We would like to give you an update from the past several weeks of activities here in the village. As we mentioned in our last update, the village “mayor” in a huff of anger demanded that our family leave the village. It seems that he had been looking for just such an occasion to turn people against what we are doing here. From the beginning of our time here in the village, this man has not accepted our reasoning for living here in the village. He truly believes that we are here to get some kind of financial gain and then leave without sharing any of our profits with him or the community.
After being in town for several weeks our family finally moved back into the village. During our time in town we were able to consult with several of our Asia-Pacific friends and leaders. We were encouraged to have their input and to hear their experiences. Many of these men have been involved in ministry and outreach in different areas here in Asia Pacific. Their experience has been that when the gospel is presented in an area, and people respond to the message almost without exception there arises some form of persecution. Although this is not the first time that we have been threatened by the authorities we do believe that this is happening in response to people believing the gospel.
So now we are back in the village, we met with the “mayor” and heard again from him, his desire to have us move out of the village. He is currently making a formal/written request against our whole team not just our family. This will include fines and sanctions if we choose to stay here in this area. We are praying for wisdom in all these things and also resting in the fact that these kind of persecutions have happened throughout the church age and ultimately will not frustrate God’s eternal plan. Not only will God’s plan not be thwarted but God will work through these things to accomplish His good will.
With this update we would also like to let you know that at the end of next month (October) our family will begin what in missions we call “home assignment,”. Home assignment is typically a time for missionaries to re-connect with the body of believers that form the missionaries sending team(s) in their home country(s). For us that means coming home to the States and taking time to visit several places in the U.S. including Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, and Alaska. Also home assignment is a time to gain perspective and be refreshed. A big part of that refreshment is being with family and friends again. So we are really looking forward to seeing as many of you as we can, hearing from you how God is working in your lives, and giving you a face to face update on the work the Lord is doing here in Asia Pacific.