Things have been busy for our family here in the mission field, but when have they not been. Our newborn daughter Eliana is no longer a newborn and is now closing in on the two month old mark. I wish I could ask “Where has the time gone?”. But the memories are still to fresh of me rocking her at night in desperation for sleep while she cried, so I’m still not at the nostalgic stage.
However, Eliana is turning a corner and this morning we spent 30 minutes together laughing at each other or was it gas? That’s gas on her end, in case some of you were wondering.
Our family also was greatly blessed with my mom coming to visit her new granddaughter for a couple of weeks. We had a wonderful time together as a family and at the same time we remembered and missed so many of you.
But the tasks of our mission to do lists have also started to add up. Perhaps, the most joyful mission work event occurred in two meetings I’ve had in the past couple of weeks with the leadership of the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT). CCT is the denomination which has received me to serve as a professor at McGilvary Seminary. When I accepted the new position here at McGilvary, it was with the understanding that I would be able to help build a vision for the students and faculty to have a heart for World Missions. Truthfully, when I accepted this opportunity I thought my role would be more in planting seeds and discipling the students here at the seminary to have a heart for cross-cultural mission work. But the last few weeks and months have shown me that God has already planted those seeds and the plants are just starting to come out of he ground. As I sat in the meeting with the CCT leadership, I was so excited to hear everyone agree, it’s time! So now what is in store as CCT moves ahead?
Quite simply, two things:
- Build the structures to send missionaries out and I would add on to do this well.
- Mission Education for the Church in Thailand. Which truthfully in many places has little heart for world missions.
Meanwhile, a local church in Chiang Mai is working with two students from McGilvary seminary to be sent out as missionaries to Laos. During their semester break they will test the waters on a short term trip and I am so excited to be able to disciple and encourage them. So, God has certainly prepared for me to come at the right time to help serve CCT and local churches as they go about the task of sending out missionaries. To say the least I am very excited!
At the same time our ministries continue. I’m developing a Church History course from scratch both in English and in Thai for the Master of Divinity students. One lesson can take at least 20-30 hours of work in research and writing. Then I go about translating and correcting the lesson into Thai which takes another 10 hours. With classes starting in two months I’m usually in my office stooped over my computer working like an ogre from early morning to late at nights. One Thai student who can see me work from his room joked with me that he wakes up seeing me work and he goes to sleep seeing me work. I’m so happy when my translation work into Thai make it through almost unscathed by a trashing of red marks from my Thai tutor. She still thinks I speak Thai like a hill tribe person but she’s impressed with my output, poor that it is. I’m also thankful that I am developing something that will be of great benefit to the students here for years to come.
On other mission fronts, Rakchat and Eh Shee last week headed out to to Happy Home and our farm in Karen State. I also really wanted to go on this Happy Home Trip, but there was to much other work for me to do. I do hope that I can visit in a couple of months though. Please pray that their trip is a safe one and that the ministries Farthest Corners does continues to grow there. We’ve invested quite a bit into these projects over the years and I am happy to see greater fruit. Although truthfully I hit walls of discouragement from time to time. Last year the farm was able to harvest 150 tins of rice from our farm which is able to support about 50% of the rice needs of the children at the home. With two plantings planned for this year we should hopefully increase our yield to having enough rice for about 70% of our students. When Rakchat returns I look forward to hearing how our fish and other animal husbandry projects are developing too and reporting back to you all!
Next week, I’ll head out on an evangelism trip along the border to share the good news in at least three different villages. With a few days of walking in the jungle between each of these villages it’s going to be a busy and hard trip.
The rest of the family will stay back in Chiang Mai while I go about this evangelism work. Please be in prayer for Sinte, Ewing and Eliana as I am away. Sinte is so crucial in all of this mission work. I’m just amazed at the grace she has as such an amazing wife and mother. Please also pray for Rakchat and I, that as we go more people are able to turn and see the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So much more to write, but it will have to wait for our next blog which will be after Easter.
We’d also love to hear from you all so please send us an e-mail, schedule a time to skype or just feel free to drop on by. It’s only a 20 hour flight for most of you! But if we can’t meet now, that’s ok. We’ve been given a glorious hope and promise through our Lord Jesus that one day we shall all be united in Him. Christ is Risen, Praise be the Lord! Now let’s go out and share that message with others.