August 2016 Update

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Greetings!  We are so glad you are visiting our site, and hope you enjoy it.  For our latest news, please click on our Newsletter link below:

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Greetings!  We are so glad you are visiting our site, and hope you enjoy it.  For our latest news, please click on our Newsletter link below: http://eepurl.com/cdvXUX

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Ready, set, . . . GO!

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As I write this, it is only 5 days until Sai and I board an airplane for Thailand.  So many thoughts and emotions are hitting us now.  Excitement over the new adventure and what God may do.  Anxiety about the drastic change in lifestyle about to begin.  Sadness over having to leave Amanda and Alicia and other loved family members, and dear friends.

Thankfully, we don’t go alone.  God is with us, always.  When we remember all He has already done to show Himself faithful and gracious, fear melts away.  Eager expectations grow!  We count ourselves extremely blessed and privileged to go to Thailand for the sake of the Name above all names.  May He, the spotless Lamb, the King of kings and Lord of lords, receive all glory and worship due Him — from us first, and then from the people of Thailand.

Thank you, dear friends, for all your prayers and support.  We pray for God’s presence and grace to fill you to overflowing.

Don

P.S.  If you want to receive Harvest Thai email newsletters, please send a request to add you to our email list, at contact@harvestthai.com.

If you want to help us financially, you can donate securely at our GoFundMe page here.

As I write this, it is only 5 days until Sai and I board an airplane for Thailand.  So many thoughts and emotions are hitting us now.  Excitement over the new adventure and what God may do.  Anxiety about the drastic change in lifestyle about to begin.  Sadness over having to leave Amanda and Alicia […]

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Preparing to Go . . .

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God is faithful and true!  We have been a little gun-shy about widely announcing this, since we have been down this road before, only to see things fall through, but . . . .  Now we feel is the right time to let people know that our house is under contract and all looks positive for a closing at the end of July.  We thank God for all He has been doing up to now to prepare us for this time.  We are grateful for how He has allowed us to stay here to see fruit from the ministries we have been involved in here in Charlotte.  Apparently now is the time for this chapter to come to an end and for the next one to begin.

Please pray for us and our remaining time here in the U.S.  We will temporarily live with Sai’s niece and nephew, who live just a mile from us.  We pray that we will be a help to them while we are living there.

We hope to be on the ground in Thailand sometime in the fall.  Please pray for all the remaining preparations that have to happen before we leave.  Thank you!  Our prayer supporters are the most-important part of the Harvest Thai team — we hope you believe that!  🙂

In Christ our Lord,

Sai & Don

God is faithful and true!  We have been a little gun-shy about widely announcing this, since we have been down this road before, only to see things fall through, but . . . .  Now we feel is the right time to let people know that our house is under contract and all looks positive […]

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Waiting on God

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I (Don) had lunch with a long-time friend and colleague recently and it spurred me on to thinking that it has been quite a while since I have updated everyone on what has been happening in the Harvest Thai ministry.  So with apologies for the long silence, here is an update.

As some of you know, we had our patience tested recently when we thought we had our house sold — a contract was signed, and the buyers even wanted all our furniture!  It seemed that it MUST be from God!  But then the buyers backed out of the contract, and we were back at square one — well, not exactly.  As it turned out, the buyers’ agent decided he wanted to help us in our plans to get to Thailand.  So he very graciously agreed to be OUR agent (at a substantially reduced commission), and we re-listed our house for sale at the end of February.  Since then we have had 9 or 10 showings, and several people have expressed interest.  Now we are waiting on that one buyer who will make a fair offer.

Once we have the house sold, we expect we will then make the move to Thailand without much further delay.  We have been thinking that September would be a good time to go, but it’s really all up to God and His timing.

God has really been lining things up in amazing fashion, so that we will be able to go as soon as the house sells.  My (Don’s) retirement from the patent law practice worked out much more smoothly and advantageously than anyone could have anticipated, so we don’t have to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear (see Matthew 6) while we await the move.

