and visit with so many of you who have been so faithful in prayer and support for this work God is doing through us.
If you’d like to meet up with us please just send an e-mail to email@example.com and we will do our very best to arrange a time with you.
To God be all the glory!