From a distance…

It has been a different summer. We should have been in Southeast Asia for 2 months. My calendar keeps reminding me of that. Instead, we have spent it in Northwest Fort Worth. Not quite the same. But, the work still continues, just differently. The Lord has been faithful. While we were not there in person, through generous donors, we have been able to help in Asia.

One of our supporting churches even held a fundraising walk that we attended. They raised $10,000 for our work in Asia! The pastor shared with me that while it seems like a bad time to have a missionary come to their church, this actually was a huge help. It allowed their people to maintain a global focus in a time when it is easy to look inwardly and focus on our circumstances. It provided a boost to their church, and I have since had other churches schedule us to come and share. What an encouragement to our family, the churches, and the missionaries around the world!

Here are a couple of things that have happened:

The container actually made it out of customs and the supplies made it to the hospital! It took a lot of work and 42 days, but they released it and the impact will be immeasurable. In looking at the photos below, it is hard to believe you can get that much in one container.

Food distributions have been able to happen in Thailand where the missionaries and Christian business owners have been provided a platform to distribute food and share the Gospel. Every obstacle is an opportunity.

Due to flooding, one of our feeding centers in Mongolia has been damaged, but thanks to our donors, it is now being repaired and the kids are being cared for. Speaking of Mongolia, another supporting church knitted more blankets and shipped them to Mongolia. They will arrive in time for winter! Enjoy the pictures, and thank you for your continued support!

COVID, Cleburne, Cambodia

It is hard to believe all of those go together, but it has been an interesting 2 months. Most of you know from my last update, I got really sick in April. 104 fever, rolled into pneumonia, etc. I got tested for COVID and had a negative result. It turns out, it was a false negative. In the past month we had an antibody test performed, and it appears our entire family all have the antibody, which means we all had COVID. I was the lucky one with the most severe case. Go figure.

It took me a good 6 weeks to recover. But, I am finally back to normal, minus the 20 pounds I lost during the ordeal. Hopefully it stays lost. Ha! While we have not been able to travel during this time, the work has not stopped. We were able to help some of our partners in Thailand with food outreaches in their communities. We hate that we cannot be there right now, but are thankful we can still help in ways. The container of medical supplies has arrived in Cambodia. We are in the process of getting it through customs. Which is interesting in the COVID world.

Every obstacle is an opportunity. An exciting opportunity that has come out of this was an interview I was able to give recently. A pastor friend of mine has a podcast and he asked me a lot of questions about us and our mission work. You or others you know may have similar questions, so here is a link to the podcast. Feel free to share with anyone you know.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

Now that I have recovered, we had the opportunity to work with one of our supporting churches and fix up a family’s home in Cleburne, TX. They are both teachers and needed help tearing down a fort, dry wall repairs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, etc. A group of us got together and helped fix up their house. Our girls loved it! Especially the demo work…maybe I should be worried. Again, while we wish we were in Asia right now, the Lord has given us opportunities to serve with some wonderful people in our backyard.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Here are some pictures.

Cambodia to Pneumonia

As I write this, I’m recovering from double pneumonia.  I guess my lungs wanted to keep each other company.  The month started as interesting as it is ending.  Before I delve into the medical journey, let me share the amazing things the Lord has done this month. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, doors are opening to serve others and share the Gospel!

For over a year, a doctor friend of mine and I have been working to send a container of medical equipment for a mission hospital in Cambodia that we work with. It works in conjunction with a MANNA orphanage and feeding centers. It has been a ton of work, full of excitement and disappointment, but well worth it! With the collaborative help of Christ Chapel Bible Church, Brother’s Brother Foundation and MANNA Worldwide, we were finally able to ship a 40 foot container of medical supplies and equipment to Cambodia this month!!

While, shipping a container of medical supplies is an exciting development, the Lord had more opportunities for us. Since we are stuck in Fort Worth, and not able to travel to Asia, doors opened for us to begin delivering food to families in need in our area.  We worked with one of our supporting churches in the area and were able to provide groceries to over 400 families!  So many open doors!