Meanwhile, we are seeing great things in our ministry to international students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  We participate, along with many others, in English Corner on Saturday afternoons on the campus, and a Bible study immediately following it.  We see God moving in these international scholars and students and it is thrilling to be a small part of what He is doing.  Perhaps He is keeping us here for just this purpose, and if that is the case, then we say “praise be to God!”

But we still feel eager to get to Thailand and believe that is where He ultimately wants to send us.  While we wait for that day, we pray He will continue to use us to point people toward Jesus Christ–to Him be the glory forever and ever.

Please joins us in praying for what God wants to accomplish in Thailand (through us as well as others who are already there to proclaim the gospel).  A few prayer requests are listed below.  Thank you, faithful friends and prayer supporters, for standing with us to see God worshiped and obeyed by the Thai people.  May you enjoy Christ’s blessings.

Pray!

  • For God to build a team of people for the work in the area of Ban Dong Phlong village.  We would like to have at least one other couple (or single people) to partner with in this work.  We are in discussions with two couples already stationed in Thailand, but perhaps God wants to send someone with us from the U.S.  Pray for clarity on this.
  • For us to depend completely on God for this work, and not ourselves.
  • For our daughters Amanda and Alicia, who are considering joining us in Thailand for a year or more, once we are settled in there–pray that God will work all of this out for His purposes.

Sai & Don Hill

I (Don) had lunch with a long-time friend and colleague recently and it spurred me on to thinking that it has been quite a while since I have updated everyone on what has been happening in the Harvest Thai ministry.  So with apologies for the long silence, here is an update. As some of you […]

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As We Depart Thailand . . .

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“Thai people are not hardened.  They just haven’t heard the Gospel!”  — Ben Hoar, missionary in Korat, Thailand

The photo above speaks volumes.  Sai’s sister Tem is reading Psalms.  She told Sai that it is better than watching TV.  This is why we came to Thailand.  I believe we are seeing answers to all the prayers that have been offered over the last months as we have met in our home with many of you, our faithful supporters.  We have prayed that God would soften hearts and draw people to Himself.  We have seen definite answers to those prayers!  Here are some examples:

  • Before meals, we have been praying aloud with Tem (above) as well as Sai’s brother Kheum and Kheum’s wife Haeng.  It wasn’t long before THEY started reminding US to pray and thank God for the food.  But the highlight was the day that we finished praying, but then Tem said she wanted to pray herself.  And she prayed to God!  This can be explained only by the Holy Spirit’s movement, I believe.
  • This past week Sai and I and Tem traveled to Pattaya (a beach town about 120 km away from Bangkok) to visit Tem’s daughter Samruay and Samruay’s children Neh (a boy, age 24), Picnic (girl, age 13), and Noinaa (girl, age 12).  Until about 6 months ago, Picnic and Noinaa lived with Tem in the village of Ban Dong Phlong.  So Tem has really been missing them.  It was wonderful seeing the reunion between them.  Even better, however, was the openness to God we saw on the part of Samruay and Picnic and Noinaa.  Praise God!
  • Our meetings with various missionaries here in Thailand have been very encouraging.  We have seen a spirit of cooperation and help in all of these new friends.
  • The encouragement we have received from our dear brothers and sisters Ellis & Vicki and Nate & Michelle during this trip has been invaluable!  Thank You, Father, for putting this team together!
  • As I type this, Ellis and I are thinking back over this trip and discussing what we have seen.  I told him that being here these past three weeks has given Sai and me a lot of peace about moving here permanently.  It just feels RIGHT, like HOME in a strange way (for me, that is — of course it IS home for Sai).  Ellis commented that even he has been impressed that Thailand is where Sai and I are supposed to be.

 

We will continue to pray for God to reveal more of His will for us, as well as for SEND MEdia, in Thailand.  We hope that you, our dear partners, will join us!  Thank you for your prayers!!

Don (for Sai, Ellis, Vicki, Nate, and Michelle)

“Thai people are not hardened.  They just haven’t heard the Gospel!”  — Ben Hoar, missionary in Korat, Thailand The photo above speaks volumes.  Sai’s sister Tem is reading Psalms.  She told Sai that it is better than watching TV.  This is why we came to Thailand.  I believe we are seeing answers to all the […]

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40 Days Until Thailand!

