Greetings in the blessed name of our Lord Jesus Christ who is alone worthy of all our praise, worship, and adoration! As I write this letter, I look back on the events of the last two months. How can one letter capture all the blessings and trials this short span of time withheld?
In July I finished teaching the Bible students verse-by-verse through the Gospel of Matthew. This Book is particularly precious to me as it was the first book I preached through as I pastored in the US. It is also the book God used to call me to the mission field of Thailand. However, no matter how often you may go through a particular book, you should always learn more and grow deeper in your knowledge and love of our Lord and Saviour. One passage that particularly stood out to me in this study with the students here was the verse found at the top of the prayer letter. The significance of this verse really didn’t begin to impact me until I had already finished the class. In fact, the Lord brought it to my mind as I was preparing my heart and my suitcase for the trip to the US a week after the class ended.
On the evening of our departure, my family and I with the Bible students, gathered for worship. There were so many mixed emotions that evening. Our family was here and we were leaving. Yet, the other half of our family was in the US and we were finally on our way to see them after three long years of covid restrictions. This reminded me of the passage in Matthew 12:46-50 where Jesus was ministering to a large crowd of people. At this particular moment his mother and siblings were just outside waiting to visit with him but he also felt he was already with his family (his disciples) and you can see his response in verses 48-50.
That evening we boarded our first of four flights to America. We were only in the states for five short weeks, which only allowed for four Sundays worth of visits with supporting churches. Our primary goal was to visit family and regardless of a harsh case of Covid that ran through our family while we were there and the seemingly non stop traveling Brittany and I did…we did manage to spend some precious time with family. We are so thankful for everyone who fed us, housed us, and put up with our new cultural nuances while we were there! Although we only got to visit a few of our supporting churches, we are so thankful for the quick visits and sweet fellowship we did get to have. We thank all of the churches we visited for their hospitality and love offerings and interest in the Lord’s work here. It was truly an encouraging visit!
While we were away I was greatly encouraged to see that some of the faithful men who have been attending the Bible school were out visiting churches and preaching each weekend in my absence. We had extra Bibles to hand out and they delivered those to churches in need as well…Praise the Lord! I have no desire to lead a work in Thailand that is dependent on me or the western money I bring to the table. These men are proving over and over that they are quickly becoming capable of doing the Lord’s work now and long after the Lord takes me home. Praise the Lord for their willingness and faithfulness to serve the people of Thailand. May the Lord continue to give them strength and knowledge to do His work!
On August 20th we boarded our first flight home. I wish I could say the return flight was as easy as our originating flight but unfortunately that was not the case. We had three connections on our way home and we managed to miss each and every one of them due to different circumstances. What should have taken us 28 hours to get home ended up taking nearly 50 hours and a lot of airport sleeping and waiting. But we have arrived and are excited to be back home and back to work!
Grace Baptist Bible Institute
At the beginning of September we begin our next module here at the Bible School. As most you know already, the Bible school is more than just seminary classes 6-7 hours each and every day. The students live with my family and I. They eat with us, they go to market with us, they run errands with us. I am able to teach them both in class and outside of class and it is a joy and blessing to see these men grow in their knowledge of Christ! In our next class we will study the Life and Death of Christ and what He accomplished to save his people. Please pray for strength as I teach and for the Lord to give the students understanding.
Grace Bannasan - Publishing Ministry
Please continue to pray that good literature will not only be translated and printed but also to continue to be available. Not only are we trying to translate books, but we are also trying to track down and re-publish older literature that has been out of print for years. Thank you for you prayers regarding this as well as the financial support many have given towards this quickly growing ministry. If you would like to help with specific books or projects please check with me or Pastor Bill Lee for an updated list of current needs. We currently have two published and two books at the printer that should be ready within the next week or two. There are another 8-10 books that are awaiting edits and minor revisions before we get them printed and distributed but we are excited to see how the Lord uses these tools. The need for sound christian literature is great and we are so grateful to be able to help in this way. Please pray!
The group of believers here have been meeting weekly on Sunday mornings. We have discussed our desire to formally covenant together and start a church. Please pray for the Lord to give us wisdom. Pray that we would be a gospel witness among one another and the community both in our preaching and living.
Please be in prayer for Brittany and the children as they start their new school year this coming week. Benjamin will be in 1st grade, Caleb in 3rd, Lyla in 8th, and Cohen in 10th. Time flies! Also be in prayer for Brittany as she teaches them and also begins teaching English to the students again this week. She is also helping me manage all the publishing projects we have going on right now. We never expected the printing ministry to grow so quickly or the demand to be so high. We are praying about hiring someone part time to assist Brittany with all she is doing. Please pray that the Lord would provide the right person if it be His will!
For HIS Glory,