Then, the second half of the month started. In more ways than one.  I was supposed to be doing more food distributions and helping a church sheetrock a house for someone.  My plans changed slightly. Kayli and I started running a fever, mine went up to just over 104 degrees.  Not the most enjoyable experience, but you get some interesting dreams.  We had difficulty breathing, joint/muscle aches, cough, headaches, loss of taste, etc.  They tested us for COVID-19, it came back negative, which turned out to be a greater blessing than I knew.  Kayli got better, I did not.

Kim took me to an urgent care. They were willing to see me due to the negative COVID-19 test. Otherwise, my only option would have been the hospital.  They found a secondary infection of pneumonia was beginning in my right lung.  They gave me steroid and antibiotic shots and sent me home with oral meds. Over the next 48 hours, my right lung became completely covered and my left lung decided to join the party.  I’ve never had pneumonia grow that quickly, while on heavy meds.

The good news, my left lung is clearing up and I’m sure my right lung will follow soon thereafter.  It will be a slow recovery process. I have a hard time sitting still, but I’m learning patience and I can’t speed up the healing process.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  You may not always know what is happening, but your prayers are always on time! Here are some pictures from the month.

The Journey of Thanksgiving

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.  Today begins a month long journey.  I will fly to Guatemala and work with a team there for a week.  Next Wednesday morning my family will leave Fort Worth via a vehicle and head to New Mexico for Thanksgiving while I leave Guatemala City via a plane and try to catch them in Amarillo on the way.  Pray for flights and connections.

We will drive back from New Mexico the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  As soon as we get home, I will wash clothes, repack, and we head to Israel first thing Monday morning.  Once the team is finished in Israel, we will get them on the plane home and a couple of us will continue on to Jordan and Iraq where the Lord is opening some amazing doors.  We have so much to be thankful for and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

I covet your prayers and look forward to keeping you updated along the way.

Japan – Youth Camps to Bullet Trains

We had a great team to Japan in August as we hosted a youth English camp.  We were able to take a homebuilding company that uses their company and profits to invest in the Kingdom and their employees.  They have invested in the camp in Japan and it was great to take them to work with the kids there and experience the impact of their generosity.

We started the trip by doing some work on a church in the Tokyo metro area with some great missionary friends who also organized the English camp. We replaced flooring, installed some trim, painted, cleaned, and did some gardening. But, the most amazing impact of the day happened after we left.  A girl had been watching us from across the street the entire day. Unbeknownst to us, the missionary and his family had talked to her on multiple occasions and she had even gone to a youth camp with the church.  After watching us work all day, she came over to the church and gave her life to Christ!  You never know who is watching and what impact your service is making.

The next day we went to church, and then headed to the campgrounds with the missionary and his family.  We prepared the camp for the kids to arrive.  We got to work with them on their English, play games with them and spend time in Bible studies and preaching.  We even played a giant game of Scrabble to help with English words, and they loved it!  The kids there are now able to speak Texan. LOL!  After the camp was over, we did some more work on the camp and then took the team back into Tokyo via the bullet train, and let them tour the city before they flew home.

Thailand – Water Wells to Refugees

After we sent our Mongolia team home, our family stopped in Cambodia for a day and I was able to preach in a church on Sunday.  As soon as church was out, we continued on to Bangkok and picked up our next team. We had so many things going on simultaneously with this next team it was hard to believe.  We worked in Southern Thailand for the first part of the trip.  Some team members taught the children at the project, others put on a medical clinic that saw 200 patients, others did construction work to install a fence, and we drilled a water well.

The water well was a great blessing to the project and the community. For several months each year the community runs out of water.  Now they will not!  The medical team was able to love on the kids and do check-ups and hand out much needed vitamins. Meanwhile, the teaching team was able to work with the kids all day and help take them home in the afternoons.  The rest of us got soaking wet as we installed fence posts in a downpour.  It wouldn’t stop raining, so we had to do the work in the rain, for days.  At the end of the week, all of us were able to go work at a Thai public school and share about our Thanksgiving Holiday and that allowed us to share the Gospel with the kids.

