Dear Family and Friends,
We thank you from our hearts for all you have done for us the past 2 months! Through your faithfulness in prayer and financial support the Lord's Church here continues to grow and go! Attendance continues to average 150 on Sunday mornings and we are excited to have 4 more baptized this May! One of these new converts, Teodora, needs your prayers regarding persecution as her husband recently hit her because she is coming to Church. Teodora is over 60 years old and isn't very strong physially, but she hasn't missed a single Church service, despite what happened to her. Teodora also came out to the VBS program this past month every day and recieved a special reward for being the oldest graduate! Please pray that this husband will come to the Lord also. Another family who has also been attending and listening for several months now have also decided to follow the Lord in baptism and will soon be taught and baptized in June most likely! Please pray for others who are listening to decide to follow the Lord and submit to baptism as we are obviously talking about the heart's commitment to Jesus Christ. It's not hard to get people here to listen to a Bible Study and even come out and visit Church, but to follow the Lord in baptism and turn your back on the idol-worshipping system that all of their family members are involved in is something that very few here will choose to do. We know however that such is only the basic fruit of a genuine, repentant heart...the difference between heaven and hell; please pray for more and more hearts to become open to the truth!
Please pray also for the overall expansion. As I have mentioned, our outreach into a nearby province is doing very well and we are currently over there sharing once a week and want to do more, please pray for the Lord's directing and for our hearts to hear clearly. The Church here has also begun supporting a Filipino family who will soon be going to Tibet to share the Gospel. The Church here has currently decided to support them with US $20 per month. I met this family at a recent missions conference and they were able to visit the Church here and bring a great missions challenge to the people! Please pray for the vision of the people here to grow and grow! Please include in your prayers also our Bible Institute program which is designed at training the people just for this. I've been busy teaching them 2 times a week, 2 hours each meeting. The students involved in this program are growing very quickly and becoming extremely efficient in the Lord's work, please pray for this to grow as well! Pray for one woman in the Church who wants to study in the program, but isn't being allowed by her alcoholic husband. This husband consistently tries to stop the wife from even coming to Church and even burnt her Bible on one occasion. The wife has never missed Church, but is unable to get involved in the Bible Institute ministry.
God blessed us recently with a trailer (see picture below) that I'm able to attach to the back of the sidecar which is in turn used to bring people to Church who come from neighboring areas that don't have transportation. I noticed farmers using something like this to transport their animals, but I figured if you just put a roof on it and some seats inside you quickly have a mini-bus that consumes very little gas and requires very little maintenance! It has been a blessing and I can cram about 20 people altogether into this mini-bus! Most people laugh at me because they've never thought to do something like this! Mockers sometimes call the people coming to Church in it "pigs" as pigs are commonly transported in such a trailer, pray that those mockers will decide to come for a ride to hog-heaven!
We also just finished up VBS which was a great success! Altogether, over 180 children/youth attended, though not all of them attended every day. We came up with very strict graduation requirements, which included good behavior, perfect attendance, etc...and over 70 were able to graduate at their Sunday evening program. This brought out a good number of lost parents who would not usually be interested in listening and through a sermon/skit presentation of the Gospel we have some new doors opened up into these families. Please pray for us as we follow-up with them! One of the great successes for me, as a missionary, was that I did NOT teach a VBS class! I drove the mini-bus every day and praised God that 4 teachers and 4 teacher assistants were able to handle everything themselves. Please pray for more people here to become equipped for the ministry!
Thanks and God bless you all!
Yours in Christ,