Dear HeartCry and Supporters,
I thank God for His love and mercy towards us and His providence in the ministry. Even with Covid-19, God used me to preach the Gospel to many, build up the church, lead the family, and care for the poor and needy. While it was not without difficulties and challenges, God has never failed to give me the strength to sustain them. As always, I am thankful for your partnership in prayers and supports for us.
It’s a harvest season here, a time of rejoicing for an agrarian society. It’s not only a thanksgiving occasion for believers but also an annual friendship time for unbelievers. Friends from nearby villages come and enjoy their meals together on a given day and location. Since large gatherings are forbidden, visitors go to their friend’s homes, respectively. I also visited to lead brief thanksgiving services in our mission fields and associated churches. Again, this is an open door to evangelism because I met visitors from different villages. They gathered around at home and listened to the Gospel message I was preaching. To my surprise, I met some elderly persons on separate occasions who came to me and said they had listened to our preaching many times before. As I followed up the Gospel conversation with them, they said they had considered many times to convert to Christianity. But one said that her heart couldn’t accept the message of Christ. Another said that he was waiting for a time when his chief animist passed away to convert to Christianity. In both cases, it was evident that their hearts were still hardened so that they couldn’t receive the Gospel despite their sufficient exposure to its message previously. There are dozens of such people in our mission fields. We must continue to pray for them and for the works of our missionaries who are living among them and preaching to them. What a plentiful harvest before us!
A significant challenge that has risen due to the lockdowns is many sugarcoated online prosperity sermons that confuse immature Christians. They are not necessarily new preachers. But they are now reaching more people via social media. A record-high number of our tribal people view online sermons as never before, most of them with little or no ability to discern the message they listen to regularly. I find it very concerning that many online sermons are doing more damage to the souls than the bodies’ virus. This is the time for us to stand as a Christian apologist against those false teachings. It’s also an opportunity for us to propagate the genuine Gospel and sound biblical doctrines. This a time when expository preachers are much needed. As a gospel preacher and defender of the faith, my coworkers and I are putting more effort into preaching, teaching, and, of course, into prayers both individually and collectively. The Gospel is still the only cure. Please pray that both our on-field and online preaching ministries would be a remedy for present spiritual corruption “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
We also face strong opposition in mission fields. Sound teachings on Christian life are of practical importance to new converts. Even after people received grace, they are still among the community and influenced and tempted by former practices in daily life. Therefore, many of them find it very hard to adapt to a new life. In one instance, a family lost their son shortly after they were converted. Old friends told them that it’s a punishment from the evil spirit they formerly worship because they had converted to a new religion. Out of malice, those who remained unconverted continuously trouble new converts even to lure them back to former practice either by threatening them with evil spirits or harming them in many ways. They put blames on those new converts for every bad thing happen in the village. Our new members in Christ need the protection and power of God. Therefore, our local missionaries have to visit and encourage them always by preaching and praying for them. We must back them up with our earnest prayers too.
Let me thank you for your recent approval for new missionaries in the region. It’s been a great honor and privilege for me to partner with those men in the mission fields. The greatest joy is to see that they remain faithful and stand firm in the faith. As we minister in the circumstances mentioned above, I urge you to uphold us by your prayers and support, remembering our Lord’s words, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together” (John 4:35-36).
Yours in His service,