Once our time in Southern Thailand was finished, we flew back to Bangkok and got to work with missionaries there.  We were part of an English outreach on Saturday, then on Sunday we got to be a part of the church’s 25th Anniversary!  It was a great honor for us to be there and see what the Lord has done the past 25 years in Bangkok with this church.  The next morning, we went and visited the homes of Pakistani refugees and got to hear their stories and fellowship with them before flying home.

We tend to focus on what happens on a trip, but I need to share what happened a week after the trip too. The pastor of the church that came on the trip with us contacted me.  He was sharing that next Sunday with his congregation an overview of the trip. He shared the stories of the Pakistanis we met with. As the Lord would have it, a Pakistani woman happened to visit his church that Sunday, heard the stories from our trip, and got saved that morning in Tulsa, OK!  Amazing!  You never know how the Lord will use a trip, even after it is “complete.”

 

Drilling for Water

I have returned from Honduras and it was an amazing trip.  Part of the team helped drill a water well for a community that had no well.  They had to truck the water in to fill a tank.  We were able to drill a well at the local church and they will now be able to provide water to the community and minister to them as well.  We capped off the week by have a special service and praying over the well with the community.  Others in the group were able to visit homes and take food baskets to families.  We also distributed 60 water filters to families in need in another village and were able to share the Gospel in the process.  6 people prayed for salvation throughout the week!  Several in the group had an opportunity to teach in local schools each day and use that as a means to love on the people and share the Gospel. It was wonderful getting to see each person on the team be used by the Lord and how the body fits together to serve in a greater capacity.

The Gift of the Magi

Since returning from Cambodia we have been sharing our mission work in 6 different churches between Texas, Oklahoma and Washington. This Saturday I head to Honduras with a team to help drill a water well, perform a Vacation Bible School, and deliver water filters to families.  Thank you so much for your support for our family and mission work. You are a tremendous blessing to us.

I wanted to share a neat story with you.  A friend of mine brought me a roll of money that added up to $42.  He then told me the story behind the money.  He was helping at a youth camp and some of the campers saved back their spending money and gave it to him to use for missions.  They wanted to make a difference in the world.  What a testimony from some kids at youth camp!  I can’t wait to see how the Lord blesses that $42 and uses it to feed and love on kids half way around the world.  Oh, the stories that will be told in Heaven. I took a picture of it, still wrapped in one of their youth camp bracelets.

Happy Thanksgiving from Guatemala

I had the privilege of working with a team in Guatemala the week of Thanksgiving.  I even made it home in time to have turkey with my family! It was a great trip and team. We had a Vacation Bible School in two villages with some Mayan kids and took water filters to families in the area.  We poured concrete and built a block wall at the orphanage and took the kids to the zoo for an outing.  They loved it! We also organized a large carnival at a church in San Lucas to invite the community. That evening for church there were over 300 people present and at least 6 people accepted Christ as their Savior in the service!  We finished off the week by having a special Thanksgiving meal with the children at the orphanage.  They said they wanted to have a meal where we all sit together at a table and pass the food like they see American families doing on television.  The things we take for granted!!  Here are some pictures from the week.  Thank you for your prayers.

More to come

Since making it back from Thailand we have been in 5 churches in 3 different states sharing updates on what the Lord is doing in Asia.  We have also had several new churches invite us to come share this spring for the first time!

We will be in another church this weekend, then on Tuesday I head to Guatemala to help with a team.  I will get home the day before Thanksgiving, which is a reason for thanks already.  Of course, the last time I got back from a trip the day before Thanksgiving, I spent the flight throwing up in the bathroom on the plane.  I don’t fit well in the plane bathrooms to begin with, much less trying to throw up.  However, it is the only time I have ever lost weight over Thanksgiving. LOL!  So, there is always a reason to be grateful.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support of our mission work!