hello all :)
so sunday(your saturday) we headed to a hmong village to do an outreach. they did their first outreach there 17 years ago, and since then the church has grown and stood strong. it was really sweet to see the change in christian villagers compared to unbelievers. normally, hmong men and women are very cold towards one another in marriage, and it is very VERY uncommon to see a man be affectionate in any way. however, the men at this church were being affectionate with their children and some even with their wives. it was very sweet to watch. there are so many needs, guys. so many children that are malnourished. so much demonic baggage and strongholds. the Lord has done a neat work within the villages, but it is still a target for a lot of oppression. ron told us with a heavy heart that many children that he has watched grow up in the villages over the years will one day not be there, and when asked about their whereabouts, the parents will reply that they are "working" in bangkok. they are tricked into thinking it's a factory or restaurant business, but in reality it is slave labor, either in prostitution or hard labor. these are 7 year olds, 10 year olds, 12 year olds. babies. and their bodies are used for the profit of many twisted people here in thailand. there are thousands of girls and boys, no different from the kids you've seen at baan immanuel, being used as prostitutes in thailand. this is something that has always been near to my heart, but even more the Lord has been really breaking me over this. it is so easy to become apathetic as an american, where a lot of the world's pain is far away and easy to ignore. but the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for ALL who call upon Him. even a marginalized prostitute in Thailand. the Lord has so much more for their lives. we need to stop being so focused on ourselves and realize God placed us here for a purpose, and that is to give Him glory. i need to.
please be praying also for the pastors in the villages. a lot of them are struggling financially, and are dealing with a tremendous amount of physical and spirtual needs. and they are an open target for the enemy, who hates all that God does here. but the Lord has the victory; pray for physical and spiritual protection, and that they would be able to trust in hebrews 13:5-6 and rest upon the fact that God knows they have needs, and all they need to do is seek first His kingdom and righteousness and everything else will be added unto them. pray for ron that he would have wisdom in who to support.
the kids have a holiday for the next three days, so keep in prayer our time spent together. we bought some balls to play games tonight so pray that it would be a fruitful time of fellowship, and the Holy Spirit would be in control.
thank you all for praying for us, we are so blessed to know that we are being lifted up by so many people. we love you and will update you again soon!!
to Him be the glory, forever and ever, amen.