Update — 1 May 2013
Greetings in the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to be bearers of His name to a dark land! We trust you all are enjoying the Lord’s abundant blessings. I would like to bring you up to date and request your prayers for several things.
A number of people have asked about the mother of a young lady in our church (Mony) who was sick unto death. She passed away just a few days after my previous update. My daughter and I attended the funeral. What a sad time it was! We are thankful to the Lord, though, that Mony honored the Lord by helping where she could in the funeral without defiling herself with the idolatrous practices so common here. Her father didn’t even give her a hard time about it. Praise the Lord.
Cultural Note: Usually, when a mother or father dies, all sorts of worship is performed by the family of the deceased. This is so prevalent that frequently one of the first questions I get when meeting new people is, “I have heard that when a Christian’s mom or dad dies they are not allowed to ‘honor’ them. Is this true?” As you can imagine, this question is loaded. By honor, they are referring to worship in the form of burning incense. Yet they say honor. So if you don’t worship them, you are accused of dishonoring your parents after their death. It is a sort of confusing custom that is often inconsistent. Add to that the fact that there are “Christian” groups that forbid their members from crying, keeping the ashes of the deceased, keeping a picture of them in the house, attending the funeral in any way, etc. So, the question is partly justified. I had the joy of telling an older lady just the other day that it was the Lord Jesus Himself who wept at the hearing of the death of a friend.
Going back to Mony, her father has since torn down his huge altar inside his house that was primarily to worship spirits to make his wife better. He told Mony that it was “worthless.” Now, however, he is visiting spirit mediums to attempt to contact his wife even though she as passed away. Please pray for him, named Sak, that the Lord would open his eyes and that our Lord would provide an opportunity for me (or someone) to show him the Way, the Truth and the Life.
I thank the Lord for a opportunity to teach another family about the Gospel on Sunday afternoons. I met them while out visiting and they seem interested. They are all related in some way or another with each other. I don’t have names right now, but please pray for them to receive God’s Word as taught and for the Holy Spirit to convict them. I’ll try to get the names to you if I can.
There is another family that I met while out visiting that might also be interested in learning more about our Lord. The father, Chaylieng, and his wife have 7 children, the oldest of which is a 20-something. The Lord blessed to allow me to talk to them for probably 45 minutes about the Lord with nearly the entire family and several neighbors listening. Please pray that the Lord would open the door to teach them further.
As for the people in our church, I ask you to pray for Rut. I have begun teaching him English because of some problems he had at his school. Outside of the obvious benefit to him, it has allowed us to get to know each other better and for me to lead him in the way of the Lord. I trust that the Holy Spirit is leading him in His way. He has yet to be baptized, so that is on the agenda to do soon.
I am also working with Davy and Huv, whom I mentioned in our last update. Davy called on the Lord to save her, but her work as a hairdresser keeps her busy. I am working on sitting her and her husband down to discuss her being baptized. Her husband is still a mystery, as to where he stands with the Lord. Please pray for them both, and for me to have wisdom to know how the Lord would have me to help them.
Lastly, a number of you have asked about and shown concern for our son Joshua and his neck problem. This matter stands about the same as before. The next step for us is a trip to Thailand to have a pediatric orthopedist check out his neck. I ask you to pray for us to have wisdom to know when to go and that the fix would be non-surgical. I’ll try to keep you posted on this issue as well.
Thank you so much for praying for us. Please, please keep in touch. We love to hear from you!