July 21st Prayer Letter

For a one page printable version of this letter, click here

Dear Friends,

The content of this update will be a bit different than most. That is because we have begun what will be, Lord willing, a five-and-a-half-month furlough. We left Thailand and arrived in Denver on May 25th, making Katelyn’s first birthday last 37 hours. Too bad she’s too young to remember waking up to her birthday twice!

One of the great blessings of furlough is family time, and we had plenty of that with Duane’s family (including cousins) in Colorado. We were also able to give a report to one supporting church in the Denver area.

My dad has been battling cancer for almost four years now. This past spring, things were not looking good at all. But by God’s grace he has taken a turn for the better. He’s still undergoing treatment and has a lot of back pain, but it was nice that he was feeling pretty good for most of our time in Colorado. Thanks for continuing to remember him in your prayers.

We left for Minnesota June 18 and have been on the go since then, including Hannah, David and Elaine travelling to South Carolina for a wedding and a prospective college visit, Benjamin attending church camp, a trip to New Jersey to visit a supporting church and see some family. We stayed with my aunt who was recently widowed (my uncle was also the pastor of the church), and saw my brother Daniel’s wife who came up from Baltimore for the weekend. (Many will recall Daniel went to be with the Lord this past January.)  

After that we spent a week near Cleveland at the annual Family Conference of Baptist Mid-Missions. This year’s conference was special because it was the celebration of 100 years since the founding of Baptist Mid-Missions. It was both convicting and inspiring to contemplate the sacrifices and commitment of those early pioneer missionaries, as well as that of the hundreds, even thousands, who have followed in the years since. May God keep us faithful and make us fruitful as well!

Last week we returned to Minnesota to celebrate Hannah’s parents 50 years of marriage with a family reunion. This was yet another example of faithfulness and commitment, and an occasion for giving thanks to the Lord for our rich family heritage.

Meanwhile back in Thailand, the big news is that Covid has finally hit Thailand in a significant way. We feel a little bit “guilty” that we escaped to America just as America was opening up while Thailand is going into heavy lockdowns. It is of course more difficult to minister when the church can’t meet together. It is hard for believers to be separated from important fellowship. And many who were living on very limited finances to begin with have had their stream of income decreased significantly, bringing real hardship and uncertainty. Please pray for the people of Pinklao Baptist Church and our co-workers the Beckmans and Abivas during these difficult days.

When we left Thailand in May we were optimistic that the very expensive (and inconvenient) quarantine regulations would be significantly eased by the time of our planned return the first week of November. That possibility remains uncertain at best. Perhaps you could remember that situation in your prayers for us too.

But in the meantime, we will continue our ministry and reporting in churches in Minnesota and Colorado and Illinois. It is always refreshing to fellowship and get reconnected with these churches who have supported and prayed for us.