From the Field – SE Asia Outreach – July 7, 2018

Written by | July, 2018
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Due to not wanting any information to get out and trickle back to authorities who might persecute those our friend works with names are deleted from these reports of the seven weeks of teaching in SE Asia recently concluded. You can contact me or our friend directly for the pictures and names. Here are summaries of the seven weeks’ work.

This is the first group I taught on this trip. We studied at a house church in (Vietnam) on the third floor. We are very discreet going in and coming out of the house. I have attached the photo of the group. They are all pastors. The man in the front row on the left is my translator, …. We were missing some men because of a birth and because of work. The pastor in the front row on the right is the senior most pastor. His name is …. This group, as well as the other groups in Vietnam, have become very active. Pastor … told me that he had organized 8 – 10 house churches to study the book on the Word. Many of the other pastors have also organized groups from house churches. My translator will send me photos of the groups as he receives them. I asked him to wait until I returned from the USA before he sends them to me. I will forward them to you as I receive them. This is exactly what I have prayed for. My goal is that the believers in Vietnam will know what the Word says so that what they believe and what they teach agrees with God’s clear Word.
On Thursday, April 26 Group 2 in vietnam met with me. We used the same house church to meet and I stayed at the same hotel. As you can see there were 14 students, my translator and me. Like the first group, almost all of these men are pastors. They are also aggressive about teaching others the Word. I will get photos about the groups each of them instructs as they are available. I normally pay for food and give a stipend for motorcycle gasoline. Some the students come from distant places like … near the Lao border. We are making great progress together. In addition to teaching them God’s Word, I am also teaching them to rely on God’s Word to explain God’s Word.
My translator and I flew to … in the Central Highlands on Sunday, April 29. All of the men, with the exception of my translator and his wife, were pastors. We met at the same time … was having its 125th birthday as well as the communist “Freedom For The South” festival. We were very fortunate this year. The old hotel we stayed at had a conference room in the back hidden from view. A Christian employee at the hotel made our arrangements. The men in Vietnam are very enthusiastic and study hard. We had a great time and continue to make great progress. Both in knowledge and in the way we learn
The pastors who studied in group 2 in … Arrived on Wednesday evening, May 2. The men who didn’t come had to work on their farms. On this trip I have been talking with everyone so we can arrange the most optimal times for conferences. We plan to meet in Thailand at the end of September for the Thai and Lao pastors
and in October for the Vietnamese pastors. As you know from the schedule I sent before I went, group 2 studied the book on spiritual warfare.
On Saturday morning my translator, a leader who organizes everything, named …, along with me boarded a bus from … to( Vietnam). I use the bus when I can because flying is so expensive. It’s about a 6-7 hour trip. We stayed at a cheap hotel in Saigon that night. In the morning we boarded a bus that took us from (Vietnam) to Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia. We arrived in Phnom Penh Sunday night, May 6. On Monday we went to the compound of Pastor …, who is Vietnamese. He is the lead pastor for 8 independent Vietnamese congregations in …. I have attached a photo of the Vietnamese students. I also attached a picture of …’s wife who is the head teacher at the school. On her right is Pastor … who arranges everything… We met 3 times during my stay in Phnom Penh. He would like to see what I teach before asking me to come. He says the pastors need instruction in God’s Word very badly. I am in the process of getting the book on God’s Word translated into Vietnamese so Pastor … and the other pastors can review it.
(Since Thailand does not have the persecution that the other countries practice, names are used.) On Saturday may 12, I flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I rested in Chiang Mai on Sunday. On Monday May 14 my translator, Pastor Montree, picked me up and we drove the 8 hours to Chiang Khong which is on the Mekong River across from the country of Laos. We changed the schedule from what I sent to you. We did two groups in Chiang Khong and then we taught in Nan Province at a location in Chiang Klang. We used an old hotel right on the Mekong. Instead of renting a conference room, we used one of the hotel rooms and rearranged the furniture as you can see from the attached photo. We studied the book on spiritual warfare. This group is composed of Lao and Thai pastors and women leaders (who work with other women). We study and eat at the hotel because it has a restaurant. One of the Thai pastors asked if I could teach another group. I told him that he should teach it and I would advise. All of the groups are progressing so well. I thank the Lord for His faithfulness and your prayers and support.

This is a new group from a remote area of Laos. They only speak Hmong. They were threatened by the village chief if they tried to go to Thailand to study the Bible. A larger group wanted to come but were afraid. 6 snuck out any way. They are very enthused. They had to travel 48 hours in very primitive conditions to get to us. The roads are very bad. They came from an area close to the Vietnam border. 20 years ago someone brought a bag of Hmong Bibles to their village. Some people read the Bible and became believers. They have never had a pastor or Bible teacher before us. They are all young people. There are two married couples and two other men. In the center of the picture is the Hmong couple who picked them up at the Border. They took a lot of chances to get to us. They had to pay border guards to get out of Laos. They came from an area that doesn’t have contact with outsiders. They said there are a lot of Hmong who live in the mountains there. We hope to visit them next October. We will take a river boat up to Luang Prabang and either motorcycles or a four wheel drive from there to the mountains. Laos is hard core communist so we can’t teach there. Even though we can’t teach there because we would be put in prison, we want to develop relationships with them. They are extremely poor. They said many days they eat just boiled rice with water and salt. We will encourage more to come to Thailand to study until Laos opens up more. We will also try to help them as the Lord provides. They were very intense in their studies with us. I encouraged them to share what they learned with others. Later on in … they sent me a message that “they missed me 100 bags”. Of course my first question was what was in the bags. They say that when they miss someone they put that feeling in a bag. What a great privilege and opportunity that the Lord has given me. If God is willing I look forward to establishing a relationship with the many villages in that area of Laos. I ask for your prayers.

After we finished with group two in Chiang Khong, we drove to Chiang Klang in Nan Province. I taught my original group. We meet at the same place every time. Usually we have a Hmong style barbecue on our last night together. It saves money and it is delicious. This group is really growing spiritually. They said that the way I teach is different from the others because I only use the Word. They are also learning not to use their reasoning to understand God’s Word. They are learning to use God’s Word and simply believe what he says. For an example, I asked them why Sarah, being so old, had a child. They said that maybe at that time older women could have children. I got that answer from 2 men. I explained to them that wasn’t the reason. God explains why, as an example,
in Romans 4.

Of Abraham, Paul writes:
Rom 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
Rom 4:19 And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
Rom 4:20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom 4:21 and being fully assured that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.

Of Sarah, God’s Word says:
Heb 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;

Following the conference in Nan, I returned to Chiang Mai. I normally allow my self 4-7 days in which to meet with people and finish all the business before I return to the USA.