Before we share anything we just want to tell you thank you. So many of you have called us, sent letters, messaged and even sent money in memory of Judah. We are so thankful to God for so many great friends and the amount of support we have received the past few months. Thank you so much for loving our family and caring for us.
• Judah’s Funeral and the Flood — I tried writing this newsletter a week or so ago but, when I came to this point, I had to stop. Actually, after that, the whole week was full of weighty emotions — God is good, God loves us, and He is sovereign. Just simple, but profound, realities like this have sustained us and even given us joy in the midst of sorrow.
Judah’s funeral was so difficult. Just knowing his little body was up there on the stage and not in our arms, and all the while singing “It is well with my soul.” It really was in that moment. It still is. Singing brought so many tears. Just remembering that moment is bringing them back now. What a sweet moment to worship. I’ll never forget singing and believing that “because He lives, I can face tomorrow.” Oh, how we long for Heaven even more where we can sing while holding Judah in our arms.
We are so thankful for friends here in Thailand helping us with the funeral. Jo did a great job coordinating everything and preaching. The funeral just happened to fall on the same morning our area was flooded. We woke up that morning thinking we had to call it off, and if our van was any lower to the ground, we would have had to. We were sad most of our neighbors couldn’t go to the funeral with us.
After we came back home from the funeral we felt better, sorrowful but rejoicing. The water slowly started to drain, and the kids went out and had fun catching all the fish that were in our yard and street. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about Judah. Some people that saw Brittney pregnant are meeting us for the first time since and asking where he is. We have had, and I’m sure will continue to have, many conversations about life, death and God. Again, we are so thankful to all those who checked on us, encouraged us and prayed for us.
• Rot’s Internship — I want you to meet Rot (pronounced like “wrote”). He is doing a six-month internship with our church. He has shown a great desire to help serve and teach the Bible. His internship consists mainly of reading the Bible and other Christian literature, then sharing with us what he is learning and how those things are shaping and preparing him to serve. It’s been a joy to watch him grow. We are so thankful for him and his commitment to the Scriptures. It is our desire to come alongside him however we can to help him start a church or serve in one in his home province.
• Pastor’s Conference —Jo and I have been dreaming and praying about this opportunity for years. North Bangkok Church will be hosting its first Pastors Conference on Dec. 10-12. Rot and other men are already signed up, and we are all eager to gather and talk about preaching and the preacher. The number of churches in Thailand is very few, and even fewer than that are the pastors that faithfully preach God’s Word. God’s people need God’s Word more than anything. We look forward to meeting these men and building relationships and partnerships with them.
• Children’s Book Published and Printed — The Biggest Story is finally printed. It has been a joy to hand this book out (free) to others. This children’s book summarizes the whole redemption story from Genesis to Revelation. Our kids have enjoyed it and now they can also give it to their friends to read.
• Moms Coming to Visit — Another thing that has been a joy is visiting with Jessie’s mom and sister while they were here. Brittney and I enjoyed their company so much and it made us get even more excited because our moms are planning a trip to Thailand to come visit us soon!
• New Office — I’m thankful for a new space to work in and for some good helpers who got it ready. This room is located in our neighborhood and all the neighbors are asking when I will start to teach. (I’m guessing they are thinking teaching English.) We hope to open it up, have activities and maybe do some teaching in the near future.
• Birthday Days (8 and 3) — Josie turned eight Oct. 20, and little Joy turned three Nov. 7. We love being their parents. I want to go on expressing my love for these girls, but I’ll stop myself from getting too mushy and go on to the next subject.
• Loy Kratong — Last night was a big Thai festival (Loy Krathong) and they celebrated it in our neighborhood. They make a “Krathong” (pronounced more like “Gratong”), then they light it up and put it in the water for it to float away. We just watched. Christians here don’t participate in that part of the festival because they send out the Krathong “to thank the Goddess of Water, the Hindu Goddess Ganga.” I’ve heard a lot of our Thai friends say it’s more like saying “sorry” because of polluting the water and things like that.
We had some good conversations that night with neighbors. Little Joy surprised us and said out of nowhere, “I wanna go on the stage too.” So we walked her up and she was a star. The neighborhood was eating it up when Joy did her little shy dance and said in the mic what her name was. Funny thing is every time they asked her questions in Thai she could answer, but when they tried to speak English, she gave them a blank stare.
Last night was a good reminder God has blessed us with a lot of friends in this neighborhood. It also reminded us to continue praying and sharing with them the good news.
• We praise God that some of our people at North Bangkok Church were able to complete there membership process, meaning we officially have our first 16 members! We are looking to do another class soon for the people who missed the last one.
• We praise God for those who gave in memory of Judah. I’m shocked at the amount that has been given. Brittney and I are praying and thinking about how those funds can be used in his memory.
• Please pray for us as we are still searching for a building for our church to use. We might be settling for one soon if we can’t find anything better.
• Pray for our moms as they are getting ready to make the big trip over here. Our family is excited to be with them and show them around!
• Please pray for Brittney as she is still recovering from the C-Section and it is taking a lot longer than expected. Also pray for our hearts as we are still grieving.
• Pray that God will bless the Pastors Conference.