Looking Back; Looking Forward

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Our first furlough provided good perspective as we reflected and shared about what God has been doing in Khon Kaen, Thailand. So much has happened in the past four years that it sometimes seems we have lived a lifetime in Thailand. There were periods when it felt like time had slowed to a halt; periods when our faith grew as we chose to believe and wait. Looking back now, however, we marvel at what God has done in such a short time.

Peace Music Academy started as an idea to use music for outreach. We didn’t know where, how or with whom, but God did! Now our music school has a growing number of students and a core of teachers that includes student missionaries. It continues to connect us with our community. One of the highlights of our furlough was welcoming our first violin student, Jom, and his family to San Antonio where he and other members of the Siam Youth Ensemble performed at the exhibition hall at the General Conference session.

God has also been working to advance His church in Khon Kaen. We often remember one of our early Sabbaths when Pastor Wanlop had gone to minister in another city, and our worship group consisted only of his wife, our family and Lung Chung who translated Ricardo’s message. We only had a few acquaintances, we were lost in the language, and we could only wonder what it would be like when a large group would meet in the music school every Sabbath, and we would need to find a bigger place. We could only dream of the day when visitors would open their hearts to us and new believers would reach out to their friends and neighbors. Now that day has arrived!

As we traveled in the United States and Ecuador, we were encouraged to see the ways in which God is working everywhere. It is exciting to know that something is afoot, gathering momentum and strength. One of the themes that wove its way into so many of our conversations was a shared belief in the power of prayer and the necessity of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work.

Ricardo has shared over and over about the time when all of our progress in culture and language study, as helpful as it had been, was eclipsed by the demonic manifestation in a Christian woman who had asked our team to come and pray for her son. A gravelly male voice challenged us with the question, “Who are you?” In the face of challenges, seeming impossibilities, and the subtle resistance that surrounds us, the question is a good one, and it forces us to confront the reality that, on our own, we are no match for our opposition. But in Christ, filled with His Spirit, we are more than conquerors here as we join Him in accomplishing His mission and completing what He has begun.

Please join us in prayer as our team works alongside new believers with the goal of seeing them carry this project to a whole new level.

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