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We eagerly anticipate what God will do when Sai and I, along with Ellis & Vicki Lineback and Nate & Michelle Mikoski (all four of SENDMEdia), board our respective airplanes on September 1, 2013 and link up in Tokyo on the same flight for the final leg of our journey to Thailand!  We will arrive in Bangkok late in the evening on Monday September 2nd.  Here is our approximate itinerary:

  • In Bangkok the first two days; having dinner with missionaries Ben & Leas Radin on Wednesday Sept. 4th
  • Travel to Sai’s village of Ban Dong Phlong on Thursday Sept. 5th; we are there through Sunday the 8th; meeting with missionaries Ben & Susan Hoar on Friday Sept. 6th
  • Travel to neighboring province of Khon Kaen on Sunday Sept. 8th to meet with missionaries Peter & Waew Martyn
  • Monday Sept. 9th:  Go with Peter & Waew to two house-church meetings in two villages
  • Tuesday Sept. 10th:  Go with Peter & Waew to an evangelism-stage village (no church yet established, but one is in the early stages of being planted).  Later that day, travel back to Ban Dong Phlong
  • Remain in Ban Dong Phlong through Sept. 15th; visit missionaries Chad & Nan Cocran on Sunday the 15th
  • Monday Sept. 16th:  Travel to Bangkok, then fly to Chiang Mai (about a 1-hour flight)
  • Tuesday Sept. 17th:  Meet with people from Create International (somewhat similar in mission and vision to SENDMEdia)
  • Wednesday Sept. 18th:  Fly back to Bangkok.  Remain in Bangkok for the duration of our trip (except we may take a short excursion to the beach for a day or two!)
  • Sunday Sept. 22nd:  Meet with missionaries Alan & Lynette Johnson
  • Tuesday Sept. 24th:  Board flights for home!

As you can see, this is a pretty busy itinerary (and we haven’t even mentioned all the visiting of family that will undoubtedly be squeezed into the cracks in the schedule!).  So, your prayers for the team would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks for your faithful support.

Harvest Thai

We eagerly anticipate what God will do when Sai and I, along with Ellis & Vicki Lineback and Nate & Michelle Mikoski (all four of SENDMEdia), board our respective airplanes on September 1, 2013 and link up in Tokyo on the same flight for the final leg of our journey to Thailand!  We will arrive […]

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It Was a Powerful Time of Prayer for Thailand

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Sai and I are so grateful and appreciative of all those who came last night (5/29/2013) to pray for Thailand. If you were there, I think you’ll agree that the Holy Spirit seemed to be moving powerfully in the body of saints. We were deeply affected.

For those who were unable to make it last night, below are the prayer requests that were distributed and prayed over. We would appreciate ongoing prayers about these things. God be magnified!

As I have indicated previously, please SAVE THE DATES below for future prayer meetings (additional information and reminders will be forthcoming as we get closer to the dates):

  • Thursday, June 27th at 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 31st at 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, August 27th at 7:00 pm

Grace and peace to you, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sai & Don

 

Prayer Requests for Harvest Thai

Holy Spirit, move!  By far the most-urgent and biggest need is to pray that the Holy Spirit will draw the Thai people, especially those He brings us in contact with, so that they are attracted to Jesus Christ.

Break the enemy’s bonds!  Our adversary has deceived the Thai people and has put them in bondage to spirits they fear—yet they do not know about or believe in the Creator.

Our daughters Amanda and Alicia.  Tangible needs: A better-paying job for Alicia; wisdom as to whether Amanda should move back in with Alicia. Spiritual needs: They both need to turn back to God in repentance and dependence.

Our marriage and relationship with God and each other.

We need to sell our house.  We have an offer of $285K. We owe $295K to the bank. That would mean we’d need to bring about $24K to closing.

