Posted on February 26, 2024 February Update
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Greetings with the grace of our Lord Jesus,

I am often overwhelmed at all that God is doing and with all that is going on to break it into short relatable stories to share. I know I am going to leave something amazing out simply because of space. When I stop and give thanks to God for you I feel unworthy of all that you do to enable ministry on the other side of the world. Know that we are grateful for you and hope that you and our Father are pleased with the work we do.

Since we last shared:

Katrina and I were asked to join an international teacher’s forum for a school system in “M”. A few weeks ago we spent evenings listening and brainstorming alongside 20 or so other teachers from the neighboring country. Watching videos of their students both Katrina and I were impressed with their knowledge, eloquence, and conviction. All of this in a country broken by civil war. We pray for these teachers and students and plan to continue along with them as collaborators as they continue to integrate peace education into their curriculum.

SPHERE UpdateMy students are busily working on their theses in preparation for graduation next month. Their growth over the last 2 years is clear. I continue to mourn only getting to be with them in person 5 or 6 times a year because spending time over Zoom isn’t the same. The teaching is richer and more dynamic when we’re together. I feel the loss of personal connection when we meet online for any extended period. The school is about 9 hours by car. So usually, I rent a car and drive over. There are no flights to shorten the trip. Katrina and I have been praying about what it would look like to move closer, but for now we are still calling Chiang Rai home.

MMF Update

The Mekong Minority Foundation has been awarded two small grants for this year. The first will focus on expanding Church centered savings groups into “M” along the border. These groups have seen great success along the Thai side but haven’t been used yet in “M”. Banks in “M” are volatile with the military having a legal right to confiscate up to 30% of any transaction. It leaves few banking options for anyone. Often in countries facing instability, people start to rely on more stable currencies. For example, in Congo and Libya commerce has historically been accomplished using the US dollar. In “M” they have been relying on the Thai baht, so partnering with churches in Thailand to expand the savings groups is a natural option. Pray for this project that those it will impact for the Kingdom and Glory.

The military of “M” has announced that there will be a compulsory draft. Pray for God’s protection as this goes into effect. I have lots of thoughts but don’t want to share them online.

KDSF Update

The second grant is to build the capacity of and train the Karen Development and Service Foundation staff. KDSF is part of the Thai Karen Baptist Church. TKBC has been helping immensely with getting food and medical supplies into “M”. Local churches all over Thailand have been pooling resources, making sacrifices of time and money, and sending convoys of relief into “M” regularly. KDSF is working towards taking on a bigger role in the coordination of this huge effort. Be in prayer for their staff as they are being stretched.

In the US

We’ll be in the US this summer and would love to share with your church or small group. Because of visa issues will not exactly sure on our arrival date yet. But we should be available late July, August, and into September. We’ll be in the NW but if you can fill our week with church and small group visits we would love to travel to meet you and share.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for visas that will allow us to continue our work here and our discernment as we decide between the options available.
  • Ian is waiting to hear from his college of choice and will be making a small move next year. Pray for his week of finals approaching.
  • We have submitted a new building project proposal for Hope Theological Seminary. Pray for these needs to be met.
  • Pray for our summer in the US that we have the opportunity to make new connections and strengthen our existing relationships with partners.