Greatly encouraged

It required an extra bit of effort for Norman and Bobby to return to Southeast Asia in September. It wasn’t long after Norman had surgery so Bobby had to take control as they travelled, including handling their luggage. They needed God to work on their behalf all along the way and were so thankful for a series of miracles that enabled them to get there and set up quickly again. Before they left Norman finally got the visa he needed. This has made things so much easier for them.

They had no housing arranged but the first place they looked at turned out to be perfect and they moved in quickly. This is all quite a few months ago but they were so thankful and blessed to see God’s gracious provision. There have been more opportunities to interact with people in this community. One neighbour, a young woman from another Asian country, is meeting with Bobby three mornings each week to study God’s Word. Although she knew nothing about God or His Word, she is drinking in all she is being taught. They have enjoyed getting to know her, her husband and little son.

The annual field conference in October was an amazing time of fellowship and blessing as different members of the team shared from the Scriptures. They heard reports from around the region, some from new people in new areas that have opened up. Many had experienced trials and obstacles along the way, some have had multiple bouts of malaria and dengue fever, others have had accidents and some have unexpectedly had to move location. These things do not take the Lord by surprise and they can see Him working through the problems to help them grow and move the work forward.

This year some of the field’s more senior members have retired, a few others will follow soon. They are sad to see these folks go who have given so much of their lives to the work, but are delighted that God is sending others to take up the baton. At least three families and five singles will be joining over the next few months.

For around 40 years, there has been a national training centre in northern Thailand. Many young people have been trained and equipped to go back and serve their own communities and go into fulltime service throughout the country. The centre itself is in a beautiful location but the wooden buildings have changed little over the years. The field plans to update the programme and modernise the facilities, however, the classroom building is beyond repair and must be replaced. A building programme will take place over the next few months.

Norman and Bobby value your continued prayer on their behalf and for the work around the field. There are of course difficulties to face and problems to overcome but they are greatly encouraged by the many positive things that are taking place, evidence that God is building His church in Southeast Asia.