Where should we live?  Ban Dong Phlong village with Sai’s sister Tem?  Or in the village of Don Chompu (about 7 miles away) where there is a small church? Or even somewhere else?  Factors to consider: access to a body of believers, Internet access, cost of living, etc.

We hope to meet with a number of people when we visit in September:

  • Peter & Waew Martyn.  They live about 90 miles away in the neighboring province of Khon Kaen and have a church-planting ministry that started in 2005.  They have planted about 5 house churches in various villages and continue to expand to other villages.
  • Alan Johnson.  Alan is an Assemblies of God missionary who has lived with his family in Thailand for over 26 years.  He is Director of the Asia Pacific Institute of Buddhist Studies.  He has offered us a lot of support and resources once we get on the ground in Thailand.
  • Chad & Nan Cochran.  They live near the major city of Korat, roughly 30 miles away.
  • Ben & Susan Hoar.  They live about 7 miles away from Ban Dong Phlong.  They are missionaries with World Outreach Center and have been in Thailand since 2004.  Their ministry involves things such as teaching farmers how to recondition the poor soil, how to raise livestock, etc.  They also have a Tennessee Horse Farm and provide therapy to disabled children through Equine Assisted Activities.  All of this is to demonstrate the Gospel and the love of God.

Is it God’s will for us to work with any of these people? Or does He have in mind someone we aren’t even aware of yet?

 

Prayer Requests for Ellis & Vicki Lineback (SEND MEdia)

General:

  • Bring God glory:  Our ultimate desire is to see God glorified and made much of.
  • Grow in our knowledge of God:  Knowing God more deeply each day be seeking Him in prayer and study of His word.
  • Walk in God’s power:  Being filled with His Spirit as He leads us.
  • Depend on God only:  Trusting that God will provide for our needs.
  • Submit to God’s perfect will:  Yielding to His Sovereignty as He directs our circumstances.
  • Represent God well:  Being His Light, may we present Jesus for who He really is: God, Lord, King, Creator and Savior.

Specific:

  • Unity:  That Vicki and I would be in unity with God and each other.
  • Unity 2:  That our Board of Directors are unified as we move forward.
  • Provision:  Continued daily needs met. In addition, financial means to go to Thailand.
  • Housing:  We are willing to move to cut budget…or stay in current home.
  • Media Team:  For media-talented individuals or couples to join SEND MEdia.
  • Media Equipment:  Field Camera and editing machine.
  • Accounting help:  Tax accountant/bookkeeper.

 

Prayer Requests for Nathan & Michelle Mikoski

We are former missionaries to Japan, and have been back in the U.S. for the past 3 years.  Since returning, we have been praying about the next step God has for us.  Recently we were introduced to SEND MEdia while working on a video for Steve Thompson’s ministry to New England.  We are now exploring the possibility of joining SEND MEdia.  The possible long-term plan would be to go with Ellis and Vickie Lineback as well as Don and Sai Hill to Sai’s home town in Thailand for at least 2-3 years.  We would be going sometime in 2014 and be there to help with and document church planting in an unengaged region of Thailand as well as use the location as a hub for traveling to other unreached people groups.

The short term plan is still unknown 🙂  We do not know what this would mean for our immediate work needs.  At some point we would shift to being supported by the body of Christ.  One of the things about SEND MEdia that excites us is that the Linebacks have recently decided not to solicit support, trusting God alone to provide.  We have the same desire to glorify God and be able to strengthen the faith of the body of Christ with stories of how God can and still does provide for His work!  Please Pray for God’s provision.

Our biggest question mark about Thailand is what schooling arrangements will be available for Troy and Connor.  Please pray for wisdom as we seek to honor God in raising Troy and Connor.

We have learned much and grown stronger in our convictions and faith over these past few years and we believe that God has been preparing us for what He has for us to do next.  We also know that our family has been under spiritual attack on many fronts.  Please pray for our family to grow together in these trials and for our marriage to be solidly founded on Christ as we look toward a mission field that is rife with demonic activity and deceit.

