A highlight from this past year has been to do foundational Bible teaching with a couple here in town. Lazuardi and Lilly are Chinese background people living in Asia Pacific. As is often the case here in Asia Pacific, people from all over Asia maintain their ethnic culture and language while also adapting to the larger culture and language of the country where they reside.
Lazuardi has from his young adult years been oppressed by what I would call, familiar spirits. These are spirits that the family pays homage to and makes offerings to regularly. Their expectation is that the familiar spirits will grant them success in business and life in general.
After dealing with some health issues Lazuardi began to realize that it was these same familiar spirits that were causing him harm. Lazuardi lived in constant fear and uncertainty of how to appease these spirits and turn his fortune around.
Through a series of God appointed encounters we made a connection with Lazuardi and his wife Lilly. For the past 8 months or so I and some national partners here in town have been meeting regularly with them teaching slowly through God’s own story of true life.
On a recent trip with Lazuardi he shared with me how God has brought him out of the darkness of his old life. He no longer lives in fear of these spirits. Jesus is, in his words, “his true help and has restoration.”
The power of God’s own story, what the NT calls the gospel, is still “the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…”. I love Peter’s acknowledgement that even his own eye witness account of seeing Jesus transfigured doesn’t compare with, “the message proclaimed by the prophets.” Peter goes on to say, “their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19b NLT)
Another privilege we have had this term is helping to support, train, and disciple some national families as they go across cultures as ministers of the gospel. Two couples have spent the past year living in a tribal area helping to support the church planting efforts there. That investment is bearing fruit both in that local area as well as opening doors for further outreach.
At the end of the month two other couples will move down to Deranuk, the village where we lived for 15 yrs. These two couples will spend 10 weeks living in that area. They will be putting into practice the things they’ve just learning in their training. Pray for Achong and Joshua and their families as they shine the light into Deranuk and the surrounding areas. We are praying God would use them to start a revival in the hearts of the young believers.
We are making plans to be in the US for about 6 months this year for our planned home assignment time. We would love to connect with as many of you as we can during that time! Contact us through email, Facebook messenger, or WhatsApp if you would like to set up a time to get together! Although we have not purchased tickets yet we are tentatively planning to arrive in March.