We have recently begun attending Harvest Community Church.  We have been without a home church since leaving our church of 10 years due to what we believe were doctrinal issues that necessitated such a drastic move.  We really like Harvest, and it would make sense to share a home/sending body with the Linebacks and Hills, but it is 35 minutes away and we find it hard to be involved with a community when we live so far away.  Please pray for wisdom about whether we should seek to move and be closer or stay where we are for the time being.

Sai and I are so grateful and appreciative of all those who came last night (5/29/2013) to pray for Thailand. If you were there, I think you’ll agree that the Holy Spirit seemed to be moving powerfully in the body of saints. We were deeply affected. For those who were unable to make it last […]

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Prayer is Powerful . . . and Essential!

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Sai and I were so inspired by a talk at last night’s Perspectives class, by the gracious and wonderful Joanne Shetler (author of “And the Word Came with Power”).  She talked about her time in the Philippines, translating the Word of God into the language of the head-hunting Balangao people.  In her first five years there, only two people believed the Gospel.  No one in the family that had “adopted” her had believed.  Joanne was afraid her organization might cut her out of the budget because of such meager results (from a human perspective, that is).

About this time, on a trip home to visit her supporting churches, Joanne was honest about her frustration over the lack of response to the Gospel.  Thankfully, rather than questioning Joanne’s effectiveness, her supporters were perceptive enough to realize that the problem might have been a lack of prayer, for the right things.  So they began to pray in earnest for God to soften the hearts of the Balangao, and for Him to show that His power is greater than that of the spirits that the Balangao so feared and offered sacrifices to.  Joanne returned to Balangao to continue the translation work.

God heard and answered these prayers, in miraculous ways!  Joanne’s adoptive “father” soon believed, and became a leader and teacher to others.  The two spiritual medium ladies of the village saw God overcome the spirits that had so long tormented them.  This opened the door for many, many others to believe.

I believe God wants to do something like this among the rural Thai people, too.  Like the Balangao, the people of the northeast (Isaan) region of Thailand are fundamentally animistic, believing that spirits exist and have power to help them or hurt them.  Even Buddhist rituals, like the one pictured here, have animistic elements (the string is to protect against spirits).  Buddhist ceremony

This, of course, is absolutely TRUE!  There IS a spiritual world we can’t see, but that can interact with the natural world.  So the Thai people already believe some of what the Bible teaches.  What they have failed to understand — because no one has yet gone to tell them — is that there is a Creator God who actually created both the natural realm and the spiritual realm, and who holds absolute power over both.

This should be GOOD NEWS to the Thai people who, like the Balangao, are captive to the spirits they fear.  But they will never be set free unless someone GOES to them and TELLS THEM the good news, in a way they can understand!

So, we are praying — and asking you to join us in praying — that God will begin to soften the hearts of the people in Sai’s village of Ban Dong Phlong and surrounding areas, to be receptive to the GOOD NEWS that we hope to bring to them.

Pray that God will show us those things that the Thai people already believe that are in line with God’s Word.  This can often be a key to unlocking people’s understanding of the Gospel.

Pray that we can build good relationships with influential men in the village, and pray for God to draw their hearts toward Himself.

Pray for God’s protection over us and our daughters Amanda and Alicia.

We treasure all of you!  Prayer is without doubt the one ESSENTIAL thing we need.  Anything else we do will be useless if the prayer is not happening.  So, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your prayers!

Grace and peace to you, in Christ our Lord,

Don & Sai

Sai and I were so inspired by a talk at last night’s Perspectives class, by the gracious and wonderful Joanne Shetler (author of “And the Word Came with Power”).  She talked about her time in the Philippines, translating the Word of God into the language of the head-hunting Balangao people.  In her first five years […]

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Some Obstacles We May Face

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While certainly not unique to Thailand, Christ’s church there has some issues that are almost certainly hindering the advancement of the gospel among the villages where there are no churches.  Here are a few obstacles we may face in Thailand (credit and attribution to a dear brother in Christ for these observations – he shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons):

a)      Most churches have a clergy/laity split that hinders personal evangelism, as the average Christian feels they are unqualified to preach the gospel, or that it’s not their job, i.e., the Pastor should do it.  Churches are hierarchical, with the Pastor at the top.  In some churches you wouldn’t be allowed to preach unless you have a degree.  All this makes it difficult to empower the saints for service.

b)      Many Christians are timid when it comes to sharing their faith.  Younger Christians have a problem, as it’s not culturally polite for a younger person to teach an older person.  This limits missions organizations like YWAM.  Many of their Thai staff are ineffective as evangelists.

c)      Laziness? I think that is an issue.  We rarely come across people from city churches witnessing in the villages we work in.  But we do see and hear about Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.  The fact is these groups put pressure on their members to witness and they do it!  Unfortunately in most churches witnessing is optional for the zealous few.

 

As noted, these issues are not unique to Thailand.  Indeed a) and c) can probably be said about most churches in the United States.  The issue of relative status – which can be based on age, or relative affluence, or occupation, or various other things – is not something we have to worry about much in the U.S.  I can see how this could hinder personal evangelism unless ALL of the saints – young, old, government workers, farmers, etc. – feel both empowered to witness and burdened for the lost.  Then, the young can witness to the young, the old to the old, etc.

Holy Spirit, instruct your children in Thailand about how You want to build Jesus Christ’s church!  Amen.

While certainly not unique to Thailand, Christ’s church there has some issues that are almost certainly hindering the advancement of the gospel among the villages where there are no churches.  Here are a few obstacles we may face in Thailand (credit and attribution to a dear brother in Christ for these observations – he shall […]

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Our Trip to Chad in Africa

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Sai and I recently had the opportunity to accompany our long-time friends Tom and Sheri Muma on a vision-casting trip to the country of Chad.   Our mission was to

gather information about existing church-planting efforts, and try to identify a possible “man of peace” in Chad whom Tom’s organization, e3 Partners, can come alongside and support through training and equipping for rapid multiplication of churches (see “Church Planting Movements“).  Tom had asked Sai and me to accompany him and Sheri so that we could be additional eyes and ears.

I had not anticipated before departing for Chad that God would use this trip to accomplish so many different purposes.  It soon became apparent that He would not only give Tom direction for his Chad ministry, but would also give Sai and me instruction and encouragement for our planned Thailand adventure.  We are still processing all we saw and heard on our Chad trip, but here is a partial list of things that God impressed on us as being applicable in some fashion in Thailand:

  • Prayer for the people in Thailand is critical!  We must not delay in forming a team of people who will commit to praying for the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of the Thai people in advance of our sharing the gospel with them (see “Pray“).
  • I had planned to be financially self-sufficient, but God used some missionaries we met in Chad to strongly urge me to have at least some financial partners–to share the blessing of obedience and service to God, and for accountability.  It also makes the work that of the church rather than being just our work.
  • A simple Bible study methodology that is readily usable by just about anyone is important for empowering churches to plant churches.  There is a place for formally trained teachers and theologians, but they are not essential for a small group of believers to meet together regularly for worship, study of God’s Word, and mutual encouragement.  By employing a simple Bible study methodology, the believers are soon confident enough to share what they know with their relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc., and give birth to new believers who can form their own small groups.  This is church planting in its purest form.
  • For longevity in ministry, it is imperative that I operate primarily out of my spiritual gift(s).  Too much work in areas outside of one’s spiritual gift(s) leads to weariness and burn-out.  But working within one’s spiritual gift(s) is energizing rather than draining.  Therefore, it will be essential for me to identify, among the new believers in Thailand, those who have leadership qualities in areas that I am not gifted in.  For example, I am not gifted for preaching.  I hope to identify a Thai brother who has more gifting for preaching.

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Thank you, gracious Father, for showing us so many things in Chad!  You truly are an amazing God, able to use any circumstance to bring about your purposes!   We worship You!

 

Sai and I recently had the opportunity to accompany our long-time friends Tom and Sheri Muma on a vision-casting trip to the country of Chad.   Our mission was to gather information about existing church-planting efforts, and try to identify a possible “man of peace” in Chad whom Tom’s organization, e3 Partners, can come alongside and […]

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